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Common Mistakes with Beginner Surfers

Surf Tips General

Common Mistakes with Beginner Surfers

N: 52°22′26″  E: 4°53′22″


With every sport you learn, you actually don’t know at the beginning what you should do and how you can best do this. The first few times surfing are enormously important since they form the basis with which you continue. Unfortunately, it is still common that certain aspects of the sport are taught incorrectly. To prevent that for you, we have a nice list of common mistakes among beginning surfers. This way you enter the water well prepared.

9 common mistakes from beginner surfers 

  1. No warm-up

Whether you surf in the warm waters of Bali or in the cold North Sea, a warm-up is essential. Just like with any other sport, you will use your muscles constantly. A warm-up ensures that your muscles warm-up, and you are well prepared to enter the water. This not only applies to your muscles, your mindset is also set to surf. You can make it as colorful as you want, but a few push-ups or a short jog is enough.

  1. ­Using the wrong board 

Perhaps the most common mistake is using a wrong board. The first time it is always shocking how big such a surfboard actually is. But make no mistake, at the very beginning this format works to your advantage. A large board is a lot easier and safer to surf, at a later stage of your surfing career you can look at smaller boards.

  1. No beach practice 

You will learn the majority of skills in the water but there are plenty of exercises that you can do on the beach to speed up the learning process. The most important thing is by far to master the pop-up, do this a few times on the beach and it will go a lot better on the waves.

  1. Having an incorrect stance

Balance is one of the most important things to master (besides swimming of course). Lower your center of gravity by bending your knees and standing as low as possible. Remember to keep your shoulders and arms above the board, otherwise you’ll lose your balance

  1. Foot placement

If you control the pop-up and correct posture but don’t put your feet down properly, you won’t get very far. Try to make sure that you place your feet in the middle of the board, parallel to each other.

  1. Watch your surroundings

Once you are in the water, things constantly happen around you. This makes it difficult to keep an eye on everything. First you have to pay attention to the other surfers in the water. Believe me, you really don’t want to be hit by the board or the fins of another surfer. In addition, it is important to take currents and tides into account.

  1. What to do after the wave

One of the biggest frustrations of surfers is other surfers who are floating in the way. If you have surfed your wave it is important that you know where to go to take the next wave without bothering others. You find out by looking at the rest, when in doubt you can always ask! The other surfers will be grateful.

  1. Timing

This is most relevant to the pop-up. Many beginners feel the wave rise and see it as the sign to perform the pop-up. 9 out of 10 times this is too early. Let the wave push you and keep paddling! If you feel that the wave is pushing you up and you have the same speed as the wave, it’s time for the pop-up. It takes a while before you figure this out, but don’t give up!

  1. Not looking where you’re going 

The wave partly determines where you are going, but you have the greatest influence on this yourself. Always watch other surfers and what happens around you, even if you are inclined to look at your board to check if your feet are in the right position.

Recognizing these common mistakes will ensure that you stand comfortably on the waves much faster. Surfing is a sport in which balance, perseverance and strength are of great importance. You learn to master these skills by practicing, practicing and practicing again. If you take the time for this, you will be surfing in no time! And what better place to do that than the best surfcamps for beginners!

Thomas Oosterhof

Via mijn studie Tourism Management ben ik terecht gekomen bij SurfaWhile. Waar ik elke dag meer leer over het surfen, en het verkopen van surfreizen. Door het schrijven van artikelen over surfvakanties, ervaringen en prachtige surfbestemmingen zorg ik er voor dat jij goed voorbereid op surfvakantie gaat!

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