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# The Art of surfing - Getting Around in the Waves


Now that you've brought all the necessary gear to get out amongst the waves, its time for some pointers on how to actually surf. I'll run through the lot step by step, just in case you didn't get a surfing lesson in before you hit the waves.

First thing when you get to the beach, is try not to be a hero. If the waves are too big, you'll get hammered and if you don't, you could injure someone else. So when your learning, my advice is to pick a day and spot where the waves aren't too big, believe me you'll have more fun and probably live to tell the tale. Pick a day where the waves are say shoulder height or under. Also try to find a spot where there's other learners, or a place where there's not too many people in the water.

Unfortunately alot beaches around the world, have agro guys out in the water and they don't take to kindly to beginners, so it's best to just stay away and find your own little spot. Most importantly don't surf where there's swimmers, keep well away from them, they're trying to enjoy the waves too.

So you've found a good day where the waves are just the right size and you've picked a spot where you can rip up the waves, great. Now the first thing to learn when you start surfing, is paddling. Padding can make you or break you, in other words, learning to paddle correctly, can save you alot of time and energy, in the water and get you more waves.

The key to paddling, is to position yourself correctly on your surfboard. There is a sweet spot, a place on your board where when your in perfect position, you glide through the water with the least amount of effort. If you are to far forward on your surfboard, the nose of the board will sink making it nearly impossible to move through the water. Probably the biggest thing I see beginners do incorrectly, is lie to far back on their boards. When you lay to far back your board, your actually dragging yourself around, you use all your energy, just paddling and when you do that, it means less waves.

Another key to getting around the waves, is to have your feet together, try to even place one ankle over the other. You should be able to do this once your fully confident, with your balance on your board. When you have both feet apart, you then create two dragging points off the end of your surfboard. Again this will slow you down and you'll use more energy, you'll probably have both feet hanging out the back when you first start and that's OK, you'll need balance and having your legs either side helps when you first start.

Now that you've got your balance suss, it's time to start getting around. First off just watch other surfers for a while before you get in the water. The art of paddling is to get as much of your arm stretched out in the water. So first lift one arm and drag it back towards you on the side of your board, then once you start lifting your arm out of the water, place the other arm out and drag it under the water. Its exactly the same as swimming freestyle, only your on top of the water. Another little pointer to help you get the maximum speed out of you paddling, is to keep your fingers closed, this helps you drag more volume of water through.

Believe me, I've had alot of people start surfing and tell me that they're, super fit or very fit from say, doing weights or jogging. I'll tell you all now, every single one of these people, within five minutes are puffing and panting. The best way for getting fit for surfing is go out and surf, I mean it's good to do weights etc. but there's nothing that will get your fitness up better then surfing. So don't try and paddle frantically in the first ten minutes, pace yourself, surf until your feeling a bit tied don't over do it. It's best to do a small session of surfing each day, then before you know it you'll be able to paddle around all day if the waves are on.

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