Stay Safe When Surfing

Dangerous surfing situations can happen fast and without warning. Follow these tips to do your part to stay safe out in the water.

Know how to swim. You must be a strong swimmer to surf. Treading water won’t be good enough if you’re tossed from your board or pulled out by a rip.

Wear safety gear. Use a leash. You’ll avoid losing your board or having it hit others in the head, and it can help you find your way back to the surface if you get disoriented underwater. Rash guards, wetsuits, and booties will protect your body from cold waters, reefs, and the sun.

Watch out for rips. Rip currents can be exhausting at best, deadly at worst. Avoid them at all costs. Watch for “rivers” in the water, areas of faster or backward flowing current. The waves will look flatter or uneven in this area. If you do get caught, motion for help or start paddling parallel to the shore until you break free.

Practice sun safety. Wear sunscreen and sunglasses or a UV-blocking wetsuit top. More surfers die from skin cancer than drownings.

Don’t dive head first. Never dive head first into unknown waters. Neck injuries can be life-long and debilitating. If you’re taking a fall, extend a hand out in front of you and fall flat. This is especially important in surf breaks over reefs or in shallow areas.

Protect your head. Make sure you know where your board is at all times. A leash helps with this. Protect your head as you surface to avoid getting hit by your board.

Surf with a friend. Use the buddy system every time you hit the water. If you get in to trouble, you’ll have someone to help you.

Know your limits. Don’t attempt to tackle waves beyond your abilities and don’t rely on your leash to protect you. Leashes can break in big surf, which means you’ll be out there without your board in conditions you may not be able to handle.

Know And Practice Surf Etiquette

Surfing is a fun and laid-back sport full of camaraderie. A lot of this philosophy can be attributed to practicing good surf etiquette.

Watch out for other surfers. Hang on to your board so it doesn’t hit other surfers. Never ditch it if you can help it.

Wear a leash. Related to #1 above, a leash helps keep your board with you. You won’t have to swim after if it you lose it and you won’t have to worry about it hitting someone else.

Don’t paddle in front of others. Also called “snaking”, this involves paddling around someone to get ahead of him or her and closer to the wave in an attempt to gain right of way.

Practice right of way. The surfer closest to the curl has right of way. Don’t drop in on them. Wait for the next wave. Paddling surfers yield to surfers riding a swell.

Help others. If you see a surfer in trouble, help him or her. The ocean is no place to ignore someone in distress.

Keep these safety and etiquette tips in mind next time you’re out riding the waves and you’ll gain the respect of your fellow surfers, as well as come back from your excursion in one piece.

Stay Fit Diet For Surfer

A surfer should essentially focus on both pre-surfing and post-surfing diet plans.

Before you set out to surf, you need to make sure that you have completed your intake at least 45 minutes before you enter the waters.

Any food you might take will consist of one or more of the essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water in varied proportions.

There are hundreds and thousand of foods around. Diet can be confusing because digestive capabilities and individual food comfort differs between people. Before we go deep in to the many food choices, you should know that your digestive system and your natural intellect welcome food that is naturally friendly to your gut. Foods that are gut friendly are easy to digest and it makes you feel better and energetic post meal, as opposed to feeling heavy, sleepy and tired with unhealthy gut tiring foods.

What is comfortable to you might not be to someone else and vice versa. So, listen to your senses and decide on what you would take before and after surf.

Proteins without saturated fat, complex carbohydrates and whole grain, soy foods, diary foods low in fat, high fiber and nutrient rich foods are good pre-surf diet choices.

Holistic dieticians recommend, eat when you are hungry, and nothing if you are not. Your body demands food if it is in need of energy. Issues arise when you over feed or under feed it. Eat right enough for your hunger, because hunger is directly proportional to bodily needs.

Hunger compliant surfers are normally healthy, because they neither over eat nor under eat.

Oatmeal is best to you keep you energized for a long stay in water. Complement it with blueberries, nuts and raisins, fiber, easily digestible fats, and cinnamon for better digestion pre-surf.

Other choices of pre-surf food would be whole grain bread, granola, yoghurt, protein shakes, rice, black beans, tofu, energy chocolates or eggs with seasoned pepper

Those who develop leg cramps while on sea can consider including banana. Isotonic drinks also do help.

Those who do not have a lot of time for meals pre-surf can consider energy snacks like a fruit mix, fruit smoothies, nuts and raisins, muffins, peanut and banana, energy bars, or raw vegetables.

Heavy foods pre-surf over works the digestive system, leaving the body with less energy for the rest of the feats. So, have an energetic yet light diet pre-surf.

Post-surf is the time to relish your achievement for the day. You likely are hungry. Fish, grilled chicken, baked potatoes, French fries, steamed vegetables, tea or anything you like that is gut friendly.

Places To Learn Surfing In Costa Rica

The Caribbean

The conditions for surfing in the east coast do not last throughout the year as the waves are mainly the result of tropical storms. Therefore, it is not recommended for a novice to attempt surfing on this side. For new surfers, the Pacific Coast side is more of an option.

Pacific Coast

The west side of the coast can be further divided into three distinct regions, the North, Central and South.

North Pacific Coast

This is the most popular region for surfing in Costa Rica and has some great places for surfing.

Places such as Playa Naranjo have very strong winds, especially between December and March. This is a great place to stay and learn surfing due to its location. You can also camp here but a 4 wheel drive is a necessity here.

Tamarindo is a town with startling beauty which offers great surfing conditions for both novices and experienced surfers alike. The best conditions are found between December and April. Tamarindo also offers Spanish classes so if you were interested in learning Spanish too, you will have the best of both at your disposal.

Central Pacific Coast

Hermosa Beach in the Central Pacific region keeps its waters in a constant swell. The beach stretches for several miles so you can easily find a spot where it is not too crowded. The good thing is, this beach is easily accessible from San Jose.

South Pacific Coast

Playa Dominical has waves in store for all skill levels. This region features beautiful lush landscapes and coastal rainforests. This is the place to go if you want to pack light. Just don’t forget the wetsuit!

Afraid of Surfing

The most common injuries sustained during surfing are simple lacerations, which increase in frequency depending on the size of the waves and the quality of the ocean floor. Repetitive motion from paddling is also occasionally cited as a shoulder injury, although these tend to heal quickly. Unless extraordinary conditions persist, under which a surfer should not be in the water, the chance for head injury or broken bones are very slim compared to sports such as hockey or football.

The wildlife of the ocean is a major concern for some people who spend their time on a beach, would like to surf, but have too many reservations to get on a board and take to the ocean. Movies such asĀ Jaws, disparate news stories, and a natural human fear towards predatory animals have all perpetuated an unfortunate and irrational terror of sharks, large fish, and sea-bound mammals. In reality, shark attacks are extremely rare, with only a small number reported in the United States each year, and only a handful of fatal attacks reported in the last century.

For many, vacations are a chance to get out and experience something new. When looking to surf, consider a longer stay or a group adventure by renting a South Mission Beach rental condominium today.

Standup Paddleboarding

Surfboards require waves for enjoyment of standup surfing. With SUPs, you do not need waves to have a good outing. All you need is a smooth body of water and a paddle especially designed and fitted to your height making it possible for you to standup paddle these big boards. They are big boards. But they are light enough for most people to carry and they have carrying handles or straps to make it easy.

This new sport allows you to get together with your friends, social groups, clubs, or just yourself and spend some leisure time on the water, sightseeing, cruising, and enjoying the fresh air and sunshine.

While you are paddling, you are getting good exercise and some special time alone or with your friends in a very healthy atmosphere. Many who ride a SUP use it for physical training. It is especially good for core, legs, and shoulder training. An hour of steady paddling will wear you out and give you a terrific workout. While you are training or just paddling, it will clear your mind and get your blood flowing for a good cardiovascular workout.

All you need to do is get a board and a paddle that are suited for you so that you will have a smooth stable ride. Proper sizing of your SUP and paddle is very important. It might also be a good idea for you to take a lesson or two from your local surf shop or water sports facility. The experts in the shop and your instructor will make sure that you make the proper choices.

SUPs range in price from $450 to $2,000. They come in different types and designs. There are beginner hard and soft SUPs, intermediate and professional SUPs. After you have taken your lesson, talk to the SUP instructor or shop owner, you will be able to make a good decision based on your own physical condition, size, and level of experience. Your desire and motivation will probably determine how much you decide to invest in your new SUP.

Long Board Tricks

Whatever trick you intend to perform on your long board, take the first few seconds on the wave to situate yourself on the board. Know where the front of your board is as well as what direction you are going. It might also help to determine how much longer you can ride the wave. You should also determine your “happy place” on the board. That is where you feel most comfortable while standing and riding on your board. Once you figure out where that is, remember it or mark it with a permanent marker. That will be your eternal reference point as your center of balance on the board.

Before you try to hang 10, you should practice moving forward and back on your board, using your permanent marker as your reference point. The best and quickest method of moving forward and backward on your board is to crisscross one foot in front of the other in a sideways fashion. Imagine you are walking on a tightrope sideways and you are walking in front of your marker and then in back of it. This movement is called cross stepping and is a crucial movement to master, should you like to perform other maneuvers on the long board.

When you feel you’ve mastered the cross step, you should be ready to hang 10. You have to be going fast enough on the wave to let you apply your body weight to the front of the board without falling off the wave. So, you need to accelerate by evenly distributing weight around your happy place. As you begin to gain momentum, you can then move forward on your board. Moving forward on your board has to happen steadily but quickly. You don’t want to move up too fast or the board will topple over nose first. Too slow and the weight in the front of your board will slow you down and the wave will continue on without you. It is perfectly acceptable to cross step forward and back until you finally make it all the way up the front of your board, but waves don’t last forever, so be sure to get there as quickly as you can.

When you’ve made it to the front of your board, all you have to do is get your toes over the tip of your board. Use your arms to keep your balance and enjoy. You can’t hang 10 for long, though, so crisscross back to your original position before you lose too much speed.

Elements For Beginners in Surfing

Swimming and exercises for would be surfers

Before you even consider whether you want a longboard or short board, book surfing holidays or buy any surfing gear, you need to know your strengths and weaknesses. For example, it is important that you can swim well before taking to the water on a surfboard.

Exercises that are beneficial when learning to surf include: Bench press ups; Push up; Leg presses; Squats; Aerobic exercises such as swimming, dancing, cycling and running.

A good balance of this type of exercise will prepare you for surfing by strengthening calves and thighs, helping your balance and making you stronger and able to endure more.

Familiarize yourself with a surfboard

Take a good look at a surfboard so that you become familiar with its features. A long board is approximately nine by two feet with a strip in the middle. It may have one of more fins. The surfboard leash near the tail can be attached to your ankle to prevent you parting company with it, if you fall off. It takes some practise to become accustomed to the leash, so try it out in a swimming pool or practise on the beach. You can also practise your balance in a swimming pool to reproduce surfing conditions.

On the beach you can make a narrow groove in the sand for your surfboard and practise the pop up as well as standing from a sitting or paddling position.

You confidence will grow with your surfing lessons and when you are ready to hit the surf take a surf buddy with you to show you the proper distance to keep from others surfers and other aspects of surf etiquette. He will be able to instruct you in paddling, catching a wave and will be there for you if you encounter difficulties.

Advanced Surfing

If you watch surfing videos, which you should because they will teach you a great deal about short-boarding technique, notice how the surfer determines the move he or she will make by the shape and condition of the wave itself. The speed of the wave, in particular, will determine how to reposition your board. If the wave is slow, apply more weight on your front foot and step down to accelerate. If the wave speeds up, then take the opportunity to slide your front foot back an inch. Your knees should be bent throughout this process, which improves your center of gravity and balance.

When you decide to make your move and hit the lip, apply pressure on your back foot, which will allow your board to head up the wave. As you near the crest, release your foot so that you level out at the crest of the wave, with your board floating on the crest. Prepare to drop back down by bending your knees and pointing the tip of your board so that you can continue down the line. When you hit the bottom of the wave, do a quick bottom turn to gain acceleration to finish your ride.

Throughout your ride, your body and eyes should always be looking in the direction you want to go. Your back leg and upper body do most of the maneuvering. Hitting the lip involves steering with your back foot and forcing the movement with your shoulders. This trick takes a bit of practice, so don’t expect to land it the first try.

Long boarders can also perform this maneuver but should be careful not to be as aggressive with the movements, especially if the drop from the lip is more than four feet. The maneuver should be smoother and more fluid.

Surf Clothing and Accessories

Suddenly, a new style of surf clothing began to be seen, even in midwestern states far from the waves. What happened?

No, it was not the Beach Boys who first popularized surfing. In 1957, a man wrote a short book about his daughter, who was one of the first surfer girls. Called “Gidget”, the book went on to become a hit movie in 1959. That was where it all really began.

The producers of the film knew they were on to something big and enlisted big stars James Darren and Sandra Dee to star in the movie, with superstar Cliff Robertson in a strong supporting role. The movie featured some surfing footage, but mostly it featured girls in bikinis and well-built guys in surfing trunks.

The popularity of that movie led to many more imitators. In pop music, surf music became huge, with groups like Jan and Dean and the Beach Boys making in to Number One on the charts. About the only teenagers who didn’t like their music were surfers, who really preferred to keep their sport to themselves. Instead, they listened to the music of bands like Dick Dale and the Ventures. The fast-paced guitar licks in instrumentals like “Perfidia” and “Walk, Don’t Run” were what they listened to before they tackled the waves.

There was no stopping the tidal wave of interest in surfing, though. In just a few short years, surfing had gone from nowhere to mainstream. Suddenly the beaches were filled with surfers and where they couldn’t surf, young people wore surfing fashions and dreamed of riding the waves.

Baggy Hawaiian shirts, baggy trunks and Hawaiian print bikinis were the surfing style of that era. It took time for a surfing apparel industry to evolve, but evolve it did. Today, some of the early surf wear companies are multi-million dollar corporations.

Today, you can find surfwear being worn just about anywhere in the world. It runs the gamut from board shorts and bikinis to shoes, shorts, pants, shirts and even socks. Girls styles include tank tops, blouses, skirts, miniskirts and dresses. In fact, many surfers find enough styles to choose from that they wear nothing else but surf wear.

Surf the Waves in Easy Lessons

Board Positioning

A common mistake that I see a lot of beginners do is lay on top of their board either too far back or to far forward. It really is a subtle balancing act when you lay on your surfboard. If you are too far up on the board you will pearl the nose under water and possibly end up sliding off across the front of the board. What’s far more common is for newbies to position themselves too far back which allows them to paddle in the water okay, but they will never catch a wave and the board will end up getting away from them. The ideal spot to lay on the board for paddling and catching waves is just far enough up from the center so that you can arch your back a little as you paddle and the nose stays just a couple inches at the most out of the water. It really is just a matter of feeling your balance and paying attention to how you body shifts weight on your surfboard.

Momentum and Speed

Another very common problem I see beginning surfers make is not taking the speed of the wave into consideration when the paddle after one in hopes of catching it. It is imperative to always pay attention to your surroundings when out in the ocean, but while surfing you must constantly scan the nearby horizon for waves coming in. The time to paddle after wave is before it gets to you not when it is right up on you. You must position yourself in a manner that allows you to paddle in front of the incoming wave so that your speed matches the waves and it will then more likely grab a hold of your board and allow you to catch the wave. A good idea is to paddle out just beyond the break zone and sit on your board so you can see the horizon farther out to allow for maximun preparation time for the next set.

Standing and Leg Stance

You can get everything else right when going surfing, but if you never stand up or stay up on your surfboard then you will never really ride a wave. Its important to practice getting up from laying on your stomach to your feet in a quick sweeping motion that takes no longer than a second or two. You should practice this routinely at home or in your yard until its second nature. Many surfers learned by getting on their knees first then going to a standing position. While this might seem easier at first, it is incorrect and a bad habit to break if you start out that way. It is far better to learn to go from laying flat to standing in one movement even if it takes longer to learn. This will give your a quicker start when the waves momentum grabs your board and believe me this will allow you to not only catch the wave before the competition does, but will guarantee you more options on how you will end up riding that totally awesome wave dude.