To get the most out of your first surf, take some time to prepare yourself thoroughly. The more preparation you do, the better your first few surfing experiences will be. Follow these pearls of wisdom and you'll be ready by the time you reach the waters edge.
We've got a fantastic surfing forum with lots of helpful members, so if you have any specific questions about your progress, there will be lots of great advice available. Everyone is nice and friendly, so feel free to head over for a chat!
There's plenty that you can do in readiness, well in advance of heading to the beach. Surfing is a physically demanding sport, so it's important that you are in reasonable shape. Conditioning for surfing will not happen overnight, so get surf training as soon as possible. You'll also need to have good swimming skills, so visit the local pool on a regular basis. If you want to surf to a decent standard, you'll need a good training program along with frequent surf sessions.
Make sure you have the right equipment. There are lots of different types of surfboards, wetsuits, and surf gear, plenty of which will not be suitable for a beginner. Fortunately, we've got some great guides to steer you in the right direction. Surfing equipment for beginners is a high level overview of the gear you'll need.
If you want to save yourself from needless frustration, have a good read through our how to surf guides. The lessons cover how to paddle, pop-up and catch waves. Make a start on the learn to surf page. Again, if you would like specific information, get your answers on the forum.
You might want to consider a surfing lesson with a reputable company. You can get group or one-to-one instruction, and all the equipment is provided. This is a great way to help you decide whether surfing is for you.
When you are ready for your first session, research a good surf spot, suitable for beginners. You'll need somewhere with small, gentle waves that preferably break in deeper water. A beach break (sand bottomed) is an ideal choice. A patrolled beach will give you peace of mind, just in case something happens. Don't pick spot that is busy with surfers or swimmers, and steer away from the crowds.
Make sure you go with someone. Surfing with friends is more fun that on your own, and you can watch out for each other at the same time. Ideally, persuade an experienced surfer to go with you. Hands on help and advice can be invaluable when you are just starting.
Check the forecast, there's no point in going if there are no waves, or if the waves are too big.
That's everything that you need to know in advance of actually arriving at the beach. You are now full prepared (hopefully) and ready to rip if up (wipeout — lots and lots).
Next up, let's look at the things to know before actually surfing.