8 Things You Need To Know Before Learning How To Surf

By: Chris Martinez |

Surfing is an ever growing sport that many people want to learn how to do. It’s also among some of the world’s most popular sports, because people do it all over the globe. Whether you are living in a coastal city or inland, you can learn to surf anywhere now that surfing can be done artificially thanks to surf schools or at beaches all over the world. If you are wanting to learn how to surf but don’t know where to start, here are eight things you need to know before learning how to surf.

1. Surfing is a full body workout so after your first surf session you will be wanting to consume the first thing you see. Why? Because surfing burns many calories from paddling, standing, swimming and repeating.

2. Trunks or Wetsuit or Spring Suit? Depends on multiple factors such as weather, season and where in the world you are surfing. Typically on hot summer days most people surf in either a pair of trunks or a two-piece suit and a rashguard top. The hotter the day the less clothing you should wear to decrease overheating. The colder the day surfers wear either a spring suit where the sleeves are a quarter long on both the legs and arms, In colder temperatures surfers wear wetsuits where both the legs and arms are entirely covered and only the hands, feet and head are exposed.


3. Size does matter, it is highly recommended that you first learn how to surf on a LongBoard between 9ft. to ft. depending on height and weight. This chart below will help with what size board is recommended for you to start learning on.

4. Soft or Hard? There are two different types of LongBoards to invest in. They are self explanatory but the soft top boards tend to be made with a sponge like top and are usually lighter and can take a lot more damage. They are best to learn on because they are lighter have more buoyancy which in turn make them float easier in turn making it easier to stand on while catching a wave. Hard Top Boards are usually made entirely of fiberglass and heavier making it harder to stand up on. They also need wax and since they are made of fiberglass they are not as durable as a soft top.

5. Always wear a leash, a leash is used to keep your board from getting to far away from you and also from hitting other patrons and surfers in the water. They tend to be at least a foot or two longer than the height of your board and can come in a variety of different colors.

Female teen holding turquoise blue surf board with leash entering water with friends.  People, on Morro Strand State Beach, Morro Bay, CA.  A sunny warm, late summer day, with a number of visitors and families enjoying the sun, sand, and surf just north of Morro Rock.  07 October 2012.   Photo © 2012 “Mike” Michael L. Baird, mike {at] mikebaird d o t com, flickr.bairdphotos.com, Canon 5D Mark III, with Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens, with circular polarizer, handheld, IS, RAW.  Aperture Priority, ISO 400. See EXIF for obtained shutter speed.  GPS encoding and compass direction was realtime from an on-camera Canon GP-E2 GPS Receiver.  To use this photo, see access, attribution, and commenting recommendations at http://www.flickr.com/people/mikebaird/#credit - Please add comments/notes/tags to add to or correct information, identification, etc.  Please, no comments or invites with badges, images, multiple invites, award levels, flashing icons, or award/post rules.   Critique invited.

6. Wax is instrumental to learning how to surf depending on what board you decide to invest in a HardTop Board. Wax is the difference between running an ice rink compared to running on a track, You have grip and won’t slip off.

7. Start Small, Most people when learning how to surf assume they are going to surf 5,6, even 9 foot waves but in reality the safest way and the only way you can learn how to surf is by learning on “White Water”, this is the white foamy part of the wave that washes up on shore after the wave has already broken. Learning how to surf on these waves bring little to no injuries from trying to learn on bigger waves. Also leaving little room for error because these small waves are a gradual little push compared to being thrown down the face of a wave.


8. Falling is ok, the very best of surfers still wipeout on a wave. So if you get out there and fall every other wave that’s ok just get back up and try again.


The most important part about learning how to surf is having fun and enjoying your time out on the water. Hopefully these eight tips will help you know what you will need and are getting into learning how to surf.