Jun
19

Adults Learning to Surf

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Teaching surf lessons in Oceanside has given me experience with kids and adults. Each age group comes with some obstacles. Family Pictures 005With kids it is sometimes intimidation with the ocean and not having the strength to do regular pop ups. With adults it is often being over weight and loss of strength and flexibility.

Surfing is age less. You can learn in your 60’s and I haven’t had any 70+ students, but it is possible. It depends on how well you have maintained appropriate body weight, strength, and especially flexibility. Gymnast students, yoga students, triathletes and swimmers are generally at the top of the class.

Everyone comments on how much more tiring surfing is than they anticipated. For one, each new student has not developed any surfing stamina, so it would be like commenting that running 5 miles the first day of running is difficult. That being said, most students are surprised that even though they thought they were in good condition, the demands of surfing are rigorous.

Surfing is also one of the more difficult sports to learn. Snow boarders, wake boarders, and skateboarders have a slight edge, but getting from the prone to the standing position is where the difficulty enters. Not only is it crucial to get to a standing position quickly without upsetting the balance of the board, you have to have to mimic the technique I demonstrate to land in the proper position.

The video on the front page of this site on pop ups is a clear demonstration and can be practiced in one’s living room before taking a lesson. I have my regular students practicing in their living room between lessons. It is a matter of building specific muscles and a rhythm. I give students a four count rhythm to follow as they move from the prone to standing position. I explain that success is getting the body to move in accordance with each count.

For students over 200 pounds and for many adults, I now use a 9′ soft top board. The extra volume helps eliminate some of the tipping that occurs if you don’t get the pop up just right. Nonetheless, two hindrances to adults surfing is being over weight and loss of flexibility. The pop up requires that in moving the front foot to the middle of the board, you have to be able to place your chest on your knee. If you cannot touch your palms to the floor without bending your knees, you need to work on your flexibility.

My first goal is to make students comfortable with their board in the ocean. Everyone learns how to catch waves. For those who have difficulty with conditioning or the pop up maneuver, they have a target of what they have to improve for their next venture in the water.

“I’ve read and watched so many on-line tutorials and I’ve gotta say your book is the coolest, most succinct and comprehensive I’ve seen. So good!” A. Parker, OR.

Surf Instructions 

Beginner to Advanced E Book   $5.95    Add to Cart     

Illustrated 80 page E Book  by Mark Kaplan, Surf Instructor Download Immediately Learning the Physical, Technical and Psychological stepping stones to becoming an Advanced Surfer

See Sample Pages

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