When it comes to watersports, surfing has always been a popular choice. While surfing gives you an experience of its own, you cannot really enjoy it without waves. So what do you do when you find yourselves in calm waters?
Don’t worry, you have enough options to stay busy in calm waters too. There’s swimming, and boating, and kayaking.
Apart from these traditional water activities, one new sport is quickly gaining popularity. Yes, you guessed it right, it’s paddleboarding.
Whether you are a novice or an expert, paddleboarding is something that can give you an experience in calm waters. Let’s take a look at what paddleboarding actually is.
What is Paddleboarding?
According to the Oxford dictionary, paddleboarding is a sport or pastime of lying, kneeling, or standing on a paddleboard or surfboard and propelling oneself forward with a paddle or one’s hand. It can be seen as swimming while lying on a board.
Paddleboarding can be seen as a combination of surfing and kayaking. Similar to surfing, you still have a board under your legs. But in paddleboarding, you don’t need the waves to take you forward. You propel ahead with your own strength.
Though not that popular, paddleboarding isn’t something that originated just yesterday. People have been paddleboarding for thousands of years now. But its more popular version – stand up paddleboarding – did come into the picture just a decade ago. Its origin can be traced back to Hawaii in the late 1900s.
What Equipment Do You need for Paddleboarding?
Whether you are a novice or an expert, getting your gear right is very critical. If you don’t have all the necessary things, there is always a chance of you getting hurt. So first, let us go through all the equipment you need to take up paddleboarding.
Let’s go over the equipment one by one.
Ideally, anything that floats can be used as a board for paddleboarding. However, there are some minor little things to keep in mind while selecting your paddleboard.
Your paddleboard should be light in weight. Nowadays, boards made of epoxy, fiberglass, or carbon fiber are readily available. They offer a nice combination of being durable as well as lightweight.
The next critical thing to decide is the size of your board. If your board is too wide or too narrow, it gives you trouble perfecting the technique.
The final thing in the checklist is the cost of your paddleboard. How costly would you like your board to be? The paddleboards available in the market range from 1500 to 3500. You should choose your paddleboard carefully. The choice would primarily depend on your requirement.
Based on the size of the board, there are three different types available:
Stock- The stock type of paddleboards are 12 ft long. These type of boards aren’t that fast in calm water. Also, they are relatively easy to accelerate. So if you are a beginner, this board is ideal for you to learn. However, these boards do pick up speed when in choppy waters.
14 feet- If the stock type boards are relatively slow, the unlimited type boards are made for speed. Paddleboards that are 14 feet in length are right between the two. They are really a class apart and can be termed as perfect all-rounders.
Unlimited- As mentioned above, the unlimited type boards are made for speed. Their size is generally around 16 to 18 ft. Though, they do fall in the class of anything that floats. Everything said, there is no doubt that they are the fastest boards afloat.
Unless you install rockets on your paddleboard, it won’t propel itself. While you can always use your hands to propel, it would be a tiring task. Also, stand up paddleboarding doesn’t allow the luxury of using your hands to propel.
So, having a paddle is equally necessary. The length of your paddle has a great impact on your paddleboarding experience. Too short or too long would result in excess fatigue on your side. Ideally, the length of the paddle should be 5 to 7 inches more than your height.
Also, the paddleboarding paddles are specially designed. They have a peculiar bend right near the blade. It helps in chopping the water easily. But it also makes the paddle expensive.
• Life Jacket / Personal Flotation Device
While it is not a mandatory thing to have, it’s a nice practice to equip yourself with a life jacket. In the worst case scenarios, it will act as your personal flotation device and might just be the difference between life and death.
• Paddleboard Leash
A paddleboard leash is a thing that connects paddlers with their paddleboards. Just like a life jacket, it’s not mandatory to have a leash. But it’s always a good practice to have one. You will find it handy when you fall off your board. After all, no one would want their board to float away from them, right?
Now that you know all the things you need for paddleboarding, let’s get to know the popular destinations where you can do it.
5 Popular Paddleboarding Destinations in the United States:
• Tahoe Lake, California.
The first thing you will notice while paddleboarding at Lake Tahoe is the scenic beauty. The crystal clear water gives you a glimpse of the beautiful reef that hides underneath. While the surrounding snow-capped mountains are a treat to the eyes. Lake Tahoe also hosts the longest inland paddleboarding race.
• Hood River, Oregon.
The Waterfront park at Hood river attracts a number of paddlers around the year. The water there is a bit choppy and provides a different thrill to paddle through those currents.
• Apostle Islands, Minnesota.
It’s normal to paddle through oceans, rivers, and lakes. At Apostle Islands though, you can get a unique experience of paddleboarding through caves. The paddlers are sure to be treated to some amazing views of rock formations.
• Oahu, Hawaii.
When talking about paddleboarding, you can never miss Hawaii, can you? After all, Hawaii is the birthplace of the modern version of paddleboarding – stand up paddleboarding. Whether you like the stormy beaches or the calm rivers, Hawaii offers the best of everything to everyone. If you are looking for the best paddleboarding experience, then you should definitely visit Hawaii.
The Basics of Kitesurfing
Beaches have always been a popular holiday destination. Some people take a dip in the waters, while some just relax over the sand. Some hop in a boat and go for a ride, while some strap their boards on and play with the tide.
Apart from these basic go-to activities, the one other activity that’s rapidly getting popular is kitesurfing.
For a sport that has just recently garnered attention, around 1999, the kitesurfing market is already estimated at around ＄250 million annually.
So today, let’s find out some basics about kitesurfing.
What is Kitesurfing?
Anyone going to the beach won’t be a stranger to surfing. If you haven’t done it yet, you have definitely seen others surf. Kitesurfing is no different. All you do is hold on to a kite while surfing. Well, not exactly.
According to the Oxford dictionary, kitesurfing is the sport or pastime of riding on a modified surfboard while holding on to a specially designed kite, using the wind for propulsion. In simple terms, you stand up on a surfboard while a large kite pulls you forward.
The reason why kitesurfing is so popular is its accessibility. Apart from being convenient, it is much less expensive than other water sports. And the best thing, anyone can do it. Yes, you can do it too!
What Equipment Do You Need to Kitesurf?
Kitesurfing isn’t something that you can take up right away. Before you even start training for it, you need to gather the equipment needed for it.
The very first thing you need is a kite. (That was no rocket science, right?) Next, you will need a board, lines, kite control devices, and other minor little things. Niash and Airrush have ruled the kitesurfing market so far. And you will most probably find yourself buying from them too.
Let’s go over the equipment one by one.
Generally, any kite large enough to pull you forward can be used. But when you ask a professional, they will give you a list of factors to be considered while selecting a kite.
¬ The ease with which a kite can be relaunched into the air.
¬ It’s ability to handle jumps.
¬ The level of controls it gives over its powers.
Based on the kind of kite you want, there are four basic options to choose from:
Inflatable Kites- They have a permanent crescent moon type shape which will help you to relaunch immediately. But it also has the power to drag you along with it. So these kinds of kites should generally not be preferred while training.
Flat Inflatable Kites (Bow kites)- They are a version of the inflatable kites having a flat bow on the leading edge. The flat bow helps the kite to be easily powered down. And that means you will be getting dragged somewhere else much less often.
Framed Skin Kites- These are the ones with either a graphite or a fiberglass leading edge. They have a rigid construction which makes it tough to launch in the air. You need to have a sufficient amount of practice to master this kite.
Ram Air Foil Kites- These are the most aerodynamic kites and the best ones to look at too. They have no structure or shape. Once in the air, they allow the air to shape them, thus getting the most out of it.
The kite may pull you forward, but it’s the board that will help you stand. Though there are instances of kite surfers going without a board, having a board is always preferable. Here are the two basic types of boards for kitesurfing:
1. Bi-directional Board. These kind of boards are ideal for doing jumps and tricks. Also known as twin-tip boards, they are very thin in construction. You can get them between ＄400 to ＄1000.
Directional Board. These are the boards designed for speed. They are great for going fast even in gentle wind conditions. They may get difficult to control under high winds, but if you’re skillful, you can easily do some tricks with them.
The lines used for kitesurfing are generally made of spectra or kevlar. When you are still training, it is advised to use two lines on your kite. And once you master the sport, you can switch to using four or five lines. Generally, the size of your kite and the wind conditions will govern the length of your lines.
• Kite Control Device
This is the most essential thing you should have. This is the thing that helps you maneuver where you want. With inflatable kites, control bars are used generally. While with foil kites, handles are most common.
Apart from direct control, you also need to have brake lines. They help you to slow down your kite or stop it as and when needed.
And before heading out, make sure your control device has a highly reliable safety release feature. You will find it handy when you’re getting dragged on by your kite.
• Other miscellaneous things
Other than the things mentioned above, you will need to be equipped with a harness, wetsuit, water boots, life jacket, and a helmet.
Now that you know all the things you need for kitesurfing, let’s get to know the popular destinations where you can do it.
5 Popular Kitesurfing Destinations in the United States:
• Outer Banks, North Carolina.
If you are looking for some classic and remote beaches, then this is the place for you. With perfect waves and flat-water, you will have an experience of your life kitesurfing in Outer Banks.
• Maui, Hawaii.
Though a bit far, Maui has consistent winds and waves. Add to that the volcanic hikes and kitesurfing at Maui becomes a very pleasurable experience.
• Florida Keys, Florida.
If you aren’t the one for crowds, Florida Keys offers you some nice secluded beaches to enjoy the sport. However, be wary of the sharks when you’re there.
• Columbia River Gorge, Oregon.
The strong and reliable winds add to the natural beauty of Oregon. If you don’t mind a little crowd, this can be a perfect place for you to kitesurf.
• Oahu, Hawaii.
Just like Maui, this can be a little expensive and far. But if you want to witness a great surfing culture, then Oahu would be the place for you.
Skiing vs Snowboarding vs Surfing
Sometimes, it is hard to choose which sport is the best for you. But, that is not an unusual problem among sports lovers. There are many people who would like to try something new and enjoy the fruit of their efforts, but they are not sure how to decide between different yet similar types of hobbies.
Heaving some lines about each might be a very helpful solution for those in need. Here we will try to explain the main point of skiing, snowboarding, and surfing. We will explain what a new sports member might need for training, but also some good, and bad sides for these categories.
What Are the Main Things One May Need for Skiing?
Just like with other specific sports, skiing is the one which makes you hire a coach. It is not good to train by yourself because there are some rules to adopt and it is recommended having somebody with a lot of experience besides you once you want to make the first steps on the skies.
The equipment you should have for a skiing adventure is not simple, so take into the consideration the following items:
• Skis – this is the main part of your equipment because without them there is no chance even to start
• Boots – believe it or not, there are special boots one should have for this sport. There are different types one can use, but if you are a beginner just look for the basic model
• Poles – it is possible to need them at some later stage, while in the beginning there are not standing like an imperative.
• Helmet – don’t forget to protect your head because you never know if you will fall. Besides, they will keep your ears and head warm.
• Goggles – these precious small part of your skiing equipment has a double role. It protects you both from snow and wind at one side, but also from the sun on the other side.
Clothes you use while skiing should be of comfortable materials with high performance. Although we mostly think that cotton is the best choice all the time, that is not the case when you are selecting your favorite pieces for skiing. Materials should be lightweight, but warm. These are some items you might need on your first day:
• Base clothing layer, both for your top or bottom.
• Sweaters – those which are light and specially made for skiing. They are like a mid layer part.
• Socks have to be long and flexible
• Pants are wanted as a waterproof part of your suit
• Jackets should be of a high quality and nice fitting, as they might limit your moves
• Gloves are always necessary, at least one pair of them
• Neck gaiters are last part, but they are equally important for your neck protection
The Main Points About Snowboarding
Snowboarding is also one attractive sport which can give you pleasure but also can cause injuries if you are not careful. Due to specific movements and dangerous rides, you should also have some basic and protective equipment. The following items are more than necessary:
• Snowboard – of course, one cannot even imagine this sport without the main part of the equipment. The base of the board can be extruded or sintered. The board itself can be of a different type, like freestyle made, freeride board or alpine variant of the board.
• Snowboarding boots are very important for snowboarders. One can make their own choice between standard, step-in or hard boots. It is important to emphasize that hard boots are used for alpine snowboarding, while in other cases it is better to have plastic boots as the soft solution.
• Bindings – these parts are something that you can stick to a snowboard and thus help to keep the boots connected to it exactly at the right part. The users also have a wide choice of bindings and there are different types, such as a strap, step-in, and hybrid bindings.
The Miracle of Surfing
Just like before mentioned sports, surfing has its own place in this world. While skiing and snowboarding are sports on the snow, surfing is strongly connected to water, so it is easy for you to decide in which direction to move.
If you are one of those with a passion for the water sports, get ready to take a look over surfing equipment which you might need for your first class. It is important to have the following things:
• Surfboard, as the first and the most important part, which is essential for every surfer
• Wetsuit – this one is necessary due to wet weather. But, it has to be flexible and comfortable to use because you should be able to move in the water.
• A surfboard leash is extremely important for beginners because it helps surfers to stay on board, even when the wind is strong and the waves are unpredictable.
• Surf wax – a type of cover which helps surfers to stay on the board and avoid slipping off it.
While these are the main elements which you have to take with you for your surfing day, it is good to have some additional parts, such as fins, earplugs, boots, gloves, plugs, surf watch, camera, and anything else you might think will be useful on the beach.
Good and Bad Sides of All Sports
Although now you know what is necessary to have for each sport, it might be good to mention at least some good and bad sides which might have an influence on your further decision.
The pros of skiing are:
• It is not hard to learn this discipline
• The risk of injuries isn’t bad, at least according to statistical data. The highest risk is to get into a collision with other skiers and the most common are injuries of the knees or ankles
• You might move up with the lift easily because skiers always go in the same direction
• If you like snow, you will enjoy
On the other side, the cons are:
• You have to admit only slight mountains will be your choice until you are really ready to go on the big boys
• Once you learn it, you will have to pass the heavy task to master it
Snowboarding might offer you:
• Harder first steps, but faster learning and mastering the sport
• Easier handling of pain which comes after the training as you will use both legs at the same time
• The snowy mountains might be your perfect rescue
The bad sides of it are as follows:
• Your legs must stay fixed, so you cannot move one after another
• There is a bit higher level of risk for injuries, and the riskiest include tail bones or hard falls on your hands.
• It is always hard to jump on the lift system because you will have to switch from the riding side to the opposite direction
Surfing might delight you with the following:
• The high-intensity workout will make you feel better after every training
• One can enjoy in the water and waves during the ride
• It will make you have a wider approach to everything that surrounded you
• There is a risk of getting seriously injured if you slip from the board
• Although rare, some surfers meet the sharks
• Surfing is not a cheap sport, and money is sometimes a big problem
• You will spend a lot of time in the sun, under the UV rays
The Final Opinion
Every sport from those we mentioned is a great choice. The only thing you should do is chose which one is the best for you and makes you happy.
There are always trends going on, whether it’s in music, food, graphic design, fashion, etc. When it comes to sports, we notice there are strong influences from different brands to get more space and promote themselves through sports equipment.
Surfing might not be the best option for promotion all around the world, but it definitely has its own area of interest.
How to Follow Trends
The best way to follow the trends of one industry is to follow what’s happening all around the world. But, is there a way to accomplish that goal without the need to go from one city or the sea to another?
If we exclude collecting information on the Internet, the best way to get all necessary information is to visit international surfing trade shows and find out everything one should know about trends. The biggest fairs follow:
- Surf Expo – the biggest international surfing trade show in the world takes place in Orlando, Florida. This exhibition has been around for more than 40 years.
- The Action Expo – takes place in Northfield and has more than 300 brands in one place.
- The Boardroom – this trade show is a fantastic place for California fans because it takes place in Del Mar. This is the place where surfboard creators are taking place.
- Japan is giving away its best through Agenda Tokyo, the most important surfing trade show in Asia.
- Germany also has a high-quality organization when it comes to surfing, so one of the biggest trade shows here is probably Boot Dusseldorf. As one of the biggest exhibitions in Europe, this place is always ready to host more than 1500 exhibitors from different countries.
- The United Kingdom is promoting new trends of surfing at the National Watersports Festivals. This show is hosted on Hayling Island and there you can enjoy the presentation of more than 30 brands in the world.
These are only some trade shows you can visit, but it doesn’t mean others are less important. Through these channels, you can find the trends for the current year and get new information. But, if you are not in a mood to travel, we will help you with some additional information.
What Are the Newest Products in the Branch?
All gear and surf apparel producers are trying to present something new. Famous brands create new innovations from season to season. Here we will list some of those new things that might become a real hit in 2018. They are designed to be different and give something more to the users, and we should pay attention to the following:
- New models of surfboards created from the Weber family
- Carver Electric Surfboard made by Carver is a trending product as a battery-powered surfboard that will give you around 40 minutes of fun on the water
- Camping can be a real enjoyment in 2018 with new coolers from the Otterbox Venture. With this product, there will be no more problems with food and drink storage while staying outside, even for a full 2 weeks
- Music lovers will enjoy with new Drifter Android speaker from FresheTech. This waterproof device can bring you more than 8 hours of music experience directly on the water while you are surfing
- Trending sunglasses are coming from Rheos Eddies. You will need sunglasses even if they are not the hottest brand because they are a must-have for UV protection. Rheos will offer you a floating edition, which is scratch resistant, very light and comfortable to use.
Just like the gear is important, apparel is something that defines a style of a surfer. Both guys and girls are recognizable on the beach, so the trends in this area are very important if you want to be stylish. There are some innovations from well-known brands which came on the scene in 2018 and these are:
- Spring edition of menswear which Louis Vuitton presented at the beginning of 2018
- Color-blocked wetsuits are coming in a new form from Demna Gvasalia for 2018, as they are practical and stylish
- There are many top-quoted fashion pieces which Rihanna dropped out for Fenty Puma at the end of the last season, and they are threading to become a real hit for the new season. Through these series, she promoted new bikini tops for girls, zipper-adorned sporty wear and many other models.
Top Surfing Brands
Although surfing brands are not always the same as fashion brands we know in everyday life, all surfers are familiar with famous names around the globe. There are many influences on this industry, so we will try to mention only the biggest players.
Of course, that doesn’t mean others are less important on the market. Here is a list of great names which surfers like to see on their apparel and gear:
- Rip Curl – this is a privately-owned company that is Ultimate surfing oriented. It exists since 1969 and during the life-cycle, this brand became one of the most wanted among surfers.
- Quiksilver – this brand offers both apparel and gear of top quality. They use durable materials and are known for the high performance of all their products.
- Billabong – this producer is basically oriented on apparel, so they are suppliers of clothing retails. Besides that, they make interesting and trendy like accessories, like backpacks, surfing watches and similar.
- Volcom – a company that produces other sports equipment beside surfing items. Here one can find the newest models of apparel, but also footwear for sports activities.
- Hurley – this is an innovative company that takes care of young surfers and their needs. Thus, they constantly improve their products and try to keep up with all the other big players on the market.
These are only some brands which are known by many, but we should use this opportunity to mention others as well including but not limited to RVCA, O’Neill, Vans, Reef, Roxy, Nixon, Channel Islands Surfboards, Critical Slide Society, Dakine, and Patagonia.
Fantastic Destinations Which Surfers Should Visit in 2018
It is not easy to predict places surfers will visit during 2018, but for those who are willing to accept the advice according to the opinion of their sports mates, the following destinations might be a top-notch choice:
- The Atlantic coastline of Portugal which includes Madeira archipelagos and Azores, together with continental Portugal
- The coast of Northern Spain in Basque, together with the Iberian Peninsula might be the best place for surfers in Spain
- Costa Rica is a fantastic choice both for beginners and professionals. If you are keen to visit this country, don’t forget to catch the wave on the Caribbean Coast, as well as the Pacific Coast from almost every side
- If you are looking for the yearly program with many sunny days, Nicaragua is standing at your disposal. One could have a great time at Playas Maderas, Hermosa or Remanzo. Besides these places, you may also want to visit Colorado, Popovo, Panga Drops or Lance’s Left.
- The famous Bali in Indonesia is definitely a good choice. Don’t forget to check different beaches like Kuta, Dreamland or Medewi for beginners, while Bingin, Padang Padang, or Uluwatu are a good choice for the more skilled ones.
- France can offer an enjoyable surfing experience if you catch your wave in Britanny or Lacanau. Hossegor and La Graviere are also beautiful choices.
- The beautiful Maldives might be one of the best destinations for surfing, as there are many coral islands around, 1,192 of them to be exact. Surfers know that the best areas are Central Atolls, Male Atolls, and South Atolls.
- The Eastern part of the Earth, Thailand, offers extraordinary views. Phuket is a great place to visit, as it has more than 25 beaches that can satisfy the needs of the most demanding tourists.
These were only some trends for this year’s surfing guide. It all comes down to personal choices. What you wear, eat, and visit for surfing is solely up to you.
If you are a professional surfer, you might agree it’s hard to create a short list of only five things to pack when you decide to go surfing. While the time you spend on the board gets long, the list will grow. But, for beginners, it is always good to read about the essential things you should have for your first adventure.
Classifying only five things is not an easy job because people have different attitudes about the necessary items to have. However, although some facts we can’t underestimate, we will try to make a short and significant effort in our quest to bring you a thorough list.
Take Care of Your Surfboard
Whenever we hear about those must have things when going surfing, there is only one we all agree to be deemed necessary. Don’t forget your surfboard. Logical, isn’t it? You cannot practice a sport if you don’t have the main gear for it.
The waves sometimes act like we predict, but in some moments the sea is full of surprises. If you bring only one surfboard, and the weather is not what the forecast predicted, you might experience unwanted problems.
Many surfers, with lots of experience, know that the right surfboard is the most important part of their equipment. Thus, don’t be surprised if you see some guys walking around with a few different surfboards at any given time. No, they are not uninformed, they just know the weather can change at any moments notice, so they will use the one which fits best. They only have spare surfboards to use when they need them.
On the other side, surfers who travel have an immense knowledge about where to rent the equipment.
It is up to you to decide which solution is better, but one is certain – no surfboard, no surfing.
Don’t Slip down the Board
Nobody wants to slip off the board in the middle of the sea. Okay, what happens when you can’t avoid a big wave that’ll literally throw you down. But, some surfers that are at new at the beginning fall every few minutes.
Why does this happen?
The answer is simple – they forget to put a surf wax. Although this item might not look important, the truth is the opposite. Without it, your feet will be unstable on the board and even small water movement can make you finish down.
Some users apply surf wax on the big part of the board, while there are some that cover the complete area. The only thing one should think about before an application is the weather. This is what you need to check before buying:
• Traditional, hard surf wax is the one which you can use during hot weather and days with a lot of sun
• Soft wax is one of the newer products out and it stands for an alternative to the hard option which doesn’t give good results in the moments of cold weather. Soft variant works perfectly even with cold temperatures.
Some surfers even use a base-coat wax before they apply the wax over their boards. This is also a good solution which is worth a try.
Cheap, but Necessary Fin Keys
With almost every surfboard you will get a set of fin keys. But, would that be enough to have a high-quality experience on the waves? Probably not, and here we will try to explain why we think that.
Thanks to small keys you will be able to tune your board and its performance. If you stay without the usable kit, you might experience some technical difficulties.
There are two main types of fin keys and these are as follows:
• Glassed-in fins stand secure as part of your surfboard, but they are not easy for maintenance and fast repairs
• Swappable or so-called removable fins don’t necessarily stand directly on the board and one can easily move them into the boxes. The only thing you should pay attention to here is if the screws are tight enough, but not too much
As we mentioned in boxes in an earlier section, we can mention there are also different types available as follows:
• FCS Fin boxes which are known as Fin Control System Boxes, are common in use among many surfers
• Futures fin boxes which have a truss base and are connected to your board with screws. They cover the full length of your board.
First Aid Kit Is Always Necessary
All travelers should have at least a basic first aid kit with themselves. But, when we speak about surfers, it is hard to say they only need a basic kit. Maybe, we can classify a few things in this category and consider it to one unique point. This package could include:
• The real first aid kit – you will need one in case you get reef cuts. It is not rare to get these cuts when you are somewhere over the reefs and thus is better to be prepared because of the strong poison. The wounds should be cleaned fast and precise, soon as you come out of the sea. Make sure to visit a doctor as soon as you can.
• Sun protection – this is not a part of a normal first aid kit. But, those who spend time in the sun should always have this like precaution from the sunburns. It is better to prevent, then to heal. Besides, the UV index is not something one should play with nowadays.
• Insect repellent – it is always good to have one against those pesky bites because they can also create wounds if you irritate your skin too much.
Last but Not the Least
In the end, we will say one should always have money and identification documents. This point might be the most important thing to have because if you have money, you can buy everything we already mentioned above.
On the other side, depending on where you travel, always bring your passport or ID card. Although this sounds funny, there are many tourists that start a trip without documents and somewhere on the half-way remember they forgot them. You don’t want to be in a similar situation?
Surfing is fun, but still a very demanding sport. Besides all those things we mentioned that is important to bring with you, there are many others which deserve to find a place in your backpack.
What we would like to emphasize in these last lines of our writing is one very good habit which all travelers should adopt. The same stands for surfers. Try to make a checklist that will cover all the things you might need. While you pack your things, check one by one to be sure everything is in order. This will save you time and help you avoid any trouble.
The good thing is that the list can be changed after each journey and you can add or exclude some items based on your likings. Once you go for it, you will see how easy everything can be and your holiday can turn into a really great time.
Learn To Surf
Warm weather, beautiful sun, and a gorgeous beach with a lot of sand around you. Sounds like a dream getaway, doesn’t it? Throw in some fantastic tropical bar, and it all sounds too good.
What if you’re one of those people who doesn’t like to stay still and stay behind the sunshade? If you are one of those with a restless spirit and ready to catch your own wave, surfing might be the best choice during your days off. But, do you know how to surf?
We agree with the fact that it looks easy and interesting, but those brave individuals who are ready to start learning about surfing should know this is one of the most demanding sports. Throughout this article, we will try to explain some basic rules which all beginners, but also professionals should always bear in mind.
Start with Reliable Gear
For every sport or activity in our life, good gear is something necessary. If you are only a beginner, you might not need extra quality gear when you first learn to surf. But, those who intend to become professionals should think about choosing more durable gear with better performance.
What do you need to learn to surf? These are some of the most important elements one should think about before the first surfing class:
• Surfboard – logical, don’t you think? This is the main element to practice this dynamic sport. However, not all surfing boards are the same. Once you look at it, the first thing you will notice is the size of the board. However, soft-top boards are the best choice for beginners. A bigger space on which you are standing will give you more confidence and better balance.
• A wetsuit is not always a binding part of your equipment. If you are going to surf during the summer in areas where the weather is hot, this is not something you must have. The problem comes with colder weather conditions. If you are learning to surf at a specialized school, you might get one from them, but if you are on your own it is better to go shopping.
• Protective helmet – whether you are a beginner or professional, it is always recommended having something to keep your head safe. Those who have experience in this area will say that the number of injuries is always lower if you have protective gear.
Will the Surfing Gear Be Enough?
Are you one of those people who believes everything in life comes easy and can be done without help? If you are, better give up before you even start.
Surfing gear is not enough if you want to call yourself a surfer. When you first learn to surf on the beach or in a water park, a good coach is almost a “must have” rule. Not only will those guys with experience check out if everything is in tip-top shape with your equipment, they will also give you some basic lessons before you even step into the water.
The first advice one will get about this sport is that waxing a board is one of the most important activities before you step on your board. This is not a joke at all. There is a simple reason you need wax and everyone with experience will tell you that is the only protection not to slip off the board.
The Common Mistakes Every Beginner Makes
There are many mistakes one can make when they first learn to surf on the beach. Some of them are a usual sign that a beginner is on the board. There are several protocols to not ignore if you want to enjoy this sport the right way. Here are some things not to do:
• Not wearing any adequate equipment
• Choosing a bad spot for surfing
• Going out during bad weather
• Not knowing basic knowledge about rip currents and techniques on how to get out of danger
• Catching a wave the wrong way or dropping in – which literary means you are stealing someone’s wave
• Standing on the board incorrectly
• Being selfish and not respecting the rules of the locals and surfing ethic
The Risk of Surfing
Although this is one of the more complex sports, as we said in the beginning, it is also something that can give you a lot of pleasure. Here are some tips to remember before going into the water:
• It is possible but very rare to run into a shark.
• You are not obliged to be a professional swimmer to enjoy the waves, but you should know how to swim, just in case the water takes you far from the coast
• While it looks very nice watching others jumping in the waves, try to realize this is not easy and you will have to fall many times before you are ready
Weather Conditions and Importance of the Waves
All surfers know they should catch a wave in the right moment. The common rule is that the waves are the best far from the coast. But, they are influenced by the wind and thus you have to be able to follow natures pattern and think about possible scenarios.
Waves can be of a different size, which surfers express in their own measurements. The power of the wave is something you will begin to understand only after some time into the water. The shape can be hollow or spilling, but it is good to find other expressions for shape as well. Speed and direction of the waves are also very important, so try to learn more about these points.
Knowing how to read a surfing forecast will be of great help. For better learning and understanding of weather tips, it is important to learn more about swell, tides, and winds on a specific area where you would like to ride on your board. Geography of the coastline and local terrain is something that you simply must explore and the best way is to ask the local guys.
If you want to learn this discipline in surf school, it is important to know you should apply for the appropriate level, which depends on your skills and previous experience.
In almost every school you will find the following learning levels:
• Level 1 – Introductory surfing consists of beginner and the introductory part where after some basic lessons on the ground you will also get the first impression of standing on the water
• Level 2 – this one is called intermediate surfing and here you might be able to learn more about catching the waves at the right time, about paddling and staying safe from the back. This level also takes care about so-called “Surf-Code” and popular maneuvers known as the line-up, duck dive, taking off, bottom turn and similar
• Level 3 – here you will learn about advanced surfing techniques. Basic maneuvers, turning within the waves and methods like cut-back, snaps, floaters, and re-entries are only some styles you will be facing through the course
• Level 4 – as this is the highest level of learning we call it competition surfing level. For this level you should be familiar with all basic and advanced techniques, so you can pay more attention to improving your movements on the waves to fine tune everything you already learned. This level can consider radical maneuvers, extensive repertoire or performance, and difficult movements. Through this level, one should build their own surfing style.
It is obvious that becoming a surfer is not an easy process, especially when you first learn to surf. If you are ready to learn a lot, practice hard and go to into everything not only with your mind but as well with your heart, this might be the best sport for you.