Growing up in Southern California, I always envisioned myself surfing. I’d be at Huntington Beach during the US Open of Surfing and was always awed by the sport. Surprisingly, I never got into surfing until I started college. After freshman year, I decided it was time to finally learn. So, I purchased a Costco wavestorm, otherwise known as the kookstorm, and a springsuit and charged the ocean to figure out how to surf. The beginning was very difficult. My arms were made of noodles and I was tossed in the washing machine of broken waves constantly. However, after dedicating myself to going multiple times a week, I slowly started to pick up skills. I was able to paddle out to the unbroken waves without any issues and every now and then when I went for a wave I would catch it. This led to a consistent yet slow progression that made me fall in love with the sport.
Now, I’ve been surfing for over a year and try to go out every day. I’d say I’m still a beginner-intermediate when looking at the surfing community as a whole, but I have a blast each time I go out. I can catch waves and carve, but I am still searching for my first barrel. There are a lot of important tips when first getting started surfing. The first is try and stay out of the way of more experienced surfers. Try your best and they will work around you. Many times they will get frustrated at you, but they know everyone has started somewhere. Another big tip is to first start surfing on a foam surfboard. There are a lot of advantages to doing this. First, these surfboards are dirt cheap compared to fiberglass boards; you can get one at Costco for $100. These boards are also very floaty making them easier to paddle on, and lastly, if you do get in a collision with another surfer, they are safer for both parties in terms of getting hurt. Surfboard aside, as the summer water temps start to dwindle, you may need to get a wetsuit. I would recommend getting a 3/2 if you are not planning on surfing in California during the winter. A 3/2 mean that the body portion of the wetsuit is 3mm thick, while the arms and legs are 2mm thick. Similarly, a 4/3 is 4mm and 3mm, and a 2/1 is 2mm and 1mm. The thicker the wetsuits are the warmer they will be. I would also recommend chest zips since they are more comfortable, and water doesn’t get in as easily. With that, go out and have some fun. Get stoked and rip it out there!