Beginner and Renting a Surfboard? Know THESE👇🏽 Before you Do!
So you are a beginner surfer: you may have had one or a couple of surf lessons; or maybe you have no experience at all, but have seen enough Youtube videos to give it a go. Good! This is for you! 🙂 Keep reading!
Now, you want to try surfing on your own.
Most beginners and first-time surfers are in the water with instructors and supervision. But as people find more information, tutorials and pretty much anything there is to know about surfing with a quick search online, we are seeing a different picture.
Beginner surfers, with little or no experience, many times are unaware of their own limitations and the conditions required for them to be able to surf on their own.
YES, people can learn to surf by themselves. However, before venturing out alone, beginners need to have a minimum of knowledge for their own safety, and that of others in the line-up.
Renting a surfboard is always a good option. All developing surfers need many hours of practice to fine-tune skills in-between lessons. More hours in the water will definitely translate to better surfing.
Here are some pointers on the knowledge you should have before renting a surfboard and surfing on your own, either here on Macao Beach or anywhere else in the world!
1. INQUIRE ABOUT LOCALISM.
What is Localism?: It is the generally aggressive “protection” of a surf spot by local surfers.
There are many surf spots around the world where local surfers have this terrible frame of mind. Therefore, find out BEFORE you get in the water. In some areas, local surfers do not want visitors.
I find this to be an unfortunate attitude. Luckily, localism is not a issue on Macao Beach, as most surfers are visitors, and we welcome visitors with open arms.
Do take notice that experienced local surfers will call you out, and politely invite to surf in a different area, if you do not act with (or know) proper surfing etiquette.
On that note, follow this next rule…
2. UNDERSTAND SURF ETIQUETTE BEFORE GETTING IN THE WATER.
If you are surfing on your own, you should know that getting in the way of a surfer coming down the line can be a dangerous situation to find yourself in.
If you cannot find the right way out to the break, if you cannot get to the line-up over strong white water, if you cannot read the waves, nor understand the direction surfers can take once they catch a wave, you should not be surfing with other surfers nearby.
You should keel a considerable distance from other surfers if you do not know how to behave in the line-up.
Please ask, and have the rules explained to you, before you get in the water.
At our school Surf Etiquette rules are clearly posted, if you do not understand, we are happy to explain. 🙂
Surf Etiquette has the purpose of organizing the line-up to allow everybody a fun and safe surfing experience.
3. MAKE SURE YOU CAN MANAGE THE SEA CONDITIONS BEFORE GETTING IN THE WATER.
Waves normally look smaller from the beach than what they actually are, and it is very common for beginner surfers to underestimate the size and force of the waves they see from the beach. When in doubt, start with smaller waves.
If you are unfamiliar with the location you are surfing in, ask about underwater conditions (reef, rocks, sea creatures), inquire about tides, rip currents, wind direction, wave energy, and any other condition that may affect the waves. Even better if you can interpret a surf-forecast for the spot you want to surf in.
Surfing is fun, but it can turn dangerous if you get in the water not knowing how the conditions can affect your abilities.
4. PICK THE RIGHT BOARD AND INSPECT IT THOROUGHLY.
You need to know what equipment you will use to get in the water safely and to actually be able to surf!
Check the state of the board itself, the condition of the leash and fins. Ask for surf wax if needed.
A surfboard can cause serious injury to you or to another surfer if you do not have control over it. Stay in an area where the waves will allow you to always have a hold on your board.
Do not rent a short board just because you think you will look more experienced. There is nothing “uncooler” than sitting on a board and never catching a wave because you made a wrong board pick. When in doubt, ask, and be sincere about your skills.
You will only improve your surfing if you are able to catch waves and surf them!
Our school’s rental policy allows you to change the board if you want to try something else during your session.
The beauty of renting surfboards is that it allows you to try different sizes and shapes, and get to know what works better for you and for the conditions at the moment.
So, go out there, have fun, rent a board, and try different things. It doesn’t hurt to ask for orientation. As surf instructors and local surfers, we are happy to offer guidance. Any surf school should provide you with as much information as you need about the spot when renting a board.
Remember that with the right equipment, in the right conditions for your skill level, and above all, being safe, you will make your learning process faster and easier!