Oceanside Surf Students Learn to Catch Waves


When I am teaching Oceanside Surf Lessons, I find that students never imagined that DSCF0799catching waves would be the hardest part of learning to surf. When you see film or video, the pop up looks so easy and getting in position is the unrealized or invisible part of the equation.

An advanced surfer knows how to recognize, time, and position himself on a wave. This can take years to master. Any film of a great surfer occurs years after the surfer has been practicing most every day. You would be great too with that much practice.

What is the missing element in this procedure? Catching waves. If you watch beginners who have not had lessons, you will see them struggle with this aspect even though they don’t know it is there problem. The wait until the wave impacts them and then try to stand up.

Either the wave passes them by turning their board over in the process or takes them on a ride like a roller coaster, or they pop up immediately as the wave passes them. Beginner students have all the wrong instincts.

The wave is moving fast. You have to be moving or you get tossed. In a relay race, the baton is handed to the next runner who is moving fast. That’s what has to happen on a wave. You have to pick the wave you are going to ride. You have to be in front of the connection spot. You have to be moving a little and then paddle hard and/or kick when it is close, and keep paddling until your board accelerates in the wave.

Then you can move into a nice smooth pop up.


See posts for beginners/intermediates at

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