Most people tend to think of summertime as the best time of year to hit the beach and go surfing. Just listen to any Beach Boys song and your brain automatically conjures up mental images of suntanned bodies, bikinis and surfboards. As refreshing and fun as this may seem, it is not quite accurate. In reality, the bigger waves hit the shore during the winter months when Mother Earth churns up the ocean with storms and high winds causing epic swells to spill in towards the coastlines.
But, if you are new to surfing, summer months are by far the best time to learn. Waves tend to be much more calm thereby making it the perfect environment for newbies to get the basic mechanics down.
Surfing, in general, is much more difficult than it looks. A combination of balance, technique and muscle strength is required (so start working on your core ASAP!). But, by far, the most important skill required is being disciplined enough to continue to practice getting up on the board over and over again. Like riding a bicycle, skiing, or throwing a knuckle ball, the more times you do it, the better results you will get.
If you are planning to surf for the first time, make sure to look into taking several lessons with a seasoned surfer. Basic mechanics, along with surfing etiquette (yes, there is such a thing) is usually covered. Never go out surfing in the ocean alone, especially when you are just starting out. Private and group lessons are available in places like, Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, and of course, Santa Cruz (AKA “Surf City”). Surfboard and wetsuit rentals are also something to look into while you are in the beginning stages.
Here are a few selections the SCCLD offers to help you get started, plus a few of my own personal fav’s to get you started as well as a few to get you totally stoked: