All right, so now you’re pretty stoked about surfing. How’d you do?
I remember my first time surfing was with my coworker. He told me at the office that if I wanted to learn how to surf then I should meet him at 7:00am in front of NorCal Surf Shop on Saturday. I didn’t have much to do that day, so I decided I might as well try something new. It was the best decision in my life. However, it was very difficult to show up. Northern California surf is pretty bad. Bad compared to Hawaii or Los Angeles where the water is a lot warmer, especially in the mornings.
My first day was rough and I’m sure after your first day, you probably felt really sore afterwards. This brings up a great segway into our next topic.
If you want to learn how to surf, you need to be consistent. Surfing is one of the coolest sports out there and catching a wave will be one of the best feelings you’ll experience. It’s definitely worth your time. Once you learn how to surf you’ll become healthier and more active. Surfing is a form of exercise. Even if you’re not catching waves in the beginning, you’re always paddling. You’ll become stronger and you’ll build up endurance. (I’m going to write up all the healthy benefits of surfing in our next blog).
Here are some tips to make progress while you’re in the beginning stages of learning.
Buy or Rent?
- If you’ve made the decision to commit, you want to buy your own surfboard. Buying equipment is a lot cheaper than renting, especially if you plan to surf every weekend.
- You want to start off with a “foamie” before considering a “cool” looking surfboard. On average depending on condition and who shaped it, custom surfboards can be very expensive and range from $500-$3,000 on the low end and up to $10,000. But you obviously do not want to do that since you’re starting out and probably damage it while you’re learning. Plus, you’ll look like a “kook” (poser) if you show up and can’t surf. Highly ill-advisable.
A great beginner surfboard would be a Wavestorm that will cost less than $200, like this one found below.
It will provide with a lot of paddling power and ton’s of buoyancy making it easier to catch waves. This type of surfboard will help you build strength and endurance while learning to pop up. Start with this type of surfboard until you are able to stand up and ride consistently. Click the link above to purchase on on Amazon.
Next, you’ll need a standard longboard leash and not a standard 6′ leash since you will be riding a longboard. At the surf shop you’ll pay roughly about $30-$40. Here are a few options below,
Dakine Unisex Longboard Kainui Calf 9′ X 1/4” Leash, Pink, OS
Dorsal ProComp Surfboard Surf Leash – Red 9 FT Longboard
Your last piece of equipment, a wetsuit.
Depending on the temperature where you live, you might not need one. But if you live in Northern California you may want to purchase a 4/3 wetsuit that can be used all year around. There are a ton of places you can surf in Northern California. People are always surprised when I tell them I surf and live in San Francisco. Water temperatures can be very cold from 55 degrees to 59 degrees on average. The coldest months are November and December.
When choosing a wetsuit make sure you find a 4/3mm and the right size. I recommend going to the local surf shop and ask them what’s best since they’ll know the conditions that’s best suited for your local break.