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6 Common Surfing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


If you are considering surfing for the first time, this guide can help you start on the right foot. Here are common surfing mistakes and how to avoid them.

It’s almost summer vacation! Time to grab a surfboard and catch some waves! If you’re experienced enough, that is.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

You should never go surfing with friends without getting a little training first. This is one of the most common surfing mistakes beginners make. While surfing looks to be a fun leisure activity, you can’t forget that it is a sport.

If you aren’t ready for what that entails or pick up the wrong starter board, you could end up getting seriously hurt!

Are you still interested in giving the activity a try? Keep reading to learn what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re first starting out.

  1. Refusing to Warm Up

We get it. You’re eager to hop on your surfboard and catch some waves, but you’ve got to warm up first. It’s important to remember that while people surf for fun, it is a sport and a high-intensity one at that.

It works your biceps, abdominal muscles, and legs. If you’re not ready for that, you’ll find that it will be difficult to pull yourself out of bed the next day.

To avoid soreness, take a short jog around the beach. This will help you work those muscles and get your heart pumping before you get to the real workout.

  1. Not Surveying the Ocean Before Going Out

So, you’re done warming up. Is it time to hit the waves yet?

The answer is no!

You’ve got to do some surveillance first. If you don’t, the currents might be a little stronger than you initially anticipated. You could get carried away if you’re not careful.

The waves could also start to stack up higher than you thought they would. This can also lead to disaster. Study the waves for at least ten minutes to make sure they’re safe enough for you.

  1. Buying the Wrong Board

There are many different types of surfboards out there for you to choose from. That makes picking your first one pretty challenging. If you want speed and maneuverability, there are shortboards.

Longboards provide stability, and they’re easy for a beginner to paddle. Hydrofoil boards are pretty neat and simple for someone starting as well. You can go here to learn more about them.

For now, let’s move on to what you should be looking for in a board.


The first thing to consider is the volume of a surfboard. You would think that you should go with a light one. It’s easier to carry around and maneuver, right?

You would be wrong. Heavier boards float better. They help beginners learn how to pop up on their feet and catch waves without falling.


If you don’t get the right-sized board, it won’t be able to support you. There are charts online that can help you find the right size for your particular weight.

You can also go to a surf shop to get an employee to help you find the right size for you.


 Foamies are affordable for those on a budget. They’re also soft, so if you get hit by your board when you fall (and you will fall a lot), it won’t hurt as much.

They’re lightweight, but they can handle most waves unless you want to go after the big ones, which you shouldn’t be doing as a beginner anyway. The main problem with these boards is that they aren’t that responsive to the surfer.


Do you want a board that’s easy to maneuver? longboards have you covered. Not only are they simple to use, but you won’t have to work as hard to keep balance.

Many people who start with these never look back.

We will say that it’s not as easy to catch waves with them, and they’re much harder than foamies. That means if your board hits you, it’s going to hurt.


Shortboards are faster and easier to maneuver than both longboards and foamies. You can get them at a good price, and catch any wave you want unless you’re tackling the small ones.

We will say that these aren’t great for beginners, though. Wait to get one until you’ve got a little more practice under your belt.

  1. Going Out When the Conditions Aren’t Right

If you don’t go out during the best surfing conditions, the results could be dangerous. It also might not be that much fun for you. If there are no waves, there is no sport.

To this end, you need to learn how to read a surfing report. There are forecast apps you can download that will help you out with that.

  1. Not Brushing Up on Your Swimming Skills

The ocean is no kiddy pool. You’re going to be facing deep waters and ferocious waves. Knowing your backstroke isn’t going to help you if you get caught up in a current.

Quick recovery is also important when you’re learning how to surf. When you get knocked off, you need to be able to get right back up and try again. You can’t do that if you don’t know how to swim.

  1. Overestimating Your Stamina

Again, surfing is a workout. The simple act of paddling your board out takes a ton of energy. You might not be able to handle it if you don’t have a regular workout regime in place.

You don’t have to do much. Common dumbbell exercises and lifting weights should be enough to get you ready for the physical ordeal.

Common Surfing Mistakes Many Beginners Make

Are you thinking about taking up surfing? Learning is a ton of fun, but making common surfing mistakes can be dangerous. At the end of the day, it’s a physically demanding sport.

If you’re not ready for that, you’re not going to get far with it. We hope that you’re able to follow these pointers and catch a few awesome waves.

Surfing is only one exciting water sport that you can enjoy. Check out our blog daily to learn more.