Surf Questions Beginners Often Ask

If you’re over at Jupiter and ready to start surfing, you might have a few questions before you dive in there.  Read on to get the answers to some of the common questions that new surfers at Jupiter ask.

How can I do a pop-up

Once you’re able to paddle out and catch a wave, the next step is learning to pop up.  This is the point where your perseverance and patients will both be tested.  A good way to master popping up is on the shore before you head to the ocean.  Lie down on your board and become familiarized with the popping up action – you should be able to land on your feet as smooth as quick as possible, without scrambling on your knees.

Begin by centering in the sweet spot of your board while keeping your legs and feet together.  Next, paddle deep with your arms outstretched.  Once you catch a wave, take two strokes while you keep your shoulders and head off your board, then place your hands on the deck next to your chest.

Push up fully, allowing your front hip to jog forward, dip, twist while moving your front leg till your foot can lie between your hands.  Slide the back foot up and then you can let go and rise up.  You want your front hip and shoulder towards the front of the board, your toes going toward the rail, your eyes looking forwards in the direction of where you want to go.  Keep your legs bent, and focus on taking all the bumps in your knees and legs.

This might take a while to get used to, but no matter how many wipeouts you have, you will get your feet down eventually.  Every surfer has nosedived, and it is part of learning.  When you finally pop up, it’ll feel great.

How to read waves for surfing

Beach breaks

When waves break on the sand, this is a beach break.  Often sandbanks shift with currents, so the quality and shape of waves can change often.  These are generally awesome places for beginners to start.

Point breaks

Point breaks often form in the headlands and gives waves that either peel left or right and do not break towards the shore.  If waves are gentle, then point breaks are good for beginners, but be aware if there are any rocks or rip currents which are caused by the headland/

Reef breaks

A reef break is when waves break over a rock, which makes them one of the most dangerous places for surfing, and therefore a bad place for beginners to start surfing.  However, with big barreling waves, reef breaks are the most popular spots for competent surfers to surf.

Left handers and right handers

You will often hear surfers talk about left-handers and right-handers.  This refers to the direction that the wave is going, and is determined by looking towards the beach.  If a wave is breaking to the right, it is a right-hand wave, and if it breaks to the left… you got it, it is a left-hand wave.

surf shop

How can I quickly get better at surfing?

You’re not going to get better at surfing by hanging out at surf stores.  As with any new skill, the more that you practice surfing then the quicker you will be able to improve, so try and get out on the water as often as possible.  Observe the ocean and become familiarized with tides, currents and winds in your area.  Regular lessons will help you in improving your technique, but people who own a board and practice several times a week usually get better quicker than those who only stay in the surf stores!

How can I stay fit for surfing?

When you are not in water, there are plenty of exercises which you can do to stay fit.  Staying up on your board requires that you have strong legs and a great core, while upper body strength is vital if you want to be able to paddle.  Focus your workouts around these areas.

What do I need to buy from a surf shop?

Before you head to a surf shop, you must think about all the things that you need to buy before you get on the waves.  At a minimum, you need a board.  That’s all you need for surfing really, but it might be a good idea to also invest in some surf clothes and sunglasses, so you look the part and can keep the sun out of your eyes.

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