If you’ve never surfed before, entry into the sport can be intimidating. Perhaps you’re struggling with the clumsy shape of the surfboard as you lope from your car to the shoreline, or perhaps you’re concerned with what the other surfers are thinking as you surface after a wipe out. The most important consideration for you as you prepare to catch your first waves, however, should concern the location. A crowded beach with aggressive waves can be a very different (and daunting) experience for a new surfer, while a less frequented beach with sandy bottoms and slow, easy surf might be just right.
The first – and easiest – step is simply to ask a friend who surfs. They were beginners at one point, too, and while they might not appreciate the difficulty gradient of waves, they will no doubt be aware of the local beaches that attract the largest crowds. Even better, ask your friend to take you to one of the beaches with less traffic and surf with you, offering advice and guidance that could very well amount to a private tutorial.
If you don’t have a friend who surfs, you can consult the Internet. If you live near several beaches, there will most likely be a regional guide for the area that addresses the wave difficulty and popularity of individual beaches. You could also look on a surfing website. Some of the more popular surfing ‘hubs’ include exhaustive lists of worldwide beaches and user reviews.
If you’re prepared to make an even bigger investment to pursuing surfing, you might consider a surf tour that caters to beginners. You won’t have to shoulder the stress of selecting the ideal location for a beginner, because this will be one of many trip details the travel company will have already addressed. In accessing expert instruction from your earliest days on the board, you’re also sure not to cultivate the wrong habits or technique when surfing. Finally, you’ll have the opportunity to make connections with others new to the sport and possibly continue to motivate one another as your surfing performance improves.
If you’re interested in surfing, you shouldn’t let the dilemma of finding the ‘perfect beach’ keep you from catching a wave. Instead, ask a friend, consult the Internet, or sign on to a beginners’ surf tour. At this point, you have little to lose but your balance – and this, of course, is only temporary.