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Intermediate Surfing- a how to guide

Updated on February 11, 2013

Surfing has become one of the most popular extreme sports in America. In less than one hundred years it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon. It is so beloved because it is one of the few sports that anyone can enjoy at an age. Surfing requires that one know how to use the equipment, how to catch a wave, and how to stand up on the board.

A key aspect in surfing is choosing the right equipment. Most people know what a surfboard looks like, but there are many styles and sizes of surfboards to choose from. Generally, the longer board will usually be easier to ride. Wax is an important item because it gives the board the grip to keep one from slipping off. One should apply a generous amount of wax in a circular motion on the top of the board, especially where one’s feet will be. The leash is a long cord (usually made of hard plastic) that one must attach to his board. The other end of the leash has a strap that fits comfortably around one’s ankle.

Having waxed down his board and attached his leash, the beginner surfer must now try to catch the wave. A wave may be anywhere from one foot to one hundred feet tall. Still learning the basics, most beginners should try to learn surfing on two to four foot waves. Timing is key in catching the wave. The individual must catch the wave before it breaks, but not too early or he will lose the wave. Most surfers try to catch the swell about three to five seconds before it breaks. One should observe other surfers and the breaking of the waves before attempting to catch a wave. If all goes well it should not be long before the novice has caught his first wave.

All steps leading up to standing on the board are quite simple to most, but actually mounting the board correctly has proved to be the most difficult feat to accomplish in surfing. beginners try the kneeling method. This involves standing on one knee and one foot before attempting to fully stand. This method, however logical it may seem, usually ends in a wipeout, because once there is only one foot on the board all of the surfer’s weight leans the board to one side and causes him to lose control. The first move a surfer should make is to lift his chest off of the board, and he then must, as quickly as possible, push his entire body up and bring both feet onto the board. Once both feet are planted he must be careful to keep his balance and ride the wave as long as he can.

Knowing the equipment, catching the wave, and standing on the board may seem easy to accomplish; however, these three aspects have confounded surfers all around the world. As long as the surfer hopeful works hard and surfs regularly, it should not be long until they ride waves easily. The beginner should beware, however, because once he has ridden that first wave, he is usually hooked on surfing for years, if not for life.


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