The Ultimate Guide To Surfing
Surfing; what an amazing sport for all of you adventurers and free spirits out there looking to escape the monotony of the gym and take your fitness lifestyle to a completely new level of awesome. No matter if you’re a resident of a beachside surfing hotspot and you’ve finally decided to test your wave-riding abilities, or an adventure traveler hell-bent on learning how to surf on your next road trip, there is a need to start off slow, and start off right.
Surfing is a nuanced and oftentimes complicated sport, demanding total-body strength, coordination, excellent focus, and of course, your unwavering resolve to learn its secrets. With that in mind, here is your comprehensive guide to surfing to kick things off the right way.
Adhere to a functional warm-up routine
Hold on there, tigress, don’t jump on the board just yet. First you need to prep your entire body for the challenges ahead. Don’t take your warm-ups lightly, as any professional surfer will attest to their importance in the face of roaring waves.
Taking just five minutes out of your time to perform simple dynamic warm-ups for your entire body will go a long way in elevating your energy levels and preventing potentially deadly muscle cramps from occurring during your run. Avoid static stretches, though, and stick to explosive movements.
Crawl before you stand
Paddling is the first, and arguably the most important, movement you will have to master in the hopes of becoming a certified surfing pro. Paddling, how hard can it be, right? Quite hard, actually. In fact, paddling can literally make or break you run, and the way you paddle your way out to meet the waves will severely impact your cardiovascular strength, and thus your energy levels and your mindset.
Firstly, lie down on the board facing the waves, with your feet slightly elevated to avoid traction. Use long, fluid strokes to grab the water beneath your surfboard and propel yourself forward. Don’t dig too deep beneath the surface, in order to avoid wasting precious energy. You want to get ten quality strokes before you hit the peak of the wave.
Your weapon of choice
But wait, have you picked out your board yet? Every surfer is different, and the boards your friends use might be completely wrong for your body type and preference. While there are plenty of options to choose from, as a beginner, you want to choose a surfboard taller than nine feet, preferably one with FCS Fins for acceleration and control, with a rounded nose. The board should preferably boast a hard construction, but you could opt for a foamy model if you’re not feeling confident enough. As you progress in skill, you want to go down in board size as well.
Catching your first wave
Here comes the moment you’ve been waiting for – catching your first wave! If you’ve mastered the art of paddling, this should come as a slightly uphill walk in the park, so don’t worry. The first thing you should do is turn the nose of the board towards the beach, and wait for the wave to come close.
Once the wave is about five seconds away from crashing down on you, start paddling as hard as you can towards the beach, leaning forward as you feel the wave starting to hug the surfboard. Now simply grab the board firmly and hold on. See? Easy.
Stay calm and focused
Lastly, confronting the soaring waves can be a daunting, yet thrilling, experience. The key to winning at your first run and every run after that is to control your breathing, remain focused, and exercise calmness from start to finish. This is often easier said than done, but with enough trial and error, you will learn how to tune out, establish mental clarity, and greet the waves with determination and zeal.
Surfing is the ultimate adventure sport everyone should try at least once in their lifetime. Be wary, though, this exhilarating experience has the tendency to transform people into passionate, die-hard surfing aficionados. Before you hop on your surfboard, make sure you learn the proper paddling technique and check that you have all the necessary equipment with you in order to ensure an unforgettable surfing adventure.
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