5 mistakes that you will commit on your first surf lesson

Norbert Ferenczi
27 of June 2024
5 mistakes that you will commit on your first surf lesson

Let’s be honest! We all need to start at some point and we all make mistakes during learning something new. In this article we gather 5 mistakes that beginners usually do in their first day of surfing apart of putting their wetsuits the other way around. 

1. Putting the wrong foot first.

Before we start surfing we have to figure out which is our dominant foot what stands in the front. ( we wrote  another article about this in here ) So what suppose to happen when we do a pop up is that we put our back foot first to right front of the fins. This is a short set up step and following this we put our front foot to the center of the board , driving in between the hands to under the chest. This is our long step and the step which drops the weight on your board so you can glide ahead on the wave.

Beginners tend to step with the front foot first and get stuck with their backfoot all the way in the end of the board so they have way too much space in between the legs or possibly not even able to stand up from such a wide position.

At the end we are only human ,we make mistakes but we only have two legs we have a relative 50-50 chance to mix up the order. Imagine if an octopus would try to surf. We can be considered lucky species. 

2. Putting the knee down

As the wave starts pushing the board ahead we suppose to come up to the well known of yoga position “cobra” then start putting our back FOOT to the board. Here people can get shocked by the energy, the adrenalin ,the fear and all things happening at the same time so in a so-called panic reaction they push down the back of the board with their knees. In practice what happens : The tail starts to sink, the nose points up and we stall like in traffic our freshly licensed driver who drives with the handbrake on. 

3. Looking down

Human body is the best designed machine ever but many of us forgot to read the user’s manual. As a matter of fact “You go where you look” So when we look down to our board while surfing , our eyes give the instruction to the brain to go DOWN. Next thing happens, you find yourself under water. Keep looking at the beach! On your first day your goal is to up and ride for a few seconds towards the beach. 


4. Popping up too early/too late

It might sound a bit hippy but when we surf we must connect with the wave and become the wave. What this means in physics is that we have to gain a certain amount of kinetic energy very quickly so the wave can pick us up and push us ahead. If we start doing our pop up too early we miss the wave. If we already missed the wave it does not make sense to pop up because then we basically just stand up on flat water which is called Stand Up Paddling or SUP. 

5. Not finding the balance or the right position

Most surf schools are teaching on the biggest boards possible to maximize the buoyant force and make you as stable as possible. Although just think about a rowing boat or kayak once you start moving even those objects can start shaking. Once you already unstable and shaking it’s very hard to keep in direction your board or catch a wave. Those who start surfing on a smaller day or can test themselves in flat water before they go between waves are the lucky ones. This way they can get familiar with their positioning and balance so once the wave comes they are ready to paddle ahead and catch. 

These are the mistakes that you will probably commit on your first day of surfing. As it is a brand new sport for you, there is no shame of being a bit goofy in the beginning but you know what? Prove us wrong ! Come and show how a first timer can shred the waves too!