Beginners Catching Real Surfing Waves


When I teach Oceanside Surf Lessons, my students start with catching real waves. Sometimes in the mix of waves, a real wave will present itself. If the student is paddling fast enough and holding their chin up high, they can often survive it without pearling the board (nose of board in the water)Take off

I start students who progress well with catching real waves at an angle. When sets of waves are coming to the beach, sometimes outside waves reform into real waves inside and sometimes real waves come in the mix. A real wave is the arc that forms before the wave breaks and turns to foam.

This real wave is small and true to the nature of all waves begins as foam comes over the lip at the apex. Then a pocket forms to the right or left as the wave starts to break down the line. You want to get just ahead of the apex and paddle toward the pocket. You need to be paddling ahead of where it is forming so that it comes under the board. You also have to notice that once the foam comes over the top of the apex, the wave is getting closer to the beach. Therefore, if you are intending to catch the pocket as it forms, you also have to be paddling at an angle toward the beach.  Once you make this observation, it should be more clear to you.

Catching a real wave down the face with an 8′ foam board is a challenge. In Oceanside, they break steep so you need to be paddling fast and hold your head and chest or chin up real high so the nose of the board doesn’t dive into the flats as the wave breaks. Paddling fast and even kicking plus holding your head up high is the secret. Going down a real wave is steep and it is also faster than catching a foam wave. You have to be aggressively forward so you don’t fall off the back and also have the courage to stay with the board.


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Surf Instructions 

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