Surfing is one of the most exhilarating sports out there. Riding the power of an ocean wave is an incredible feeling that every men’s surf wetsuit-clad beginner should experience.

But learning how to surf takes time and patience. Follow these 10 tips to get started on the right foot.

1. Get the Right Gear

Having the proper gear will make learning to surf much easier. As a beginner, you’ll want a longboard (8-10 feet) which is stable and easy to balance on.

Look for a board with a rounded nose and wide template. For your first men’s surf wetsuit, choose a 3/2mm which will keep you warm without restricting movement.

Don’t skimp on the leash either!

2. Find a Good Spot

Look for a beginner-friendly beach break with small, gentle waves (2-4 feet). Avoid points and reefs which can have faster, harder breaking waves.

Speak to local surf shops about the best learner spots in your area. Position yourself near the whitewash instead of deeper water when first paddling out.

3. Know Your Environment

Study the conditions before entering the water. Pay attention to wind direction, tide, and potential hazards like rocks.

Only surf within your abilities and fitness level. It’s better to catch a few small waves than tire yourself out fighting a big one. Check with lifeguards if available.

4. Learn to Paddle

Paddling is essential to getting into the right spot to catch a wave. When lying on your board, arch your back and lift your chest off the board to paddle.

Reach forward with both arms, alternating sides. Keep your head up. Paddle out at an angle to slide along the whitewash instead of straight through it.

5. Popping Up

Popping up is the motion of going from lying on your board to standing on it. Start by placing three fingers on each side of the stringer.

Push your chest up as you slide your hands toward the rails. In one motion, bring your back foot forward and hop your front foot back.

Stand with knees bent and arms out for balance.

Table 1: Common Beginner Surfing Mistakes

Looking down at the boardKeep eyes focused on horizon
Popping up too slowPop up in one quick, smooth motion
Standing up too straightBend knees and lean over board
Putting hands too lowPlace hands by chest, not belly
best men’s surf wetsuits

6. Catch Your First Wave

When you see a nice rolling wave coming, start paddling hard. As it picks you up, pop up quickly keeping your eyes on the horizon.

Don’t panic! The whitewash is your friend as you find your balance. Ride it all the way in until you kick out or fall. Congrats – you caught your first wave!

7. Wipeouts Happen

Don’t get discouraged when you inevitably fall. It happens to everyone. Just cover your head, get the surface, and grab your board.

Wipeouts outside of the whitewash can be trickier. Relax and swim gently towards the surface at an angle. Surfing comes with bumps and bruises.

8. Follow Surf Etiquette

Respect fellow surfers by not dropping in on someone already riding a wave or paddling out where others are lined up.

Be patient and yield to more experienced surfers. Avoid crowds when first starting out. Give priority to locals who know the break best. A friendly attitude goes a long way.

9. Take Lessons

Consider investing in a lesson or two from an experienced surf instructor, especially if feeling overwhelmed.

They will guide you through proper technique on paddling, popping up, and more in a safe environment.

You’ll progress much faster and avoid developing bad habits. Make sure to tip your instructor!

10. Have Fun!

Surfing is such an enjoyable activity when you’re fully immersed in the ocean environment.

Patience and persistence are key. Stick with it even when progress seems slow. Take time to rest and recharge.

With proper preparation and the right mindset, you’ll be shredding waves in your trusty men’s surf wetsuit in no time.


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