Important Things You Must Know About Surfing Before Getting Started

Surfing is challenging but fun. When guided by a reputable coach, you could be paddling and riding a wave on your first surfing day. The right board, the right surf spot, and a positive mindset are key when beginning your surfing journey.

Surfing might be one of those things you plan on doing when you are on holiday. You want to be a badass surfer and experience the waves first-hand. Engaging in the risky, complex sport is thrilling. But you should know that your first day out can be intimidating. 

This post is for beginner surfers who want to know what to expect. It details what you should know about surfing, how to pick a surfboard, prepare your body, choose surf spots, and most importantly, the silent rules of surfing. 

What to know about surfing 

Surfing is an exhilarating, rewarding sport that shapes your thinking and body. Before you get into the water, here are surfing beginner tips to make your life easier.

Things you should know about the sport

Surfing is addictive. It is one of those sports that becomes your way of life when you get started. You crave for more. You’ll find yourself traveling the world to experience surfing in Bali, Portugal, Spain, Costa Rica, and other famed surfing spots.

It is an intricate sport that requires dedication and resilience. There are thousands of techniques to learn, and no wave is similar to another. You can never be 100% sure you are an expert. With surfing, you learn every day.

Learning how to surf takes time. Even the best surfers get wiped out by waves. It is one of those rare sports where the learning curve is humbling, and the playground is constantly changing. Don’t be in a rush to learn the sport, but catch as many waves as you can.

How you position your feet is essential. It is best to put your feet together when paddling a wave. Resist the beginner’s urge to hang your feet over the tail loosely. 

Know your spot. Make use of professional apps to search for beginner-friendly surfing spots. Sand breaks with mellow waters are best for beginners, and what’s beneath the water – sand, coral reefs, or rock – influences the wave. Interestingly, a surfing spot keeps changing depending on the wave.

Engage an experienced surfer or coach to learn the basics. Riding waves in the ocean is a dangerous sport. So, you want to know the right tactics from an experienced coach. You could also register for a  surf camp for a wholesome learning experience. 

Tommy Tsunami Surf School is for all ages and all-level surfers. They also have a surf camp, private lessons, group lessons, and packages for corporates looking for team-building activities.

As a rookie, standing on your board is challenging. To do it right, you should put your hands on the board and push your body up, and swiftly sweep your feet to stand.

As a safety measure, always surf with friends or in a group of surfers, never without a leash. Maintain a safe distance from other surfers when surfing, and observe surfer manners such as sharing waves. Also, improve your swimming skills in the ocean.

Things to know about surfboards

There is a surfboard for everything, and the right board will determine how many waves you catch. The more the waves, the quicker you’ll learn.

Your first surfboard will influence your confidence in the ocean. As a beginner, there are basic surfing skills you want to master. Posture (pop-ups and balance), positioning on the board, and tolerance in the ocean. 

Surfboards that are easy to paddle, have a high buoyancy (flotation), and are stable are ideal for novices. Therefore, as a rookie, volume is critical when choosing aboard. 

Surfing beginner boards that are thicker, wider, and longer will have you catch waves easily. Bigger boards don’t require much effort to paddle, and they’re better at catching waves.

Go for more than a seven-inch board if you weigh 70 kg and 7.6 inches if your weight is between 70 and 90kg. Above 90 kg, an 8-inch board is best.

Also, foam boards or soft boards are safer and more stable than conventional ones.

Waxing. Yes, surfboards need good waxing to help with balance.

Experiment with surfboards. Rent or take them for a test until you find the one. Don’t be in a rush to buy or give in to the temptation of purchasing second-hand surfboards. 

Second-hand surfboards pose a danger. They may have broken before and repaired the wrong way, or they may have the former owners built them to tackle more brutal waves.

Take care of your surfboard. Let it lie flat and not stand when not in use. Also, please keep it away from the sun in a cool area. Ensure you clean it or rinse it after you surf.

How to prepare your body before you start surfing

Your body will determine your posture and positioning. Before you start surfing, it is good to eat healthily, do plenty of stretches, and often swim in the ocean. 

Good surfers are acrobats, which helps improve their flexibility and agility. You can follow a cardiovascular and resistance training workout before your first day in the water.

Also, stay positive and meditate. Riding waves can be frustrating when you start, but you’ll learn. 

If you can, stay in shape. Most beginner surfers complain of sore arms after a whole day of paddling. Others have sore hips. If you are fit, the full-body workout at your first surf lesson won’t take a toll on you.

When wax rubs against the sensitive belly skin, it causes a nasty rash. Get a rash guard or an old T-shirt and put it on before going. It never hurts to be prepared.

Also, find out the weather conditions of where you want to surf and figure out how to keep yourself safe from the bad stuff. Waves are unpredictable; if you have a good instructor, the better.

Things to know about surf ethics

Like any other sport, surfing has etiquette rules that all surfers must observe. It would be best if you didn’t drop in on a wave. Say sorry when you drop in unintentionally, do not interfere, share and keep in mind safety measures while in the water. Let’s expound on some.

Do not drop-in 

Give precedence to the surfer closest to the peak (where the wave will begin to break first), and the first surfer on his feet has priority.


If you do something dumb when surfing unintentionally, stop communicating and apologize.


Do not interfere with another surfer’s run, even when the wave comes up to you, because the other surfer has priority.

Do not wave hog, share

Do not paddle continuously to the next peak and take on all the waves. Share the waves and wait out a bit before riding the next wave.

Don’t be a hazard

Observe all safety measures like using a leash, not letting go of your board, and surfing within your skills so that surfers don’t need to save you from drowning.

Even if other riders are responsible for you in the ocean, it is upon you not to pose a risk to yourself and other surfers.

How to choose surf spots

Identify a beginner-friendly surf spot when you’re ready to take your first ride. 

Choose a spot with soft waves that ideally break into deeper water. Sand bottomed beaches are best but note that some places keep changing in the tide, current, and waves. It could be beginner-friendly now and on a higher surfing level later.

In an emergency, a beach patrolled by lifeguards will provide you with a sense of security. 

Steer clear of popular spots frequented by crowds of surfers and swimmers.


Before taking your first surfing lesson, look for an instructor to help you navigate the complex sport. Be patient when learning and expect spills and falls. Also, do your research on beginner surf spots and get a big and soft board to start with.

Lastly, familiarize yourself with surfing manners and prepare your body. Don’t forget the wetsuit and sunscreen. 

Head over to Tommy Tsunami Surf School surf lessons and surf camp to book your one-on-one lesson.

How Long Does It Take to Learn to Surf

Provided you get the proper training, you can be riding a wave in as little as your first 60 minutes of learning how to surf.

If you’re looking for the best surf school on the West Coast, you might want to know about Tommy Tsunami Surf School. 

Tommy Tsunami Surf School, founded in 2018, welcomes students of all ages and skills. It promises a high-quality, safe, and entertaining learning experience. This school was created out of love for surfing and the desire to share it with the rest of the world. 

If you’re someone who wants to learn surfing, book your spot for the summer of 2022 and get a surf lesson at the Tommy Tsunami Surf School!

The incredible team will show you how to catch a wave and many more wicked tricks that you’ll love. 

This article will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about learning how to surf. We will explain how long it takes and how difficult it can get. We will also share some helpful tips to speed up the process. 

So grab a board because it’s your surfing dream come true! 

How hard is it to learn how to surf?

Surfing is one of the most challenging sports. It requires a great deal of effort, perseverance, passion, and patience. On a scale of 1 to 10, learning to surf has a difficulty level ranging between 4 and 7. 

It all comes down to your dedication and ability to check off a few critical boxes.

Learning to catch waves, increase speed, carve turns, and ride a wave can be difficult.

On the other hand, it is also worth the effort!

When beginner surfers observe experienced surfers, it might appear like getting from the beach to carving a perfect wave is challenging work.

However, some people may manage to ride their first wave within 60 minutes of practice if the conditions are ideal. What pays off when it comes to surfing is your hard work.

The sense of freedom and sheer delight that overtakes you when you push yourself to encounter the natural elements in the water is an experience unlike any other.

Sure, surfing can be demanding, but anyone who puts in the effort can achieve it. 

How fast can you learn how to surf?

Learning to surf does not have a set time. Some people find themselves riding the first wave within 60 minutes of practicing. 

It just depends on you and how quickly you grasp things. It is hard to tell how long it will take for each person to ride their first wave.

With the right circumstances and a professional surf coach, most people will be able to ride their first wave within the first few hours of the lesson – which is pretty incredible. 

There are a lot of things to consider, however. Let’s take a look at those. 

Factors that can speed up or slow down your learning process

A few factors can speed up or slow down your learning process. These include the sort of surfboard you use, your age, physical fitness, good balance, and whether you are self-taught or taking lessons.

Let’s talk about them.

1. It’s much easier to surf if you’re physically fit

Being in reasonably good physical shape will make your surfing lessons go smoothly!

Paddling and jumping up on the board can get tiring for the arms and shoulders. Arm and shoulder endurance is one of the most important aspects of surfing.  

Plus, going around with a huge board can drain your energy rapidly. Therefore, physically fit people have much better odds of learning faster than those not as fit. 

Being able to undertake 40 to 60 minutes of exercise will allow you to spend ample time in the water before needing time to take a break. This will inadvertently speed up the learning curve.

The faster you can paddle, the more easily you will catch a wave.

2. Having a good balance helps (A LOT)

When it comes to learning to surf, having a solid balance is essential! You can’t surf if you can’t stand on the board without tipping over.

The more flexible you are, the simpler it will be to move around the board. You will also be less likely to hurt yourself.

Remember that larger boards are easier to balance.

3. A good coach can speed up the process 

A surf trainer will take all of the concerns away from you and allow you to focus just on standing on the board.

Having someone adjust your positioning, tell you when to start paddling, which wave to take, and cheer you on can save you hours of missteps.

Another advantage of having someone in the water with you as you learn to surf is that they can give you a push.

While paddling onto a wave, speed is essential.

Having a surf instructor gives you a boost and can help you generate enough speed to get that wave driving you down the beach effortlessly.

If you don’t have a friend or a coach in the water to teach you, it’ll be harder for you to learn fast.

At the Tommy Tsunami Surf School, you can find an incredible trainer and a team that can help teach you how to surf! 

4. You must choose the right surfboard

The bigger the board, the simpler it will be to stand on.

A floating item with a more extensive surface area is less likely to tip over and provides a broader support area.

Another important thing while selecting a board is to know what your board is made out of.

Remember that your height and weight will make a big difference in the surfboard you choose.

You don’t want to sink if you select a board that is too small or too thin.

To learn more about picking out the best surfboard for you, check this out.

5. Having the right conditions to surf

Appropriate conditions for your surfing level can really help you out. Calmer, unbroken waves are easier to ride and maneuver. 

You can also develop a tidy pop-up technique that will work on steeper unbroken waves and put you in a well-balanced stance. This will allow easy speed generation and turning.

Conversely, trying to surf on rough seas can be very challenging and dangerous. As a beginner, you should always wait for the gentler waves before you start paddling towards them.

It’s tough to have a good surf session if you don’t know when a wave is coming and where the waves will peak. Thus, always keep keenly observing the turbulent patterns of the waves and the ocean at large.

6. Being consistent is vital

One of the most critical factors is consistency. If you lack consistency and motivation, you will be slow at grasping the basics of surfing. This can slow down your learning process.

Make sure you’re practising and are motivated to up your surfing game. Knowing good surfing techniques will also help make you a pro surfer in no time.

7. Younger people learn faster

Surfing doesn’t have an age limit. However, since young people are more physically active, flexible, and often have good balance, they may find it easier to surf.


If you want to learn to surf, don’t be discouraged by the amount of effort needed to become a good surfer.

A few things to keep in mind are:

  • It is relatively simple to learn the basics.
  • Don’t be discouraged.
  • Your surfing will improve gradually.
  • A good coach can take away most of the pain.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your surfboard, and let’s head out to conquer the waves!

Get ready and find yourself the best coach to teach you everything you need to know about surfing!

Surf Etiquette for Beginners (12 Things Every Beginner Surfer Should Know)

Surfing is a water sport that involves riding a wave using a surfboard on the shores of the sea or ocean. With a surfer’s cool surfing moves and tricks, surfing has been an increasingly popular water sport that gives health benefits and the opportunity to enjoy nature. 

Easy as it may look, surfing is a physically demanding sport. You have to develop skills, be physically fit, and know basic surfing etiquette. These may take time, but consistently doing this can help you level up from a beginner to a surf expert. 

Don’t be overwhelmed and afraid. The fact that you are here is one step forward in your surfing journey. Whether you are a novice or reviewing the basics, we are here for you.

This article will tell you the preparation you need for a surf, the basic rules of surfing, and tips for new surfers. 

Ready? Let’s get started!

How to prepare for a surf?

There are things to prepare before going out and riding the waves. Reading about surfing, preparing surfing equipment, and being physically fit are essential. These preparations will help you surf safely and enjoy your surfing experience. 

Read about surfing. By doing this, you can understand what surfing is and how to do it. It can also familiarize you with the words that your coach can teach in your surfing lesson. 

Additionally, this can give you insights into the surfers’ experiences and their journey towards improving themselves in this sport. 

Attending your surfing lessons and understanding your coach will be much easier. You can also ask questions or clarify things you are confused about with your coach. 

It is always the best move to know what you are getting in. With internet resources, mental preparation for surfing is easy. 

Your surfing equipment is the next important thing to prepare. Ensure that you have the right equipment for surfing. The surfing equipment may include a surfboard, wetsuit, surfboard leash, fins, and sunscreen. 

Choosing a surfboard can be challenging because different types of materials and models of surfboards can overwhelm you. It’s better to select a soft-top and longer surfboard, at least seven feet long. Longer boards are easier to catch a wave, easier to control, and more stable than shorter ones. 

A fin setup that is for beginners is a thruster setup. This setup has three equal-sized fins: two in front and one behind them. It provides stability, is suitable for everyone regardless of experience level, and is perfect for any waves. 

Wetsuits have variations that refer to their thickness. The thicker the wetsuit, the warmer it gets. It is worn as an added layer of protection against the weather and helps surfers withstand different weather conditions while riding the waves. 

Tommy Tsunami Surf School is a great place to start. It offers surf lessons, including surfboards and wetsuits. So, you can learn how to surf without spending much and being stressed in choosing surf equipment. 

Lastly, sunscreen is a must-have for your surfing. It protects your skin from ultraviolet rays and prevents you from getting skin cancer. Choose a water-resistant sunscreen made explicitly for watersports and eco-friendly. 

If you now have surfing equipment, the next thing you need to prepare is your surfing fitness. Your body should have the endurance, flexibility, balance, strength, and speed required for surfing. 

Remember that exercises that build muscles are not enough. It will be helpful to do exercises that increase your mobility and flexibility.  

Yes, surfing needs physical preparation. However, don’t be discouraged because there are pieces of training available for you. You can join surf training lessons to assist you or have a training coach design a specific training program. 

Basic rules of surfing etiquette

Surfing etiquette is the list of do’s and don’ts that all surfers must follow regardless of their level of surfing skills and expertise and where they are surfing. The etiquette minimizes the risk of injuries, ensures respect and safety, and maximizes the fun to enjoy surfing. 

Here are the surfing etiquettes:

1. Observe the Right of Way

You must know who has the right of way on the wave. They should be:

  • the surfer who is furthest out or has been waiting long
  • the surfer that is furthest inside or closest to the peak of the breaking wave. They always get priority
  • the surfer who is the first to feet or first onto the wave.

2. Don’t Drop-In

A drop-in happens when a surfer paddles and rides a wave that another surfer is already up and riding. It makes the surfer already on the wave to end up behind the one who dropped in. 

Dropping in on a surfer is a major no-no in surfing. It is the quickest way to get yourself in trouble and injure other surfers. It also can result in verbal and physical abuse, which can create a bad atmosphere in the water. 

Remember that the general rule in surfing is one surfer per wave. 

To avoid this from happening, follow the first surfing etiquette. Give priority to the surfer who is paddling closer to the peak. Most of all, always observe your surroundings.

If you accidentally dropped in, apologize and surf over the back of the wave and off it as quickly as possible. Let the surfer the priority to continue their way on riding waves. 

3. Don’t Snake

Snaking happens when a surfer paddles around one or more surfers to steal wave priority and get closest to the peak. Occasionally, some surfers snake in the last minutes to take off deeper and claim priority. 

Snaking is not an acceptable surfing behavior. Always wait for your turn.

4. Don’t Hog the Waves

Do not be greedy for waves. Even if you can catch the waves first every time you line up, don’t do it often. 

Share the wave, give a wave, and keep it fair. 

5. Do Apologize

Apologize when you run over someone, drop in on someone, or breach the surf etiquette and rules. Apologizing is a basic courtesy and good manners. It can smoothen out things and maintain a good atmosphere in the water.

6. Respect the Locals

When surfing in a place you don’t know, always respect the locals. They surf the spot every day, so be friendly and earn respect for yourself.

Don’t gang up in numbers to get your desired surf spot. Don’t rush and take your time. 

If there is an outsider that visits your home break, respect them and share a few waves. 

7. Learn the Right Way to Paddle Out

The right way to paddle out is not to ditch your board and not paddle into the path of other surfers. Observe the waves, time your paddle out, and use your judgment to avoid other surfers. 

When you paddle out where waves are breaking, don’t paddle through it—paddle wide of the peak. If a surfer is up and riding a wave where you are on the inside of the breaking waves, you can either stay put or paddle out where the surfer came from so that you end up behind the surfer. 

Focusing on the take-off area in front of you is essential when paddling. Don’t be too fixated on the approaching waves because it can get dangerous when you can not notice a surfer who is suddenly in front of you. 

So, remember to look ahead, occasionally glance sideways, and adjust your stroke when paddling. Do not hesitate to ask a lifeguard if you have any questions. 

8. Surf Spots Suitable to Your Ability

Know your ability range and pick a good spot for your level. Otherwise, you will get in the way or become a potential hazard to other surfers. You can ask the lifeguards to guide you if you are unsure where to surf. 

It is good to challenge yourself with more giant waves occasionally, but do it slowly and carefully to prevent danger in the water. 

9. Help Other Surfers

Surfing may be fun, but it can also be dangerous and fatal. So, when we are in the water, it is always good to look after each other. 

Help another surfer when they are in trouble. Even if a lifeguard is around, you may be the nearest one to rescue swimmers and surfers in distress. 

However, don’t offer your hand when you do not undergo proper rescue training. Offering your hand will only do more harm than good because it can drown you when the one you are rescuing grabs you. 

Instead, approach them carefully, offer your board, and calm them down. Once the rescued surfer has calmed down, you can start bringing them back to the shore. 

10. Respect the Beach

Respecting the beach and ocean is the essential rule in surfing. No one wants to paddle out on a beach full of garbage and dirty waters. 

Please don’t litter, make graffiti, vandalize, or do other things that can negatively impact the beach and its surroundings. Leave only your footprints and help maintain cleanliness. 

Respecting the beach also means taking care of marine life. Use eco-friendly products that are safe for aquatic organisms. 

11. Don’t Throw Your Surfboard

Surfboards are dangerous weapons that can cause injuries to you and others. So you must avoid ditching it. Please don’t throw it and don’t lose control of it. 

Controlling your surfboard takes time. That is why it is vital to wear a leash at all times. Use a leash and provide safety for you and other surfers and swimmers. 

12. Communicate What You Will Do

Since surfing is the fastest growing sport globally, expect that there will be more surfers on the beach. You have to communicate with other surfers to develop and maintain a relationship and ensure safety and fun during surfing. 

There may be times when two surfers are in the middle of a dual-peaking wave. You have to communicate whether you will go left or right to save yourself from battling for the direction you are planning on surfing. 

Tips and advice for new surfers

Set realistic expectations

When you have read and understood what surfing is and how to learn it, you must set realistic expectations. Otherwise, you may have feelings of failure, frustration, and low self-esteem. 

Some people can quickly learn to surf while others have slow progress. Don’t be discouraged if you belong to the latter group. Continue learning, and eventually, you will improve. 

Practice your pop up

A good pop-up can make your wave-riding experience great. It can get you into challenging waves, set you up for a better opening maneuver, and help you move down the line. 

However, this is a skill you need to develop by practicing. It may be physically demanding, but you will get familiar with it through practice.

Whitewater is the best place to practice and perfect your pop-up technique and stance. You can catch approximately 50 waves in the whitewater within one session, giving you more pop-up practice opportunities. 

Go to a beginner’s spot

Excellent and famous spots for surfing are usually for experienced surfers. But don’t worry because there is also a beginner’s spot that makes you learn surfing much easier and more enjoyable. 

Going to a beginner’s spot can help you build skills, improve your pop-up technique, and improve wave reading. 

Your surfing coach or experienced surfers can guide you to a beginner’s spot. 

Learn how to read waves

When learning to surf, you also have to learn how to read waves. This will allow you to choose suitable spots for your level. It also helps you determine which areas you want to try to increase your level of challenge slowly. 

Learning waves can help you progress faster. If you aren’t sure, ask for assistance and guidance from your surfing coach or an experienced surfer. 

Learn to read the surf forecast

It is not enough that you learn how to wave. You also need to know how to read a surf forecast

Once you learn how to read surf cast, you can learn to surf faster by spending much of your sessions in waves suitable for you. It can also help you predict conditions and schedule your surfing time. 

Ask local lifeguards

If you are not sure about your knowledge of surfing, like the wave reading and surf forecast, you can ask the local lifeguards for assistance. You can also inquire about the details of the place’s safety, rules, and conditions. 

Surf regularly

Surfing regularly can significantly improve your surfing skills, propelling you to the next level. It can help you build and maintain the surf or paddling fitness required for surfing.

Spending more time in the ocean, you’ll make sense of and understand the constantly changing wave conditions and the different surf tops. 

Be confident

If you have been consistent and disciplined in surfing, be confident to charge on heavier waves or surf on crowded days. Confidence can help you improve your surfing skills and make you feel satisfaction and fulfillment when you surf. 

To build confidence, you must think before you paddle out. If you want to challenge yourself, ensure that the waves you want to ride are challenging in a way out of your comfort zone. Don’t go if you think it is too difficult for you. 

Also, continue getting paddle fit and practice your techniques more. 

Take surf lessons from experts

It is insufficient to learn surfing through reading and practicing on your own. Taking surf lessons can let you meet expert surfers who will teach you all the things you need to know and their experiences. Surf coaches are hands-on in guiding you and can answer all your questions and concerns. 

Final thoughts

Like any other sport, it takes knowledge, time, practice, and discipline to learn how to surf. It will not be easy, but the journey is worth it. 

We have presented the preparation, tips, and surf etiquettes for guidance. But of course, it is very different from hands-on learning. 

Tommy Tsunami Surf School can provide the hands-on learning experience you are looking for. We give private surf lessons if you want one-on-one coaching. Group lessons and corporate team-building lessons are also available. 

We can teach you to surf regardless of your age. So, if you want your kids to start surfing early, we have a five-day kid’s surf camp. 

Enroll in our surf lessons now! 

How to Surf for Beginners (10 Tips on How to Surf When You Are Starting Out)

Surfing is a fun and healthy way to stay active outdoors, and it’s never too early or too late to learn how to do it.

To learn how to surf, you need to master how to maneuver and balance on the board. Additionally, you should develop great wave-reading and perfect timing skills. Also, you want to ensure you gain an excellent knowledge of the ocean. Overall, the best way to learn surfing is by taking lessons from a skilled instructor to get crucial foundational basics.

However, despite the challenges involved, surfing is one of the most rewarding adventures, particularly if you put in the time and effort to develop proficiency. 

This article will help you understand the different aspects you need to grasp when learning how to surf to achieve the best beginner surfer status. 

Here’s a rundown of the ten steps to follow.

1. Find Suitable Surfing Equipment

Getting what suits your capabilities is critical when finding the appropriate surfboard and any related gear. Moreover, everybody needs a different board volume and size depending on their skill level. 

Other corresponding kits such as a protective bag, leash, and fins must match the board. 

It’s necessary to test the boards before purchasing. You will only be in a position to catch as many waves with the appropriate gear. Typically, a 7’6 or 8’0 footboard is suitable for a beginner. 

Surf schools and camps use boards made from foam-like material, and you, therefore, don’t need to worry about injuring yourself or others. 

Some of the surfboard options include:

  • Longboards: These boards are usually nine feet and above and have a single-fin setup (suitable for classic or nose riding surfing styles) and a tri-fin setup (ideal for high-performance techniques).
  • Bonzer, Egg, Fish, Funboard, Mini Tanker, Mini Mal: These are all shorter boards (between five to eight feet) but have a little more volume and are easier to maneuver than longboards.
  • Gun: They are designed for big wave surfing and are seven feet and above. 
  • Shortboard: They’re nine feet and above with a single-fin or tri-fin setup. 

Other necessary gear includes:

  • A wetsuit that fits you well and a snug rash guard keeps you from sunburns.
  • You need to get a leash that’s your board’s length.
  • You’ll need wax that’ll keep you from slipping.
  • Investing in a good base sunscreen (SPF 50) for the face and body and a sunscreen stick specifically for the face to layer over the base.
  • A deck pad is optional, but they’re great with high-performance shortboards. Once you’re ready to move to more aggressive boards, they are a great addition.

2. Find a Beginner Surfing Spot

The ideal choice for a beginner to start surfing is one with waves breaking further out or where there are smaller and more powerful waves. Accordingly, you need to identify a beginner-friendly location with minimal crowds. 

Also, keep your ego at bay and even practice where kids take their surfing lessons. There are websites and apps where you can find the best beginner surfing spots or identify where surf schools in the area conduct their classes. You can also search for local surf guides. 

What makes a good beginner surfing spot?

  • A consistent spot during a particular season of the year, i.e. a perfectly sized swell every day and glassy conditions. 
  • Waves that split rather than row. Thus, you’ll have ample time to get on your feet and know how to turn. It’s more or less a slow-motion wave.
  • You should identify the long waves. These waves allow you to practice heel-side and toe-side turns. 
  • A defined peak that breaks well and is easy to read. 
  • Identify a spot that has a channel with an easy paddle out. Thus, you won’t waste much time getting to the green waves break.

3. Learn How to Identify the Right Waves for You

You need to understand what waves fit a surfing beginner. Then you will learn how to forecast when they’re likely to happen. You’ll progress much faster if you regularly surf in the right waves and slowly increase the challenge level.

Remember that it’s never a great idea to tag along with your experienced surfer buddies. Neither should you drive to the beach just to glimpse how the waves are. Instead, you need to determine when waves are suitable for your level. 

4. Remember the Line-Up Rules

Follow the line-up rules, keep in mind who has the right of way, and keep a friendly demeanor to avoid conflicts if mistakes happen. 

After all, no beginner wants to be in a situation where they get tangled with experienced surfers. 

5. Pay Attention to Your Body

Take time to pay attention to your body and start small as you up your game slowly and consistently. Great serotonin and adrenaline levels may be exciting, but you need to slow down. You might end up taking risks that might get out of control. Remember that the ocean is stronger than you. 

6. Learn How to Wax Your Surfboard

Here’s how you need to wax your surfboard: 

  • Shortboards: Be generous with the amount of wax you use. Try to make a pattern on its surface to strengthen the grip.
  • Foam board: You don’t need to use wax on foam boards unless you feel there’s a need for some. 

Please note that there’s no need to wax the footpad if you own one. Some surfing experts only do so if they’re performing aerials. 

7. Always Use a Leash

A leash is an essential addition when surfing because it keeps you in control. You’ll spot some “experienced” surfers not using one, but they risk crashing it into another surfer or rocks, which kills the vibe. 

8. Practice Pop-Up/Take Off on Land

Basic take-off/pop-up movements are not only meant for beginner surfers. Pros also work on how to execute a perfect pop-up. Therefore, you need to ensure you get to where you don’t have to think about your movements. Your body gets used to it; hence you focus on the waves.

9. Work on Your Paddling Techniques

You need to keep perfecting your paddling prowess because it’s one of the most tedious aspects of surfing. But it gets better with consistent practice. Your surf wings (muscles) get stronger with time. 

When going to the wave, take an extra paddle. One common reason for beginners not catching a wave is because one extra stroke is needed to glide in the wave. 

10. Have Fun

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the greatest surfers of our time were once beginners. So, go out there and have as much fun as possible. Also, you should know that there’s no failure, just lessons. You can never be wrong. Becoming a great surfer is all in the experience.

How to Train for Surfing

The best way to train for surfing is through muscular endurance of the back, arms, and core control. 

Some of the recommended exercises for strengthening your surfing muscles include:

  • Swill ball core rotations: This exercise strengthens the core muscles in a rotating movement, and it’s essential for making cutbacks and powerful turns. 
  • Barbell Romanian deadlifts: Strengthens the back, hamstrings, and glutes (posterior chain muscles), which generate power when making turns.
  • Dumbbell front-lateral raises: Strengthens the deltoid muscles that you use for paddling. 

Beginner Surfing Mistakes 

There are several common and unnecessary beginner mistakes that slow your progress, and you need to avoid them:

  • Selecting the wrong surfboard.
  • You’re not taking good care of the surfboard. You, therefore, need to be aware of your surroundings.
  • Not using enough sunblock when you’re out surfing.
  • Paddling in the wrong place.
  • Giving up when faced with challenges.

Wrapping Up

The best way to improve your surfing skills is to practice as often as possible. Generally, if you desire quick progression, you need to aim at surfing at least thrice a week. 

Having a good trainer who’s been there and done that sets you up for success and shortens the journey. And if you don’t know where to find one, you can start with Tommy Tsunami Surf School. We help surfers of all ages and levels get acquainted with the sport and spirit of surfing in an energetic and positive environment. We’re located in Half Moon Bay, California.

And remember, practice makes perfect. Keep practicing, surf smarter, and soon enough, you’ll move to the line-up from the shore break. 

What Do You Wear Under A Wetsuit (Male & Female)

One of the most discussed topics between new surfers is what they could put on underneath their wetsuits. 

What surfers wear under a wetsuit may vary depending on personal preference and weather, ease of movement, and after activities, but both male and female divers can wear sport specific apparel, bikinis, and boardshorts, or even nothing at all.

Several professional divers have completely distinct ideas on the subject, but the essential thing to note is that you must do what works best for you, even if that means going totally commando.

If you just got into surfing and you’re uncertain of what you can wear under your wetsuit, then this article can help, as it will look at numerous alternatives that men and women can wear beneath a wetsuit.

What do men wear under a wetsuit?

Male divers have five options:

Swimwear briefs

Swimwear briefs are good if you want to dive in warm water. If you’re not in need of any additional clothing but still prefer extra cover down there, getting a swimwear brief is an option.

In buying swimwear briefs, it would be best to look for stretchable, chlorine-resistant, and durable material rather than the standard spandex since it would not droop or shift out of position when swimming or diving, providing adequate covering while giving complete ease and freedom of movement.

Putting on swimwear briefs underneath your wetsuit works effectively as a way of covering up your private areas. They are a good alternative if you don’t want to risk your clothing fitting snugly and causing discomfort when swimming. 

Because you don’t have to worry about people seeing you nude when changing, having a pair of swimwear briefs makes putting your wetsuit on and off easier. There will also be no wrinkled garments when wearing or taking off the suit.

Bicycle shorts

When worn under a wetsuit, fitted bicycle shorts or diving shorts are quite handy. It not only serves as an extra layer for diving in somewhat colder weather, but it also makes it easier to get into and out of your wetsuit.

For greatest results, choose a pair of diving shorts made of neoprene, which is buoyant and light but thick enough to give extra warmth. They are an excellent choice since they are composed of ultra-soft, comfy, and stretchable material that does not crease as you slide into your wetsuit.

Neoprene diving shorts give a light, warm, and comfortable experience. Aside from providing heat protection for your body, it can make wearing and removing your wetsuit easier. Hence, bicycle shorts are ideal for canoeing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and even surfing.

As they are placed tightly against your skin, you will not feel them even with your wetsuit on. And they will not restrict your movement.

Full-body jumpsuit

If you want complete coverage, consider a full-body jumpsuit, which will keep you even warmer. High-quality jumpsuits are made out of thin neoprene, offering excellent insulation and breathability without adding too much thickness when layering.

It should also include a heavy-duty rear zipper closing with an accessible pull tether and a stylish cut to accentuate the masculine figure.

Rash guard

Rash guards keep your torso warm and comfy. They come in different styles, and they make a great additional layer when diving in cooler waters, offering an extra degree of insulation and protection in avoiding chaffed wetsuits. 

In choosing rash guards, you can select one with longer sleeves according to the temperature above and below water. While those with short sleeves offer a more comfortable fit, long-sleeved rash guards can additionally protect your arms from rashes that usually appear around the throat, groin, and even the armpits. 

Moreover, rash guards may also protect against cuts and scrapes.  Though rash guards are not as effective as wetsuits in keeping you warm, they might cause you too much heat if worn in water temperatures at the upper limit of your wetsuit’s temperature range.

Additionally, you can wear rashguards on their own or pair them with diving shorts and rash guard pants when relaxing on the beach. 

In essence, rash guards made of lightweight polyester and spandex decrease friction with wetsuits and deliver UV protection. They’re also fashionable and quick to dry, making them great for a variety of water sports.

A rash guard must be tight-fitting in order to fit underneath a wetsuit. Rash guards can also have a loose fit. However, because they are used as undergarments, having additional material will be unpleasant.


Some male divers would like to wear nothing underneath their wetsuits. This is a practice known as going commando. Because of the wetsuit’s tight fit, wearing anything under it can feel unpleasant at times.

Wearing nothing between your wetsuit and your skin reduces the quantity of water that can enter. You’ll be warmer if you decide to go nude beneath your wetsuit.

The only difficulty with going commando is that getting changed after coming out of the water might be a bit difficult because as you have nothing on beneath, you must be careful with your towel to prevent exposing yourself to others.

What do women wear under a wetsuit?

Women are more conservative than males when it comes to swimwear. They must wear undergarments, especially while renting a wetsuit.

Aside from unisex options like going commando, using bicycle shorts, full-body jumpsuits, and rash guards, women can also opt to wear the following under a wetsuit:


Women can also wear bikinis, and the decision between a bathing suit and a bikini is based on personal desire and comfort. 

However, if you pick the bikini, avoid wearing one with a knot as the tight wetsuit will press the knot into your skin. It may not appear to be a big deal at first, but after a while, it becomes really painful and distracting.

Because wetsuits may be difficult to put on and take off, wearing a bikini can be far more convenient than hiding beneath a towel or quickly throwing something over your shoulders.

Two-piece bikinis are also ideal for extended diving trips. It makes taking off your bottoms simpler, whether using the marine toilet or hiding behind a bush after a shore dive.

Avoid elements such as knots, metal, and bead embellishment, which may scrape into your skin and create irritation under the wetsuit. Thicker straps may also be more secure than smaller straps. When feasible, utilize flat clasps and slimline bikinis.

Sports underwear

Sport bras and sports underwear are excellent choices for what to wear beneath a wetsuit. They are often more secure and provide excellent chest support than standard underwear or bikinis. 

They are durable and designed for sweaty and rainy settings. Most will also be quick-drying, which is useful for drying your gear in between or after dives. 

You can pair sports bras with bikini bottoms and spandex shorts. You can also use a sports bikini, which fits tighter than a regular bikini and is similar to a sports bra, and is better for removing your wetsuit.

Bathing suit

A one-piece bathing suit is a straightforward and modest approach to covering a substantial section of your upper body. It doesn’t offer much insulation or protection, but it can cover up your intimate parts and keep the suit from rubbing against them.

Sleeveless vest

Women can also wear compression shirts, although some prefer sleeveless tops since they provide greater mobility around the shoulders and arms. They’re called vests by some companies, and they’re made of the same thin, quick-drying, lightweight materials that are ideal for water sports, swimming, and layering beneath wetsuits while surfing.

Vests keep you comfortable and help regulate your core temperature whether you’re lounging on the beach or surfing.

Thermal wear

A thermal wear beneath your wetsuit is ideal to remain warm. Thermals come in a variety of designs and thicknesses, so choose one that is appropriate for the activity you’ll be undertaking. 

Determine the water temperatures on the day you plan to go out. Then check to verify if the product you’re buying has a temperature range appropriate for its intended use. Furthermore, the thickness influences not only how warm it is, but also how mobile it is while worn.

Thermal shirts and bottoms are available. These are generally rash guards with polypropylene added for extra insulation. This gives the interior of a wetsuit a fluffy, fuzzy texture that is both warm and comfy. 

Wearing these thermal apparel can provide your arms and legs with more movement while keeping your torso insulated.

How do you choose what to wear under a wetsuit?

Aside from personal preference, you can consider these three other factors when choosing what to wear underneath your wetsuit:


If you’re going to rent a wetsuit, you’ll probably want to wear something beneath it for hygiene purposes.

You can opt to wear undergarments with minimum covering (swimsuits, diving shorts, bikinis, etc.) or nothing at all in warmer locations and waters. 

For comfort and safety in chilly conditions, layering is suggested. If you have a thinner wetsuit (2mm-4mm), you may add a rash guard, full-body suit, or any other sort of undergarment to offer the extra insulation you need. 

Ease of movement

Whatever you choose to wear under your wetsuit should be something that corresponds to the activity you wish to do. Make sure that aside from being comfortable, what you decide to wear does not hinder your movements, especially during surfing.

After activities

If you want to travel someplace else after surfing, you may want to change out of your wetsuit, so keep this in mind while deciding which of your alternatives will allow you to change quickly without revealing any of your private parts.

Why do surfers wear undergarments under their wetsuits?

Wearing undergarments beneath wetsuits provides the following benefits:

Hygiene and protection

It’s not a pleasant concept to imagine your raw flesh touching against fabrics or any other material where other people’s skin has previously been, especially with your intimate parts if you’re renting a wetsuit. By wearing something underneath the wetsuit, surfers provide their body with protection and proper hygiene.


The extra layers keep our bodies warm in and out of the water, particularly in colder weather. Rather than wearing a bulky wetsuit, which can impede movement and drain energy, surfers choose to wear lightweight layers to aid with chilly comfort.


When you need to change in public areas, you have little to no privacy. Once you feel any form of inconvenience in your wetsuit, you’d want to get out of it as quickly as possible, which is why you should put something on below. 

Having an undergarment under your wetsuit can help you avoid unpleasant situations while also giving you the necessary protection to enjoy your time above the water.


For some, going naked beneath wetsuits is painful because of the frequent rubbing of flesh against the wetsuit’s interior material. 

When surfing, some parts of the body, such as the neck, groin, behind the knees, and armpits, tend to chafe, particularly when surfing for prolonged periods of time. 

With undergarments, the chafing can be minimized.


It is not required to wear underwear beneath your wetsuit. However, it is recommended if you are renting one for hygiene purposes.

Wearing and removing wetsuits is difficult, especially if you are wearing nothing underneath. But in the end, what you wear under a wetsuit should not only depend on personal preference but also on the weather, ease of movement, and after activities.

Learn surfing today by enrolling at Tommy Tsunami Surf School.