Nov
05

Who Can Learn to Surf?

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I have taught Surf Lessons in Oceanside to hundreds of students who have not surfed before. Most are up and surfing on the first lesson. Everyone that arrives expects that they will be able to do it. Most are surprised at how Best Surf Pictures 006difficult it is and how many things you have to get right before you can be standing on the board riding a wave.

Most people think balance is the most important prerequisite. It isn’t. Balance of course is part of the process, but most anyone has adequate balance if they can get into the right posture. What people underestimate is the power to weight ratio necessary to get from the prone to standing position.

Over weight people need to be twice as strong as lean people. But then being over weight probably implies a lack of conditioning and exercise. Lean may indicate good genes, good eating habits, and maybe a good exercise fitness routine.

I have found yoga students have the flexibility to make good surfers and I would put flexibility at the top of the priorities. In the pop up, you have to get your front foot from the back of the board to the middle of the board so that your knee is touching your chest while your hands are on the board. Anyone who can’t do this in their living room is going to have a flexibility problem.

A lot of students can do the pop up illustrated on the landing page video on the beach, but in the water it is a different proposition. Without the firm support of a solid surface, the demand on the upper body strength and core steps in. Kids that weigh 60 pounds can just crawl up on the board and assume the right posture.

Over 70 pounds, the pop up has to be accurate with the front foot landing in the middle of the board and at the half way point between the nose and tail. In the water instruction is assisting students to make the right moves and get their body properly aligned.

Once students can pop up, the fun starts with catching waves. This is an entirely different process, but most students get it. Once you can pop up and catch waves, you can practice on your own.

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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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