“Let’s go surfin’ now/Everybody’s learning how/Come on and safari with me … “-The Beach Boys
Summertime is just around the corner, and you surfers know what that means-everybody wants to learn how to surf. No matter how good you are yourself, you can always help get another future surfer started. Here’re a few steps to take to ensure a good learning experience for the new surfer. Let’s get started.-C.C.
Get A Big Softie. A big, soft surfboard is best for teaching beginners. Whether it’s a kid, a hot chick, your grandma, or some friend of your mom’s-a big, stable board is a must-have. Soft boards are the best for teaching, because if your surf student gets nailed and hurt by a real surfboard, they’ll be scarred for life and most likely quit. The bigger the board, the better-something over nine feet is suggested.
Choose Your Spot. When teaching a new ripper the ropes, choose a beach that’s not crowded, has mellow waves, and preferably a sand bottom. If it’s a romantic lesson, pick a secluded beach, because after a long day of lessons, you’ll want to be making out and rolling in the whitewash like one of those old movies. If you’re teaching a group lesson, a beach with a lifeguard is recommended for the added safety of your pupils.
Get It Started On The Sand. We’ve all seen someone laying on a board in the sand practicing standing up quick. This is not a joke. Explain to whomever you’re teaching that while they are looking stupid, they’re actually learning the most important aspect of surfing-standing up. Tell them to pretend they’re lying on a bed of hot coals and they need to stand up fast! “Hey! Get up off those hot coals, dipshit!” you yell. “You’re gonna burn your breast, chest, neck, and head!”
The beach lesson is also where you’re obligated to explain the common-courtesy laws of surfing: Don’t drop in, stay out of the way, etc. This will help all of us. The more these new surfers know about surf etiquette, the better. Then they’ll be less likely to get cracks in the future.
Take It Easy. Don’t bring your new surfer into the danger zone, start them out on the bunny slopes-pushing them into a bunch of whitewash waves and get them standing up. Be sure to tell them never to dive off the board headfirst. If they do, they could be paralyzed. If you’re teaching a girl and you’re not completely perverted, tell her to wear a bikini that’s not prone to falling off. The embarrassment of a full-frontal flash could also turn a prospective surfer off.
Positive Vibrations. Always tell the person they’re doing great. Patience is key when giving surf lessons. If the student doesn’t get up for a long time, just keep trying and remember when you learned to surf. If you tell the beginner they suck and should quit, they will.
Take Pictures. Anyone who ever took a lesson would be stoked to have a picture of themselves surfing. They’ll be sending that picture out as their Christmas card! Just buy a disposable water camera or use a digital camera with a good zoom.
Make A Day Of It. Plan on hanging out at the beach all day. Bring a lunch, and chill out. This will give your surf student a chance to soak in the beach vibe, and maybe even have multiple surf lessons in one day-a great way to learn.
Follow Up. The second and third lessons are equally as important, if not more so than the first. Follow the first time up with a quick brush-up course or at least a phone call to see how the surfing’s going.