How to Surf

Surfboard to use for learning to surf

The first thing you are going to need when learning to Surf is a surfboard. As a guide if you are under 12 stone we recommend that you use an 8ft mini mal to start with and if you are over 12 stone look at learning on a 9ft longboard or bigger. We also recommend that you use a soft top surfboard for your first few times surfing and getting at least one lesson from a surf school.

What sort of wetsuit to buy

If you live in a cold climate just like we do here in Ireland then you will also need a wetsuit. In Ireland we use a 3mm wetsuit in the summer months (June, July, August) and a 5mm wetsuit for winter. Some people who want to be extra warm will use a 6mm wetsuit in winter. Depending on the water temperature you may also need boots, gloves and a hood. We also recommend using boots if the beach your learning on has lots of stones.

Putting on Your Leash

You must attach your leash (Sometimes called leg rope) to your leg, just above your ankle. In this photo you can see a leash that is on a surfer’s leg correctly. Also note that the leash must go on your back foot (your back foot is the foot that is behind you when you pop up, if you don’t know what a pop up is don’t worry as we will explain it further on.

The pop up

Once you have all your equipment ready and your leg rope on you may want to practice the pop up technique which is used to get you to your feet from the lying down position on the surfboard. The first thing you need to do is lay down on the board with you feet together at the back of the board, then in a very fast motion go from the lying down position to the standing position. This movement is done by pushing your chest up in the air using your hands and jumping to your feet. You should then be standing with you feet spread apart in a crouched position. In the next photo you can see the person correctly lying down and the other person correctly standing.

Do keep in mind that when you actually do this in the water then the nose of the board should not be lifted up out of the water nor under the water, the board should be lying flat on top of the water.

Once you have perfected the technique of the popup we recommend you jump in the water to practice it out, the next thing to do is to read this article on Catching a Wave.