The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Surfing

Generally, the surfing community tends to be very inclusive and would rather shun newcomers than welcome them and teach them how to surf; still, notwithstanding, if you can break on through into the surfing community you will find that it can be a lot of fun, and very dangerous. The reason that surfers meet new surfers with such contempt is because new surfers wildly jerking around on a surfboard is very hazardous, for them and everybody else sharing the waves with them. If you can learn how to surf without hurting yourself or anybody else, then you will find that it is a lot of fun.

Once you have broken through into the surfing community, you will find an abundance of friends who want nothing more than to catch a wave with you. But first, you need to learn how to surf, right? So here is the ultimate guide to surfing for beginners!

Find the Perfect Board

The first thing any budding surfer wants to do is find the perfect board; the board needs volume and stability. There are some things you should take into consideration when looking for a perfect surfboard for you: your skill level, fitness level, and height, these are all things that can have a detrimental impact on your surfing if you shop for the wrong board. For your first board, you will want a six-or-seven-foot board for stability. Six-or-seven-foot boards enable you to be able to both paddle out to the waves and ride the waves for the first time. When you are searching for a good quality online rip curl outlet, make sure you shop comparatively. The quality of your board is very important. When you are riding a wave for the first time, you do not want to be risking your life by taking a low-quality and mass-produced board out.

You should make sure that your first board is, while not necessarily expensive, well-constructed. Falling off of your board on a huge wave can mean serious injury, or worse, death. Make sure you look for a board that is well-reviewed and is designed for beginners or intermediaries, as getting a board for professionals will only hinder your progress and prevent you from achieving and finding success in surfing. Your board is everything, and should be an extension of your legs, so do not cheap out!

Get the Gear

The surfboard is not the only thing you will need to make sure that you get, rather there is a whole list of things you need to become a pro-surfer! You will want to make sure that you get a leash the length of your entire board and hook it to the ankle you will have positioned at the back of the board during your riding stance, you will need a good-quality thermal swimsuit that will be nice and tight, but not too restrictive, with a rash guard to prevent your skin from burning up or chafing. You will also need wax to prevent you from slipping off of your board.

Catch a Wave

Before you hit the beach and catch a wave, make sure you do some practice at home, or even on the dunes at the beach, practice pushing yourself up and out of the water, and then practice quickly jumping onto your feet and getting into your riding stance. Once you have practiced these fundamentals, it's time you got started. Paddle out into the water, and when you see a wave that you want to ride, approach it by paddling towards it with your board facing toward the beach, it is important here that the nose of your board is not underwater, but rather just sitting on the surface.

As the wave hits you will get your board's momentum going, and then, as the wave draws in, check where it is, and as you feel yourself speeding up and the wave pushing you with a gust of energy, stand up, as you stand, try to stand in one fluid motion so you do not stumble. Bend your knees and hold your arms out like a bird, and there it is, you are a surfer!

Surfing has never been this easy! You can find surfing to be a very rewarding sport, and as you get better you can go for shorter boards and ditch the longboard, but for a beginner, you will want to make sure you ride a longboard to keep you and everybody else safe.

Surfing can, however, be very dangerous. When you are surfing you must keep your wits about you and check out your surroundings so no accidents happen and so you keep everybody else safe, and yourself safe, so everyone can have a good day riding the waves!

3 Min Read

7 Must-have Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit for the Unpredictable COVID Future

With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.

When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.

Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan

Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.

Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.

The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.

Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits

The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.

With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.

Tip 3: Start slow and strong

If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.

Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.

Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize

In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.

When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.

Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness

From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.

Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.

Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.

A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.

Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition

In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.

If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health

While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.

For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.

While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.