Are you a beginner surfer ? Learning to surf requires a minimum of dedication and motivation, and above all, a lot of practice for this sport !
Safety rules, surfing techniques and weather forecasts: find out how to start surfing well, so you can progress quickly and have fun on your new surfboard !
Safety rules for a good start in surfing
Only one surfer per wave
This is one of the basic safety rules: only one surfer takes the wave to avoid collisions with others and injuries. The world in the water is more and more frequent so the rules are more and more important for the safety of all.
The priority surfer ? The one who is already on the wave! If not yet on the wave? The one who is the most inside! How do you know who is the most inside? It is the one who is closest to the foam! How to know who is the closest to the foam? Your eyes will tell you…
Avoid the surfers who are on a wave
Priority is given to the person riding the wave. Move out of the way so you don’t force him to do a giant slalom. If possible, go around the breaker zone when you get back to the “peak” (the place where the waves start to break). If not, too bad. You will get your nose blocked by the foam…
Because that’s what you have to do. Yes, if you find yourself in the path of a surfer and your only option is to go towards the foam and get shaken, do it.
Do not surf in swimming areas
It happens every summer that surfers collide with swimmers. That’s why blue flags mark the swimming areas in France. It is forbidden to surf inside this zone for the safety of the bathers who are there. A fine awaits the potential reckless who would like to venture there.
It is true that many supervised beaches suffer from the syndrome of the perfect peak in the swimming zone, and it itches…
Don’t fight the current
Fighting against the current is a useless waste of energy! If you feel yourself being carried away, let the current carry you and once you are out of the difficult zone, return quietly to the edge of the beach, it is often only a matter of a few meters.
When and where to go surfing ?
The beginning of surfing is often accompanied by another initiation: that of recognizing the hieroglyphs describing the weather conditions at sea. To anticipate, it is important to know how to read the surfing forecasts published on specialized websites like Yadusurf.com or Surfreport. And to master some notions, such as :
- The swell : it defines the size of the waves. To begin with, stick to waves smaller than 1 m;
- The wind : too much wind prevents the good formation of waves. But the off-shore wind (from the land to the ocean) is excellent for surfing, because it digs and smoothes the waves. On-shore wind, on the other hand, is a wind that comes from the ocean. It flattens the waves and forms a chop that is quite unpleasant for surfing. A light wind gives rather favorable conditions. As a general rule, too much wind is never good for surfing. Offshore it will stick you at the top of the wave, onshore the water will be too rough…
- The tide : generally, a rising tide brings better conditions for surfing. But there is no fixed rule in this matter: ask the local surfers to know how the spot works. If not, check out the websites that describe the spots or look at guides such as stormrider.
- The period : an essential information and often unknown to the beginner surfer ! The period defines the time between 2 wave crests and also the power of the wave. A small period will make that with equal swell size, the series will be less big and the waves less powerful on the other hand the waiting time will be shorter. A big period will give long series to wait but more powerful. The ideal period is around 10 seconds.
- The season : fall and spring are the best seasons to surf in France. There is more swell and wind more often off-shore. In summer, there is much less swell: you can spend a week without waves.
To be sure of good weather conditions, take a look at the webcams before you go to the spot! To find them, type the name of the town or spot plus “HD webcam” in a search engine.