LEARN TO SURF AT 50

learning to surf at an older age

 LEARN TO SURF AT THE AGE OF 50?

If you are over 50 and considering learning to surf, you might be concerned that you’re too late to the game.

The fact that you will struggle to master the necessary skills, that you will appear foolish, and that all of the other younger, fitter surfers would laugh at your inexperience and slowness and ignore you, are all reasonable concerns.

This, however, is not the case.

surfing green waves

LEARNING TO SURF AT AN ‘OLDER’ AGE

Is it possible to learn to surf at the age of 50? Or Older?
Yes, as long as you have a reasonable level of physical fitness and flexibility. Learning to surf is primarily a matter of persistence, so if you’re ready to keep trying, you can learn to surf at that age.

Consider signing up for a beginner’s surf lesson, getting in shape, improving your swimming skills, selecting the perfect surfboard, and avoiding comparing yourself to others if you’re over 50 and want to learn to surf. You’ll be out there enjoying those waves before you know it!

Surfing has no age restrictions, and it’s never too late to start (even if you’re past 50!)

SURFING IS  A GREAT WAY TO:

  • Keep in shape,
  • Improve your mood,
  • Push yourself,
  • Feel younger for longer.
  • Meet new people

This comprehensive guide will help you learn to surf at 50. It has been compiled to answer your questions and provide support along the process. I’ll go over some of the advantages of this enjoyable outdoor activity and provide a step-by-step tutorial to get you started.

Tips on how to learn to surf aged  50 years or older.

learn to surf at 50

1. WORK ON YOUR FITNESS

Surfing is physically hard at any age, but especially so as you become older.

You’ll need to use your entire body to manage your weight as you paddle out, pop up on your board, and ride those waves. You’ll also be out for extended periods, so you’ll need plenty of stamina to be safe.

As a result, you should begin by increasing your physical activity and improving your fitness. The more physically fit you are, the easier it will be to learn to surf.

To be clear, you don’t need to be in marathon shape when you’re initially learning, but every little bit helps. Here are some suggestions:

Improve your cardiovascular fitness. Take long walks, begin running, ride your bike, or even run around with your children.

Put a premium on functional strength. If you want to keep control, you’ll need good core strength and good arm power for paddling.

Keep in mind to stretch. Stretching, flexibility, and balance should be part of your daily routine to avoid injury and improve your surfing skills.

Most of these surfing workouts may be done from the convenience of your own home. Simply go to YouTube, and you’ll find a plethora of online workouts that will help you get in shape quickly.
Read this article on surf fitness to get started.

2. TAKE SURF LESSON

While you can certainly teach yourself to surf, it’s so much easier and progress a lot quicker when you use the help of a local surf school or surf camp.

For beginners aged 50 and up, these can be invaluable because they give you confidence in your developing talents while also assisting you in improving your technique. You’ll also learn the proper surf ethics and gain a deeper understanding of the water.

SURFING AT AN OLDER AGE

3. IMPROVE YOUR SWIMMING ABILITIES.

If you don’t know how to swim, turn off your computer right now and enrol in some swimming classes. Seriously! If you’re not a great swimmer, there’s no way you’ll be able to stay safe in the ocean.

It is essential to keep in mind that the water is a massive force.

Because waves and currents can be powerful, and sea conditions can change in the blink of an eye, putting you in danger, knowing how to swim is essential. You must be capable enough to look after yourself and get to safety.

Because you’ll be starting in relatively shallow water, you don’t need to be a particularly great swimmer to begin. It is, nevertheless, necessary if you wish to proceed beyond the beginning stage.

Swimming in the ocean as much as possible will help you become a better swimmer. This will provide more authentic conditions than simply going to your local pool, and it will give you more confidence in ‘wild swimming.’

learn to surf at an older age

4. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE BOARD FOR LEARNING TO SURF

When you first begin, make sure you select the appropriate surfboard for a beginner like yourself.

Look for longer, thicker, and wider boards because they provide the most stability and make learning easier. Surfing beyond 40 or 50 is best learned on larger boards like 9 feet + beginner soft top surfboards. More info on beginner surfboards is detailed in this article. 

Avoid smaller boards as much as possible; they are more difficult to manage and can lower your confidence when you first begin. Your local surf shop can assist you in determining the suitable size and shape of a surfboard for your needs and abilities.

5. DON’T MAKE COMPARISONS TO OTHER PEOPLE

I know it is easy to say so rather than act, but you must avoid comparing your surfing abilities to others.

So, what if you’re in a group surf session and someone in your class can show there in 5 minutes, but you’re still having trouble an hour later? Maybe he or she has already learned to surf and is just brushing up on their skills. Perhaps they’re naturally sporty, whereas you’ve spent the last few years lazing on the couch.

Everyone is on their own individual path.

If you want to feel proud of yourself instead of comparing yourself to others, remember that you came up and took the risk of learning to surf at a time when many others would not.

Concentrate on your own game, be proud of your drive and dedication, and work hard to reap the rewards.

If you haven’t already, take benefit of the opportunity to learn to surf. You’ll notice a variety of mental and physical health benefits as soon as you begin.

What are the advantages of learning to surf at the age of 50+?

Learning to surf will change your life for the better, especially if you are over 50 years old. Check out below a few of the reasons behind this:

1. Surfing is a terrific way to stay in shape while having a good time and no more sweating it out for hours on machines in a dark, dingy gym! You’ll be outside, feeling the rush, inhaling in the fresh air while also getting in shape. Awesome.

2. Surfing is a fantastic cardio workout. All of that paddling, popping up, and riding will get your blood pumping, your heart pumping, and your body in terrific form.

surfing holiday

3. Surfing is a fantastic chance to meet new people. When you’re over 50, it’s more difficult to expand your social group. On the other hand, Surfing makes you part of a close-knit group that will keep an eye on you and is there for you when you need it.

4. Surfing aids in the prevention of aches and pains. You will become stronger overall, your joints will become less achy, and you will become more flexible if you engage in regular exercise such as surfing. If you have to sit at your desk all day or have been groaning as you stand up recently, this is the perfect remedy!

5. Surfing is excellent for improving your coordination. When you learn to surf, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your motor skills. If you participate in other sports, this will pay off handsomely and help you age more gracefully.

6. Surfing is a fantastic way to improve your mood. All of that natural daylight exposure, fresh air, exercise, and community spirit will get your endorphins flowing, raise your mood, and, according to some studies, may even help to alleviate your depression and stress.

Don’t let your age stop you from learning to surf. The average age of clients at Swell on a learn to surf holiday is 38. This means we get plenty of people in their 50’s and 60’s that join us.

Want an example:

Clare, one of the owners of Swell Surf Camp was never very interested in learning to surf, then at 52 decided it was time to get in the water and learn surfing. Now she goes for a surf with her surf friends whenever she has a chance. This is Clare 3 years after  her first surf sessions, aged 56 (see the smile on her face)

So what are you waiting for? Sign up for surf lessons at your local surf beach, or join us in the warm and mellow waves of the Dominican Republic for a life-changing surf holiday

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s people the basics of surfing.

BOUTIQUE SURF HOLIDAYS IN THE CARIBEAN

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

 

dr learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding!

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CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES: POSITIONING IN SURFING

surfing unbroken waves

CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES:

POSITIONING IN SURFING

Learn how to discover, catch, and stay on unbroken “green” waves by positioning yourself correctly in the line-up.

surfing green waves

CATCH MORE WAVES BY SITTING IN THE RIGHT SPOT!

This article will provide you with a basic understanding of better position yourself to catch green waves. It covers the fundamentals of paddling into an unbroken wave and “sticking” on these “green waves” without nose-diving, passing over the wave, or becoming caught on top of it.

Keep in mind that this is one of the most difficult skills to master as a beginner surfer. Nothing can ever take the place of practice. The longer time you spend in the water and the more waves you attempt to catch, the better.

The theory presented in this article will supplement your practice and, in most cases, will speed up your progress and save you a lot of time and frustration.

CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES

Positioning & where to sit

How to locate and position yourself to catch a long green wave:
1. Recognize the various stages of a wave

stages of surfing waves

PHASE 1:  SWELL LINES
It is only a bump in the road. At this point, catching this wave is impossible. This lump is merely a forewarning that a wave is on its way.

PHASE 2: UNBROKEN WAVE
This is the place to look for a “green wave.” This waveform is great for paddling because it is unbroken and has the right strength and steepness. You can’t catch at phase 1  because it isn’t steep enough, and phase 3 is too vertical for you to take off. ( better surfers with shortboards can take off here)

PHASE 3: BREAKING WAVE
The peak of the wave has arrived. On the flat water, the lip is already beginning to crash down. The wave is too big and steep to catch at this point, especially for inexperienced surfers.

PHASE 4: WHITE WATER
The wave has broken and has turned into a whitewater wave.

Real-world example of the different phases of waves

where to surf

 

Prepare for a Green Wave by putting yourself in the right place.

Sit around 4 to 5 meters (15 feet) away from the majority of the waves.

Why?

The reason for this is that if you are waiting at a specific location where a large number of waves are breaking, the moment you turn around and paddle for a wave, you will either be catching a white water wave that has already broken, or you will be getting the wave crashing on top of you.

take off surfing

 

 

A good spot to take off, not too mellow / not too steep.

What is the status of the more experienced surfers? They probably know more about where to sit in line than you do.

This does not imply that you should sit next to them and wait for their waves. It’s merely a guide to help you figure out how far out you should paddle.
Where to sit is also variable on a couple of different aspects:

  • The paddle fitness of the surf (how fast can he/she paddle)
  • What kind of board the surfer is riding (longboards can catch ‘flatter’ waves more easily than shortboards.

Beginner surfers are frequently found sitting much further out from the wave than more experienced surfers. This doesn’t make much sense; either the waves aren’t breaking as far out that day, or they aren’t breaking at all.

In other words, if you see waves breaking a long distance away from where the expert surfers are sitting, this indicates that it is an “unusual” and larger set of waves (which you most likely do not want to catch as a beginner surfer!).

Look for lumps on the horizon. A “phase 1” wave that will transition into a “phase  2” wave roughly 3 to 5 meters behind you is what you’re searching for.
Choose a wave, turn around, and paddle for at least 8 hard strokes. You should paddle hard enough to keep up with the wave’s pace as it transitions from “Phase 1” to “phase 2.”

ADDITIONAL TIPS FOR CATCHING MORE WAVES IN SURFING

KEEP LOOKING
When paddling for a wave, look behind your shoulder. Taking a couple of glances behind you is the only way to determine whether you need to paddle more, paddle less, or even stop paddling for a short period, depending on the shape of the wave.

It also prevents you from “dropping in” on individuals (for further information on what this means, see “Surf Ethics”). If you glance behind you, you’ll be able to tell if the wave was too steep (phase 3), too weak (phase 1), or just right (phase 2), and hence why you failed or succeeded in catching an unbroken wave.

Many inexperienced surfers fail to look back at the wave and end up paddling incorrectly. They either get smashed by the wave or catch a white water wave. Without looking back and understanding what happened, you will never be able to learn from your mistakes.

surfing unbroken waves

A BIGGER BOARD MAKES A DIFFERENCE!
It will be easier to catch unbroken waves if you have a larger board.

PADDLE SPEED
Paddling fast enough to match the speed of a wave is the key to catching “green waves.” You will spring up and surf faster if you can “capture the momentum” of the wave. Green waves are easier to catch on big boards than on small boards because they paddle faster.

Because they move around a lot, better surfers catch more waves. If you notice a lump in the horizon, consider whether it is a larger wave that will break further out to sea or a smaller wave that will break closer to shore.

It will get easier to paddle around and position yourself to catch unbroken waves the more experience you gain in reading waves. The more proactive you are, the more likely you will be to catch waves. See “How to Read Waves” for additional information on wave reading.

Catch and “Stick” on a wave that isn’t broken.
White water waves differ from unbroken waves in the following ways:

The force of a whitewater wave pushes you forward. You might catch whitewater waves during your first sessions when you first start surfing. Because the momentum of the broken white water wave drives you forward, white water waves are very easy to catch.

Most whitewater waves may be caught without even paddling.

surfing green waves

Gravity is the force that creates an unbroken “Green” water wave. The first thing you need to know about catching and “sticking” on green waves is that the white water does not “push” you ahead. Gravity is the force that allows you to enter the wave. You must imagine yourself paddling down a moving “slope.”

How to “stick” to the unbroken wave without getting swept away?
Long, forceful, and deep strokes should be used when paddling. This is especially critical when catching waves that aren’t broken.

When paddling, you must give everything you have, especially when you feel your surfboard’s tail rise: this is a crucial moment to “Stick” on it.

The way you stand on your surfboard is crucial. As we saw in the How to Paddle on a surfboard article, excellent paddling technique is achieved through precise paddle strokes and optimal body placement on the surfboard.

When your chest is exactly centred on the width of the surfboard, and you are at the correct height, you are in the correct position on the surfboard. Place your body high enough on the board so that the nose is about 3-6 centimetres (1-2 inches) out of the water while keeping your head up (imagining a soccer ball between your chin and the surfboard).

surfing unbroken waves

Your head and upper shoulders are likely to weigh 45 pounds (20 kilograms) or more! Consider how much of a difference it makes when you drop your head and bring it closer to the surfboard when you’re pulled up on a wave. This allows you to catch, stick, and descend the “slope” that is moving forward.

Many kids become accustomed to being pushed into unbroken waves by their trainers, which is beneficial for practice. When you’re pushed, however, you don’t have to lower your head to put weight on the front of your surfboard. If you’re disappointed because it’s difficult to catch green waves without the help of a surf coach, remember that shifting your weight towards the surfboard is the key to catching unbroken waves on your own.

It would help if you popped up at around 2/3 of the height of the wave. Once you feel your tail lift and you believe you have gained enough speed to continue gliding with the wave, give two final paddle strokes, place your hands on the board beside your pectoral muscles, curve your back, and jump!

VIDEO OF CATCHING UNBROKEN WAVES

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

BOUTIQUE SURF RETREAT HOLIDAYS

The Caribbean: On the North Coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

 

dr learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding!

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GETTING FIT FOR A SURF HOLIDAY

surfing retreat

GETTING FIT FOR A SURF HOLIDAY

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR SURF HOLIDAY

learn surfing older age

SURF FITNESS


Surfing is an incredibly demanding sport for both body and mind. Not only are you pushing yourself physically, but you have to concentrate and focus on reading the ocean at all times to catch the best waves. That’s why being in the know about surf-specific fitness can make all the difference between getting out the back nice and easy, or getting a big set on your head, rag-dolling all the way back to shore. With this surf blog, we hope to give you the tips that bring you that little bit closer to being physically fit to ace your next surf session.

SURF FITNESS GUIDE


This guide is aimed towards beginner surfers, weekend warriors and those whose sessions are few and far between. When learning to surf, the first few times when you come out of the water after a surf, you might not even be able to get your suit off because your arms are jelly from all the paddling. Sheer exhaustion, we’ve all been there!

If you’re planning a surf holiday or surf camp stay this summer, this article gives you the tools to physically prepare for it. We’ll talk about the main muscles used in the different actions and movements of surfing and explain how to train and stretch them for better surfing performance.

Fitness The Basics: Paddle, Pop-Up, Body Position

There are three main stages in the process of catching a wave. First is the paddle, an explosive movement with the arms. Next is the pop-up, using the upper body to lift ourselves enough to bring the legs into our stance position. And finally, once we are on the wave we use our legs, core and upper body to stabilise and create momentum on the wave-face (pumping) and to perform maneuvers.
 
Which Muscles Do We Use When Surfing?

It’s pretty safe to say that you use most of the muscles in your body when you surf, some more than others and some in different ways. The main muscle group we use when paddling is the upper back ones. This provides us with the power needed to accelerate up to a similar speed of the wave itself. It is usually only a few strokes on each arm before popping up. In other words, it is a strength and power move, which we can train to its fullest potential. Our shoulders are also used in the rotary motion of the move but generally only start to burn after a long paddle out, so endurance is the main factor for this set of muscles. The triceps get a good workout with duck diving and with the pop-up, as do the chest muscles. Again, the pop up is an explosive move so we can train our muscles to perform this more effectively. And finally, when we’re up and riding on the wave face, we use the core (in all planes) and legs for stabilisation and movement. 

Training for surf fitness
Training to go on holiday… Really? Every season, we hear a few guests say something like: “I wish I came on this trip in better shape.”

The amount of preparation you want to do is up to you and depends on your current fitness level and your objectives for the surf retreat. We often have guests that really look forward to either progress their technique or surf 3 or 4 hours every day since they don’t have access to quality waves back home. Here are a few tips if you feel your fitness level could limit you on your next trip.

Surfing &/or Swimming
The best way to be physically ready for a surf trip is… to surf! Even though you run, ride a bike, go to the gym weekly, etc. You might not be training your body in the most effective way to prepare for a surf trip. A significant part of surfing is paddling. Even if the waves at home aren’t great, just getting out there for a paddle will train the muscles needed for paddling. Don’t have waves at home? See the paragraph below on swimming.

If you can’t surf at home, the second-best option is to go swimming at your local pool. In the last 4 to 6 weeks before your surf trip, try swimming at least twice per week. Don’t worry about your swimming speed. Try to find your rhythm and do laps for a total of 20 minutes or more if you can (stop between laps when needed). Very important: use the “freestyle” technique (also known as the “front crawl”).

Stretching &/or Yoga
Mobility is essential for surfing, for both performance and to limit the risk of injuries. Stretching poses that focus on your back, shoulders, arms, hamstrings and hips are often the most recommended. Guests over 40 often struggle with their pop-ups if their hips are too tight. Core strength is key for surfing and yoga can be a great way to build it, although it is not always for everyone.

The more you feel that you can move freely, the better. Especially for your hips (for pop-ups) and shoulders (for paddling).

Training & Cardio
Sit-ups, squats, burpees, push-ups… Those are basic exercises that will build core, shoulder, arm and leg strength and endurance. Training these muscles will help you catch more waves and surf for longer sessions. Every guest has their own fitness level and body type. You or a fitness coach that knows you personally will know what exercises you need to focus on most, how many sets, reps and rest suit you, etc. For cardio, you could consider going for a run or a bike ride.

According to the HHS, adults should aim to get 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity a week. If you do not reach these targets, it would be a good idea to try to start training at least 4 weeks before your trip. The more significant improvement in strength or endurance you are looking for, the more time you will need (sometimes 12 weeks or more are preferable).

More ideas for training on our Magazine:

Nutrition
Eating healthy is obviously important and complementary to exercising if you either want to feel energized, lose fat or build muscle before your trip.

It’s about finding balance…
Surfing is a sport that requires both a good amount of strength and mobility. For example when you paddle hard to catch a wave or when you push up to pop up, you need shoulder and arm strength. You also need fluidity to be able to slide your legs under your chest during pop up, when you twist your body during carves, etc. It’s a good idea to aim for balance. If, for example, you go to the gym often and feel that you are quite strong but not very flexible, focus on mobility exercises. If you think you are already quite flexible, focus on strength conditioning.

ABOUT SWELL


Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 39

Swell offer 2 exciting places for learn to surf holidays:

The Caribbean: On the North coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

Our luxury surf coaching holidays have taught 1000’s of people the sport of surfing in a safe, fun and quick way.

If you like this article about learning to surf after 40 you might also like the following articles.

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LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

Learning to surf after 40

LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

IS IT EVER TOO LATE TO START SURFING?

The title of this post reads ‘learning to surf after 40’ but could easily read ‘learning to surfer after 50, 60 and upward’

learn surfing older age

LEARNING TO SURF AT AN ‘OLDER’ AGE

‘Surfing? But you’re 42 years old’ – even if nobody actually says this, it’s something that plagues the mind when looking at activities synonymous with a younger crowd. If you think surfing is only suitable for young, athletic types, think again because plenty of people start in their 30s, 40s, and even beyond.

For us, we completely agree and believe you should be able to start surfing at any age if it’s what you really want to do. Who cares about the number tied to your name? If you feel as though you can do it, why not give it a go? Even if you aren’t quite as flexible as you were many years ago, this shouldn’t ever stop you from enjoying the ocean and reaping the many health benefits surfing can bring.

Today, we want to provide anyone interested with an introduction to surfing and why you can start at any age. As a sport with no physical contact, unlike football and rugby, it’s actually suited towards those who want to prevent impact injuries. What’s more, you can enjoy plenty of health benefits while getting to know new people. Even after this, there’s something to be said for surfing’s impact on the brain. With surfing, you’ll be physically active and your mind will also get a workout as you try to navigate the waves that seem determined to knock you over.

LEARNING TO SURF AFTER 40

Of course, we wouldn’t be talking about surfing at all if it wasn’t fun and this is something else to consider. Sure, you might get knocked over once or twice but it’s all in the name of fun (right?).

PHYSICAL BENEFITS OF SURFING IN YOUR 40S, 50S, AND OLDER

Ever woken up on a Sunday morning and tried to find things to do to avoid the gym? Even the washing and ironing are better options for some. If so, you aren’t alone because continually doing the same things in the gym can get rather boring. Thankfully, surfing still offers a cardiovascular workout but every single session will be a thrill and it’ll be different to the last. Also, you’ll get a sense of achievement as your skill increases.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the physical benefits of surfing;


SHOULDER/BACK STRENGTH

We’re going to start with one that perhaps isn’t so obvious, and it’s the improvement you’ll see to your back and shoulder strength. If you ask several retirees the most annoying thing about getting older, many will tell you about their back and shoulder problems. Unfortunately, this can have a huge impact on even everyday tasks such as putting the washing out on the line or trying to sit comfortably to read a book.

As you learn to surfer after 40, your arms will always be in use as you attempt to balance, paddle, and the inevitable climbing back onto the board (unless you’re an instant pro!). Even when sitting or lying on the board, you’ll be rotating your arms and the shoulder joint will get a good workout. As your arms go through their full range of motion, this is great news for the shoulders, elbows, and even the spine.

For many, they enjoy increased mobility in their upper body and it generally fights off the stiffness that comes with age. Let’s face it, we’ve all made those grunting noises while attempting to stand up after a long time sitting (we won’t tell anyone!).

CARDIO WORKOUT

Not only is heart disease the leading cause of death in the UK, according to the government website, it causes nearly twice as many deaths as dementia; dementia is the second leading cause of death. While deaths from heart disease and stroke have certainly decreased in recent years, it’s still too high for our liking and surfing is the perfect opportunity to stay active and reduce your chances of struggling with this health issue. Regardless of which form of surfing you choose (duck diving, paddling, or standing), you’ll be moving constantly and this level of activity can only be beneficial for your health.

As your heart rate increases and the different muscles receive blood and oxygen, your cardiovascular system welcomes the activity and this offers various benefits in everyday life. For example, you won’t have any trouble breathing and strenuous activity becomes much easier. Suddenly, you’ll have the energy to take the stairs at work rather than the lift (unless you’re on the 33rd floor, of course!).

INCREASED FLEXIBILITY THROUGH SURFING

Before we move onto the psychological benefits of surfing, we want to talk about flexibility because certain parts of your body will always be stretching and twisting while on the board. Suddenly, muscles and joints you didn’t even know existed will be activated and we mustn’t forget the range of motion your joints will experience as the sheer power of the waves hit the board. With all this stretching, it’ll be like a more dramatic form of yoga and you should experience fewer aches and pains in life.


Benefits of surfing

CORE AND LEG STRENGHT IMPROVEMENT FROM SURFING

Something that often goes forgotten with surfing is the work it does with your core; all that effort to stay balanced keeps the core engaged and this is something you’ll certainly feel the morning after your first session. Just as we saw in the cardiovascular section, this is something you might not notice but will definitely improve your life. Whether you’re lifting boxes, standing after long periods of sitting down, or using the upper torso in any way, you’re going to see a boost after surfing.

For those who work in an office and stare at a computer all day, surfing can also help with your posture; you might find yourself slouching less while at the desk. In truth, surfing reflects many of the normal movements we put our bodies through on a daily basis (although it might not seem like it at first).

For example, after first paddling out to a wave, you’ll need to activate the muscles in the legs and core to jump to your feet. In every single lesson, you’ll jump to your feet several times. If you can do it on a surfboard in the sea, you can definitely do it getting out of bed or getting off the sofa with ease. Over time, the difference in your leg and core strength will be noticeable and this is another great benefit of choosing surfing (they’re starting to add up, right?).

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS OF SURFING IN YOUR 30S, 40S, AND OLDER

Hopefully, we’ve been able to persuade you to book up that first surfing lesson on the physical benefits alone. If not, how about we tell you of the brilliant mental benefits of surfing?

COORDINATION AND CONCENTRATION

Without both coordination and concentration, you won’t be able to stand up on the board for longer than five seconds so these will both be improved over time. Of course, these are two transferable skills so there’s no reason why your coordination and concentration don’t also improve at home, at work, and while playing any other sports. For example, you might notice that you’re able to sit at a desk for a longer period of time or be more successful in your local pool league.

SURFING GIVES A BOOST TO YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Firstly, all exercise has now been scientifically proven to release endorphins (chemicals in the brain) which improve mood and overall wellbeing. For those who suffer with depression and/or anxiety, many doctors are now starting to recommend exercise for this very reason. This, coupled with the fact you’ll be outside breathing in the fresh sea air, may allow you to adopt a new positive mindset in life.


surfing mental health

DETERMINATION, PERSEVERANCE, AND GRATIFICATION

We must provide a warning at this stage because surfing will require patience, it will require perseverance, and a significant percentage of people do stop attending after just one lesson. However, we urge you to fight through the learning stage. Yes, you might find yourself getting frustrated and you might wonder where the fun starts for a while. But, as you improve, and overcome the mental barrier that stops many, you’ll have one of the most gratifying experiences of your life.

Eventually, all your hard work will pay off and you won’t believe that you nearly gave it all up. From struggling to jump to your feet to being able to stand up confidently for extended periods, you can prove to yourself that all goals in life are achievable. Even when the goal seemed impossible just a short while ago, the hard work and time you invest will always be rewarded.

Soon enough, you’ll enjoy all the physical and psychological benefits we’ve discussed and you may even be able to bring friends and family along to watch you shine. As we’ve seen before, these are transferable skills because you’ll be more likely to take this determination and perseverance into your personal life and career.

RELIEF FROM STRESS

Finally, you don’t have to become a master of surfing to enjoy the stress relief it can offer. If you want to push your body to its limit and really test yourself, this is possible. If you want to have a relaxing pastime and enjoy being in the water, this is equally fine. While some choose to navigate every wave and they feel disappointed after a poor lesson, others are just happy to be out in the water sitting on the board and looking out over the stunning horizon.

When it comes to surfing, the surfboard and the water are the two essentials. From here, you can do whatever makes you happy. Soon enough, you’ll be wondering where all that stress from work has gone and this for us makes for a successful hobby.


learn to surf at 50

START SURFING TODAY!

As well as the physical and psychological benefits of surfing and the way it allows for a healthy lifestyle, you can also meet new people and forget about the stresses of life for a couple of hours. To finish our guide, we want to provide a few considerations before booking your first surf lesson!

Your height and weight aren’t important because there are various shapes and sizes of boards.

  • Don’t worry about your fitness levels right now because your stamina will improve over time.
  • Surfboards can even be custom-made, if necessary.
  • You should NEVER feel as though you’re too old to start surfing.

Don’t live life according to other people’s expectations or rules, make your own rules (perhaps not on the road, but you get the idea!). If you feel you’ll enjoy surfing and you like the sound of the many benefits we’ve discussed here today, we have three words for you; GO FOR IT!

ABOUT SWELL


Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 39

Swell offer 2 exciting places for learn to surf holidays:

The Caribbean: On the North coast of the Dominican Republic

surf hotel

In Indonesia: Bali is where you will find Swell Bali Surf Retreat.

swell bali Surf Retreat

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

SWELL SURF CAMP GALLERY


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Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

Our luxury surf coaching holidays have taught 1000’s of people the sport of surfing in a safe, fun and quick way.

If you like this article about learning to surf after 40 you might also like the following articles.

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WHAT SURFING DOES TO YOUR HEALTH

WHY SURFING (AND LEARNING TO SURF) IS ONE OF THE BEST CHOICES FOR A HEALTHY & HAPPY LIFE.

SURF HEALTH

The great thing about surfing is that it’s approachable for people of all ages and all walks of life. Surfing is awesome and a life-changing activity that only requires courage to fly in the ocean. The best part about surfing is that it changes the entire lifestyle by adding thrill and adventure. Below, we highlight certain aspects to show why surfing is the best way to stay in shape.

SURF HEALTH

ALL IN ONE WORKOUT

At first, it’s obvious that surfing is a full-body workout. Your every move on the water requires a combination of physical strength, stamina, and cardio. But don’t worry if you are weak at one thing: it’s not a prior requirement to get started. The only thing that it requires is the energy and motivation inside your heart to glide along the ocean waves.

There is not any specific level of skill and experience to start surfing. Going from paddling to popping up on your surfboard will cardiovascular and upper body strength, and keeping yourself stable on the board will work your legs and core. By following these steps, you are utilizing the entire body while having the time of your life.

Besides physical fitness and impressive anaerobic effects, this sport also brings strength in some other life aspects:

STRESS RELIEF

Spending time with nature, enjoying precious moments, and bringing physical strength to use, combinedly to help to reduce strength and anxiety levels. Regular surfing makes you feel similar to morphine. It can produce an ecstatic feel and an optimistic stance on life.

IMPROVED SLEEP

It’s a well-known fact that exercise decreases sleep complaints, especially sleep disorders, and their effects are pretty much similar to sleeping pills. After paddling for a few hours and riding on the water swells, your body is ready for a healing slumber.

INCREASED VITAMIN D

Exposure to the sun along with a healthy workout causes the increased production of Vitamin D inside your body that helps in calcium absorption, improved body structure, and regulation of body functions.

MIND FULLNESS

Surfing helps you in developing your focus by putting everything else aside. Your concentration is on your body language to keep yourself on the board, merge your heartbeat with the surf, and fly in the ocean.

surf balance

BUILDING BALANCE:

Exercising balance in every sphere of life is key to success. Surfing well requires maintaining balance on the board and keep enjoying a healthy and vigorous ride. Your balanced coordination on the board prevents you from serious injuries. Surfing requires a good balance, and keep practising the sport helps you in developing the skill.

 

Regular surfing strengthens your every day’s fitness and helps you in protecting against common age-related somatic issues like arthritis, tendonitis, and many more.

Many surfers also refer to practice some other exercises, such as pilates and yoga, to improve their core strength, flexibility, and balance and enhance their surfing abilities.

“Core” itself points out the vitality of muscles, including posture to upper-back and lower-back strength.

THE POWER OF PASSION

Perhaps the most impactful benefit of surfing lies in the connection you make to the sport. Your dedication to the sport can give a boost to your overall physical health.

Once a surfer starts feeling less like hard work, the training becomes a piece of enjoyment. Once you are passionate and ambitious for the sport, you try to work out regularly to stay in shape and keep training to become even better.

Connecting to an activity that provides you with a source of enjoyment, along with the workout, makes you feel easier than regular exercise at the gym. A study published in Marketing Letters highlighted that enjoying such activity brings more comfort and relaxation to you.

The reason behind this is that the part of fun diverts your attention from the required effort.

Moreover, it also reduces the tendency to overeat or have extra calories after the training session.

A LIFETIME OF FITNESS

It is not a one-time activity to put yourself in shape. If you are passionate and ambitious about something, you carry it throughout your life and put all your efforts to maintain it. Especially, physical fitness is an ongoing practice that prolongs your shape and strength. Besides physical health, engaging in activity like surfing can also bring a more peaceful mind to you as well.

Even if you don’t surf regularly, the time you spent on the waves has long-lasting effects.

If you feel bored with your workout routine and ready to switch it with a healthy activity?

Surfing might be the best alternative, and one of your favourite hobbies as well.

BALANCE

Balance is a key to surf on the waves. Once you lost your balance, the whole drama is over, and it might cause an injury to you. The best way to learn about balancing is riding as much as you can.

However, mostly the rides aren’t enough long to get yourself trained because all water swells don’t convert into a wave. Performing lunges and squats can strengthen the glutes and leg muscles, which ultimately helps you to maintain your balance on the board.

If you don’t have a balance board, you can achieve it by closing your eyes and standing at one leg for up to 30 seconds and repeating it again and again. Like other skills, it requires your patience and consistency, so don’t lose it.

DIGITAL DETOX
Another great health benefit of surfing is that (at least for now) it also means you are completely disconnected from digital distractions like phones, computers, TV and social media. When you are out in the water it’s just you, your fellow surfers and the elements for you to enjoy.
At times I have gone out for a 2-hour surf session, barely caught any waves, and still come back feeling happy and fulfilled. Enjoyed a sunrise view, did my paddle exercise and had no distractions on my mind.

surf excersise

SURF FITNESS EXCERSIZES

MAXIMIZE YOUR SURF HEALTH

The following are great examples for people that want to get surf fit before their holiday or to keep doing at home, theses exercises will greatly improve your surf sessions.

CORE: SIDE PLANK WITH REACH THROUGH

surf fitnessThe strength of core muscles is responsible to stabilize your torso to help you in balancing, paddling, and rotation through turns.

The side plank can easily strengthen the layers of your obliques, complying with the rotational component. Lay down on your side, bend your knees, and prop up your upper body on your elbow.

 

Raise off your hips by holding for 8-10 seconds, give a rest for 10 seconds, and do 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps at each side.

LEG STRENGTH: SINGLE LEG SQUATS
surfers healthStronger legs help you in maintaining balance and staying on board for a long time. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, single-leg squats will help you in developing the core and leg strength to paddle at your best and keep enjoying for a long time.

Stand on one foot and lift the other one about 5-7 inches off the ground. Align the knee of the standing foot with the middle toe, lowering down by bending your knee at 45 degrees. You should keep your back straight and head aligned with the shoulders.

Hold for 3-5 seconds in the lowest position and do 3 sets of 5-7 reps on each leg. With time and practice, you can increase the depth of the squats to make it challenging.

 

PRE-SURF WARM-UP: DEEP SQUAT WITH OVERHEAD REACH
surf warm upBefore you start surfing, you need a quick warm-up to give relaxation to your hips and shoulders and set them ready for paddling.

For this purpose, put your feet apart a little wider than the shoulder width. You can slightly turn out your toes to release the tension.

Keep your gaze forward and your torso straight, squat down and touch the ground with both hands for a while, then stand back up. Now, circle your arms and raise them towards the sky.

Repeat this 10-15 times to warm up yourself for the paddling.

SURF PADDLE FITNESS

A surf session is more paddling than surfing on the waves with a ratio of 95% to 5% . If you have not trained your paddling muscles, then your session will be quite short. You can strengthen your paddling muscles with a simple pool workout. This will considerably add to your strength and power.

WARM-UP:
Spend 5-7 minutes on mixed strokes swimming, such as freestyle stroke, butterfly stroke, breaststroke, backstroke, and sidestroke.

MAIN SET:
2 x 100 yards at an energetic pace with ease and comfort.
3 x 50 yards at a relatively faster pace than the previous one, following with the set of 10 pushups after every 50-yards.
4 x 50 yards at your maximum power.

Relax for 2 minutes after every set, and rest for 15-20 seconds after every round.

BREATH CONTROL

Add some underwater swimming, 3-5 sets. Also, consider swimming at a high pace with all your power for at least one round. When getting near the wall, turn quickly and hold your breath under the water as long as you can. This is the perfect simulation for paddling and duck diving.

Besides breath control, it also mentally prepares for such a situation where someone needs to stay underwater.

To make sure your safety, try to practice it with your friend or a person around. The more important is that you remain calm and relaxed, especially when you need air at the peak.

To sum it up, we think learning to surf is one of the best long terms investments you can make for your mental as well as physical health. The fact that it is great fun and it gives you an incentive to travel to exotic place around the world to surf is an added bonus.

Interested in learning to surf in the warm Caribbean waters of the Dominican Republic? At Swell we offer week-long Learn to Surf & Yoga holidays for adults.

Send us a message today, we guarantee to get you up and riding.

Sunrise at our local surf beach

 

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SURFBOARDS FOR BEGINNERS

surfboards for beginners

BEST SURFBOARDS FOR BEGINNERS

HOW TO PICK A SUITABLE BEGINNER SURF BOARD

Now that you’ve had your first surfing lessons and have decided to continue your surfing career, how do you go about buying your first surfboard? How do you decide on what to buy?

You might get objective advice from some staff at the surf shop, but there are those who’re ready to sell anything to you, just to get their commission… or you might end up with a salesperson that knows next to nothing about surfing.

Our best surfboards for beginners recommendations in this article will be determined by certain factors – where you surf, how often you surf, and if & how often you travel for surfing.

VOLUME & BEGINNER SURFBOARDS

Volume is the most important factor when choosing surfboard for a beginner. A board with lots of volume will float better which makes it easier for learners to get to their feet and catch the waves.

Surfboard Volume
Different surfboards & their volume

A lot of people make this mistake when purchasing their first surfboard. Minimals, foam boards and longboards come with lots of volume, Shortboards and any surfboard under 6’6”, not so much.

Volume is usually measured in litres. We think a great beginner surfboard should have at least 60 litres of volume – and even better if there’s more. A minimal longboard surfboard could have between 65-80 litres or more volume. Now let’s compare it to one of those performance shortboard used by surf professionals… which might have about 6’1 x 18 ¼ inch shortboards. Its volume should be about 25 litres. If you want to enjoy a board as small as that, you’ll need a lot of surfing technique and the right waves.

Something we see on a regular basis here at Swell is from people with Snowboard experience, they assume that because they are good snowboarders: learning to surf will be easy and quick for them too. As a result, they want to skip the phase of learning on a bigger board. This will not speed up your surfing learning curve: in fact, it will do the opposite. You have to learn the basics: Paddle technique – catching waves – Riding the white water; All these things are best done on surfboard with more than 60 litres of volume.

MORE WAVES = MORE PROGRES = MORE FUN

Another common mistake is that after dealing with a big longboard in the water for a few days and seeing experienced surfers on their short boards, is to ‘blame’ their slow progress on the longboard. Yes, a long beginners board is not easy to turn, duck dive or handle in white water. In the beginning of your surf career, it’s not able to take on big waves or making nice turns. In the beginning of your surfing, you should focus on 1 thing: catching as many waves as you can. Catching more waves = Quicker Progress = More fun!

surfing holiday

What you will want as a beginning surfers is to catch waves – starting from the white water, then moving to unbroken ‘green’ waves. And if you really want to achieve this as a beginner, you’ll need to get a surfboard with lots of volume. So, at this stage volume is the most important thing you need in a surfboard.

Durability is another factor to consider for beginner surfboards, because you’ll probably end up knocking the board around a bit while you’re learning which is why you might want to go with something durable.

BEGINNER SURFBOARDS CONSTRUCTION TYPES

SOFT TOP SURFBOARD

Beginner surfboards

These boards come with a soft layer of foam atop them with a slick plastic layer at the bottom.

Extremely durable

They don’t come with sharp points; which makes them safer

Best value for money

Used by practically all the surf schools

 

MOLDED EPOXY SANDWICH TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION

Epoxy molded surfboard

Bic, NSP & Torq ( which are surfboard brands we use for our Hardtops at Swell) are some of the common brands with this construction type. Although a lot of other brands use similar constructions, they are sometimes called “Pop-outs” in reference to the mould used for shaping the board’s core.

  • Very durable
  • They usually come with removable fins, which are compatible with systems like FCS or Future Fins
  • Great value, is often found in packages with leash & board bags
  • Proven surfboard shapes

TRADITIONAL POLYESTER RESIN

Polyester surfboard

This has been the standard construction for surfboards for years. This surfboard has a soft foam blank shaped into it and layers of fibreglass cloth and polyester resin laminated across the top to give it a harder outer shell and make it more watertight.

  • Fairly lightweight
  • Looks every inch like the traditional surfboard
  • Available in different shapes and sizes
  • Comes with removable fins that are easily replaced
  • Dings and Cracks easily, but can also easily be repaired
  • Turns yellow-ish after a few months in the sun

EPOXY RESIN SURFBOARD

Shaping surfboard
Custom shaping an epoxy surfboard

This board is similar to the polyester boards, but with a different foam for its epoxy resin and core, including a fibreglass cloth outer layer.

    • It is lighter than those polyester resin surfboards
    • More durable than the polyester resin surfboards
    • Shaped like those traditional surfboards
    • Available in every shape and size
    • Comes with removable fins that are easy to replace
    • Can easily be repaired if cracked or dinged
    • Epoxy boards are lighter boards & more crack-resistant, and their outer layer is more likely to bend not split when struck by something.

Those are the major types of construction out there, so now you understand the advantages of each construction. You can put this information into consideration when considering the shape of surfboard to pick.

THE DIFFERENT SURFBOARDS FOR BEGINNERS

FOAMBOARD/ FOAMIE: LENGTH 7FT – 9FT

Surfboards for beginners

THE GOOD STUFF OF FOAM SURFBOARDS

Quite affordable

Very stable

Soft – which is safer in case you get hit by your board

Great to surf the white-water

Can easily catch most waves

THE DOWNSIDE OF FOAMIES:

Pretty heavy

Not much difference between its price and that of hard surfboards

Not great for surfing shoulder high waves

Not easy to paddle out in bigger surfs

Not very responsive to the surfer’s input

Will not provide long term fun

What we think of foam surfboards

Foam surfboards can be found in 6 and 7ft (for kids and folks that are lighter) including 8 and 8ft versions. The smallest length for a regular adult to lean on is 8ft. However, you should know that there are quite a number of low quality, cheap and badly constructed foamies for sale on sites like Ali express and eBay.

Foamies are perfect for people that have never surfed before or are in their first stages of learning to surf

However, if you are going to surf on a regular basis you will grow out of the soft top with 5 to 15 surf sessions and want to move onto a hardtop, so our advice is to rent a soft-top at your local surf school or join a surf camp like Swell and then move onto the hardtop boards like the ones listed below

FIBERGLASS PU OR EPOXY LONG BOARD: LENGTH 8FT – 9FT+

beginner surfboard

THE GOOD STUFF

It is faster and easier to manoeuvre than those foam boards

Can be used to learn longboard moves such as hanging 5, cross stepping, etc.

Can be used to surf bigger head waves (provided you can actually paddle out)

Should have good resale value if you ever want to sell

Some people are so in love with longboards that they want to surf forever on them

THE DOWNSIDE

If it is over 8ft long it won’t fit in most cars

Quite bulky to carry around

The fact that it is hard means it will hurt more if it actually hits you compared to foam boards

Harder to catch waves with them than foam boards

Most airlines don’t allow passengers to check in longboards because of their length

They work better with unbroken ‘green’ waves because they’re not designed to ride white water.

Our Thoughts:

These boards are great for intermediate surfers that want to progress from their first surf lessons on a soft top

This board will keep you entertained for 1 or 2 seasons so you can learn all the surfing fundamentals

Some People love the glide and feel of these boards that they never move onto a shorter board but will stick with this length and type of surfboards for the rest of their surfing career.

Verdict: Recommended as first surfboard/

Worth noting: Not every ‘long’ board is a suitable board for a beginner. There are a lot of high-performance longboards on the market which are geared toward the expert longboarder, they are not very good to learn on. Ask at your local surf shop or bring a friend who can tell the difference.

MINI-MAL SURFBOARDS: LENGTH 7’4 – 8’0

Mini Mal Surfboard

THE GOOD STUFF

The board is smaller so you can easily carry it around

You can fit a 7’6 into a small car

Easier to paddle it in bigger surfs compared to large foam boards

It is also quite progressive, so you can actually enjoy this board for a while

There are people who will rather surf on minimal shaped surfboards

Can be taken on planes – i.e. airlines with an 8ft limit

THE DOWNSIDE

More difficult to catch waves compared to foamies or long boards

They’re not so soft, so you might want to avoid getting hit with them

A minimal board is still a large board so it might be a little difficult to navigate high waves (though it is advisable to stick to smaller waves if you’re a beginner).

They’re slower than the smaller surfboards

Our Thoughts:

Not a bad board for someone to buy after they have had 5 or so sessions on a soft top, however, works best in this size range for lighter men, women or kids.

Verdict: Recommended as a first surfboard for any surfer!

FUN SHAPES

Fun shaped surfboards like minimals are smaller versions of longboards without their middle 2ft.
Comes with thruster and single fin options

THE GOOD STUFF

They’re easier to carry since they’re lighter than foamies and large long boards

These boards which are a little smaller than minimals are faster and easier to paddle out when the surf becomes bigger

Small enough to meet the requirements of most airlines

It is also quite progressive, so you can actually enjoy this board for a while

It is quite popular among surfers, so it has great resale value

It can fit into most cars

THE DOWNSIDE

It doesn’t have as much volume as a long board, so it would require a little more effort to actually catch waves

It is harder to learn on this board than on a longer board

Have to be surfed in more critical parts of the wave to generate enough speed and lift

Our Thoughts:

Not the quickest way to progress in your surfing, you will catch fewer waves and most likely have shorter rides than on the boards listed above. On the plus side, they do cater to a large variety of surf conditions

Verdict: Not ideal but can work as a first surfboard purchase

SHORT BOARDS

Short surf board

THE GOOD STUFF

Great designs at affordable prices

More manoeuvrable and faster than all the other boards mentioned above (fun boards, foamies, minimals and long boards).

They are light and easy to manoeuvre

Easier to duck dive with them under waves whenever you’re paddling out

Can surf both small waist high and overhead waves

They’re small enough to fit the requirements of most airlines

THE DOWNSIDE

Beginners catch very few waves

Waves need to be caught and surfed in the critical part of the wave

Very unstable in small waves

Our Thoughts:

Unless you are young, light and/ or a very very quick progressing surfer with lots of talent, it is not recommended to buy a small shortboard as your first surfboard. You will struggle learning the basics and the gap from a soft-top foamie to a shortboard is huge

Verdict: Don’t buy a standard shortboard as your first surfboard when you are still a beginner / intermediate surfer.

Our final thoughts on the best surfboards for beginners

Buying a surfboard is always a compromise, at the stage of your surf career, every surfboard has different characteristics: some work better in hollow waves, some work better in big waves etc. Starting off your first season as a surfer, we think one of the most important aspects of your surfing should be to catch as many waves as possible.

Bigger boards work well in being able to catch lots of waves and providing good stability once you are up and riding. Yes, shortboards are better for advanced manoeuvres, but…. if you can’t catch the waves in the first place you will not be pulling any fancy moves at all.

Lots of surf shops are also affiliated with a local surf school ( or run one themselves), so ask them if it’s possible to try a certain board from their rental pool before buying it.

Volume is your friend: more volume = more waves = more fun!

If you have any questions about this article on best surfboards for beginners, do contact us.

 

WHERE TO BUY A NEW BEGINNER SURFBOARD?

Ok, there are tons of places online to buy cheap surfboards:  Amazon, Alibaba and other online surf shops, our advice?

BUY AT YOUR LOCAL SURF SHOP!

Besides supporting a local business, they will also be able to give you good advice on local surf conditions at the nearby surfing beaches, and they are also a great way to meet other fellow surfers in the area. A good shop owner will also be able to give you advice on sizing the right surfboard for your weight/lengths and level of surfing.

QUICK QUESTIONS ABOUT BEGINNER SURFBOARDS

Q: Should you buy a beginner surfboard?
A: Don’t spend too much, you’ll ‘grow’ out of your soft top in 15 or so surf sessions, rent one or use a beginner oft top surfboard at surf school or surf camp.

Q: I do want to buy a beginner surfboard , how much do they cost?
A: New between 150 and 500 USD. Used between 50 and 250 USD

Q: What type of surfboard should I get as a beginner?
A: Lenght wise: something bigger than 8 foot with lots of volume, ideally with a soft top for safety.

Q: Is a 6’6 surfboard good for a beginner?
A: No

SURFING AT AN OLDER AGE

ABOUT SWELL SURF CAMP

Located on the scenic north coast of the Dominican Republic is our purpose-built surf resort

We cater for surfers of all levels, from beginners to expert surfers who are looking for an active surf holiday

We at Swell offers full surf packages holidays

SWELL SURF CAMP GALLERY

Swell now also offer a luxury surf holiday experience in Bali


tropical architecture

Interested in learning how to surf? Have a look at the surf vacation packages we offer for our guests at Swell Surf camp

MORE SURFBOARD INFO

Different surfboard shapes explained

Questions or comments about this surf technique article? Let us know, send us a message.

Our luxury surf coaching holidays have taught 1000’s of people the sport of surfing in a safe, fun and quick way.

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10 REASONS TO VISIT CABARETE

visit cabarete dominican republic

10 Reasons to Visit Cabarete

Once a minute fishing village on the Dominican Republic’s northern shores, Cabarete now stands as the extreme sports capital of the island, if not the whole Caribbean. While Cabarete is home to some of the Dominican’s most pristine beaches, it is much more than just a scenic destination from which to take in coastal views. When most travelers think of the DR, they conjure images of massive all-inclusive resorts that stick out from the coastline like an unwanted growth. Cabarete does not fit this mold.

While Cabarete is not lacking in lodging options, there is wild and untamed land to explore, isolated beaches to stroll, and of course waves to surf. Keep reading to learn 10 reasons why you need to make Cabarete, Dominican Republic your next travel destination.

1. It’s superb for beginner surfers wanting to learn to surf.

Learning to surf is tough, and if you’re not on beginner-friendly waves, it can be near impossible to progress. Fortunately for beginner surfers, Cabarete is full of fun and forgiving waves that will have you up and riding in no time. Playa Encuentro, where our boutique surf resort is located, is home to a variety of surf breaks suitable for all levels. Beginner surfers will find a picturesque beach break with a friendly sand bottom, perfect for learning.

Our surf school spends the majority of their time at Bobos, a perfect learning wave. In addition to surfing in model learning conditions at Playa Encuentro, guests at Swell Surf Camp will have the opportunity to learn from the best surf instructors on the island and participate in surf theory classes.

2. There are serious surf breaks for advanced surfers

In addition to beginner-friendly breaks, Playa Encuentro is home to some serious reef breaks that attract intermediate and advanced surfers from all over the world. Destroyers, a racing, and hollow reef break is ideal for bodyboarders and expert only surfers who are looking for doggy door exit barrels. “The left” is exactly what it sounds like, a solid left-hand reef break that turns on during winter months and provides long, clean rides.

The main peak at Encuentro has a fun left and right-hander for intermediate and advanced surfers. Coco Pipe, right next to Bobos, is a fast-breaking shallow reef break for experts only. There are even a few offshore reefs that can turn on during the right swell. So, regardless of your level of expertise, Playa Encuentro has a surf break for you.

3. You can learn to Kitesurf

While the morning in Playa Encuentro and throughout Cabarete’s coastline is perfect for surfing, the afternoons are idyllic for kiting. Cabarete’s beaches aren’t just some of the best in the country, or the Caribbean, for kiting, they rank among the best in the entire world. Kite surfers travel far and wide to get to the shores of Cabarete and showcase their talents at Kite Beach.

Fortunately for travelers looking to take up a new hobby, Cabarete is also home to some of the best kitesurf instructors in the world. Learning to kite can be dangerous, so it is important to learn from the best. Cabarete boasts a variety of kiting spots that cater to all levels. Advanced kite surfers will find the waves at the outer reefs to be a suitable challenger, while beginners will feel safe and comfortable in the calm waters of Kite Beach and La Boca.

4. It’s close to El Choco National Park

Located less than 15 minutes from the beach and the center of Cabarete, El Choco National Park gives travelers the opportunity for an unparalleled wilderness adventure. With hiking and mountain bike trails, glistening freshwater lagoons, and a labyrinth of caves to explore, El Choco National Park is a paradise for those seeking adventure. The park is home to a diverse array of species, including over 30 species of birds, lizards, and bats. Explore the park solo, or with a bilingual guide.

5. The local nightlife

Cabarete shines just as brightly during the night as its sun-soaked shores do during the day. A plethora of small, beach bars and night clubs line the waterfront and offer cocktails, live music, and all the fun a traveler could ask for. If you’re looking for a high-end night, head to Ocean World Marina to visit the variety of restaurants and entertainment options, including a casino. Start your night off with sunset drinks under the shady, palm tree adjacent bars on Cabarete beach and see where the night takes you.

6. Horseback riding along the beach has never been more fun

In Cabarete, horseback riding on the beach is taken to a whole new level at the pristine Sea Horse Ranch Equestrian Center. Go for trail rides through the jungle, explore the coastline on horseback, or even take lessons. The center offers tours on over 7-miles of trails and beaches. Advanced riders can even take lessons in jumping and other advanced equestrian activities.

7. The DR’s world-class snorkeling & diving

Situated on the northern shores of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete is ideally position for snorkeling and diving expeditions into the enchanting Caribbean Sea. Just a stone’s throw from Cabarete is the town of Sousa, where many dive and snorkeling tours operate. If you’re a first-time diver, fret not, there are plenty of programs that will get you PADI certified in just a few classes. For more advanced divers, or those looking to snorkel, many companies offer full-day or half-day expeditions.

8. It’s within reach of secluded beaches

Playa Caleton, a calm watered, crescent-shaped, secluded beach is the perfect getaway for travelers looking for a little extra relaxation. The isolated shores of Playa Caleton are surrounded by lush vegetation and rocky outcrops, many of which are carved into unique sculptures. Take a dip in the emerald green water or relax on the sandy shores, either way, you’re sure to fall in love with Playa Caleton.

9. Cabarete’s unique local food scene

While Cabarete is small compared to many travel destinations in the Dominican, its food scene is both authentic and diverse making it perfect for food-loving travelers. In Cabarete, travelers will find a diverse food scene with options from all over the world. In the mood for Mexican? Head to Gordito’s Fresh Mex, a local favorite with plans to expand all over the DR. Want something a bit more authentic?

Wilson’s at La Boca is a BBQ beach shack that serves up freshly grilled fish among other favorites. Cabarete Coffee Company serves up breakfast favorites, smoothies, and of course excellent coffee. Cabarete beach is also a hub for fine dining. Enjoy fresh seafood or steaks cooked to perfection at La Casita de Papi’s Seafood.

10. The many adventure opportunities

Cabarete may be the watersport capital of the Caribbean, but there are endless opportunities for adventure inland as well. One of the most popular activities amongst Swell Surf Camp guests—other than surfing— is canyoning through Cabarete’s nearby waterfall system.

This adrenaline-filled adventure will have you jumping off waterfalls, swimming through gorges, and exploring caves. Another popular activity among travelers in Cabarete is ziplining at Laguna Dudu. The zipline at Laguna Dudu is not your average zip line, it sends you soaring above the lagoon from the nearby cliffs before you plunge into the picturesque water.

START SURFING TODAY!

As well as the physical and psychological benefits of surfing and the way it allows for a healthy lifestyle, you can also meet new people and forget about the stresses of life for a couple of hours. To finish our guide, we want to provide a few considerations before booking your first surf lesson!

Your height and weight aren’t important because there are various shapes and sizes of boards.

  • Don’t worry about your fitness levels right now because your stamina will improve over time.
  • Surfboards can even be custom-made, if necessary.
  • You should NEVER feel as though you’re too old to start surfing.

Don’t live life according to other people’s expectations or rules, make your own rules (perhaps not on the road, but you get the idea!). If you feel you’ll enjoy surfing and you like the sound of the many benefits we’ve discussed here today, we have three words for you; GO FOR IT!

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 37, which roughly means for every 20 year old we teach the sport of surfing, we also teach a 54 year old. We have taught people well in their 60’s the sport of surfing

Adult surf camp
Learn to surf in the Caribbean with us

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

 

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WHY YOU SHOULD BE RIDING A LONGBOARD

longboard surfing

10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE SURFING A LONGBOARD

Whether you’re learning how to surf, or you’ve been doing it all your life, if you are not currently riding a longboard, or you don’t have a longboard in your quiver then you are missing out. Not only is longboarding tool to learn how to surf Longboarding is the original form of surfing, and there is nothing as stylish, graceful, and in tune with a wave as a skilled longboarder. Surfers started to stray from longboarding with the radical advancements in board shaping that occurred during the seventies and eighties. New surfers were no longer interested in surfing a longboard and doing hanging tens or cheater fives, rather than opt for the endless style of longboarding surfers turned to twin fins and eventually thrusters.

Shortboards brought about new, progressive manoeuvres that ultimately advanced surfing to new heights. But there is something to be said about tradition and going back to the roots of surfing. Longboarding has a lot to offer every surfer, not just beginners. If you’re a surfer who has never truly put in the hours on a longboard, then do yourself a favour and truly learn how to longboard. The results will be evident in your surfing, no matter what you have underfoot.

1. LONGBOARDS ARE PERFECT FOR PEOPLE LEARNING TO SURF

Every surfer should start out on a longboard. Learning how to surf can be a frustrating process, and that frustration is only compounded when trying to learn on the wrong board. A longboard provides beginner surfers with ample surface area that will catch waves with ease and feel stable on the takeoff. Surfers who learn on shortboards or try to jump down in board length too quickly will develop bad habits such as popping up with a dropped knee.

Additionally, learning to manoeuvre and generate speed on a longboard increases a surfer’s understanding of wave mechanics. Learning to walk the board allows surfers to explore the waves face and learn which sections contain speed.

2. INCREASE YOUR DAYS IN THE WATER

Longboards are wave catching machines, plain and simple. The surf does not need to be pumping for a surfer of any level to have a good session on a longboard. The harsh reality of surfing is that waves are rarely perfect.

Your local break might be “world-class” with the right swell and wind direction, but how often does that happen? Even if you know how to surf, and you consider yourself an advanced surfer, a longboard will increase your days in the water. It may as well be law that a day surfing small waves on a longboard is better than a day of not surfing at all.

3. IMPROVE YOUR SURFING

To learn to longboard is to learn how to surf. No one starts out on a shortboard, at least they shouldn’t. It is common practice for beginners to start on soft tops or longboards, and gradually reduce the length of their board as they progress. Longboards, however, are not just for beginners. While it is widely believed that longboards are for novice surfers, longboards actually serve as an invaluable progression tool for all levels of surfers.

When you longboard, things slow down, allowing surfers to deeply study the form and shape of the wave. Each longboarding session turns into a lesson in wave mechanics.

4. LEARN TO NOSE RIDE

Surfing a Longboard
Surfing a Longboard

Nose riding was once seen as the pinnacle of progressive surfing. In the 1960s, longboards were the standard surf craft, board shorts featured 3-inch inseams, and nothing was cooler than being able to ride with your toes hanging off the noise of your board.

To be able to hang ten or perform a cheater five, takes skill, balance, and a deep understanding of wave mechanics. I don’t know a single surfer who can noise ride, who doesn’t also rip on a shortboard.

5. IMPROVE YOUR STYLE

Watching a skilled surfer on a longboard is akin to watching ballet. Riding a longboard well is essentially an intricate dance that requires grace, balance, strength, and a great deal of skill. Style and grace may seem to come naturally to some surfers, but in actuality, they are born out of repetition and deep study.

Learning to longboard will inevitably increase a surfer’s skill and style.

6. LONGER RIDES

Along with more days in the water and an increased wave count, surfing a longboard will also provide lengthier rides. The high volume and length that allow longboards to be able to catch more waves than smaller surfboards, will also increase the length of each ride. Longboards have so much volume that they can cruise through the slow sections of a wave that will typically end a short boarders ride. Additionally, longboarders can easily ride through the ankle-high white water after a wave closes out and reach the reform.

Once you learn to longboard, don’t be surprised if many of your rides take you all the way to the beach.

Surfing Longboard
Surfing Longboard

7. YOU’RE NEVER TOO OLD TO SURF A LONGBOARD

The high volume and length of longboards make them incredibly easy to paddle and manoeuvre, therefore longboards are an ideal surf vessel for those of us who are a bit over the hill age-wise. If your shoulders can’t handle the wear and tear of paddling a board that may be shorter than you and sinks halfway into the water with you on it, then it may be time to learn how to longboard. If your hips cannot perform the jerky movements it takes to pump down the line on a shortboard, then it may be time to learn to longboard.

And if you do not have the strength to submerge your board underwater to duck dive, then it may be time to learn how to longboard.

8. NEVER GET SKUNKED ON A SURF TRIP

Longboard surfing

The seventh circle of hell most likely involves a perpetual cycle of booking a surf trip to some far-flung tropical surf paradise, only to arrive to find that there is no trace of a swell. No one likes getting skunked, but if the waves are small wouldn’t you still want the ability to surf? That’s where a trusty longboard comes in handy.

You may not get spit out of stand-up barrels, but at least you can catch a few waves on a trip where things don’t exactly go as planned.

9. CRUISY AND RELAXING RIDES

Whether you’re just learning how to surf or you’ve been at it for twenty years, you’ll love the laid back, cruisy rides that longboards offer. There’s no need to tire yourself out paddling, just a few hard strokes will put you into virtually any catchable wave. There is no need to take off late and drop in on a steep pitching face, longboards will have you into a wave and on your feet early.

And there’s no need to wear yourself out by tirelessly pumping to get down the line, simply cruise and enjoy the ride.

In conclusion, if you know how to surf, great hop on a longboard. If you don’t know how to surf, no problem at all hop on a longboard and learn. If you’re on the world tour or you’re just an average beach bum, hop on a longboard and you’re guaranteed to have a blast in the water.

LONGBOARDING SURF VIDEO


The above longboarding surf video is filmed in Indonesia, interested in a surf holiday in Bali, Indonesia? Visit Swell Bali, our brand new Bali surf hotel in Bingin, bali.

ABOUT SWELL

Teaching people the sport of surfing in a safe, quick and fun way is what we specialise in at Swell Surf Camp. We have taught 1000’s of people the basics of surfing.

Age? Well the average age of a Swell client is 37, which roughly means for every 20 year-old we teach the sport of surfing, we also teach a 54-year-old. We have taught people well in their 60’s the sport of surfing

Adult surf camp
Learn to surf in the Caribbean with us

Interested in changing your life to see the health benefits of learning to surf?

learn to surf holiday

Send us a message today and we’ll get you up and riding…regardless of your age!

ABOUT SWELL SURF CAMP

Located on the scenic north coast of the Dominican Republic is our purpose built surf resort

We cater for surfers of all levels, from beginners to expert surfers who are looking for an active surf holiday

Swell offers full surf packages holidays

SWELL SURF CAMP GALLERY


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