So your ready to make that office day dream a reality. The water is starting to look really, really good on a mid-summer day. You start looking online for Surf Lessons Los Angeles, or how to start surfing for beginners. Or you find a local rental shop near the beach and grab a board. We want to prepare you for your first time. Below is Calibunga's top 10 things to know before paddling out for your very first time.
1. What to bring - No matter what beach you head to, you will need the same basic amenities.
Water - For drinking and rinsing off after. Just keep a gallon jug in your trunk for emergencies anyway.
Gear - Towels, wetsuits (for winter) sun screen! Sunscreen is huge. Check out our other article on sun protection. Trucker hats are perfect for keeping a little sun off your brow but are hard to keep on if you wipe out.
Snacks - Dude, your gonna need to replenish those energy levels after a sesh. Surfing takes it out of you.
Laundry basket - You don't want to through your wet clothes or suit into your ride. Grab a laundry basket before you get to the beach. Plastic bags tend to get smelly quickly. Steer clear of those.
2. Practice on the sand first, even if it looks silly - Practicing your pop up not only warms up those wave riding zones on your body, it also sets your intentions for standing up and staying up.
3. Check out the surf, check in with the life guard tower - There are places you can surf and places you can't. The lifeguard tower or life guard on duty should be able to inform you of where you should stay away from. Take a few minutes while you stretch to analyze where the waves are breaking or channels might be.
4. Check the Surf Report! - Every inch of the west coast might be wet, but it doesn't always mean the best conditions. Certain swells line up great with certain breaks. A quick online search will provide the details you need to map out your choice for a beach.
5. Be ready to spend a few hours - Or more! Packing up, driving out, finding parking, maybe even changing beaches, and of course fighting traffic, will take time. This sport is for the patient water watchers. Those with the dedicated time and resources. Don't expect to rush into anything, especially the ocean.
6. Don't learn alone - This should probably be numero uno. Having some one look out for number 1 (you) is always suggested. Plus it's mega rad to paddle out with your friend anytime. Bring a homie or take lessons when starting out, but DO NOT surf alone when you are beginning.
7. Paddle, paddle, paddle - Pretty much just keep paddling. YES, you will be sore. YES, you will hurt in places you never imagined possible (low back, looking at you). The more you push yourself paddling around, the better and longer you can do it.
8. Have fun! - After all, that's the point of this zen like practice. Don't forget to fall off your board a few times for good measure.
9. Sting ray shuffle - This is a little know fact that could save your life. RIP Steve Irwin. When you enter the water, you want to shuffle your feet around more than taking actual steps.
10. Respect - Surfing is a source. "Point Break"
Be cautious and tread-lightly surfing. This is not your natural habitat. The creatures and eco system should be respected at all times. Along with your fellow surf-brethern. Love the ocean, and she will love you in return.