5 Beginner Tips That Make Learning to Surf Less Intimidating

5 Beginner Tips That Make Learning to Surf Less Intimidating

Want to learn to surf but aren’t sure where to start? These 5 tips promise to make riding your first wave easy. Read on to learn more with Aethia Outdoors.

Beginner surfer who is looking for tips with a green surf board

Don’t let big waves, judgmental stares or sea monsters hold you back from learning to surf!

If you want to experience the sheer thrill and wholesome satisfaction of a wave-filled surf session, called the “stoke”, welcome to the club.

Surfing is like any hobby– It has a learning curve. And as a beginner with any new pastime, getting started can be nerve-racking. Fortunately, we've been there and done it.

Read this article and learn from our experience to ensure your first sandy footsteps into the world of surfing are much more exhilarating than intimidating.


Book a beginner surf lesson or multi-day surf camp

Booking a beginner surf lesson is the ideal way to set foot into the world of surfing.

It provides structured learning under the guidance of trained professionals, ensuring safety while instilling fundamental skills. This tracks for a multi-day surf camp too, which offers an immersive experience with progressive learning (and an opportunity to travel).

Friends surfing together

Learn to surf with friends or create a weekend surf crew

Learning to surf with friends or creating a weekend surf crew is an excellent way to make the experience less intimidating.

Not only will you have a support system of like-minded individuals, but you'll also be able to motivate and encourage each other through the challenging early stages.

Moreover, learning with friends can make it more fun and enjoyable as you share in the excitement of riding your first waves together. Let's not forget either that watching your friends wipe out is always a good laugh and can be the best form of bonding.

Best Beginner Tip: Adopt a long-term mindset

You won't become the next Kelly Slater or Carissa Moore overnight, but you can become a solid surfer with the right attitude.

As we've discussed before, anyone can learn to surf regardless of race, gender, religion, age or economic background. You simply need to focus on the big picture and not be discouraged by small setbacks.

Keep showing up. Keep putting on the wetsuit. Keep paddling out even when the conditions are bad. Sooner or later, it'll all come together and you'll be surfing blue waves with style in a tropical paradise.

Remember the 3 B’s (Bigger Boards for Beginners)

Beginner surfers often make the mistake of choosing a short, high-performance board because they see their favorite surfer ripping on one.

But as the saying goes, bigger is better for beginners. A long and wide foamie or soft-top board provides more stability and buoyancy, making it easier to catch waves and stay balanced while standing up. This will ensure you progress quickly instead of floundering on a board that's too small.

Because these boards can reach up to 9ft long, a board like the NIMBL Foldable Surf Foamie is the perfect solution to fitting a beginner board in your cramped apartment or small car without the need for roof racks or straps– And at 7’6”, the NIMBL is a board you can grow with as you hone your surf skills.

In our opinion, surf camps are the best option if you have the time and money, as you'll get more value when learning about all aspects of surfing such as the different types of surf breaks, ocean safety and how to choose the right equipment.

Familiarize yourself with the ocean
We can't stress this one enough.

People, if you plan on learning to surf and sticking with it, you need to know the ocean! This means:

  • Never turning your back to it

  • Only surfing spots suitable for your skill level

  • Knowing how to identify rip currents, rocks and other hazards

  • Understanding the rules of surf etiquette

  • Being respectful of the environment by not littering or disturbing marine life

The more you know about the ocean, the safer and more enjoyable your surfing experience will be. So do some research, talk to locals and trust your gut - if it looks too gnarly, chances are, it probably is.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, learning to surf can be a thrilling journey filled with fun and a few harmless wipeouts. Keep in mind these essential tips: book a beginner's lesson, form a weekend surf crew, adopt a long-term mindset, start with a bigger board and familiarize yourself with the ocean.

You'll be catching waves in no time!

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