Taking the leap and starting a new sport can be scary at the best of times, but when it involves paddling away from the safety of the beach, avoiding getting smashed by set waves and balancing on a bit of foam to get back its understandable that it can cause a bit of anxiety for most.
I have been surfing for over 15 years and i would recommend it to anyone, the sport is full of arrogant, egotistical (men) but don't worry about that, they seem to all have forgotten that everyone has to start somewhere and one point we were all "kooks" In my honest opinion i had 100x more fun surfing as a beginner and here is why...
Too small....who cares lets go in anyway
Too windy...who cares lets go in anyway
The swell direction is off..who cares lets go in anyway
Lets just check 1 more beach...who cares lets go in anyway
So here is what you will need to start your new career in surfing:
Here is where most people go wrong, they think big boards are not cool. I'll tell you whats not cool, struggling on a board thats to small, not catching any waves and giving up.
Learn the basics on a foamie, perfect those techniques on a mini mal and then think about going smaller but it's not a race. Listen to someone speaking from experience, if I could go back and do it that way maybe I wouldn't have such a rigid style and maybe I wouldn't fall off so much.
Above, Matz Ginman-Trout demonstrating what years of practice can achieve and I demonstrate what happens when you consistently ride boards that are too small, and don't master the basics before moving on.
To go with the surfboard you will also need fins, a leash and some wax. These will all be fairly specific to the board you are using so just don't be afraid to ask for advice/help.
Again, buying the most expensive wetsuit will not make you a better surfer. If you can only afford one wetsuit get a 5mm, this means you will be able to surf all year round. Try a few different brands on, a £100 suit that fits is better than a £500 that doesn't. Ask for advice in a surf shop instead of just buying online, we have years and years of experience and love to help.
This is really all you need to start your surfing journey but there are a few other bits that could make the process more pleasant..
You can take surfboards on buses and trains but you are limited where they go, if you don't have a car find a friend who does and learn together, sharing the stoke will make the experience so much better. Chances are your surfboards will need to go on the roof so a set of soft roof racks are a great purchase, they are relatively cheap and mean you can take multiple boards on your road trips.
If you plan on surfing from October-April in the U.K some wetsuit boots will really help, again relatively inexpensive and will definitely make the experience more enjoyable. When your feet feel like bricks it's hard to do anything.
One final bit of advice before you start splashing the cash, do a lesson or 2 at your local beach, this will benefit you in a few ways. If you absolutely hate it you haven't wasted a load of cash and maybe more importantly they will be able to teach you about the break, where and where not to surf, optimum tides and locations of rips.
The only thing more fun than learning to surf, is learning to surf in warm water with like minded people, check out our friends at star surf camps for amazing holidays, in epic locations that wont break the bank.
Knowledge is power!!
Here at Mango Surfing, we love to surf, so if you need any more help with any of our products just drop us a call, an email or a Facebook message. We want to help find the right item for you.
Phone: 01752 229624
Facebook: Mango surfing