Is Age Important in Learning to Surf?


People can learn to surf at any age but not all people can learn to surf. DSCF1095

The most important factors are weight, fitness, flexibility. People at any age that are over weight have a difficult time. As the belly and lower body get bigger, it is more difficult to execute a pop up where you go from a prone to standing position on the surfboard. The pop up requires you to push your upper body up and bring your forward foot straight under your belly to place it between your hands. The hands are under your chest in a male push up position.

The pop up is demonstrated in the video on my landing page. The difficulty for anyone is the flexibility of being able to bring their forward foot to their chest. It requires lower back flexibility and some core strength. This difficult can be over come with practice. I have my new students practice pop ups in their living room 25 times a day for months. The pop up is key to advancing to bigger waves. The bigger the wave, the faster and more accurate the pop up has to be.

Cross fit training is ideal for surfing skills and any aerobic exercises contribute to stamina. The second more difficult hurdle for beginner is paddling. We do far more paddling than riding on the board and paddling muscles are sport specific. Swimmers make the best initial paddlers. To paddle to the outside on a rough day requires strength and stamina. Then if there is current, you often have to keep paddling to hold your position.

For kids, it is usually easier because their weight is low compared to the volume of the board. They just have to be comfortable in the ocean. I have had parents bring little kids that are great athletes only to find they are terrified by waves. We don’t realize before we get in the water how  hundreds of pounds of water moving at 15 mph can prove quite intimidating. You certainly know Mother Nature is boss in the water. Fear is an integral part of surfing even for pros. It does require courage and a continuous managing of fear.

Surfing is the most fun sport in which I have ever engaged and also the most difficult with obstacles to learning you don’t even anticipate.


Surf Lessons in Oceanside

Surf Instructions  Beginner to Advanced   $5.95    E Book

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Sample chapter excerpts below.

Illustrated 80 page E Book  by Mark Kaplan, Surf Instructor

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

One Testimonial from someone close to me:

“Your book is about surfing, but its so honest and moving to me. You’ve totally poured yourself into it, and those who know you best will be able to appreciate how much of you is present. Your outlook on the dangers of the ocean makes me feel kind of spooked but at the same time kind of pumps you up, i love it. I love your connection to the ocean and mother nature as being a symbol of oneness, and this discovered appreciation for co-existing and respecting the good along with the bad that the ocean offers. I thought the reference to the ocean as a “loving mother” after spitting you up was really interesting. That really captures the level of this relationship. Your outlook on everything is so personal and I don’t necessarily know if you realized how much of yourself you were expressing. It’s really moving.”

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Copyright  c Mark Kaplan, Oceanside, CA




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