SURFING LESSONS NOT ONLY FOR THE GIRL SURFERS BUT FOR ALL SURFERS.
ITS JUST THAT THE GUYS HAVE SO MUCH IN SURFING LESSONS I THOUGHT I'D I'D TITLE IT GIRL SURF.THE SOFTER SPECIES SOME WOULD SAY. WELL 'NO WAY JOSE' GIRL SURFERS CAN BE JUST AS HARD CORE AS THE BOYS. SO WHETHER YOUR A GUY SURFER OR A CHICK SURFER READ AND IMPROVE YOUR SURFING ABILITY.
If you are going to be a surfer chick then you need a surfers stick. I assume you have read 'buying your first board page' and you have purchased your trusty piece of foam and fibreglass and are ready to start on the surftravel road.
First up there are a couple of ways to approach beginning to surf. Trial and error or with a little bit of coaching it can save many a frustrated surf by a slow progression through the basics of paddling, duck diving and eventually standing and riding that first wave. Well lets get on with the surf lessons.
CLICK TO CHOOSING YOUR FIRST SURFBOARD
Deciding if you are a 'goofy foot' or a 'natural'.
If you are left handed surfer girl, then most likely you will feel more comfortabe being a goofy foot. That is with your left foot back at the tail of the board and your right foot forward. Though many right handed people surf as a goofy footer and visa-versa. It really is what ever you feel most comfortable with. A natural foot surfer would have his right foot at the tail of the board. To help decide which way the surf girl in you would prefer, lie next to the board on the sand and practice jumping up, placing one foot in front of the other, do this a dozen or more times until you feel the way that comes easier. Some beginner surfers will trace the outline of their surfboard in the sand and jump in that. Don't jump on top of your board, this will cause a ding or depression on it. Jump next to it.
After you feel that you can do this lightly you can trim an old piece of carpet or thick foam rubber to two thirds the length and shape of your board, place it on top of your surf board, make sure that the board is fully supported underneath by sand and practice lying on your board as if you were paddling and in one quick motion jump lightly to your feet, one in front of the other, by springing from your bent arms. Your back foot should land around 8 to 10 inches from the tail and your front foot near the middle of the board. Remember from the word go, think light, be light. Develop a light approach to your surfing and you you will progress quickly. So many girl surfers and guy surfers fail in this basic approach, and wonder why they don't seem to get the speed or length of ride others do. As you progress as a surf girl you'll discover a lot of things that will increase yor speed, but for now think light and an even balanced approach. The legrope is attatched to your back leg just above the ankle.
work hard, stay focused and be good to your mother
Getting in the water:
Before approaching the water, look at where the waves are breaking the cleanest. From right to left or left to right. As you look from the beach a wave that breaks from right to left is called a right hander as in the picture on the right. From left to right is called a left hander, no science degree needed here. A wave that breaks all over the place is a mess, a straight a header or dumpy. Chances are 'the mess' is where you'll be paddling out in to begin learning. Guy surfers generally are greedy for waves and if you paddle out in amongst the crew and proceed to get in their way you'll be told to please hop out the way, or something a bit stronger in some of the limited vocabulary that the lineup contains. Girl surfers tend to be a bit more mellow and a friendlier tone to their speach, for most 'surfer girls' don't have the 'i want to be the star of the break atitude'. Of course there are plenty of surfers both girls and guys that are pretty mellow and share the fun. It's usually in the crowded spots that create the tension, with too many surfers and too little waves. For this reason as a beginner 'chick surfer' it's good to stay away from the pack.
Now I'm assuming you know how to swim, good idea to learn if you don't, but as far as paddling goes swimming muscles and paddling muscles are only slightly related. This is where most surfing beginners fail and either head to the body boarding ranks or armchair sportsman.
Paddling is difficult, it will only get easier by practice in the water. So get yourself out there. Remember Surf Lesson 1, stay calm and just feel the surge of the water as you walk out with your hand on the board. While the waves are small and in close to the shore pick your board up and jump over the break. Your hands are holding the surf board in the front half. As you jump over the wave let your feet leave the bottom and put your weight on the front of the board so you glide over the back of the wave. Stand up and keep pushing forward, until you are safely past the impact zone of the shore dump. Of course if the waves are tiny just walk through them with a small jump up. Okay so now you have a wave that's breaking between you and the beach. If it's dumpy and too shallow there, don't try to surf these, you don't want your board in your face. It's better to wait for a wave that has broken further out and and is a rolling foam of white water as it approaches you.
Your first wave should be a gentle breaking wave that allows you to push yourself off the sand and lets you belly it in to the shore. Remember this is fun, though you may become a bit frustrated, stay cool and cheerful. Don't expect too much but by the first days end you should be lying on your board and paddling a little when the wave catches you and glides you up to the sand on your belly. You should also have had a few trys at getting to your feet. You didn't realise that trying to jump up in one motion was so difficult, did you?
Now have you done your home work? Thinking about what you have done and what you have achieved so far goes a long way to your improvement. So down to the beach we go. Check out the waves and where it is suitable for you to go surfing. Not in a flagged area now, the clubbies get really angry, and besides all those people get in your way and what you have under your arm can be a weapon of mass destruction if let loose amongst the families. Look for where the waves don't seem to be breaking as much. It might even be an obvious gutter running back out to sea, this is where most surfers will paddle out. Any free ride out the back is more time for riding the waves, and if the surf is big it might be the only place that will let you out.
At this point you probably still wont have a prefence for the direction a wave is breaking, you are probably still on the straight aheaders. No preference is a good thing to hold on to. Many surfers while being competent on their forehand are shocking on their backhand. Forehand is when you are facing the breaking wave as you surf it. Backhand is when you have your back towards the wave. A good surfer shows no preference and is comfortable surfing either way. A right hand breaking wave or 'right hander' has a natural footer facing it, the goofy footer has his or her back to it. It's the opposite for a left hander. Some good surfers can switch stance (switch foot) but for me that's only in my dreams. So surf as many types of waves as you can and waves that break in either direction, most important.
Now learning to surf can take months before you can paddle out to the lineup and stake a small claim on the odd wave that might sneak through on the outside shoulder. So don't be perturbed about your slow progress, just keep practicing lesson 2 until you can feel comfortable paddling into the waves, move out and catch a wave that's about to break, and feel the rush as you belly down the face. If you nose dive the board, then maybe you are lying too far up the board. This is unusual for a beginner. They usually lie too far back on their surboards. Nose diving is usually caused by just being too vertical to the base of the wave. So think about a slight angle as you paddle and take off. Your surfboard is curved up, we call this this the rocker. Some boards have more rocker than others, but that's a bit advanced at this point of time. My point is that your surfboard will fit into the curl of the wave if you angle it a little as you take the drop, making nose diving a rarity. OK before wego to much further lets discuss paddling and getting out the back.
This surf girl is a natural footer riding back hand on a lefthand breaking wave. Showing a nice style. She is looking where she's going and angling her board across the wave. Most importantly she is well centred over the board, so she is well balanced.
ON TO SURFING LESSONS 4&5