6 Big Mistakes To Avoid At Your First Private Surfing Lesson

Learning to surf is an exciting project, and having a private instructor available as a reference is a great way to progress quickly at surfing. However, a lot of newbies make some beginner mistakes that make it so that they fail to take advantage of the full value of a private instructor.

The following are six mistakes to avoid at your first private instructor surfing lessons so that you pick things up as quickly as possible.

1. Not preparing yourself with a little research

The more you know before your lesson starts, the faster you're likely to progress. You can watch some videos and read some articles online about learning to surf. This will give you some insights on paddling and "popping up" properly for beginners. 

You can also prepare yourself by working out your muscles a little before your first lesson. Many muscle groups are important for surfing, but in particular, you may want to focus on your deltoids, biceps, triceps, thighs, abs and obliques. 

2. Using the wrong board

The board you use for your first lesson is going to have a big impact on how successful you are. You need to ask someone with experience in surfing which board you should rent if you will be responsible for securing a board for your lesson on your own.

Generally, smaller and lighter weight boards are recommended for beginners. These boards are generally made from foam materials that are very buoyant and make it easier for beginners to catch waves. 

3. Being afraid of wiping out

There's no getting around it. You're going to be doing a lot of wiping out in the beginning. You have to train yourself to go for it and not fear the wipeout if you're going to learn.

4. Being impatient to get in the water

Your instructor is likely to recommend doing some exercises on the beach to get started. Your instructor might want to see you try popping up on your board a few times on land before having you try it in the water.

Popping up refers to jumping on to your feet after you've caught the wave. This is one of the most important moves to master when you're learning to surf. 

5. Being too shy to ask questions

Having a private instructor means that no questions you have should go unanswered during your lesson. Ask questions and make sure you explain anything you're struggling with to your instructor for good advice on how to overcome problems. 

6. Challenging yourself quickly without mastering the basics

A lot of fledgling surfers are eager to try larger waves and longer boards right away. However, starting simple is the way to learn. Your instructor is probably going to want you to try catching smaller waves or riding the "whitewater" closer to shore before you go out to where the waves are breaking.