Beginners guide to surfing in the UK

Beginners guide to surfing in the UK

It doesn’t really matter what the weather, or even the time of year, chances are if you happen to live near a beach you will always see the water full of tiny figures on surfboards. Of course, this becomes much more apparent to us in the summer as we hit the beaches to soak up the sunshine. Have you ever wanted to take up surfing but not really known where to start? Well, here are some of the basics to give you beginners an idea of what to expect!

What should you expect?

Well, firstly we live in the UK so no Californian temperatures for us. So, expect it to be cold – not so much of a problem on a hot day but on a cooler day you can get chilly. That’s where wetsuits come in, they might feel a little strange at first but they will keep you comfortable and warm.

What happens if I fall in?

You don’t have to be a surfing expert to realise that you will fall into the water at some point, more likely as a beginner. Your head will go under the water, but the good news is that surfing is actually more of a shallow water sport, which means that once you get your bearings you can just stand up when you need some air. It helps if you get up to speed on your swimming first to make sure you are confident in the water.

Is it hard to learn to surf?

It’s hard work yes, but rewarding. The more you practice, the easier it will become – and the more fun too!

What shouldn’t I do?

  • Learn about your beach – you need to know where the rocks are and the patterns of the currents.
  • Never, ever paddle out further than you can swim back in, without the aid of your board.
  • Use a leash that keeps your board close.
  • If you aren’t sure about the wave conditions, don’t go in – you don’t want to get out of your depth.
  • Don’t surf alone.
  • If you’re tired, stay at home.
  • Don’t float the board between you and the next oncoming wave, it will only flatten you and it can hurt!
  • Remember that the ocean can be formidable so take it seriously – trying too much too soon can end very badly.

What kind of surfboard do I need?

You need a longboard, between 8 and 10ft long. Don’t be tempted to go for a short, streamlined board as a beginner as these are shaped for speed and skill.

A little bit about board positioning…

When you lie on your board you want to be in the centre, when you’re in the water the nose of the board should be an inch or two above the water, if the tail of your board in sunk in the water, you’re too far back and this will slow your progress. It will take a bit of practice to find the ideal position and it’s better to practice this in the ‘whitewash’ where the wave has broken – use the energy from the waves to ride forward and find your perfect position.

Practice ‘popping up’

It’s best to practice this movement on the beach. Lie with your hands flat at your sides and push your chest up. Give a little push with your feet and bring one of your legs underneath you so you are in a crouching position. You want to end up with your body facing sideways, one hip towards the nose, the other towards the tail. Knees should be slightly bent for balance and arms out for extra balance! Of course, this is harder to practice in the water so get in some practice beforehand before moving into the whitewash.

Get some surf lessons!

Those are the basics, but if you want to make sure what you’re doing its best to have the help of a professional and many seaside towns have surf schools where you can have a beginner’s lesson – even one hour will help you get to grips with the basics, so why not check one out today?

Remember that the most important aspect of surfing is to have fun!

Get it at Littlewoods

Get all the beachwear you need to get started on your surfing lessons here at today!

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