Surfing FAQ's - Beginner Surf and Intermediate Surfer Questions and Answers

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The addition of this page to the website came about by "learn to surf" questions I was seeing on surf forums such as Magic Seaweed. I realized that some of the questions being asked are very common and deserve a more thorough explanation. These questions aren't necessarily something I would bring into my general instructions to readers wanting to learn how to surf

For example, I explain how to pop up and get into your surf stance in detail in the main part of the website, but what happens if you are trying to surf the face of the wave and when you try to catch it, the nose of your surfboard is digging in and you are getting tossed head over heals.  This  is where some finer points come into play and I hope you will find this new addition to the website answers little problems you may be having.  

If you have a question that you'd like answered send me an email at and I'll do my best to answer your questions.
Ok, here we go.

Q:  I feel unbalanced once I have managed to stand up on my surfboard. Is it just a matter of trial and error to find the correct position?

A:  The answer to this question is that it comes down to having a good surf stance. So no it's not really a matter of trial and error.  After you have paddled for the wave and popped up .... more on surf stance

Q:  When I try to catch the wave, the nose of my surfboard is digging in and flipping me head over heals. I tried moving back on the surfboard, but then the waves are passing me without me catching them.  What am I missing?

A:  This is called "pearling", it's not fun is it?  What you did to try to correct the problem is our natural instinct,  to move our weight back when we see the nose is digging in  .... more on pearling

Q:  How do I make the first turn when surfing?

A:  Congratulations, many beginning surfers don't get to this point. Making the first turn when you are riding the face of a wave involves getting the surfboard to pivot by getting lots of weight onto your rear foot. More on ...making the first turn when surfing

how to paddle a surfboard faster

Q:  What is the difference between surfing on the "Inside" and surfing on the "Outside"?

A:  When you are surfing on the "inside" it means that you are surfing bewteen the shore and where the waves are breaking. When you are learning to surf, this is the area you generally will spend the first few lessons, until you get confident in paddling, balancing on your surfboard and getting to your feet quickly. As you improve your surf skills you will be ready to try surfing the breaking waves. When you paddle out past the area where the waves are breaking, the area beyond the breaking waves is known as the "outside". This is where surfers wait for the waves. Generally, waves will break at a surf spot a particular distance from shore. This is known as the lineup. If you are new to a surf break, you will want to watch where the other surfers are setting themselves up. Whatever you do, don't paddle out and just sit a few meters in front of the other surfers. You're going to be in the way. Paddle out so that you are lined up the same distance from shore as the other surfers and wait for your chance.

Q:  Which surfboard is better, an epoxy surfboard or a fiberglass surfboard?

A:  This is a tough question to answer. Epoxy surfboards have been out since the 90's, but the technology and different design ideas are still coming along each year and most surfers still consider it relatively new. Many surfers who are accustomed to their traditional fiberglass boards are reluctant to give epoxy surfboards a fair chance. Perhaps I have been guilty of that myself in the past. Surftech produce a smoking hot surfboard that many surfers rave about. More on ...Epoxy vs Fiberglass Surfboards

Q:  Am I too old to learn how to surf?

A:  Fitness is more important than age. I would rather show a fit 60 year old how to surf than a fat 25 year old. More on ...Am I Too Old To Learn How To Surf?

Q:  What wetsuit do I need for surfing?

A:  This question is often asked by new surfers who are not familiar with the different thicknesses available in wetsuits. The type of wetsuit you need to wear depends on the water temperature. You do want to be comfortably warm in the water so that you're surf session isn't cut short because you are too cold, but at the same time you need to surf in a wetsuit that isn't thicker than it needs to be. More on ... what wetsuit do I need for surfing?

If you came to SURFhow looking for an answer and haven't found it, send me an email and I'll try to answer your question here.

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