Surfing | wave surfers 101: let’s learn surfing! beginners' tips for surfing
Want to learn surfing and become a wave surfer? Learning to surf requires dedication, motivation, and, above all, a lot of practice! Here is some beginner’s tip for surfing that you can learn more about the rules, surfing techniques, and weather forecasts, and have fun on your new surfboard!
Respect the principle: "one surfer per wave"
This is one of the most basic safety rules for all wave surfers: only one surfer takes the wave in order to avoid collisions with others and injuries. But which surfer has priority? The one who's already on the wave! What if he's not riding the wave yet? Then it’s the surfer who is closest to the peak! Whats the peak? The place where the wave begins to break and turns into white foam! Ok...so how do I know who is closest to the peak? Your eyes will tell you! Always look around you and your eyes will tell you what to do!
Avoid interfering with a surfer who is already on a wave
Priority is given to the person surfing the wave. Stay away from his/her path so you won't force him/her to slalom around. If possible, stay away from the peak - on the shoulder when you are paddling out. If it’s not possible to get to the right position, too bad, paddle towards the white water. Why? Because that’s the right thing to do. Yes, if you find yourself on a surfer's path and your only option is to go to the foam and get shaken around, do it. How would you feel if you were the surfer and your wave was interrupted because someone didn’t want to get their hair wet?!
Do not surf in the swimming area
Every summer, wave surfers collide with swimmers. In most beaches, there are designated swimming areas. It is forbidden to surf inside this zone for the safety of the swimmers who are there. At the very least, a fine awaits the careless surfer who ventures into the swimming area, at worst - a serious accident. The beach is for everyone, and sometimes we have to share!
Do not fight the current
Fighting the current is a waste of energy! If you feel you are getting carried away, don’t panic! Let the current carry you and once out of the trouble zone, say calm. You want to paddle out of the current, parallel to shore, along the beach and then follow breaking waves back to the shore at an angle.
Get ready for your first surfing session
One of the most important tips for beginners, is that you need to get warm-up on the beach before surfing, to the position to adopt on the surfboard and your paddling technique, learn more about our recommendations to start surfing the right way! Leave nothing to chance and take the time to prepare well your first session, in order to progress effectively, make sure you have:
- An appropriate size of surfboard according to your skill level and the size of wave you surf.
- A suitable wetsuit
- A good leash
- The right wax
Beginner wave surfers: when and where to go surfing
Your first surf sessions are often accompanied by another lesson: decoding the weather conditions at sea. It is important to know how to read the surf forecasts published on specialised websites like https://www.surf-forecast.com/ and to master some basic notions, such as:
- Swell: it defines the size of the waves. For beginners, settle for waves less than 1 m.
- Wind: Offshore wind (blowing from land to sea) is excellent for surfing, because it carves and smooths the waves. The onshore wind (blowing from the sea to the land) on the other hand, flattens the waves and forms an unpleasant chop. A light offshore wind gives favourable conditions. As a rule, too much wind is never good for surfing. Too much offshore wind and you’ll be stuck at the top of the wave, too much onshore wind and the water will be too choppy and messy.
- Tide: generally, a rising tide brings better conditions to surf. But there are no fixed rules: ask the local surfers to find out how the spot works.
- Seasonality: Winter is the best season for surfing in Hong Kong. There is more swell and a mainly off-shore winds. In summer, there is much less swell: you can spend a week waiting for waves.