The Longsands Guide to Surfing
You can’t live near the beach and be bored because if you are – you’re not doing it right. Get up and try surfing.
If you’ve never done it before the thought of surfing can be extremely scary and who knows, you might have been putting it off for a while; well don’t. Not only does it look incredible when you can pull it off but the health benefits that come with it are unreal!
First of all, you need to make sure you have the right beginners gear. If you’re only beginning don’t bother buying your stuff until you know you’re going to stick at it, borrow it from a friend or hire it from a local surf shop.
Surfboards: Your surfboard is of course essential to surfing but there are so many to choose from. Beginners usually find it easier with a big board – and we mean big. Get a board as big as you can manage because trust us, size matters. A big foam board will help you catch the waves and it’s a little easier to fall on or off it without hurting yourself too much (prepare for a lot of falling).
Wetsuits: The best tip we have here is pop into your local surf or sports shop and have a chat with them about what you need and they will be able to help kit you out in the perfect suit. Wetsuits aren’t required for surfing but in the colder water (like the North Sea) it’s best to wear one to keep you warm.
The only other things you might need are a surfboard leash – stops your board going miles when you fall off it. You attach it to your leg and it just keeps you and your board together, seriously it’s a simple invention but it saves you so much time and energy.
Another thing you will want to invest in is some fantastic surf lessons with a local company. For us in Tynemouth we have Tynemouth Surf Co (http://www.tynemouthsurf.co.uk/) who are a fantastic friendly bunch and have been helping beginners for years.
Remember that surfing takes years to perfect. Don’t be annoyed that you suck to begin with – everyone does. Just have a laugh at yourself and get back up!
Of course it goes without saying, don’t put yourself at risk in the sea. If you aren’t a confident swimmer don’t go in alone and definitely don’t go in when it’s getting dark – keep a level head and some common sense about yourself and you should be ok.
Next week we have a fantastic blog on surfing etiquette. That’s right, how to behave in the water as a beginner aka not causing trouble for you and those around you.
See you then!
Stick with it - you will get better!