Everyone has to start somewhere. While you might have dreams of carving your board up the centre of a 20 foot wave, if you have never been on a surfboard before it’s going to take a bit of practice before you end up there. To start with you have to learn the basics. Here are three key areas for you to master.
Paddling might not seem like the most exciting thing to do with a surfboard but it is one of the most important things to get right early on. Lots of new surfers try to paddle with both hands at once, because this is how it looks in the movies. In reality this causes the board to slow and speed up in the water, which stops you from maintaining a proper speed. You should always paddle in the crawl stroke, one arm deep, then the other.
Sitting up on the board correctly is another little manoeuvre that might not seem the most exciting but is crucial to getting your bearings in the water. Be prepared to wobble a bit when you first try and sit up. The trick is to stay calm and keep your body as still as possible.
OK. Once you are paddling effectively and confident when you sit up on the board you can now get to the fun part: standing up on the surfboard. First off, lie flat on your chest and keep your head up. Then get into a push up position: hand by your shoulders, palms down. Push yourself up while, simultaneously, bringing your feet up under you, standing them on the centre of the surfboard. You should mainly be centring your weight on the stringer (the line in the centre) of the board. Keep low and do not look down – standing up straight or checking where your feet are will result in falling.
Remember, you are probably going to fall off the board once or twice (or made even three, four, five, six times) the first time you try all this stuff so practice makes perfect!