Learning to Surf? Avoid These 12 Common Beginner Surf Mistakes

Learning to Surf? Avoid These 12 Common Beginner Surf Mistakes

Beginner surf mistakes – Surfing is an exhilarating sport that offers you the chance to ride the waves and feel the thrill of the ocean. But like any new endeavor, it comes with a learning curve, and beginners often make some common mistakes. In this guide, we’ll explore the top 12 blunders that newbie surfers should steer clear of to make their learning journey smoother and safer.

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is skipping the warm-up. Surfing is physically demanding, and a good warm-up can help prevent injuries. Spend a few minutes doing stretching exercises on the beach to prepare your body for the surf.

2. Neglecting Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a priority. Beginners often neglect to check surf conditions, tide timings, and wave heights. This can lead to dangerous situations. Take the time to learn about your surf spot and adhere to safety guidelines.

3. Using the Wrong Board

Selecting the right surfboard is crucial. Beginners often opt for boards that are too small or advanced for their skills. Consult with experts or instructors to choose the appropriate board for your level.

4. Paddling Incorrectly

Paddling efficiently is the foundation of surfing. Many beginners paddle with poor technique, leading to exhaustion. Learn the correct paddling form to save energy for riding waves.

5. Incorrect Wave Selection

New surfers often choose the wrong waves. To improve, learn to recognize the best waves for your skill level. Catching small, consistent waves is more beneficial for beginners than trying to ride big, powerful ones.

6. Standing Up Too Early

Standing on the board too early can destabilize your ride. Make sure you’re stable before attempting to stand. This might require some patience, but it’s essential for your progress.

7. Poor Positioning on the Board

Beginners tend to position themselves incorrectly on the board, making it challenging to balance. Learning the right positioning can significantly enhance your experience.

8. Not Using the Right Surf Wax

The right surf wax provides the necessary grip for your feet. Using the wrong type can make it harder to stand up and balance on the board.

9. Not Learning Surfing Etiquette

Surfing has its own unwritten rules and etiquette. Beginners often disregard these rules, which can lead to conflicts in the water. Respect other surfers, wait your turn, and learn the basic rules of surfing etiquette.

10. Fear of Commitment

Many beginners are afraid to commit to a wave. Failing to commit leads to missed rides. Have confidence in your skills, and when you decide to go for a wave, do it wholeheartedly.

11. Impatience

Impatience can lead to frustration and can hinder your progress. Surfing takes time to master. Don’t get discouraged if you’re not progressing as quickly as you’d like.

12. Not Getting Professional Instruction

Perhaps the most significant mistake is not seeking professional instruction. Enrolling in surf lessons or camps can significantly accelerate your learning and ensure you develop good habits from the start.


In conclusion, surfing is an incredible sport that can be enjoyed by everyone. Avoiding these Beginner surf mistakes will help you progress faster, stay safe, and make the most of your surfing journey. So, paddle out, catch some waves, and enjoy the ride!

By following these tips and learning from your experiences, you’ll become a confident and skilled surfer. Keep practicing, stay safe, and have fun riding those waves!