SURF & YOGA HOLIDAYS IN THE CARIBEAN

surf & yoga holiday

SURF & YOGA IN PARADISE

surfing yoga retreat

SURF & YOGA: WHY IT’S SUCH A PERFECT MATCH!

As surfers we have long been big fans of Yoga, it’s the perfect supplement to a healthy lifestyle and ensures you can stay fit and flexible to continue your surfing as you get older. Below

SURF & YOGA HOLIDAYS

Are you craving an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? Do you dream of basking in the warm sun, riding the waves, and finding inner peace? If so, a surf and yoga holiday might be just what you need. And there’s no better place to experience this perfect blend of adventure and relaxation than with Swell Surf Camp. In this article, we’ll explore the compelling reasons why you should embark on a surf and yoga holiday with Swell Surf Camp for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.
surfing yoga retreat

HARMONIZING THE ELEMENTS: SURFING AND YOGA

Surfing and yoga, though seemingly different activities, share a beautiful harmony. Surfing allows you to connect with the powerful ocean, riding waves that bring a sense of exhilaration and freedom. On the other hand, yoga allows you to connect with your inner self, promoting physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The combination of these two practices creates a unique and transformative experience.

Swell Surf Camp has mastered the art of blending these two disciplines seamlessly. Imagine starting your day with a sunrise yoga session, where you’ll stretch and strengthen your body, preparing it for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. Afterward, you’ll hit the waves with expert instructors who will guide you through the surfing journey, helping you catch that perfect wave and feel the thrill of gliding on water. This balanced approach ensures you leave the camp feeling recharged, physically invigorated, and mentally centered.\
surfing yoga retreat

EXPERT GUIDANCE AND COACHING

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced surfer or yogi, Swell Surf Camp caters to all skill levels. The camp’s team of professional instructors is not only highly experienced in their respective fields but also passionate about sharing their knowledge with others. Their expertise will guide you to progress in both surfing and yoga, regardless of your starting point.

If you’re new to surfing, the instructors will provide you with a solid foundation, teaching you essential techniques, safety measures, and wave dynamics. For seasoned surfers, they’ll help you fine-tune your skills and even introduce you to advanced maneuvers. Similarly, the yoga instructors will lead you through various styles of yoga, catering to different preferences and abilities, ensuring that you benefit from the practice, both physically and mentally.
surfing lessons

THE HEALING POWER OF NATURE

One of the most remarkable aspects of a surf and yoga holiday with Swell Surf Camp is the stunning natural locations of their camps. Swell Surf Camp has thoughtfully selected pristine beaches and scenic spots that harmonize with the environment, allowing you to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty.

Picture yourself practicing yoga on the soft sand as the sun rises over the horizon, filling the sky with breathtaking colors. The soothing sound of waves crashing nearby and the gentle breeze brushing against your skin create an environment that fosters relaxation and self-reflection. The natural surroundings act as a catalyst for personal growth and healing, making your holiday truly transformative.

paradise

EMBRACING THE SURFING LIFESTYLE

Surfing is not just a sport; it’s a way of life. Swell Surf Camp embraces the surfing lifestyle, fostering a sense of community, camaraderie, and respect for the ocean. As you spend time with fellow surf enthusiasts, you’ll find yourself connecting with like-minded individuals from all over the world.

Whether you’re sharing stories around a beach bonfire or cheering each other on as you ride the waves, you’ll forge bonds that can last a lifetime. This sense of belonging and the shared passion for surfing and yoga create a positive and supportive atmosphere throughout the camp.

UNPLUGGING AND RECONNECTING

In our increasingly digital world, it’s essential to take time for ourselves and unplug from screens and constant distractions. A surf and yoga holiday with Swell Surf Camp provides the perfect opportunity to disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with yourself and the present moment.

During your time at Swell Surf Camp, you’ll have the chance to slow down, savoring each moment without the pressure of deadlines and obligations. You’ll be encouraged to be fully present, embracing the simple joys of life: the sound of waves, the taste of fresh meals, and the joy of genuine human connections. Yes we have internet at Swell, but we encourage everyone to minimise the “online life” and instead enjoy social meals with new friends.
social

A UNIQUE SURF & YOGA EXPERIENCE

Swell Surf Camp understands that each individual is unique, with different preferences and needs. That’s why our surf and yoga holiday packages are customizable to you.

If you have dietary preferences or restrictions, our culinary team will prepare delicious meals that cater to your needs.

**Conclusion**

A surf and yoga holiday with Swell Surf Camp offers a unique opportunity to harmonize the elements of adventure and serenity. Through expert guidance, a vibrant community, and a focus on personalization, We try to create an unforgettable experience tailored to your needs. Embrace the surf & yoga lifestyle, unplug from the digital world, and embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth. Book your surf and yoga holiday with Swell Surf Camp today and change your lifestyle.

ACCOMMODATION: STAY IN COMFORT AND STYLE

At Swell we have been providing active surf and kitesurfing holidays in the Caribbean since 2009, in 2021 we added learn to wingfoil packages to our services.

social

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

 

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

Share on Facebook

CARRIBEAN WINGFOIL PARADISE

surf wingsurfer

CABARETE A WINGFOILING PARADISE

surfing green waves

Cabarete: A Windsport Paradise

Located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, Cabarete has earned a well-deserved reputation as a windsport paradise. This small town, once a quiet fishing village, has transformed into a mecca for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and other exhilarating watersports. From its perfect weather conditions to its stunning natural beauty and vibrant beach culture, Cabarete offers an irresistible combination of factors that make it a haven for windsport enthusiasts from around the world.

CABARETE WINGFOILING PARADISE PLAYGROUND

HISTORY OF CABARETE AS A WIND TOWN

The first ones to discover the appeal of Cabarete as a wind town were the windsurfers in the early 80’s. They enjoyed an empty Cabarete bay with white sandy beaches a large open bay for slalom windsurfing and the waves on the reef for wave windsurfing. It was windsurfers that put Cabarete on the map. In the early 2000, with the rise of kitesurfing become the new rage in watersports that cabarete got a new influx of watersport lovers. The steady side onshore wind of 15 to 25 knots (ideal range) appealed to kite surfers of all levels. Today Cabarete is still widely regarded as one of the best places in the world for kitesurfing. 20 years later, Cabarete is once again in the spotlight for being one of the best wingfoiling / Wingsurfing destinations in the world. Wide open spaces, flat water, gentle rolling deep water swell and waves create the ultimate playground for beginners and experts wingfoilers.

One of the primary reasons Cabarete is considered a windsport paradise is its exceptional wind conditions. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cordillera Septentrional mountain range, the town benefits from the constant trade winds that blow consistently throughout the year. The easterly trade winds, known as the Alisios, provide a steady and reliable breeze, creating ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing. These consistent winds, typically ranging from 15 to 30 knots, allow riders of all levels to enjoy their favorite sports without interruptions or frustration. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to learn, Cabarete’s winds will not disappoint.

WIND CONDITIONS IN CABARETE, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Trade Winds: Cabarete experiences the influence of the easterly trade winds, known as the Alisios. These trade winds blow consistently from the east and are responsible for the reliable wind conditions in the area. The prevailing wind direction ensures that riders can enjoy their sports with a steady and predictable breeze.

Wind Speed / wind strength : The wind speeds in Cabarete are generally suitable for windsports. The average wind speed ranges from 15 to 30 knots, providing enough power for riders to harness and enjoy their chosen activities. These wind speeds are suitable for riders of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Wind Consistency: One of the key advantages of Cabarete is the consistency of its wind conditions. Throughout the year, the town experiences a high percentage of windy days, ensuring that windsport enthusiasts have ample opportunities to get out on the water. This consistency allows for regular practice, skill development, and a reliable wind-dependent lifestyle.

Seasonal Variation: While Cabarete enjoys consistent winds year-round, there are some seasonal variations in wind patterns. The summer months (June to August) tend to have stronger winds, making it an excellent time for advanced riders seeking more challenging conditions. The winter months (December to February) offer slightly milder winds, which are more suitable for beginners and freestyle enthusiasts.

Overall, Cabarete’s wind statistics demonstrate why it is considered a windsport paradise. The consistent trade winds, favorable wind speeds, and wide wind window make it an ideal destination for windsurfing, kitesurfing, and other related activities. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner looking to learn, Cabarete’s wind conditions offer an exhilarating and unforgettable experience.

OTHER SPORTS AND ACTIVITIES

Cabarete boasts a diverse range of water conditions, further enhancing its appeal as a windsport paradise. The town is blessed with a unique geography that offers something for everyone. The expansive beach, stretching for several kilometers, provides ample space for kiteboarders and windsurfers to glide across the water, showcasing their skills and tricks. Additionally, the Atlantic Ocean’s waves, combined with the reef breaks and offshore swells, create excellent opportunities for wave riding. Cabarete Bay, protected by a natural coral reef, offers calmer waters, making it an ideal spot for beginners and freestyle enthusiasts. This variety of conditions ensures that windsport enthusiasts can always find their preferred style of riding, making Cabarete an inclusive and versatile destination.
Watersport adrenaline away from the ocean? That’s possible too. Go on a Canyoning trip to the 27 waterfalls, 30 minutes out of Cabarete. You’ll be swimming through turquoise canyons and jumping of waterfalls

Beyond its exceptional wind and water conditions, Cabarete’s natural beauty is awe-inspiring. The town is blessed with stunning beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and breathtaking sunsets. The golden sand and warm, inviting waters provide the perfect backdrop for windsport activities. As riders harness the power of the wind and glide across the water, they are treated to panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and the picturesque coastline. The combination of the natural beauty and the thrill of windsports creates an unforgettable experience that keeps visitors coming back for more.

LEARN TO WINGSURF IN CABARETE

At Swell we have been offering wing foiling lessons to our clients since 2021 and have already had 100’s of clients into Wingfoiling enthusiasts. Wingfoiling is easy and quick to learn and when you are in the hands of a good instructor it is also a safe sport to learn. Many of our clients keep coming back to cabarete for more wingfoiling, since they find it hard to find a wingfoil destination anywhere in the world as good as our home town of Cabarete.

LEARN TO WINGFOIL

Cabarete’s vibrant beach culture is another factor that sets it apart as a windsport paradise. The town has a laid-back and welcoming atmosphere that embraces the windsport community. Along Cabarete Beach, there is a lively strip of beach bars, restaurants, and shops catering to the needs of windsport enthusiasts. The area buzzes with energy and excitement, with riders sharing their experiences, discussing gear, and celebrating their passion for the sport. The local community, including both residents and expatriates, is known for its warm hospitality and genuine love for windsports. This sense of community creates a supportive and inspiring environment that fosters growth and camaraderie among riders.

Furthermore, Cabarete is renowned for hosting world-class windsport events, attracting top athletes from around the globe. The town has been the venue for numerous prestigious competitions, including the Cabarete Kiteboarding World Cup and the Master of the Ocean contest, which combines kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, and stand-up paddleboarding. These events showcase the town’s commitment to windsports and bring together the best talent in the industry. For spectators, it is an opportunity to witness thrilling displays of skill and athleticism, further cementing Cabarete’s status as a windsport paradise.

CABARETE A WINDFOILING PARADISE

WHY YOU WILL LOVE A WINGFOILING HOLIDAY TO CABARETE

  • Steady tradewinds
  • Warm water
  • Warm air
  • Friendly Caribbean vibes
  • Easy to get to
  • Budget friendly
  • Good for all levels
  • Variety of other sports
  • Stunning scenery

 

ABOUT SWELL

At Swell we have been providing active surf and kitesurfing holidays in the Caribbean since 2009, in 2021 we added learn to wingfoil packages to our services.

BOUTIQUE SURF HOLIDAYS IN THE CARIBBEAN

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

 

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

Share on Facebook

WHAT TO PACK FOR A SURF HOLIDAY

take off surfing

PACKING FOR YOUR NEXT SURF DESTINATION

If you have just booked your surf vacation or surf camp and are a novice or beginner surfer, it’s a little daunting knowing what you need to bring along, especially if you have never surfed before. Even if you already have surf experience, this can act as a good surf holiday checklist to make sure you’ve got everything covered before leaving home.

Some surf destinations will have a lot or some of the items we’ve listed below to save you lugging them from home, but often, especially if you are travelling to an island destination for your surf trip, some things can be quite costly on location so you will save some money if you include them in your surf camp packing list. How annoying it would be to wait to get to your surf camp only to find that an essential item you require on your surf vacation is not actually available or costs 3x more than at home!

Let’s start with the basics: What’s the weather like where you are going on your surf holiday?

Always check the water and air temperature where you are headed. If you are someone who feels the cold anyway (like, you’re always the one shivering when everyone else thinks it’s still quite warm out) be extra-prepared. The general advice is that if the water temperature is above 75ºF (24ºC) you won’t need a neoprene wetsuit, but if the temps are hovering between 70ºF (21ºC) and 75ºF (24ºC), you might feel more comfortable in what we call a ‘shorty’ (a neoprene wetsuit with short legs rather than a full wetsuit). Anything below 70ºF (21ºC) you definitely need a full wetsuit.

If you are coming to Swell between December and April and you do tend to feel the cold more, bring a shorty, a 1mm (or 2mm if you are extra-shivery) neoprene body suit as our water temperatures hover around 23/24ºC during those months. You definitely don’t need one between May and November when water temps are more like 28ºC/29ºC.

What do you need to wear when surfing?

This is one of those most common questions we get in our inbox at Swell. As a beginner surfer, your experience of surfers so far is probably only in magazines or movies; bronzed dudes in surf shorts and gorgeous tanned chicks in bikinis. Well, (and hopefully this news won’t disappoint you), lots of surfers don’t look at all like that. In fact, now we know so much more about the damage the sun does to our skin, most surfers over 30 are choosing to cover up.

TIP: It’s a good idea when packing your hand luggage to pack some essential items should your larger bags be delayed. Toothbrush and paste, travel-sized sunscreen, a spare T-shirt or two, underwear and something to swim in the ocean will all help you get through the first 24 hours should your bags not arrive with you.

Here’s what we recommend bringing to wear in the water during your surf vacation:

A surf cap: I wear an FCS surf cap with straps that come around your ears and fasten beneath the chin. Mine has an all-around brim like the one shown in the photo below and offers me excellent sun protection on my face.

surf hat

One of the reasons why we recommend a hat is because however well you put sunscreen on your face, you inevitably wipe your eyes and cheeks each time you fall off the surfboard and the protection your sunscreen offers inevitably wanes

 

Long leggings.surf packing list destination Surf leggings will protect you from rashes that the rough surface beginner surfboards have for grip. They will also protect your legs from being burned by the sun. I wear ones from Speedo, but they are also available from many other brands.

 

A one-piece swimsuit, or a bikini?

It’s really your preference. We get it that you probably want to get a tan on your surf holiday and do feel free to wear just a bikini and sunscreen whilst you are surfing if you are not having lessons with us. We do recommend a one-piece suit to avoid losing one or more essential parts of a bikini during a wipeout. As someone who once lost the bottom part of a bikini entirely once during a shore break wipeout in Barbados (you know, the ones we regularly see on Kookslams’ Instagram feed) a one-piece is a much safer bet. We don’t have any shore break in the Dominican Republic where we surf by the way.

A ‘Rashguard’ or ‘Lycra’

surf lycra

This is a top that you wear over your bikini or one-piece to protect you from the sun (and from rashes on your arms whilst paddling). The best ones are made with a fabric that is already Factor-50 sun-protection guaranteed, i.e. when you wear one, you don’t need sunscreen beneath. We strongly recommend the use of them whilst you surf and at Swell they are compulsory during lessons (but we provide them for you!). If you are not coming to us for your surf camp vacation, then check with your host whether they provide them for you, or if you have to buy your own. Ideally, they are tight-fitting as it’s easier to paddle without ‘flapping’ fabric around you. Our advice is to buy genuine ones from good, recognised brands like Quicksilver, Ripcurl, ONeill etc. as they will last much longer and offer genuine sun protection. The cheaper ones tend to be faked brands and the fabric stretches quickly, breaking up the surface and destroying the sun protection offered.

 

Surf or reef booties

Surf or reef booties are not necessary if you are surfing on sand (a beach break for example), but as most waves occur when a wave that has travelled across the ocean hits a reef protecting the shore, reef booties will help protect your feet from either sharper edges of rock or corals, or from things like sea urchins that have a nasty spine. We recommend a split-toe bootie like the one below from Quicksliver. 2mm is ideal. 1mm is not quite thick enough to repel the urchin’s spine and 3mm booties will then be a bit too stiff to surf in easily; that’s why we say 2mm is ideal.Sunscreen/Zinc.

Apart from your surfwear, the next item to bring on your surf vacation should be good quality sunscreen (assuming you are going to surf somewhere warm and sunny, like the Dominican Republic).

Sunscreens come in all levels of protection and whilst many purport to be waterproof, they often are not. Check the reviews of sunscreens and try and buy one that is manufactured for watersports rather than for someone who wants to tan and wade or swim gently in the sea. There’s a big difference (note our earlier comments about rubbing your eyes). We really like the Ambre Solaire Kids Factor 50 – not the spray, but the cream. I also use (on my face) Sunzapper Ultra because I find it can last me a full 2 to 3 hours in the water whilst surfing. Best of all, neither of these brands contains oxybenzone, a chemical that is known to damage coral reefs. A little pot of reef-friendly Zinc cream is also a good addition to pop in your bag – Zinc stays on even better than suncreams and is great for extra protection from sunburned lips.

A travel towel. The best ones are super lightweight travel towels made of microfiber, perfect for chucking into a backpack. And they dry quickly, usually just a few minutes in the sun is enough, so your bag won’t get soggy and heavy. They’re also great to sit on if your driver wants to keep the seats of their vehicle dry and as sand free as possible whilst you are driving back and forth to the beach. I always use mine to sit on, on my little scooter when I’ve finished surfing. It prevents me from sliding around on the seat whilst driving in wet clothes.

A changing poncho. These are towelling ‘mini-tents’ that you can put over your body whilst you change beneath, away from prying eyes. They are great, if not essential if you plan to change into ‘normal’ clothes straight after surfing and there is no changing room to hand.

An essentials medical kit. Whilst of course, we hope that you won’t have any injuries (thankfully it’s rare for people to get injured whilst surfing), inevitably at some stage during your surfing journey, you will have a scrape or a bump, so be prepared. We have our own medical kit at Swell, but nevertheless, travelling with your own little medical kit is smart. It can be small and really practical and should contain the following:

    • Iodine solution (for cleaning up a cut or scratch)
    • Cotton wool buds and cotton wool balls
    • Lint for dressing
    • Quality waterproof plasters
    • Emergency wound closures, like Micromend or Sterostrip
    • A sharp needle for removing foreign objects from your feet or other parts of the body.
    • Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and also a small tube (or tablets) of a product containing Aclovir. Aclovir is a cold sore remedy essential if you are unlucky enough to get those from too much sun exposure (it’s very common). Quick use of Aclovir can stop a cold sore before it breaks out.
    • An antibiotic powder or cream (for putting directly onto wounds).

That’s it, a small but really useful medical kit for surfers.

Surfing essentials

For beginner surfers, if you are travelling to a surf camp like Swell, usually, all the things listed below are automatically provided by your host teaching you to surf so you don’t need to bring any on your surf holiday. But, if you are not attending a surf camp, your host does not provide them, or you are surfing independently, here’s the list of surfboard/surfing-related items you would need to bring or buy at your destination:

A Surfboard: Do check the surf forecast to see if the surfboard you intend to bring is suitable for the expected surf conditions and ask for local advice if you are unsure. It can be better to rent so that you can change up your board depending on the conditions. Surfboards often get damaged in transit and are usually at least $100 USD each way on flights, so renting is often a smarter idea.

A Surfboard leash (and a spare one)

Surfboard fin set (don’t ever travel with your fins installed on your surfboard – always take them out and put them in a sleeve inside your surfboard bag).

Fin key (for putting in and taking the fins out)

Surfboard wax

Ding repair kit and/or an instant repair tape like Phix Doctor marine grade tape

 

Reusable water bottle. At Swell, we insist all our clients bring a reusable water bottle on their surf vacation. There’s no excuse now for using or buying plastic water bottles if there is a water supply that you can refill from. As you enter the surfing world, you will likely see first-hand the amount of plastic in our oceans 🙁

 

Travel insurance. I cannot tell you how many times we see in the surfing destinations we’ve lived in, a GO FUND ME page that has been set up for someone who has had an accident either surfing or more often, travelling around on a scooter for example but has no travel insurance to pay for their treatment. As a result, they are reduced to begging for help. Medical care is not usually free in any country in the World and it’s incredibly unwise to travel without an insurance policy in place. These policies are comparatively cheap to obtain and usually give a very high level of coverage for emergencies, including repatriation to your home country in case of anything really serious. These policies will also help you if you have delays or cancellations of your flights, lose items or have items stolen. Please, don’t be one of those people who think, ‘I’ll be ok’, because you just might not be: Spend the extra $50 to $100 USD to protect yourself. Use Google or your preferred search engine to search for ‘trip insurance’ ‘travel insurance’ or ‘vacation insurance’. Make sure that the policy you choose covers water sports (or doesn’t have exclusions for ‘extreme sports’ as surfing is sometimes classified). It’s a good idea to buy an annual policy if you are going to be making more than one trip in a calendar year.

 

Adaptors and chargers; For your adaptor, check the socket type of the destination you are headed to, or if you are not sure, buy one of the more expensive multi-socket adaptors that cover all socket types. Don’t forget your ‘phone charger!

Tip 

Check your data roaming policy from your ‘phone service provider. Does their data roaming cover where you are headed without incurring lots of extra fees? If their charges are going to be excessive, buy a local sim card as soon as you arrive at your destination: They are often sold in airport arrival areas. Using a local number can save you a fortune on roaming charges. Remember that apps like WhatsApp will still work even if you have a new SIM card with a different number in your ‘phone (just select ‘no’ if Whatsapp asks whether you wish to change the number registered to your Whatsapp account).

Final travel tips for your surf vacation

Check the validity of your passport before you book your vacation; when does it run out? How long will it take to renew, if necessary?
Check any visa requirements you might need for the country you are headed to. (Most nationals don’t need a visa for the Dominican Republic)
Check any compulsory or recommended immunisations you might need
Tell your bank you are travelling; most credit card providers have a travel advisory section where you can let them know it will be you using your card(s) in an unusual place. It will help prevent the rather embarrassing experience of not being able to pay for things!
If you are on medication, do you have enough for the length of time you will be away?

We think we’ve covered everything you need to bring on your surf vacation, but if you have any other tips we haven’t covered, do get in touch with us!

surf destination list

ABOUT SWELL SURF CAMP

At Swell we have been offering active watersport holidays since 2009. We offer high quality accommodation, tasty food and a social vibe for people of all ages. We offer surf lessons, kitesurfing lessons and Wingfoiling courses. Get in contact with Clare if you’d like to join Swell Surf camp

Share on Facebook

AM I TOO OLD TO LEARN TO SURF?

am i too old to learn to surf?

WHAT IS THE PERFECT AGE TOO LEARN TO SURF?

Or: Am I too old to learn to surf?

Ah…….. this question. I promise it’s my favorite (and I get asked a lot of questions every week). I receive this particular one in my inbox at least once per week. Am I too old to start surfing? Will I fit in? It’s my favorite question because it’s the one I can answer with absolute surety because I’ve experienced it and I understand it, I get the doubt in the back of your mind. I’m 58 and began surfing at 52. My only regret is that I didn’t take up surfing even earlier in life.

too old to learn to surf
(That’s me surfing 2 years ago, ago 56)

We receive emails from people of 50, 60 and slightly less often of 70+ all asking the same thing about age and suitability. Surfing, after all, has a reputation for young dudes hasn’t it?

When we opened Swell in Cabarete, on the North coast of the Dominican Republic back in 2009, the first thing my husband and I noticed was that the people who were choosing our surf camp were older than we had been expecting. We had not even considered that there were this many ‘older’ people who wanted to learn to surf. It blew us away. Our website, in the beginning, was geared up to the audience we had been expecting, but as the ‘older’ surfers kept coming, we adapted, changed our website, and our mindset. Our average age at Swell is now 40; when you think about it, that means we have as many 50-year-olds as we do 30-year-olds. It’s pretty incredible and we are super proud of the fact that age is no barrier when you want to learn to surf. It just isn’t.

I’m pretty confident that you have heard the saying, 70 is the new 50. Whatever the age, it’s a fact that we are living much longer than a few decades ago. I’m no medical practitioner but I am 58 and I can see that being 70 years old is not far away. Barring a debilitating illness, I don’t see myself giving up my water sports any time soon. I began kiteboarding at 41, surfing at 52 and I’ve just started wingfoiling at 58. I’ll probably try the next new water sport that comes along, as long as my body lets me keep trying.

AM I TOO OLD TO LEARN TO SURF?

Let’s be really honest here, it’s definitely a bit harder on the body learning to surf at 50, 60 or 70+ than it is when you are learning to surf at 30 years old. But with good basic preparation and realistic expectations, it’s absolutely possible.

And if you have a desire to do it, then the health benefits are extraordinary. In fact, surfing is one of the best all-around fitness activities you can possibly undertake. It generally has low impact, it’s good for cardio, good for muscular strength (and let’s face it as we get older, our muscles can really benefit from being used more rather than less), and perhaps most importantly, it’s really good for the soul. I’ve left many a bad mood on the beach when I enter the water. Surfing has a tendency to connect you to nature and forget about all the other stuff. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling when you catch your first wave, even a little white water ride, it’s incredible and trust me, if you are 70+ it will probably give you more of a thrill than if you were 25.

So if you are someone who wants to ask the question, ‘I am too old to learn to surf?’ let me answer that here and now: No, you are not too old to learn to surf. Neither are you too old to ‘fit in’ with the surfing crew. As I answer every client who sends that question my way if you have the desire, it’s enough: It already puts you in the ‘crew’ before you’ve ridden your first surfboard. And, just as these wonderful Australian ladies in the video Taking Off demonstrate so well, it changes lives and always for the better.

NEED MORE INSPIRATION FOR LEARNING TO SURF AT AN ‘OLDER’ AGE?

Come and try it, regardless of your age. We look forward to teaching you how to surf and changing your life too! I’m on hand to answer any questions or doubts you might have about learning to surf as an ‘older’ person.

Clare, co-owner of Swell surf retreats

Sidenote: It’s not just surfing that you can learn later in life, I have also just started my first lessons in Wingfoiling, I will update you on that progress here too.

Share on Facebook

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)

surf learning to surf holiday

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 & yoga retreat 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!

Share on Facebook

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

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!

Share on Facebook

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

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.

Share on Facebook

LEARNING TO FOIL WINGSURF

wing foil learn package

LEARNING TO FOIL WINGSURF

learn foil surfing

Unless you haven’t been paying attention to new water sports crazes, you’ve probably seen a huge increase in the number of people getting into foil boarding; whether it’s using a foil for surfing, kitesurfing, or the relatively new wing-foiling (covered in more detail below).

LEARNING TO FOIL / WINGSURF

WHAT IS A FOIL?

It was in Hawaii that the hydrofoil was first developed. The idea is to use a blade below the water to ‘lift’ the board you are using (whether it’s a SUP, kiteboard, or surfboard) clean out of the water. The board is attached to a mast which is attached to that blade. Once the blade lifts at a certain speed, the mast comes out of the water and then no part of the board is actually touching the water. We will talk about how foiling feels a little later in this article; the very reason for its existence is how that ride feels.

Early foil models were heavy, extremely difficult to use, and really quite dangerous. These hand-made foils were also very expensive. After several manufacturers came up with various foil models over the years, in around 2014, foil models had improved and started appearing in more numbers on local beaches. However, they were still too fast, generally unstable and very difficult to ride, as well as being expensive. Accidents were common and often resulted in nasty injuries.

The speed of design improvements has been impressive and the good news is that today, all manufacturers are building easy to use, less expensive, stable, fun foils which suit all kinds of surf/water conditions. They range from inexpensive plastic foils, through aluminium and fibreglass construction, all the way to the top-of-the-range carbon fibre foils.

Even better, many are of a modular design, meaning that you can interchange the various parts as your level of foiling improves.

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO FOIL COMPARED TO RIDING A NORMAL KITEBOARD OR SURFBOARD?

This question is rather like trying to describe how it feels the first time you ride a wave; it’s really hard to put it into words.

learn to foil

It’s like no other form of board riding you have ever undertaken before. The reason for this is that you are simply floating: Imagine gliding over a sea of soap suds where the suds keep you on top without sinking yet you can’t feel them beneath you. Your foil makes no sound at all as it carries you, there’s no slapping of water that you always get with a board in contact with water. It’s spookily quiet as you glide effortlessly through the water. People have described it as a magic carpet ride and I would have to agree.

Also, the momentum of foils and the way they travel through water means that you only need light winds for either kiting or wing-surfing. You can also travel at much faster speeds and turn further upwind or downwind than you can with a regular twin-tip kiteboard.

It’s really easy to see why kite foiling and wing-surfing are the fastest growing water sports.

WHAT MAKES LEARNING TO FOIL MORE DIFFICULT?

If you are used to riding a twin-tip kiteboard or a directional surfboard, you will know that you steer the board using your heels and toes. Only two things to remember; heels will dig in to ride upwind and toes will turn the board downwind. Let’s refer to this as the ‘roll.’

With a foil, there are three things to master. You’ve got the toe and heel operation (the roll) but you have also got a front and back axis (the pitch) to deal with. Getting the ‘pitch’ of the foil right is essential to keep the board out of the water. Too much leaning back and the foil will literally fly out of the water. Too much pressure forward and the foil will sink the board. Foils are sensitive and require only a tiny movement of your body forward or backward to completely change momentum.

The roll is also harder to come to terms with on a foil. If you can imagine the roll on a regular board occurs immediately beneath your feet and the adjustment you make results in an instant turn. With a foil, the blade is well beneath you, anything from 40cm to 110cm (depending on the length of the foil’s mast). This means that the adjustment required is larger and the turn takes longer to effect.

Then we have to look at how weird it feels to be hovering above the water. Everything you have ever learned with kiteboarding or wind-surfing is about the board being in direct contact with the ocean. The height you can achieve with a foil is at once exhilarating but it’s also scary. No matter how good you are as a kiteboarder, surfer, or windsurfer, learning to foil will make you feel like a noob all over again. It sounds like a bit of a nightmare, doesn’t it? But the reward, the reward………..your soap-suddy, dreamy cruise through the air will make all the faceplants and aching thighs well worth it. It’s just a learning curve you must go through to get to the pot of gold.

HOW DO I LEARN FOILING?

There are several different ways to learn to foil. If you already kitesurf well, then you can pick up foiling using your kite skills to generate the power required. If you are an accomplished windsurfer, then moving to wing-foiling will not be too big a step up.

If you don’t kitesurf, surf, or wind-surf already, then your options are as follows: 1. Learn to kitesurf first using a regular twin tip (this might sound difficult but actually, the learning curve with kiting is much faster than with regular surfing and progress can be rapid. 2. Learn to wing-foil (see below for our course options at Swell). The great thing about using the wing to start foiling is that control of the wing is easier and even faster to master than control of the kite. 3. Use a boat-tow to start. However, whilst using a boat to tow you might seem like a good option, in reality, it’s cheating somewhat and with this method, you won’t utilize some of the balance skills which are vital for foil control once a boat is not towing you. Another problem with a boat tow is that the boat tends to do the steering for you, so you are not learning that skill either. Lastly, unless your boat pilot is well-versed with foiling themselves, they won’t know the correct speed to keep you above the water and safe.

Whichever method you choose, you should begin your water experience with a short mast on the foil (shorter = easier). The better you get, the longer you want your mast to be. You will also use a bigger board at the beginning to give you as much stability as possible.

WINGSURF FOILING; A PERFECT INTRODUCTION TO FOILING WITH NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE

As we’ve mentioned above, wingsurf-foiling is an ideal choice if you don’t already kitesurf and you want to get straight into riding a foil. Wingsurfing is growing quickly in popularity and it’s easy to see why.

Unlike a kite, the hand-held wing is much simpler and safer to use. There are no long lines to put out, no potentially dangerous launch to master, no risk of crashing the kite and not being able to relaunch it. The equipment is easy to put together and the wing is quickly inflated. A leash attaches the wing to the rider in case of falls and handles are positioned along the center of the wing to guide it; it’s very light in the hand. In fact, there are no discernible disadvantages to using a wing to foil.

learn to wingsurf

Wings are sold in various sizes to suit wind conditions and rider size. A good wing-foiling school will have the correct size of the wing for your lessons. You will be able to wing-foil in just 12 knots of wind. All you have to do is inflate the lightweight wing and enter the water.

WHERE CAN I LEARN TO WINGSURF FOIL

SWELL LEARN TO WING FOIL COURSE


learn to wing foil

Cabarete, Dominican Republic, is already a world-renowned kite surfing destination, with steady side-on trade winds and warm Caribbean water: Now foiling is taking over as the fastest growing sport. You can come and stay with us at Swell and take a 10-hour foiling course for $795 USD (one person) or $636 USD each if two guests are learning at the same time.

More info on our learn to wingsurf course can be found here and the package pricing for learning to foil & wingsurf are here

WING FOILING IN CABARETE

Cabarete on the North coast of the Dominican Republic is one of the best wing foiling spots in the world!

Great conditions for Wing foilers of all levels

ABOUT SWELL


We are a purpose-built retreat for people that are looking for an active water sports holiday. We offer learn to surf, kitesurf and wingsurf packages for clients staying with Swell

More info about learning wingfoiling, or the wingfoil packages we offer

Share on Facebook

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;


learn surfing at 40

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

surf learning to surf

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

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

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.

Share on Facebook

WHAT SURFING DOES TO YOUR HEALTH

surf surfing dominican republic

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.

surf SURFING BENEFITS

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 learn surfing 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.

surf playa encuentro
Sunrise at our local surf beach

 

Share on Facebook