Before the first surf lesson you may feel a combination of excitement and nervousness! Approach it with an open mind and a positive attitude. In this post, I want to tell you what you should know before your first surf lesson.
Invest in a good sunscreen with a high sun protection factor and take it with you to the beach. Very often I hear from students that they want to sunbathe, so they don’t want to use cream, sunburn is inevitable.
When surfing, we spend many hours in the water and in the sun for a long time. Don’t be fooled by cloudy conditions on the day, the UV rays are still there! That is why it is always worth applying good sun cream.
I especially recommend ocean-friendly creams with a high SPF of +50. Surfers often use stick creams that stay on the skin for hours (they are available in surf shops or online).
If you are surfing in cold water and you will be in a long wetsuit surfing class, I warn you: it is very easy to burn the top of your feet (because they are still wet), face (especially ears or lips) and neck.
If you surf in warm water, use a Lycra, which protects against UV, will come in handy.
What do surfers wear under the wetsuit?
Definitely a bikini or swim trunks. Men often come in board shorts, but they are impractical when they have to squeeze them under the wetsuit. Swimming shorts will work great.
Bear in mind that a wetsuit keep you warm by trapping a thin layer of water between the neoprene and the wearer’s skin. So, the wearer is always wet. Body heat warms the layer of trapped water and helps keep the wearer warm. So remember to bring something dry to change into after. Rinse your swimwear in sweet water afterwards to wash away to salt and allow them to dry ready for the next day. Salt slows down the drying process.
Can I surf with glasses or contact lenses?
If you have a visual impairment, it absolutely does not exclude you from surfing. There are a few tricks for this.
Yes, you can wear contact lenses, and shut your eyes when paddling over waves or duck diving. If you wear contact lenses, take a spare pair incase they fall out. It is not easy to swim with glasses because they fall down, but it is possible to buy a neoprene band that will stop the glasses from falling into the water. For people with severe visual impairments, I recommend getting prescriptive swimming goggles and taking them for the course.
Watch out for dehydration during surfing lessons
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and take breaks from your surf session, even if you don’t feel thirsty. It is very easy to get dehydrated during a surf session, due to being in the water we don’t feel like we sweat a lot. Dehydration can be very dangerous and completely ruin your surf day!
Is swimming required for surf classes?
You don’t need to be a professional swimmer or triathlete to start surfing, but it is important to be able to swim a minimum of 50 metres. Good swimming skills will mean that you progress quickly when learning to surf and give you greater endurance in the water. Swimming training is a sure way to give you self-confidence.
The ocean is unpredictable
The ocean is very changeable and luck plays a role in what the conditions are like on the day, it’s not always perfect. Therefore, it is worth booking a few days of surfing lessons to experience different conditions.
Surfing is difficult!
Getting up on the board takes a lot of repetitions, so don’t get discouraged after a dozen or so unsuccessful attempts. A surfing lesson consists of learning to get up on a board on the beach and then practice it in the ocean. There will definitely be a lot of falls before feeling confident on the board. Not only is it a technical sport, but also physically demanding. Sore muscles are guaranteed after the first surfing lesson!
It’s never too late to learn surfing.
Recreational surfing is not only for children or youngsters, but it is for everyone and you can learn this sport even in old age. You are definitely never too old to try something new. In addition, surfing will help you maintain youth and vitality for many years.
To sum up
I recommend starting with a few lessons with a qualified instructor or instructor. I warn against surfing solo or renting equipment and trying to surf without knowing enough about the ocean. Group classes give a large dose of positive energy and it is nice even when you don’t have a great session. Don’t forget your sunscreen and drink plenty of water throughout the day. If you don’t know something, ask! Remember that surfing is for everyone, regardless of age, gender or body type. There is a saying that “life is better when you surf” check it out for yourself!