Surf's Up Magazine

Is Surfing Hard?

  • Date: June 24, 2024
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Yes, surfing is hard for most people. However, if you are prepared to put in the time to persevere in the water, you’ll most likely be able to take to the sport.

When beginners gaze at well-seasoned surfers, it may appear as though traveling from the beach to surfing a great wave is an unachievable goal.

Of course, becoming the next Kelly Slater will take years of practice and hundreds of hours in the water. It’s quite straightforward to learn how to surf. Given the ideal circumstances, many individuals may be surfing their first wave in under an hour of practicing.

is surfing hard?

What Are the Best Conditions for Learning to Surf?

There are a few factors that might help you cut down your learning curve when you’re learning to surf for the first time.

It’s also important to know what sort of surfboard you’ll be riding. Your age, physical fitness, type of waves, and whether you’re self-taught or receiving lessons are other considerations to make.

Choose the Right Surfboard

The larger the board, the more stable it will be. When a floating item has a larger surface area, it is less likely to fall over and offers more support.

The ability to ride a large board (approximately 7 to 10 feet) might be the difference between learning to surf in an afternoon or enduring session after session without surfing a single wave.

Another significant aspect to consider when selecting a board to learn on is the type of materials used in its construction.

Surfboards have traditionally been constructed of wood or fiberglass, but a foam board is the greatest option for beginners.

Why foam?

Every surfer suffers a blow to the head at some point. As a novice, this is certain to happen far more frequently.

When you’re learning the ins and outs of dealing with a big vessel in the swell, use a foam board to keep yourself safer. Remember that when it comes to choosing what board to utilize, your height and weight will make a significant impact.

Don’t pick a board that’s too short or thin; you don’t want to find yourself quickly sinking. However, a surfboard that is far too big for you might be difficult to control and cause just as much fuss.

carrying a foam surfboard

What Is the Best Age to Begin Surfing?

There is no age restriction for learning to surf. To illustrate this point, let’s take a look at John H. “Doc” Ball, who was 94 years old when he died in 2012. John loved surfing and spent his final days doing it.

This illustrates that even though John had been surfing for years, there is no age limit to a sport such as surfing.

Yes, younger individuals may have an easier time surfing. They are more physically fit, flexible, and frequently possess better balance.

When it comes to surfing, this is true. Children are more tenacious, acquire knowledge more rapidly, and have a stronger memory than previous generations.

It’s Easier to Learn to Surf if You’re fit

To get started surfing, there is no need to be able to do long high-intensity activities like a triathlon.

However, being in excellent physical form will make your surfing lessons that much more simple.

It’s difficult to paddle and pop up on a massive board while moving about, as both activities require you to move your arms and shoulders.

Taking a swim before moving on to swimming exercises is recommended. You should be able to swim for between 40 and 60 minutes at a low to middle range intensity before needing a rest.

The faster you can paddle, the easier it is to catch a wave. Surfers frequently fall off the back of a wave rather than being pushed forward when paddling too slowly.

You’ll most likely fall multiple times and need to paddle back out as a novice surfer. Don’t give up yet. Keep trying and you’ll get there eventually.

Personal Balance Is Fundamental

When it comes to surfing, having a proper balance and center of gravity is critical. If you can’t stand on the board without it tipping over, you can’t surf. Of course, this is easier said than done.

When popping up, you’ll want to find that “sweet spot” on your board. When you jump up near the nose of your board, it will drive into the water and carry you forward. But if you land too close to the back, you will slow down and allow the wave to pass by.

On their first few visits to the beach, many surfers will trace their boards in the sand and execute a “pop up” maneuver.

This is a fantastic approach to ensure you’re landing on the center of your board. Balance exercises such as yoga may also be a valuable tool in your surfing journey.

Yoga will not only help you maintain your balance while walking on uneven surfaces, but it will also keep you healthy and more limber.

The more flexible you are, the easier it will be to move about on the board and the less likely you are to hurt yourself. Remember, the larger the board, the bigger the sweet spot and the simpler it is to balance.

Choose Your Waves Wisely

The waves you practice on will have a significant impact on how difficult it is for you to learn to surf.

When you go out into a big wave, you are putting yourself in great risk. It might be hazardous, and you will soon become drained and unmotivated to keep going. The finest waves to learn on when learning to surf are the tiny foam waves near to the shore.

Although they may not appear to be as beautiful as the barreling glossy giants in the back, smaller waves will allow you to feel for your board and increase your chances of standing up. Another factor to consider when selecting the best wave to surf is whether it’s closing or peeling.

A peeling wave is a term used to describe waves that are crumbling in one direction, such as from left to right along the seashore. These waves are easier to learn on as you’ll have more riding time before the wave turns to whitewater.

Is it Possible to Learn to Surf on Your Own?

Yes, surfing may be learned by oneself. Many individuals do so. However, when learning anything new, being taught by someone who knows the subject will reduce your learning time.

How Does Having a Surf Coach Benefit You?

For starters, you won’t have to worry about finding the right equipment. You may inquire about which board is ideal for you at a surf shop. However, being in the water with a surfing instructor will enable you to tell when it’s time to replace your board as your abilities or the weather changes.

If you’re new to surfing, having a lot of information in your head about the finest water spot, the best way to paddle, and which wave to select may be overwhelming.

When it comes to surfing, a surf school will take all of these concerns away and allow you to focus on just one thing: standing on the board.

Having someone to tell you when to start paddling, which wave to take, and shout an encouraging “pop up now!” may save you hours of error and self-discovery.

surfing aerial on a wave

How Long Does It Take to Learn Surfing?

It is difficult to establish a timetable for learning to surf. Because there are so many variables, such as those listed above, it’s impossible to know how long it will take each person to ride their first wave.

However, with the proper circumstances and a competent surf coach, most people can stand and ride their first wave within the first hour of lessons.

Of course, learning to carve the waves like those seasoned surfers in the backline will take several hours of practice. Once you can stand up, you are well on your way.

It’s worth noting that, unlike other things, the learning curve for surfing is more of a straight line.

What is the Most Difficult Part of Surfing?

The most difficult aspect of surfing varies from person to person, although there are three key areas where novices and experts will struggle.

1. Paddling

The most difficult part of surfing is your arm and shoulder endurance, which never seems to improve. The more active you are in the water, the higher your chances of catching a wave.

The irony is that the more fit your arms get, the harder you paddle and thus deplete their energy at the same rate.

2. Reading the Waves

If you don’t know when a set will arrive, where the waves will be peaking, and how the swell is changing in the bay, it’ll be tough to have a decent surfing session.

Being able to “grasp” the ocean and its currents takes years of training. With strong paddling arms and a knowledge of where the next wave will break, you’ll always be the first to the set.

3. Staying Psyched

Most things in life are difficult for most people; surfing is no exception. New surfers may find that constantly falling over is inconvenient, and they might want to give up. You could also start to experience back pain and chiropractors sometimes may need to be consulted.

It’s critical to keep at it. Whether you’re a novice surfer who just wants to get up and explore, or if you’re an experienced one looking for new moves, remember that the next attempt may be the one that works.

If you don’t manage to accomplish your objective on the first day, try again the next. The most accomplished individuals in history have all failed at some point, but they never gave up. And that is why they succeeded.

how much does a surfboard cost?

Previous Post

How Much is a Surfboard?

Next Post

Why do Surfers Wear Wetsuits?

black neoprene wetsuit