Where to Put Yourself on a Surfboard

Get on the right surfboard for your level, weight, and surfing goals. Choosing the right surfboard will make a big difference in your surfing experience.

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Picking the Right Surfboard

Picking the right surfboard is essential to surfing. You want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible when you are out in the waves. The size of the surfboard, the type of surfboard, and the design of the surfboard all play a role in how comfortable you will be. Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.


Shortboards are the most common type of surfboard and are great for those who want to do tricks and maneuvers. The shorter length makes the board more maneuverable, but it also means that you’ll need to be a stronger swimmer to catch waves. Shortboards range in length from 5 feet to 7 feet and typically have a rounded nose.

Shortboards are great for:
-Surfing in small waves
-Doing tricks and maneuvers
-Catching waves quickly

Shortboards are not so great for:
-Surfing in big waves


Longboards, aptly named for their lengthy design, range in length from 9 to 12 feet. Longboards are the original surfboard design and the choice board for many experienced surfers. The long length and added width of longboards create more stability and easier paddling, making them ideal for big waves and long rides. If you’re just starting out, a longboard may be the best surfboard for you to learn on since they are easier to balance and maintain control on.

Picking the Right Spot

The best place to put yourself on a surfboard is usually in the center. This gives you the most balance and control over the board. If you’re a beginner, it’s also a good idea to put yourself closer to the front of the board. This will help you catch waves more easily. As you become more experienced, you can move yourself back on the board.

Beach Breaks

A beachbreak is a type of surf break over which waves that break on a generally shallower sandbar. They are the most common type of surf break and are found on all continents, except for Antarctica. Beachbreaks can occur on any coastline that contains sufficient quantities of sand to form the seafloor feature. Wave energy and geometry are key in the formation and kind of beachbreak..
Beachbreaks may be subdivided into three main types:
-Point Breaks occur when waves hit a promontory headland or jetty at an angle, then refract or bend along the coastline, resulting in a line-up perpendicular to the shoreline. The wave will break evenly along its entire length provided there is enough water depth, fetch and wave energy. If these conditions exist at just one section along a coastline (usually near headlands), point breaks will be located only there; examples include Rincon in California and Pipeline in Hawaii. Points can also exist offshore where two open ocean swells intersect; an example is Tae Kwon Do in South Africa.
-Reef Breaks form when waves hit an underwater feature such as coral reef, rock shelf or bombora (elongated reef) at an angle and then bounce off it instead of going over it as with point breaks.. Reef breaks usually have more waves breaking simultaneously than point breaks, making them potentially more dangerous but also providing more opportunities for surfers.. An example of this kind of wave is Bells Beach, Victoria, Australia..
-Beach or Sand Bar Breaks form when small sections (usually 2–5 m) of relatively shallow seafloor causes the waves to break over it in several places simultaneously instead of one deep channel offshore.. These types of breaks are most common worldwide; an example is Brandon Bay in Ireland..

Reef Breaks

Reef breaks are found in tropical climates and provide some of the most consistent waves. However, they can also be the most dangerous because of the coral beneath the surface. If you are surfing a reef break for the first time, make sure to ask a local surf instructor or another experienced surfer for advice on where to paddle out and where to situate yourself on the wave.

Another thing to be aware of with reef breaks is that they can change quickly due to shifting sandbanks and changes in the tide. It is important to always be conscious of your surroundings and never paddle out beyond your level of experience.

River Mouths

River mouths are great places to surf, but they can also be dangerous. The currents at river mouths are strong and can sweep you out to sea if you’re not careful. Be sure to check the local conditions and tides before heading out, and always paddle with a friend.

Picking the Right Waves

When you are first starting to surf, one of the most important things is to make sure you are choosing the right waves. You want to make sure that the waves are not too big or too small. You also want to make sure that you are not putting yourself in danger by paddling out too far. Let’s talk about some of the best spots to surf when you are first starting out.

Green Waves

Green waves are the holy grail of surfing. A green wave is simply a wave that is unbroken from the moment it starts to form until the moment it breaks. Green waves are fast, they have a long face, and they provide a smooth ride. Simply put, green waves are perfect for surfing.

The vast majority of waves are not green waves. In fact, most waves are what we call “white-water” waves. White-water waves are created when the wave breaks before it reaches the shore. These waves are full of foam and air and they are very difficult to surf.

So how do you find green waves? The answer is simple: you have to put yourself in the right place. Green waves form in a very specific place in the ocean and if you want to surf them, you need to be there.

Here’s a quick rundown of where to find green waves:

– Look for long, open stretches of coastline. The longest stretches of coastline in the world are found in Australia, Indonesia, and South Africa. These areas have some of the best surf in the world because they have endless stretches of open coastline with few obstructions.

– Look for points and reefs. Points and reefs are protruding landforms that extend into the ocean and create ideal conditions for green waves. The most famous surfing spots in the world (think Hawaii’s North Shore) are typically found on points and reefs.

– Look for sandy bottoms. Green waves need a specific type of bottom to form correctly and that bottom is usually sandy. If you’re looking for greenwaves, avoid areas with rocky bottoms or kelp forests as these obstructions will often create white-water conditions.

Blue Waves

Blue waves are the kind that most people imagine when they think of surfing. These are the long, gentle waves that curl over and provide a smooth ride. If you’re a beginner, you’ll want to look for blue waves to start out on.

You can find blue waves at any beach that has a sandbar offshore. The sandbar is what creates the wave. As the waves come in, they hit the sandbar and create a mound of water that eventually breaks and creates the wave.

If you’re not sure if there are blue waves at a particular beach, look for signs of other surfers. They’ll usually be in the water where the waves are breaking.

Gray Waves

The ocean is full of different types of waves, and as a surfer, it’s important to know where to find the ones that are just right for you. Gray waves are some of the most common waves out there, and they’re perfect for beginners.

Gray waves are named for their appearance: they’re usually a little bit foamy and have a dull gray color. They tend to be small and gentle, with long, slow swells that make them easy to ride. You’ll often find gray waves near the shore, where they’ve been broken up by other waves.

If you’re just starting out, gray waves are a great place to practice. They’ll give you plenty of time to paddle and get into position, and they won’t throw you around too much once you’re up on your board. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can move on to bigger and more challenging waves.

Picking the Right Time

Heyo! So you want to learn how to surf? Well, one of the most important things you need to know is WHEN to put yourself on the surfboard. You see, surfing is all about waves. And waves are all about the tide.

High Tide

The waves are bigger and the water is deeper, which makes swimming out to the lineup much easier. Paddle with the waves instead of against them, and you’ll find yourself sitting on your board in no time.

Of course, bigger waves also mean more powerful waves, which can be a little daunting for beginners. If you’re just starting out, try to find a spot where the waves are breaking a little bit closer to shore. That way, you can always paddle back to safety if you need to.

Low Tide

At low tide, the waves will be weaker and closer to the shore. This is a good time for beginners to try surfing for the first time. The waves will be easier to catch and you won’t have to paddle out as far.

Swell Direction

The direction the waves are coming from is called swell direction. You’ll want to pay attention to this when you’re trying to figure out where to put yourself on a surfboard. If the waves are coming from the right, you’ll want to be on the right side of the board. If the waves are coming from the left, you’ll want to be on the left side of the board. Simple, right?

However, it’s not always that easy. Sometimes the waves will be coming from multiple directions, which is called lumpy swell. This can make it more difficult to figure out where to position yourself on the board. The best thing to do in this situation is to position yourself in the middle of the board so that you can more easily adjust to whatever direction the waves are coming from.

Picking the Right Gear

When you’re learning to surf, one of the most important things is having the right gear. You need a surfboard that’s the right size, shape, and weight for you. You also need a wetsuit or rash guard to protect you from the sun and the elements. But where do you start?


Wetsuits are the staple of surfing. They keep you warm in cold water and they give you a little extra buoyancy to help you paddle out to the waves. Wetsuits come in a variety of styles, from full-body suits to short-sleeved jackets and everything in between. There are also a variety of materials to choose from, including neoprene, rubber and Lycra. The type of suit you need depends on the water temperature and the conditions you’ll be surfing in.

For warm water conditions, a short-sleeved wetsuit or rash guard is usually all you need. If you’re surfing in cold water, a full-body wetsuit is essential. If you’re somewhere in between, a 3/2 or 4/3 wetsuit (meaning 3 or 4 millimeters thick on the body with 2 or 3 millimeters on the arms and legs) is a good choice. For really cold water, a drysuit is necessary to keep you warm and dry.

There are also wetsuits designed for specific types of surfing, such as racing suits for competitive racing, impact suits for big-wave surfing and dive skins for snorkeling and diving. No matter what type of suit you need, there are plenty of options to choose from to keep you comfortable in the water.

Surfboard Leashes

While not required in all surfing conditions, a surfboard leash is an important safety device that can help prevent you from being separated from your board – and potential injury. There are a variety of leash types available, each with its own set of pros and cons. In general, leashes are made from urethane – a strong, flexible material that can stretch up to twice its length without breaking. The key things to consider when choosing a surfboard leash are length, strength, comfort and security.

The length of your leash should be based on the size of your surfboard. A good rule of thumb is to choose a leash that is 1/2 to 1/3 the length of your board. This will give you enough length to move around without getting tangled, but not so much that it gets in the way.

The strength of your leash is important for two reasons: it needs to be strong enough to hold your board if you get knocked off, and it needs to be strong enough to withstand the force of waves and cuts from shells or coral. In general, leashes are made from 8-10mm urethane cord, which is strong enough for most boards and conditions. If you plan on surfing in heavy waves or on a particularly abrasive bottom, you may want to consider upgrading to a thicker cord.

Comfort is important because you will be spending a lot of time with your leash attached to your leg. Look for a leash with a comfortable padded cuff that won’t rub or chafe against your skin. Also, make sure the cord is smooth and flexible so it won’t dig into your leg when you’re paddling or riding waves.

In addition to being strong enough to hold your board, your leash needs to be securely attached to both your board and your body. The connection point between the cord and the cuff should be double-stitched or welded for added strength. And the connection point between the cord and the swivel should be either a double overhand knot or a locking snap shackle (preferably stainless steel).

Surfboard Fins

There are a few things you need to consider when choosing fins for your surfboard. Firstly, you need to think about the type of waves you’ll be riding – fin choice is different for big waves than it is for small waves. You also need to consider your own surfing style – are you a powerful surfer who needs lots of drive, or are you a more technical surfer who needs more maneuverability?

Then there’s the question of fin material. Fins used to be made exclusively from fiberglass, but nowadays you’ll find fins made from all sorts of materials, including carbon fiber, kevlar, and even bamboo! Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s worth doing some research to see which one is right for you.

Finally, you need to think about the size and shape of the fin. Surfboard fins come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from huge single fins designed for stability in big waves to tiny twin fins that allow for explosive turns in small waves. Again, it’s worth doing some research to figure out which size and shape will suit your needs best.

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