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You want to jump on a surfboard?Go on a surf holiday? Enjoy the freedom of this sport?
Dear travel seeker, design engineer, adventurer and poetry slammer AND surfer boys and girls – Hi EVERYONE,
today, I want to talk to you about one of my favourite sports – SURFING. My Dad introduced us to wind surfing when we were about 7/8 years old and every since we have been surfing in all kind of ways: windsurfing, wave surfing and kite surfing.
Surfing is attitude dancing.
Travelling all around the globe always on the search for a better, more unique and beautfiul surf spot, I want to share 5 of my top tips regarding surfing.
having been planning this years surf trip with my family, the discussion came up on where we will be heading this time. Marocco has been our long time favourite. We discovered one of my favourite little towns in Marocco, Essouira, during a surf trip a few years back with my family.
However surf spots in north of Spain (Ribadesella, …) as well as south of France (…) or even in Portugal (…) have given us great waves and amazing experiences. I always wanted to try surfing in Cornwall, England, however up until today I was too afraid of the cold and the opportunity has never presented itself – one day I will try that as well.
If you want to surf in more tropical places, I can obviously highly recommend Australia’s surfers paradise, especially Byron Bay! Not only did I fall madly in love with this unique town, also the many different surf levels this place offers is perfect. Having been there the first time in the age of 16, I thought I found paradise and never wanted to leave again.
My passion for surfing was more than my fear of sharks.
Melbourne’s beaches are also cool spots to surf, however you might want to plan ahead of the right season as there aren’t waves guaranteed all the time. I found myself jumping on a kiteboard when the waves weren’t the greatest, perfect combination of both made my trip to Melbourne quite unique as well.
Furthermore provide the Maldives as well as Bali, some of the greatest surf spots in the world. Never to forget about Hawaii and it’s many beaches.
This year we will catch some waves at the beginning of August, straight after my exam period and prior to me heading to America. Pretty much perfect for a relaxing and active family holiday. Marocco was very soon written off our destination list due to the temperatures and the weather conditions in general (way too hot and not windy enough, if you want to say it like that). Second on the list was Portugal. Friends of ours have been inviting us there many times and this year we are invited for a birthday over there, which we will be happy to attend as it fits the timing perfectly. So decision on where we are going is made – Portugal it is :)
We booked flights to Lisbon, as it is the closest airport and the flights were affordable too. Accommodations seemed to be another challenge, as everything was already booked out, we were lucky to find two apartments which is suiting us just fine.
What to pack?
The main factor to consider when putting a surf wardrobe together is the water temperature as well as general weather conditions.
If the water temperature is always above 25 degrees Celsius, you might only need some shorts / surf bikini and a rash guard. What is a rash guard? It is a shirt which protects you from surfboard wax and prevents irritation from the sun. You should still apply sunscreen, however.
If the water temperatures where you surf change with the seasons, you might want to invest in a Neoprene suit, the fabric of choice. This synthetic rubber is not only warm, but tough and durable as well. It’s resistant to sunlight, chemicals and abrasion.
Make sure to pack lots of sunscreen, if you are going somewhere tropical you might want to consider buying local sunscreen as it will be better suitable for the weather conditions there.
Following are some items you might want to pack as well:
- Surely you will also need a leash, an ankle strap which secures your board to you.
- Check the temp before you go, for this trip I will bring at least two bars of warm wax.
- Beach towel, can also provide padding for your board.
Which surf school to choose?
Rather than hanging out with your mates and trying to give their tips a chance, you might want to consider visiting a good surf camp or school. Professional instructors are likely to have more experience than your friends, if not in years, then in the variety of conditions and situations they’ve faced. Furthermore, a professional knows how to teach as well as what to teach – you will learn the correct techniques safely and efficiently.
But how do you decide on the proper surf school? Recommendations from other pros, like surf shop owners, can be useful. Also look for accreditation by the International Surfing Association (ISA), the sport’s world governing body. Accredited schools agree to follow exacting standards regarding safety and teaching. For one thing, ISA-approved instructors are certified in lifesaving skills. And students are furnished with equipment that’s appropriate for their abilities.
Non-credentialed instructors can be just as skilled and effective, of course. As with any service provider, it’s wise to ask for references and check records with the Better Business Bureau. You might also download the ISA’s criteria for recognized schools from its Web site as a guide for evaluation.
Ask, for example:
- Are classes limited to eight students per instructor?
- Do students start on softboards (which are made of foam for added safety and buoyancy)?
- Do instructors make sure students have mastered specific skills before passing them to a more advanced class?
Beginner surf tips?
Beginners waves are the once you want to start of with. Using a beach that is appropriate for beginning surfers is crucial to your surfing success. Tackle small waves before you attempt larger ones. Even though you may feel ready, unless your teacher says you’re ready, you’re not. Trust me, you’ll be upgrading your surf spot in no time with the right amount of dedication.
Warm-up, stretching and dry stand ups are crucial. Once you’re at the beach, don’t rush in the water. Spend some time on the beach and do your stretching. Check your leash, you board and also take a moment to watch the waves.
Sitting on the board. As weird as it may sound, sitting on a surfboard isn’t the easiest, nor the most comfortable thing in the world.
Paddling? Paddling is another thing you will need to practice until you get it right. The key is to find a rhythm and to keep it. This also requires you to be in shape, because it will be quite exhausting the first few times.
Wash machines. If there’s one certainty when learning to surf it’s that you will be involved in a lot of wipeouts. You will fall, and fall, and fall…and then you’ll fall some more. The waves will knock you down, you’ll get confused, and frustrated, and you’ll even get some bruises. All you need to remember is that it’s all part of the game.
Knees, bending bending bending. When you’re on the wave, it is imperative that you bend your knees and not your back. If you bend your back, you’ll not just lose your balance mush easier but trust me, it’s not a good look in surfing’s style book.
The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.
– Phil Edwards
Which board to choose?
This is one of the best beginner surfing tips you could ever follow. Some people are tempted to jump on smaller, shorter boards as quick as possible. A large board will help you develop better fundamental mechanics and you’ll catch a lot more waves in the early stages.
Concerning construction, softboards, which are made of foam for extra buoyancy, are a good choice for true beginners. Fast learners, however, might go with an epoxy board. Epoxy boards consist of a foam core encased in epoxy resin. This construction makes them both buoyant and tough. That helps as you’re learning to ride the waves and minimizes damage to the board from a wipeout. Advanced surfers often prefer fiberglass boards, which are more responsive but less durable than epoxy boards, something like a sporty coupe compared to a family sedan.
Generall you should work out and try to stay fit:
A whole-body workout? Surfing is definitely one of those, but certain muscle groups get worked more than others. It takes strong arms for paddling, and core strength for popping up, the move that takes you from lying on your board to standing. Sit-ups, push-ups and squat thrusts all help tone these areas. Arm exercises using hand weights can strengthen the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder, which are especially stressed by paddling.
You need a fine sense of balance as well. To improve balance, try walking the plank — literally. Set a two-by-four piece of lumber on bricks 6 inches (15 centimeters) off the ground and walk it. Work up to a strong wooden dowel or broomstick. You might want to try Balance boards, as you can practice the way you stand on the surf board as well as strengthen your core.
Where are YOUR favourite spots and what are your essentials to take on a surf trip?
Enjoy the insights and see you soon,