Learning to Surf in 2021 – A Complete Guide to Getting Started

If you decide to start or are curious about learning water sports, we recommend you learn to surf during this 2021.

Surfing can be very fun and very exciting… just imagine lying on the board waiting for the wave to come in, even more so if you decide to spend your vacation or a season learning this wonderful sport.

Do you still have some doubts, the tutorials and orientation guides can be a real start to make that decision to surf, this post might be the answer you need to decide to jump into the water and learn to surf in this year 2021.

Do you want to know how to learn how to surf?

The first thing you must take into account to learn how to surf is that your attitude will be fundamental to achieve it, because surfing is considered a way of life, not just a sport.

Once you have internalized and acquired the right way of thinking you will already have the ability to feel the foam and glide over the waves quickly.

The most conventional way to learn to surf and also the one we recommend the most is to enroll in a Surf School. Generally in the maritime areas where this sport is practiced you will find this type of training center.

The teachings of experienced instructors are a very good way for you to start learning how to surf, but it is easier when you understand the technical terms and some basic movements, to achieve this you can review tutorials and guides

Surfcamp initiation

Where is the best place to learn to surf?

A number of beaches have been classified as the best in the world for practicing and learning how to surf, but you don’t have to travel outside Spain to do so, as there are a large number of beaches in the Canary Islands that are ideal for surfing.

This is why the Surf Canarias school has prepared a special camp for all those who want to learn how to surf, available all year round and with a variable duration of 2 to 10 days depending on the level where you are.

We even have a surf course for children from ten years old and in our surf camps they can enjoy activities in the afternoons that will make their stay much more entertaining. Here you can see how to get to famara.

Tips to learn how to surf

Surfcamp Principiantes

To master the art of surfing it is important that you are guided by some tips that will allow you to learn it more easily:

  • Place your foot on the board and try to keep it this way until you reach the shore, this is the first step that will lead you to find your balance on the board, from there you can start with other movements such as the frontside and backside.
  • Try to increase your speed little by little before performing other maneuvers such as reentry, floater, cut-back, aerial, tubing and others.
  • When you find yourself in the middle of a current try to stay calm, this situation is a common part of surfing, stay on the board and wait for a foam barrier to bring you closer to the shore, but if you notice that you cannot do it ask for help from a more experienced surfer or the instructor.
  • There is an order of priority to take the waves, the surfers who start at the innermost part where the waves break will have the first option. You must be very careful to avoid accidents or problems, this also extends to local surfers, you must be very patient and wait your chance to catch a good wave.
  • To master the whole waves, first practice paddling over the so-called “broken waves” (foam).

What age is good to learn how to surf?

Some experts believe that there is no age to start learning to surf, however, when you want to start a child you need to take into account the stage of the evolutionary cycle where he/she is.

The child can start learning how to surf in a basic way from 8 to 9 years old, but it is from 10 to 12 years old that his/her body is in ideal conditions to handle the different surfing movements. For this reason, surf camps welcome children from this age range.

Another aspect that can help you decide if the child is ready to learn to dive is that they are sufficiently autonomous in the water, at least they should know how to float and feel safe in the water but also be able to dive.

Perhaps you feel anxious to see your child on a surfboard but try not to force him/her into this wonderful sport. Also, some children take a little longer to learn because their learning pace is somewhat slower, try to understand and encourage them so that their beginnings are a pleasant experience.

You can also see: Learning to Surf at 40 Does age matter for surfing?

surf school beginner

What kind of waves should we choose for our beginnings?

Sometimes you are surprised because you observe a surfer who seems to “magically intuit” which are the best waves managing to glide successfully in spite of being “new” in this sport.

That kind of surfer simply knows what kind of waves he should choose to start practicing. When you meet someone more experienced, he may point out some aspects you do not know and, in order to understand it, we will indicate the parts of the wave:

  • Wall: It’s the section of the wave on which you ride.
  • Lip: This is the part of the wall that falls immediately on both ends of the wave.
  • Shoulder: This refers to the volume of water the wall has, that is, the length of the wave you can surf.
  • Hollow: These are parts of the wall and the arm that can acquire a “hollow” shape in which you can slide to gain speed when passing the board.
  • Tube: Space in the hole that is covered by one end of the wave.
  • Crest: The top of the wave.

In general, the waves that are recommended to start surfing: “La orillera” (breaks quite close to the sand), “fofa” (does not break hollows or are almost all foam), small (up to 1 meter), Medium or Normal (up to 1.5 meters high), sand waves (Beach Break) (breaks in the sand, are the softest).

Also the type of wind will be decisive for the shape and quality of the waves you will find on the beach you decide to select to start surfing.  For example, the off-shore wind is a very positive type of wind because it makes the waves form tubes and resistant walls for a longer period of time, while the side shore is a lateral type that is highly recommended for normal surfing.

Which surf school to choose?

SurfCamp - Escuela de surf

When choosing a surf school to learn this sport, it is necessary to take into consideration some aspects such as trajectory, location, benefit plans, recognized professionals, equipment, safety, among others.

In addition, some of them have wide recognitions and medals obtained by their instructors and student-athletes, so you can research them before making a decision.

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Types of surfing to learn this 2021

Surfing has evolved into different versions, some may be more complex but we will start quoting those that do not represent great complexity while you manage to appropriate the surfer’s terminology.

We can talk about Big Wave Surfing, that is to say, those that exceed two meters high, while due to the size of the board you will hear about Shorthboard Surfing and Longboarding.

Also if you want to start surfing and you want to consult about all the variations or subtypes you will find: Kneeboard, Jet Sky, Wind Surf and Kite Surf… and others among which you can select which one you consider more according to your abilities.

What are the learning levels in surfing?

The levels for learning to surf are generally between the ranges of Beginners, Intermediate, Advanced and Competition.

The beginner’s level is one of the most requested levels in Surf Canarias. We receive you in the morning from 10:00 onwards and you can rest for lunch and continue in the afternoon with your “batteries charged”.

You will be able to learn in an effective way thanks to the plans and strategies of our expert instructors who also complement the practical learning with some theoretical classes.

Now, if you have already started to surf and you want to improve, with our Intermediate Surfing Course you will have everything you need to surf the days you choose, with all the material included. You can come to our school and choose classes from half a day to 10 days, depending on what you need and improve your technique under the supervision of great professionals.

The cost of the Intermediate Surfing classes starts at 60 ? including theory and practice.

surf school beginner 5 hours

Surfing for beginners

The first step for you to start surfing is to learn how to paddle, this is the entry technique in any plan.

A trained instructor will take you in your first lessons to a section of the beach where the sea is calm and you will walk until the water reaches your waist.

You may not find any waves, don’t be disappointed because you must master the board first and then the sea.

Surfcamp iniciación principiantes

Once you get the board to glide through the water with ease you will have found the ideal balance, so you will have to adapt to that position.

Start with freestyle, cupping your hands to paddle, lifting your chest to reduce the weight on the front of the board. Once you learn to balance both arms, head and legs, you can paddle to the line in search of the first waves

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Materials needed for surfing

The basic materials you must have to surf include the board, the wetsuit and the paraffin.

  • The board: If you are a beginner we advise you to choose a thick and long board, the tip should be round. Try and notice if it floats well and that it is easy for you to stand on it. You can also choose the multipurpose type because it will be useful for small and medium waves.
  • Neoprene suit: This type of sportswear can protect you from the low temperatures you find in different beaches, but also from blows and scratches. There are two versions: long and thick for winter, short and thinner for summer.
  • Paraffin wax: The material your board is made of when it comes into contact with water can become slippery and make it difficult for you to stand on it. To avoid this, you should apply paraffin wax, which is a type of wax that you can find in various presentations and types.

Parts of the surfboard

You need to identify the parts of the surfboard if you want to learn. In general, the most common parts of the boards and their functions are summarized below:

  • Out Line: This is the name that applies to the general shape of the board.
  • Nose: It is the curved front part of the board, which has this shape to improve its maneuverability in the water.
  • Leash: It is an elastic cord that keeps you attached to the board. It is hooked on a plug that goes in the back of the board.
  • Keels: These are the pieces that give the board stability, the rudders that allow you to make turns. They can be fixed or removable.
  • Tail: It is the back part of the board, which is narrower than the nose or front part. If it is wide, it is for soft waves and if it is narrow, for bigger waves. If it is rounded the board slides better and if it is straighter it is better for more extreme maneuvers.
  • Edge or Rail: Its shape also determines the properties of the board. For example, if the edges are rounded, the board will be more stable and if they are curved it will be more maneuverable.
  • Bottom: It is the bottom part of the board. The normal thing is that it is concave to facilitate sliding and it is a factor that will determine many times if the board is really the one you need to surf.
Parts of the surfboard
Parts of the surfboard

Types of surfboards

In order to select the surfboard you want to start learning this sport with, it is necessary that you know the main types because according to your weight, size and surfing experience there is a board that is right for you. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Funboard stable or Mini Malibu. It is considered intermediate and its size ranges from 2.15 m to 2.70 m. This board will allow you to make risky moves.
  • Fish Thruster: Its extension is 1.90 m and you can use it for big and small waves.
  • Morey Doyle. Also called the sponge board, ideal for your younger kids to learn.
  • Evolutionary. Smaller and more manageable board than a Mini Malibu. Measures between 2.18 m and 2.10 m.
  • Spike (Gun). Long and sharp, it will be very useful when you go surfing in big and hollow waves. When you are an expert and have been surfing for a long time, you will surely use it because you need to master the element of stability.
  • Thruster. Surfboard. It’s got three rudders. The three-quill system gives you better lateral resistance, more radical maneuvers and more traction.
  • Longboard or Tablón. Classic board. Because of its great buoyancy, it is a good option for you to have an easy surfing experience. Recommended for beginners and adults, or for those whose physical conditions prevent them from controlling more unstable boards.
  • Becker Kids. This was a special model designed for children from 6 to 12 years old. It has a rounded tip to avoid injuries and bumps.

tablas de surf

Main Surfing Maneuvers

Now that you know a little more about surfing we want to describe some of the main maneuvers that will allow you to practice when you are alone:

  • Take Off: It’s the first maneuver you’ll do, it’s the moment when you stop paddling lying on the board and stand up, ready to slide on the wave. It’s going down the wall of the wave.
  • Bottom Turn: This is a turn that you do after the take off. When you have the momentum in the descent of the wave you must turn to escape from the part of the wave that is breaking, in other words understand the route through the wall of the wave.
  • Cut Back: It’s almost the opposite of the Button turn, once you’ve slid down the wall of the wave, you make a turn of almost 180º to get close to it again.
  • Reentry: This movement represents the climb up the crest of the wave and then you make a sharp 180-degree turn to go down. It is also called “carvear”.
  • Floater: It consists of you sailing on the foam of a wave that breaks or “breaks”.
  • Tube: From this movement you slide inside the tube that creates the wave when it breaks.
  • Aerial: It happens when you fly over the wave, entering it again.
  • 360 degrees: You make a full turn on the axis of the board, sliding the tail or through the air.
  • Snap: You quickly dry-brake the board, sliding its tail.

Surfboard Rental

If you are just going to start trying your luck to see how your learning to surf is going, then I recommend you to rent a board and one of the benefits of approaching our SurfCamp is to have expert advisors that will recommend you which board is the best to start with.

Also when you decide to enroll your children in a camp for learning to surf you also prefer that they have the best equipment and this can guarantee you the rental of Surfboards from 15 ? per day.

But if you are at an expert level and you don’t come by car it is sure that you also prefer to rent a board according to your preferences and skills, that is why the Surf Canarias board rental is your best option.

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Advantages of learning to surf

If you want to improve your physical condition, surfing represents one of the phenomenal sports to achieve this, because it will allow you to tone, burn calories and strengthen your muscles, while helping to balance your heartbeat.

In addition, the contact with the beautiful seascapes will produce a relaxing effect and meet new friends.

surf school private lessons