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South Africa's Top Learn 2 Surf Beaches

The following year, they hit a foot swell with some west in it. There was no webcast, it was all pretty jurassic at that stage, but the first photos came back and it was like looking at something from another planet. You couldn't actually fathom that waves like that existed.

It was just really ugly and running over itself. People saw it and lost their minds.

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Ross Williams, former Championship Tour surfer, WSL Commentator: He's always been extremely competitive, to the point where he rubs some people the wrong way. I don't know Kelly as a cocky guy - definitely not arrogant - but competitive. It's just in his bones, I guess. He'll always come up with something to beat you at. He's extremely driven and he'll never be the guy who says, "Ah.

You know what? I should just let you win one. Slater: I don't remember the first time I met John.

The Wavegarden Cove will revolutionize the Sport of Surfing

I know he was about seven or so. I've been surfing with him on the North Shore ever since and seeing him progress. We've been friends for a lot longer than we've been competitors. Beyond just the surfing, we have a lot of very close personal friends in common, so our lives are intertwined.

He learned how to surf in that type of wave, at Pipe. He surfs waves like Pipe and Teahupo'o the way most surfers surf two-foot waves. Doherty: They're just sitting there waiting The reaction when it got read out, John couldn't actually fathom. He goes, "Oh, it's a tie? What does that mean? He knew exactly what was going on.

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There was no fist-pumping, no claiming. They probably surfed the greatest heat that's ever been surfed and they're just there, "Oh, okay," shake hands and paddle away. It's just a whole lack of hyperbole and bluster. It was magic, because it actually It was a classic little moment. The Aussie legend edges Rob Machado to win the dreamy Four Seasons specialty event for the second year in a row. Kelly Slater takes the win at the Billabong Pro Tahiti. Big exits from the Championship Tour's trip to Teahupo'o.

Account Notifications Security Log Out. It can take a long time to develop the experience needed to do certain moves and read weather and wave patterns. The only way to get better is to keep practicing! The younger you are the easier it is to pick up any sport, and that includes surfing. Rest assured, however, people from all ages can successfully learn to surf!

I started to learn to surf at age 18, and I was also afraid of the ocean. If I can do it, so can you! Some of the best surfers in the water are the older folks. The first thing you need is a good beginners surfboard! Certain boards are great for learning, and others will probably make you hate the sport if you attempt to learn on them! The key ingredients to a beginner surfboard are how well it floats you, and how stable it is. We cover the details of surfboard design in our surfboard guide, so if you want more in-depth information, check it out.

The best thing a beginner can do is search for a used surfboard. Used boards make the best beginners surfboards. You can find used beginners surfboards at surf shops, yard sales, and the classified section.

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You can also rent boards from most shops, although if you really damage it you might have to pay. If you have a little experience and you took a few lessons, you have a little extra cash saved up, and you REALLY like one of the new boards you saw in your local shop, by all means go for it. I rented a Bic board for a week when I first started surfing, then I bought a new fun-board.

I took really good care of it, and four years later it still only has a few minor pressure dents and a small chip on the nose. There are several different brands of foam surfboards on the market today, and these boards are excellent beginners surfboards. They are safe and have a ton of flotation. The downside is that they can be heavy and almost as expensive as a regular surfboard. Foam boards are generally made to be beginners surfboards. Since beginners flail and fall a ton, you might want to consider this option.

Fiberglass boards are made from a foam core surrounded by fiberglass. Fiberglass is hard, and will hurt if it hits you. If you get a fiberglass board as your first board, try to get a heavier glass job. These boards are entirely machine manufactured rather than shaped by hand, and they are based on established board designs. Bic boards are a good example of an epoxy board. A good beginners surfboard is thick enough to float you well so you can paddle easily, and is wide enough so it is stable in the water and not so tippy. Any shorter or narrower than that and the board starts to get really tippy and unstable.

If you absolutely must go smaller though, lose the length and keep the width. Funboards are a cross between longboards and shortboards. It should have a round nose and a good amount of rocker. Longboards are not just beginners surfboards, either. There are many advanced maneuvers that can be done on a longboard, and Long board riding is considered different than shortboard riding. Those are called fins. Fins are essential, and your board should come with fins. Funboards usually have a tri-fin setup, but they sometimes have a single fin.

Most surfing injuries come from the fins of your board. They are sharp and will cut your skin without much difficulty. Small, gentle waves and a sandy beach are the keys.

Surfing Tips - What to look Out For!

The surfing popup is essentially an explosive pushup. This is how you get to your feet on a surfboard! To make the popup easier, practice several popups on dry land every day. This will build up your arm strength and give you some muscle memory. At the beach, you can lay your surfboard down on the sand dig the fins into the sand to avoid breaking them and practice your popup before you go surfing.

Catching and riding prone on your belly in the whitewater is the first step to surfing. This step serves mainly to help you get used to the board. Take your board under your arm and walk the board out into the water. Once you get to about waist high water you can rest the board on the water. Important: Never let the board get between you and the waves. The waves are more powerful than you think, and will fling your board at you before you can blink. This is a great way to get hurt. Always stay to the side of your board, and always keep the nose pointing directly into the waves.

When a wall of whitewater comes towards you, lift the nose of the board up and over the whitewater. As you do this, jump a little and then put your weight onto the board. Watch out, the whitewater can surprise you with its strength. Hang on and enjoy the ride! You have to get a little momentum towards shore before the whitewater hits, otherwise the board will get thrown around. The wave will also have to do too much work to get the board going.

Surfboards can be about as tippy as the tippiest canoe or kayak, so you might wobble a bit or fall off at first. Go out and do it again. Experienced surfers often ride the whitewater in after their session on their belly. Unless you have an instructor or experienced friend, standing up in the whitewater is a good way to get started.

As soon as the board starts to stabilize and glide in front of the whitewater, pop up to your feet! It sounds so simple, but unfortunately the act of standing up well is very elusive.

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Some people will want to get to their knees first. You should be able to smoothly pop up from a prone to standing position. Standing up is hard enough without the bad habits. Sometimes waves will break on an outside sandbar and then the whitewater will disappear into deeper water and lose its power. If this is happening you might want to come back at a lower tide, or move to a beach where the sandbar extends all the way from shore to the outside break. This will give you better results. Paddling to the outside can seem like a harrowing experience at first, and even experienced surfers can have difficulty paddling out on big days.

There are a few techniques that will make your life much easier when battling oncoming waves. These include observation, currents, timing, duck-diving and the turtle roll. How big are the waves? How often are they breaking? Waves come in sets and lulls, which means that there will be several waves that break in succession and then the ocean will quiet down for a bit before the next set of waves rolls in.

Some surf spots have a channel that make for an easy paddle out. This is a deep spot where waves break less powerfully or sometimes not at all. Rip currents can also assist you to the outside. They act as a conveyor belt as all the water pushed towards shore by the waves heads back out to sea. Watch what the other surfers are doing and use your head.

Wait for a lull between the sets, and then hop on your board and start paddling with a moderate, deliberate speed. Again, use common sense. As you encounter whitewater, paddle straight at it to gain momentum and meet it head-on. Just before it hits you, push up on the board and allow the whitewater to pass between you and the board. You can do this for smaller unbroken waves as well. Paddle hard and punch through. Sometimes the only option to make it through a wave is to paddle hard, grab the board in a death-grip, put your head down and slam through it.

It takes a little persistence and guts, but it works ok. Unfortunately this does not work very well if the waves get above three foot. Every surfer loves a dry-hair paddle out where they are never challenged by a breaking wave. Unfortunately, not every paddle out is a piece of cake. Fortunately, there are a few tricks to help you deal with larger waves that are difficult or impossible to punch through.

These are the duck dive and the turtle-roll. Hold the board very tight and pull the nose down slightly. Your body will act as an anchor and the wave will pass over the board, keeping you from losing ground. The turtle-roll is a little tricky, but is an essential tool for longboarding. Remember: if you lose the board, it might hit someone else in the head.

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If you have a shortboard, you can simply dive under the turbulence and pop out the other side unscathed. Executing a proper duck dive takes a lot of practice. Keep practicing your turtle roll and duck-diving skills and over time they will improve. Sit up on your board and relax! Ah, yes. To catch a wave and ride its green, unbroken face is an amazing experience. Catching an unbroken wave involves a combination of ocean experience, timing, feel, balance, and plain old paddling strength. The lineup generally refers to the line of surfers waiting patiently for a wave. It can also be called the takeoff zone or peak.

Beachbreaks often have several peaks where waves will break. Etiquette Tip: Hopefully you have not paddled smack into the middle of a group of experienced surfers. This is a no-no in the world of surfing. Instead of heading for the main peak where most of the better surfers will congregate, try to surf at one of the other peaks down the beach where there are less or no people surfing.

Learning the rhythm of the ocean takes time, and the ocean will have a different rhythm every day. Also, take a moment to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings. This is one of the best parts of surfing! The best place to sit on the outside depends on the length of board you have. If you have a longboard, you will be able to sit further outside since longboards are easier to paddle fast.

One of the longstanding feuds between shortboarders and longboarders involves the fact that longboarders can sit way outside and catch waves before the shortboarders can even begin to paddle for them. As waves approach shore they gradually become steeper and steeper until they hit a critical depth.

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This is what causes the wave to crash. These mechanics are the reason for different shapes of waves, which will be discussed in the wave science section of this website. Paddle for a wave too early and it will just roll right under you. Leaning back on the board will lift the nose out of the water and make it easier to pivot the board. Get yourself quickly into paddling position, and start paddling with strong, deliberate strokes toward shore.

If you think the wave is going to break earlier than expected, slow down your paddling for a bit and then speed up when the wave gets closer. When you feel that the wave has caught you, give a couple more paddles just to be sure, and then…Pop up! The first time you do this you might be so surprised that you immediately fall over.