SURFING - GETTING
If Inside Out has whet your surfing
appetite, and you're itching to pull off a Point Break style
pipeline, then read our guide to get you up on your feet and riding
a wave with the best of them.
Preparation is the key
Surfing, like most sports, is physically demanding, so
you should be reasonably fit and able to confidently swim at least 50
metres in open water.
Running, cycling and especially swimming will all help
to improve your stamina and tone up important paddling muscles.
Several sessions swimming in the sea will help accustom
you to the motion and if you can get on a bodyboard and catch a wave -
all the better.
You should always warm up before going surfing and before
carrying out any type of training to prevent muscle strain.
|The long foam
board on the left is ideal for beginners|
A standard surfboard is around 6ft 4in to 6ft 10in (1.9m
- 2.05m) long and 18 inches to 20 inches (45cm - 50cm) wide and weighs
around 8lb (3.5kg).
The deck of the board should be waxed to repel water
and prevent you slipping.
Beginners need a larger than average board - at least
12in (300mm) longer than they are tall).
These give greater stability, give a slower ride and
the soft foam surface will avoid concussion should you take a blow to
A one piece wetsuit, either a full suit or "shorty"
- cut off at the knee and shoulders, is a must for surfing in Britain.
A rash vest or "rashy" is provided by most
surf schools. Although they are made to be worn underneath a wetsuit to
prevent skin irritation, beginners often wear them over the wetsuit making
them easily identifiable to the instructor.
Back to school
For beginners in the sport, surf lessons are essential
to ensure you are fully aware of all aspects of surf safety, from avoiding
strong currents to surf etiquette.
All equipment is provided and you will be in the water
with your instructor who can advise on technique and which waves to paddle
With the basics mastered though, it really is a case
of practice makes perfect - "gnarly"!
Code of Conduct
- All surfers must be able to swim at least 50
metres in open water
- Ensure that you are covered by Public Liability
Insurance for surfing
- Keep your surfing equipment in good condition
- Always wear a surf leash to prevent you from
losing your surfboard or bodyboard
- Have consideration for other water users including
- Never surf alone or immediately after eating
- Always return to the beach before nightfall
- Never mix surfing with alcohol or drugs
- Always wear a wetsuit when surfing in Britain
- If you are new to the sport never hire a surfboard
without first having a surfing lesson (Given by a British Surf
Association qualified (BSA) instructor)
- Be considerate of other beach users especially
when carrying your board to and from the water
- When possible use a lifeguard patrolled beach.
Obey the lifeguards instructions and be prepared to assist them
- Where possible surf in a recognised surfing
area e.g. in between the black and white checked flags
- When paddling out avoid surfers who are riding
- When taking a wave see that you are clear of
other surfers. Remember, if someone else is already riding the
wave you must not take off
- Be environmentally friendly. Always leave the
beach and other areas as you would wish to find them
Source: British Surfing Association