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Learn To Surf Part 4 - The Fun Part, Catching your First Wave

Jun 7, 2008
Alright then lets get down to business, only 2 articles to go. You now know the right surfboard for a beginner, how to paddle it, and get out through the surf, so in this article we are going to cover the fun part, catching the wave.

Catching your first wave :

Now that you have made it out the back, straddle your surfboard so your bum is just below the center. This makes it easiest to swing the board around when a set comes.

When you straddle your board, face towards the horizon so no freak swells surprise you and break right on top of you. You should also note a landmark on shore and continually check that you haven't drifted away from it.

You need to catch your breath, and choose a good wave. Go for one that looks full or ready to break, but is not standing straight up. Turn your surfboard to face towards the beach, position yourself lying with your weight central, and start to paddle.

If you are too far back on the board, you will have too much resistance, and the wave will not be able to pick you up, passing beneath you while you drop off the back of the wave.

If you are too far forward, you will roll or flip down the face of the wave. The trick is to stay forward but keep your chest up. Ideally you would stand up just as you begin to drop down the trough of the wave, but in the beginning wait until you have dropped down to the flat water just in front of the wave, it will be easier to stand up down there.

You need to paddle as hard as you can straight towards the beach. When you get more experienced you can angle your board more, to head along the wave. But since you just want to catch the water in front of the wave, just head straight.

Alright, you caught your first wave, so we will tackle the last lesson, standing up, in the next article, so don't miss it.
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