Hitting the Waves: Surfing Tips for Beginners

Many people have 'learning to surf' on their bucket list, but never really take the step to cross it out. Surfing is a perfect summer sport to enjoy the sun, ocean, clear skies. It's a sport that needs a lot of practice and patience to reach full potential. It's a great challenge to take on and test your abilities and determination. It may seem intimidating, and you might think you won't be good enough or will fail, but these are just things you need to shake off and dive headfirst into this exciting experience. We won't lie and say it's a piece of cake, but maybe these tips can motivate you to hit those waves.

The Right Equipment

Like any sport, equipment plays a huge role in how well you do with learning. The key piece in surfing is, of course, the surfing board. It makes all the difference in whether you catch waves or not, so you need to choose wisely. The perfect surfboard for beginners would be big to have enough volume and length to help you catch as many waves for practice. Soft-top boards are a must because you'll be doing a lot of sitting at first and you're bound to get hit by your board; a soft-top won't do much damage. Don't forget about the other surfing equipment including the leash, wax, and a good-quality wetsuit.

Pick The Perfect Spot

Location is everything, especially in surfing. It's widely known that beginners should start on a beach break since it's better to fall on sand rather than rocks or reefs. You should pick a spot where the waves slowly break over to reach the waist or chest level. Remember to always research the spot you end up choosing to check the wave conditions that change on a daily basis. You need to consider the wind, tide, swell, bottom, and currents. The location will determine how your learning experience for the day is going to be like.

Get A Good Teacher

It may look easy from afar, but surfing is actually a very complex sport that just cannot be self-taught. No amount of videos or handbooks can prepare you for the ocean, and you don't want to learn the wrong things then start all over again. In California, where it is known to be one of the most popular surf spots in the world, there are surfers who specialize in giving classes. The wave experts over at https://www.santabarbarasurfschool.com/surf-lessons/ advise having private lessons, which is better if you want a strong foundation and the opportunity to have one on one attention to ensure steady progress. Having private classes will not only teach you the art of surfing but will also grow your passion for it. You can have private or group lessons depending on how you learn best.

Make Friends with the Water

Let's be real for a minute, you can't have a fear of water and decide to take up surfing. You need to make nice with the water, especially since there will be plenty of falling. That's right, you'll need to make peace with it and brace yourself from the get-go. Once you're comfortable in the water, however, you will learn how to fall or wipe out. Yes, there is actually a proper way to wipe out while surfing, and it's to fall on your back or side and never on your face to avoid nosedives. You should also separate from your board by jumping away from it so that it doesn't hit you. Your instructor will tell all about handling a fall like a pro.

Be Patient

Surfing is a sport that requires hard work and patience to be perfected. If you want to join the big dogs, you need to take your sweet time learning all the basic surfing techniques and riding as many waves as possible. Don't expect to jump straight into the water from day one though, your instructor will probably have you practicing on dry land first. You'll do some stretches, get acquainted with your board, learn how to paddle at the right speed, and practice your pop-up.

Learn Surfing Ethics

When you learn surfing, you won't just be introduced to a sport, but also a friendly community. Like most sports, surfing has its own unspoken rules and codes between those who hit the waves on the regular. For example, you should try to stay away from the experienced surfers when you're still learning because they're more advanced while you're prone to making mistakes. Another surfing code is to never 'steal' someone else's wave. Make sure you look around while paddling, if someone's closer to the peak, it's their wave. Your instructor will get you 'onboard' with the used lingo as well to feel more included.

Ultimately, remember you're doing this to learn something new and most importantly; to have fun! Many beginning surfers get into the sport for fun but lose sight of it in the process of learning. Try to focus and learn while still enjoying yourself, because if you're not, then it's just not worth it. Once you ride your first wave, it feels indescribable and the rush will have you hooked for life.

3 min read

Please Don't Forget to Say Thank You

"More grapes, please," my daughter asked, as she continued to color her Peppa Pig drawing at the kitchen table.

"What do you say?" I asked her, as I was about to hand her the bowl.

"More grapes?"

I shook my head.


I stood there.

"I want green grapes instead of red grapes?"

I shook my head again. I handed her the bowl of green grapes. "Thank you. Please don't forget to say thank you."

"Thank you, Momma!"

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children?

Many of us are busy training our young children on manners on the other side of the Zoom camera during this pandemic. Reminding them to say please, excuse me, I tried it and it's not my favorite, I am sorry, and thank you. And yet somehow simple manners continue to be undervalued and underappreciated in our workplaces. Because who has time to say thank you?

"Call me. This needs to be completed in the next hour."

"They didn't like the deck. Needs to be redone."

"When are you planning on sending the proposal?"

"Did you see the questions he asked? Where are the responses?"

"Needs to be done by Monday."

Let me take a look. I didn't see a please. No please. Let me re-read it again. Nope, no thank you either. Sure, I'll get to that right away. Oh yes, you're welcome.

Organizations are under enormous pressure in this pandemic. Therefore, leaders are under enormous pressure. Business models collapsing, budget cuts, layoffs, or scrapping plans… Companies are trying to pivot as quickly as possible—afraid of extinction. With employees and leaders everywhere teaching and parenting at home, taking care of elderly parents, or maybe even living alone with little social interaction, more and more of us are dealing with all forms of grief, including losing loved ones to COVID-19.

So we could argue we just don't have time to say thank you; we don't have time to express gratitude. There's too much happening in the world to be grateful for anything. We are all living day to day, the pendulum for us swinging between surviving and thriving. But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

If you don't think you have to say thank you; if you don't think they deserve a thank you (it's their job, it's what they get paid to do); or if you think, "Why should I say thank you, no one ever thanks me for anything?" It's time to remember that while we might be living through one of the worst recessions of our lifetimes, the market will turn again. Jobs will open up, and those who don't feel recognized or valued will be the first to go. Those who don't feel appreciated and respected will make the easy decision to work for leaders who show gratitude.

But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?

Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children? Remind them with flashcards? Bribe them with a cookie? Tell them how I proud I am of them when they say those two magical words?

Showing gratitude isn't that difficult. You can send a thoughtful email or a text, send a handwritten card, send something small as a gesture of thank you, or just tell them. Call them and tell them how thankful you are for them and for their contributions. Just say thank you.

A coworker recently mailed me a thank you card, saying how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone from work has sent me during this pandemic. It was another reminder for me of how much we underestimate the power of a thank you card.

Apparently, quarantine gratitude journals are all the rage right now. So it's great if you have a beautiful, leather-bound gratitude journal. You can write down all of the people and the things that you are thankful for in your life. Apparently, it helps you sleep better, helps you stay grounded, and makes you in general happier. Just don't forget to take a moment to stop writing in that journal, and to show thanks and gratitude to those you are working with every single day.