February 17, 2023 4 min read

One of the most exhilarating and life-defining choices you'll ever make is learning how to surf. It is, however, a slow and tiresome process. Not only will you need to be able to balance and control a board, but you'll also need to learn about the ocean, improve your ability to interpret waves, and have excellent timing. Also, because of the constantly altering surf conditions, getting regular practice may be challenging. 

In this article, we'll talk about all you need to know about surfing as a beginner. Do not forget that it is challenging to make predictions today about your performance within a year, so you should practice as much as possible. Now, let's begin. 

Get the Proper Equipment

Having a good surfboard is the first part of learning how to surf. It is better to get a soft board with sufficient volume to catch even the smallest waves as a beginner. 

Select the Right Spot

Getting a teacher to teach you the basis of surfing is always better than learning on your own. Apart from teaching, your instructor will also show you the best spots to practice.

start to surf

If you're learning by yourself, ask the workers at your surf shop about the best places to surf as a newbie. A beginner wave should be mild and gentle with a clearly defined path. 

Practice on Land

As ridiculous as this may sound, you should practice the takeoff technique on the beach before going into the water. If doing this in front of others makes you uncomfortable, you can do it at home, imagining that your yoga mat is the board. 


Beginners need to be more flexible when they paddle. Always relax your elbows, shoulders, and wrists, and don't focus on forming close-fisted paddles with your hands. When you arch your lower back a little, your weight will be concentrated on the board, and you'll be able to lean forward without sinking your board's nose into the water. Your paddle speed depends on how far you can lean on the board. 

Finally, paddle with one arm at a time rather than using both arms simultaneously, even if it seems difficult.


Getting Through Waves

Firstly, ensure that your board is perpendicular to the wave. Your board's nose should push past the whitewater as you directly face the wave.

You can use your hands to move up the board for a tiny wave. Your chest will lift off the deck, and the board will go over the wave. 

A higher wave, on the other hand, will require you to duck dive or turtle. Duck diving involves pushing the nose underwater with your hand and the tail with your foot.

The best maneuver for longboarders is the turtle, which entails paddling directly toward the breaking wave with your board before suddenly flipping over such that you are submerged beneath it in the water.

Catching a Wave

To catch a wave, steer your board towards the shore, glance over your inside shoulder toward the curl of the wave, and then paddle in at the exact moment that the wave will break.

Continue paddling until your board rises to its face and picks up speed, at which point you should pop up. This can be challenging, but you'll get better with practice. 

Popping up on a Surfboard

When your board starts to accelerate after you've caught the wave, pop up by firmly pressing both hands down on the board's surface and leaping to your feet. You'll move more slowly if you move on one foot instead of both. Also, ensure that your feet are perpendicular to the surfboard's stringer before popping up, with one leg forward and the other backward.

Riding a Wave

Your surfing adventure begins when you successfully pop up and maintain a firm grip on the board. The first set of practice sessions would likely happen in whitewater, and you'll ride directly towards the shore. As soon as you master the transition with steady waves, you can begin to turn towards the shoulder and cruise along the line. This will lengthen your ride and make it much more pleasurable. 


Despite all the difficulties, surfing is a very gratifying activity, especially for those who put in the time and effort required to become proficient. Few experiences in life compare to the feeling of surfing down the line on a clear, steady wave; the first time you do, it will be one you never forget.

Author - Aleksandra Djurdjevic
Aleksandra Djurdjevic          

Senior Content Creator

Aleksandra Djurdjevic is a senior writer and editor, covering surf, kayak and various watersports activities. She has previously worked as ESL teacher for English Tochka. Aleksandra graduated from the Comparative Literature department at the Faculty of Philosophy in Serbia. Aleksandra’s love for the ocean / rivers, getting out waves, season after season, seeking epic adventures across the globe helps her continue to be a top expert at CSG.

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