Surfing is an intimidating activity for those who don’t know how to surf, but this short guide can give you the 101 on surfing as a beginner to keep you safe while you learn.

Get A Beginner’s Surfboard

Surfing beginners should not be handling a regular surfboard made of fiberglass or epoxy. There are surfboards made specifically for beginners so that they don’t suffer any serious injuries when they wipe out. These special surfboards have a flexible fin underneath and have a layer of foam coating the top of the board. These safety measures provide a buffer against physical injuries when you fall off of your board during the learning process.

Choose A Popular Location

Surfers enjoy the thrill of riding monstrous waves. This thrill is only intensified if the surfer has found a forgotten or hidden beach where the waves are large and strong. The problem with this type of thrill-seeking adventure is that if it’s not a popular surfing spot, you’re likely not going to have anyone around who can help you if you get into trouble. As a novice surfer, your safety should be your first priority. Keeping this in mind, beaches that are heavily populated are the safest place for you to learn how to surf. These beaches have been thoroughly explored by other surfers and have been deemed a safe area for learners where help can be administered if needed.

Invest In Surfing Gear

The gear makes the surfer. This is especially true if you’re just beginning to learn the waves and your surfboard. Surfing gear that is considered essential for all wave-riding adventurers includes a wetsuit, your padded surfboard, and a surfboard leash. Another item that is helpful, but optional, is a tail pad (or traction pad) to help your back foot gain a firmer grip on the board.

Learn How To Work The Board

Once you’ve acquired your beginner’s board and chosen a popular surfing spot, it’s time to learn how to surf. You won’t be standing on your board the entire time. You will spend a fair amount of time paddling through the water until you catch the perfect wave. Then it’s time to initiate your safe surfing standup sequence. This sequence is essential for you to learn so that you can ride the waves without wiping out.