The 4 Fundamentals of Learning to Surf


When I teach new students to surf during lessons in Oceanside, I stress four important components. Students who learn on their own or sometimes taught by other instructors often don’t get the importance or never learn these items.IMG_7085 (2)c (800x531)

First, perfect balance while lying prone on the surf board is crucial. I see so many new and untrained students crashing in the waves before they get started. If the board is not flat on the water when you are paddling or when the wave hits, it will turn and then flip.  You have to have your head in the middle of the board, your shoulders in the middle, your hips in the middle and your feet together at the tail. The board is adjusted by moving your hips.

Secondly, many students never get a chance to pop up because they can’t catch the wave properly. There are four stages. You have to be moving before the wave arrives whether you are riding foam or real waves. You have to paddle hard just before the wave meets your board. You have to keep paddling hard until the board accelerates in the wave. Too many students are standing idle and then try to stand as soon as the wave hits the board.

Thirdly, the pop up consists of one move to have both feet properly positioned on the board. New students step onto the board instead of popping which usually results in the front foot being behind the midline of the board. Students put a knee on the board. This will immediately upset the balance. Students swing their butt around to get both feet up which results in falling off the backward in one second. The front foot has to come under the chest and be placed between the hands. (see video on landing page)

Fourthly, students like to stand straight up when they are on the board riding in. This often results in locked knees and falling off too soon. They also hold their hands above their heads or the rear hand too far behind the body. The right position is to have the knees flexed, both elbows at about waist height with the hands in front, and the head looking straight forward.


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