Beginner Surfers Start with Foam and Soft Top Boards


Ashley2.410When I teach beginners Surf Lessons in Oceanside, I make it as easy as possible for a difficult sport. It never fails that most people say there is more to this than I imagined.

It looks so simple on video or in the movies, but so does tennis and football. Once you play either, you realize they are not as easy as they look plus there is one additional caveat.

Beginner surfers have to do the same basic techniques as the pros. The pop up on the surf board is the same technique for foam or big waves.

Beginner surfers are not as fit as pros but unless they have a minimum level of fitness and flexibility, they are not going to stand up on the board.

Beginner surfers often look to the outside and say I want to surf out there and use a short board. That is fine, but the fastest way to get there is start with foam waves on a relatively easy to use board and work your way to advanced. If a beginner goes in the water several times a week, they should be riding a short board on the outside in several months.

The 8′ soft top surf board will do everything a beginner needs for a long time. You can ride 7′ waves, drive and maneuver in the pocket, do cut backs, and I see advanced surfers doing 360s off the lip. They will also rip the lip, but you probably can’t do that until you have done it on a short board first.

Foam waves give you the opportunity to learn the very basics. Balancing on the board in the water and getting into a wave without pearling is not easy at first. Paddling in front of a wave and getting the timing of when to pop up requires some instruction. The pop up comes easy for some, but most require the instructor to talk them through the process. The advantage of a lesson is you can learn in one session whereas on your own it could take a month or never.

Once you have mastered the techniques and timing in foam wave you can start riding real waves. The beginner starts small and works his way up to bigger waves. In the process, you are learning how to do bottom turns, drive the wave, pump in the pocket, and do cut backs. Everything comes in time with practice.


Surf Instructions  Beginner to Advanced E Book   $5.95   

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Illustrated 80 page E Book 

by Mark Kaplan, Surf Instructor

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Learning the Physical, Technical and Psychological stepping stones to becoming an Advanced Surfer

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