Learning to surf is no easy task. Whether you’re taking lessons at our Sri Lanka surf camp or learning elsewhere, the road to riding your first wave is often riddled with wipeouts, embarrassments, and tiny frustrations. Despite all of that, no feeling in the world compares to riding your first wave. Here at our Sri Lanka surf camp, The Surfer Weligama, we pride ourselves on the skills of our expert surf instructors, who will be with you every step of the way during your learning process. To excel in surfing, you need a strong understanding of basic surf fundamentals and wave mechanics. So, whether you’re taking lessons at our Sri Lanka surf camp or elsewhere, keep reading for The Surfer Weligama’s 8 Beginner Surf Tips
At our Sri Lanka surf camp, surf lessons begin on the shore in the sand, not in the water. On the beach, our knowledgeable instructors will guide you through a lesson in wave mechanics, surf theory, and surf fundamentals. One of the first techniques you will learn is how to paddle effectively. Proper paddle technique begins with your positioning on the board. If you’re too far forward on the board, you’ll nosedive when trying to paddle into a wave. If you’re too close to the tail of the board, you’ll create unnecessary drag, which will allow waves to roll under you as you try to paddle into them. Find the sweet spot on your board with a little trial and error and try to remember the spot on the board using a point of reference, such as your head's position compared to the board’s logo.
The next step in achieving the proper paddle technique is to execute proper stroke form. To do this, reach one hand above your head (parallel to the water), and with a cupped hand dig into the water and pull your extend arm back towards you until it is perpendicular to your board point straight down underwater. Your stroke must stop when your arm is perpendicular to the board, if the stroke continues further back, your momentum will shift from forwards to downwards. During your surf lessons at our Sri Lanka surf camp, our instructors at will review proper paddle technique before you enter the water.
Learning to pop up properly is vital to progressing as a surfer. If you want to learn new manoeuvres, ride shorter boards, and surf bigger waves, you’ll need to make sure your pop-up is flawless. New surfers are often tempted to “cheat” when they popup, by either grabbing the board’s rails or using a knee to help get to their feet. Both of these manoeuvres may work on exceptionally large, learning boards, but they will ultimately throw you off balance and cause problems in your surfing if they become habit., To pop up properly, place your hands flat on the board under your chest (like you’re doing a pushup), arch your back and raise your chest off the board as you feel the lift of the wave, and finally hop to your feet placing your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. You should be in a low, athletic stance. Our surf instructors at our Sri Lanka surf camp will ensure that you’re popping up correctly on each wave.
Many beginner surfer struggle surfing on the face of the wave, and instead, end up riding towards the shore in the flats. A simple solution that we employ at our Sri Lanka surf camp is to turn and look the direction you wish to surf. In surfing, where your head and shoulders face, your hips and board will follow. So, when you paddle into a wave and popup, turn and look the direction you wish to ride.
In surfing, maintaining a low centre of gravity will ensure you stay on your board and keep momentum down the line. Many new surfers attempt to achieve a low centre of gravity by bending at the waist. This, ultimately, puts them off balance and reduces the amount of control they have over the board. Instead of bending at the waist, ride with a slight bend in the knees, in a low athletic stance. Our instructors at our Sri Lanka surf camp will review proper surf posture before your first lesson.
During your first few surf lessons at our Sri Lanka surf camp, you’ll surf on the inside, riding whitewater reforms. Eventually, as you progress, you’ll end up in the lineup. For new surfers, catching open-faced waves can present a new set of challenges. Many surfers try to paddle into waves on the shoulder, where the wave is smaller. Unfortunately, the shoulder of the wave lacks the steepness required to drop into a wave. The easiest place to take off on a wave is at the peak. The peak is the steepest part of the wave, where it first begins to break.
New surfers often want to abandoned longboards as soon as they ride their first clean wave. Downsizing your board too quickly will stunt your progression as a surfer. While shorter boards are more manoeuvrable, they are far less buoyant and stable than longboards. New surfers should stay on longboards, so they have the opportunity to learn wave mechanics, how to generate speed, and how to turn. The talented instructors at our Sri Lanka surf camp will be sure you’re riding the correct board for your skill level.
Even though learning to surf can be a long and often frustrating process, it should, above all, be fun! At our Sri Lanka surf camp, The Surfer Weligama, we make learning to surf as fun as humanly possible. Once you catch your first wave, you’ll forget about everything else and only worry about catching the next one. We can't wait to see you in the water!