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San Diego Surfing Home > Surfing School > Surfing - First Inside Waves
Surf Lessons

Surfing School - Surfing - First Inside Waves

At first, walk your board as far out into the surf as you can. When you think that you are far enough out that the soup will push you towards shore, turn the board towards the beach, and let the oncoming wave carry you. If you're sitting on the board, turning it to catch the wave may be difficult at first. Just sit upright towards the tail section and use your hands and feet to paddle in the direction you want to turn. Allow plenty of time to get completely turned before the wave hits. Don't let the wave catch your board sideways, sitting on the board or standing in the water, especially when the board is between you and the wave.

Don't try to stand up initially. Instead, as the wave carries you towards shore, try to become familiar with how the board responds to leaning forwards, backwards, and to each side. You also need to learn how far forward you can position yourself in order to prevent the board's nose from catching into the wave. Nosing into the wave, called purling, will usually result in your quick exit from the board. Finding the correct balance point to prevent purling is absolutely essential when you take off on an outside wave.

After you have learned to catch waves easily while lying down, you are ready to try standing. When you catch the wave and your momentum builds, hold both rails and push yourself into a standing position. You should stand with one foot about 2 feet in front of the other, near the middle of the board. Put whichever foot is the most comfortable in the forward position. A "goofy" foot has the right foot forward while a "regular" foot has the left foot forward.

Lean lightly forward while keeping your knees slightly bent. The board will shoot out from under you if you lean too far backwards. To turn, lean into the rail and kick your board slightly in the direction you want to go. Holding the same side hand as your leading foot out in front of you slightly will aid in balance and control. Stay in the lower part of the wave's shoulder, frontside (facing the wave), and don't try to turn back at first (cutback). When you feel comfortable frontside, lean back on your rear foot and slowly throw your weight towards the bottom of the wave face. This will initiate a cutback.


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