Since the innovation of youtube, Instagram, and viral videos, surfing has never been more popular. In spite of this, however, it's tuff for people to know exactly how to get started. One of the biggest questions people have is, is it easy to learn to surf on your own? The answer is simple... No. Surfing isn't even easy to learn with the guidance of a professional instructor. It does however transform the learning experience into a guided step-by-step plan.
So what's the downside to renting (or buying) a board and just going for it? If this is your preferred method, you might hit a few snags right off the bat. The first of which is picking the wrong board. To put it (very) simply, the smaller and more narrow the surfboard is, the more wobbly and unstable it's going to feel. An instructor will help you learn on a board that is appropriately sized for your height and weight allowing you to stand up on the board more easily.
The second hurdle you will face is choosing the right #wave or even the right part of the wave. If you paddle out into a chaotic or 'closed out' section of waves, this can make it almost impossible to get to your feet. An instructor (if you specifically ask them for this information) will help you to read the waves and discover what qualities make a wave catchable.
The third issue is safety. This should be the most obvious but has actually become the biggest grievance professionals have with #modern-day #surfing. If you are blindly paddling out into a crowded patch of waves with no formal training or knowledge of how to practice basic safety measures, it's fairly likely that you are going to be putting yourself and everyone trying to surf that day in serious jeopardy. This is especially true for where I work as a professional surfing instructor in #Santa #Monica, #CA. #Los #Angeles is a melting pot full of eager young people who are excited to try surfing amongst many other outdoor sports. Especially when the weather is nice. But along with their eagerness to surf, they also place reckless endangerment on everyone around them. If you've ever heard that local surfers can be territorial, it's usually not because they feel that the waves belong to them. It's because they are weary of completely untrained beginners causing injury to them.
The final thing to watch out for as a solo first-timer is that although you might eventually and #painstakingly be able to get up to your feet and ride a wave, you will probably be creating bad habits while you surf and have sloppy technique. This might not matter much when you are catching baby waves in the shallow end, but if you really love surfing and want to stick with it, eventually you are going to have to #UNLEARN the way you've taught yourself. Unlearning muscle memory is hard. Harder than learning the right way the first time.
So where is a good place to learn to #surf? Should you check #Youtube? Also no. We have clients share these "#learn to surf online" links with us constantly. Many of these YouTubers have never touched a surfboard in their lives and while they might be great at surfing the web, their only concern is generating more clicks. If you are looking to learn to surf, we hugely recommend you take at least one #professional lesson. This will cost you (in most cases) around a hundred bucks and be worth its weight in #gold. Tell your #instructor you are very interested in learning everything you can about 'how to be safe when surfing solo' and that you are interested in #learning 'the proper #pop-up #technique' and do this at the beach you intend to #surf at most often.