Oceanside Surf Lessons


Oceanside Surf Lessons help beginners with the fundamentals needed to practice on their own. Surfing is a long term adventure of learning.

It looks simple in movies when executed by advanced surfers just like Formula One drivers make going 230 mph look easy. The first thing most of my surf students say is this is tougher than it looks.

The First Four Fundamentals

Four fundamentals have to be learned before beginners can begin to have fun on their own. Knowing how to lay on the board is important. Paddling to catch waves takes timing. Knowing when to pop up is not simple as it seems. The pop up has to be executed to get into the right posture or the board is not designed to balance.

Beginners must lay on the board properly. The feet have to be at the back or as soon as the foam wave lifts the tail, the nose will get stuffed, called Pearling. The body must be straight as a pencil with the nose in the middle and the feet together and on the back of the board. Otherwise the board will immediately carve and turnover.

Paddling and Balance

Paddling for waves begins when the wave is 20 feet away. Too many beginners jump on the board when the wave is three feet away thinking they are on a boogie board. At first, the student paddles easy so the board is going straight to the beach and their body is balanced. When the wave is four feet away, the beginner paddles hard until the wave has hit the board and they paddle until they are in front of the foam wave.

Beginners should not put their hands on the board or move their bodies until the nose has lifted. When the foam wave reaches the board, it lifts the tail. The surfer has to paddle until the board is in front of the wave and the nose lifts and the board is planing. Most beginners have trouble with this judgment of timing.

The Pop Up

The pop up is a smooth transition from lying down to standing up in the perfect posture. The front foot has to be far enough forward to hold the nose of the board down and without pearling. The body has to be equal in weighting the right and left side of the board along the middle stringer. The shoulders and hips, therefore, need to be square to the front. 

If beginners wind up with their butt over one rail or I often call it snowboarding with one shoulder back and a hand trailing, they fall off the butt side of the board. Snowboarders have a difficult time getting their shoulders and hips square to the front. Both hands should be in front where you can see them.

The Progression

All these steps must be a progression of smoothness. Anxious beginners pop up too soon and all at once so their feet do not land properly. They should have a shoulder width stance so the back foot is in the middle perpendicular to the rails and their front foot is on the stringer at least 3 feet forward pointed at a 45 degree  angle.

This is a lot to accomplish when trying to surf on your own. When you don’t have a concept of what has to be accomplished and the timing of each step, it usually winds up in frustration and lots of wasted energy. A surf lesson teaches these steps so practice then becomes fruitful.

For Surf Lessons in Oceanside, see my Surf Website home page

For Surfing Packages or Surfing and Personal Fitness Training, see the Coaching page

For more about Fitness and getting in shape see the Fitness page

Surfing and Fitness

The two go together. Surfers are some of the most fit and leanest of athletes. Combining surfing and fitness training can be fun and very productive for strength, stamina, and body composition. 

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