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Top 10 Considerations Before Starting your Surfing Class

Author: KM61.com

If you are anything like us here then I’m sure you will agree with me when I say, bring on the sun let the temperatures rise and let’s head to the beach! If this summer is anything like last summer then I am also pretty sure record numbers of you are planning to try new activities like wake boarding, scuba diving and surfing while you are on your vacations. For those of you that are thinking about taking a surfing class here is a list of ten things to consider before you sign up:

1. What is your personal comfort level with the ocean?

This is arguably the most important factor to consider before taking any surfing class. Keep in mind that until you progress out of the beginner stage you will spend a lot of time rolling around in the waves. During class you will be standing in water that is chest deep, waves will be crashing all around you and occasionally a wandering piece of seaweed will rub up against you. If you are not comfortable while in this environment you will never be able to focus on the task of surfing. This is not to say that those of you who are uncomfortable should go find something else to do. If you are uncomfortable then you should take a few days to become familiar with the environment you will be spending a lot of time in once your class starts.

2. How physically fit are you?

Make no mistake about it surfing is a sport. It is physically demanding and under certain conditions can be very strenuous. As a beginner you will not be subjected to extremely strenuous conditions but you can count on going home every day with “noodle arms” and by the end of the class you will be sore in places that you didn’t even know you had muscles.

3. How dedicated are you to learning the sport?

If you come to class expecting to go out in the water and immediately pop up to your feet on your first wave and hang ten then you are setting yourself up for a let down. Surfing is an activity that requires dedication. At some point during the class you will get frustrated. Those who succeed in class are the ones who battle through their frustrations.

4. How much time do you have to dedicate to the sport?

You will get out of the sport exactly what you put into it. For most people a 1 week surf class is just barely enough time for them to begin to get the hang of the sport. However, it does give you enough time to develop the tools you will need to master the sport on your own after your class is over. For the average person you can expect to be a solid beginner after 30 water days.

5. What is your swimming ability?

Simply put, if you can’t swim you shouldn’t be taking a surfing class. Swimming is an integral part of surfing and you put yourself in a high risk situation if you attempt to take a surfing class and do not know how to swim. If, however, you are an intermediate to strong swimmer you definitely can learn how to surf. If you have reservations about whether or not you are a good enough swimmer to attempt the sport make sure you discuss this with your instructor and he or she will be able to determine if the sport is right for you.

6. Where will your class be located?

Most surfing spots have waves that break in a predictable fashion. This can vary from gently rolling peelers to pitching surging freight trains. Make sure you research where your class will be taught and you are comfortable with the conditions that exist there.

7. What time of year are you taking your class?

Most surfing spots will vary in the type of waves they produce as the seasons change so it is important to research how the waves break at the beach where you will be surfing at during the time you plan on taking your class. As a general rule of thumb most areas experience smaller waves in the summer than they do in the winter, however, there are always exceptions. Check local weather conditions on the internet to determine the forecast for your beach.

8. What type of equipment will you be using?

In the past five years there have been a number of innovations that have taken place in the surf board manufacturing industry. Surfers now have many options available to them with regards to the materials their boards are made from and the shapes of boards available. As a general rule of thumb it is easier to learn on a bigger board. Make sure the school you go to has boards that are 7-9 feet in length. Any smaller and you will just frustrate yourself, any longer and you will have trouble managing the board in the water. Preferable you want the board to be made from soft foam rather than fiberglass or epoxy but this is not as critical as size.

9. Who is your instructor?

When researching schools take the time to talk to somebody that is involved with the instructing. Make sure all instructors are CPR and first aid certified. Also, make an attempt to interact with your instructor before you sign up to see if the two of you will get along. After all, the class is supposed to be fun and you won’t be having much fun if you do not like your instructor.

10. Did you pack your essentials?

Always wear sunscreen, pack a hat, an umbrella. Have your board shorts and talk to your instructor about the right wetsuit or rash guard for you. You might also want to think about a hood, gloves, and other accessories. Keep a good attitude and have a good time.

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Shorts Surf Swim

Shorts Surf Swim

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