So you’re planning a Hawaiian vacation and at the top of your trip’s must-do list? Learn to surf.
Nothing epitomizes sunshine and the carefree island spirit than sliding along pristine waves stoked on life. In fact, surfing is a bucket list item for many people. What better place to take your first lesson than the birthplace of modern surfing? This makes for a fabulous day in port on your Norwegian Cruise!
If you’re just learning to surf, it’s a good idea to sign up for a surf lesson (or two or three) with a reputable surf school. Surf instructors are trained not only to teach you the basic of surfing, ocean safety and surf etiquette but to keep you safe while you’re in the water too.
Before you jump into the ocean, here are six things you should know before your first surf lesson.
You’ll start your session with a lesson on the sand. Your instructor will acquaint you with your surfboard and how to position your body.
While still on land, you’ll learn how to paddle and pop-up on the board. This way, you’ll learn the technique and practice a few times before giving it a go for real out in the water. Once everyone is comfortable, your instructor may lead your through a few stretches before leading you out in to the ocean.
Long boards are perfect for beginner surfers. While they may seem big and bulky, long boards make it easy to paddle and to catch waves. Since they are super-buoyant, they are more stable, making it easier for you to stand up.
While you may think of surfing as catching a glassy blue wave and riding it back to shore, that’s actually only a fraction of the time you spend in the water. The majority of your time will be spent paddling on your board — paddling out into the ocean, paddling to get into position to catch a wave and paddling back into position after you’ve caught a wave. And paddling is a lot of work!
Once you’re lined up at the take-off point, one-by-one, your instructor will ask each member of the group to paddle over. He or she will let you know when to start paddling, give you a push into the wave and tell you when to stand up. Your job? Ride the wave of your lifetime.
You’ll also spend a fair amount of time sitting on your surfboard and waiting for waves. Mother Nature can be fickle and she doesn’t send waves on-demand. But, there’s nothing more calming than sitting in the middle of the ocean on a beautiful day. Take advantage of this opportunity to relax and enjoy the gorgeous Hawaiian scenery around you.
If you watch the pro surfers, they make popping up — the act of moving from a prone position to standing on their surfboard — look effortless.
However, in real life, it can be a little tricky. The truth is, you don’t need to “pop-up” in one motion like the pros. You can push up to your hands and knees first and then step one foot up towards the front of the board before you stand-up. Sure it’s not as graceful but you’ll be more likely to stand up on without falling into the water.
It’s true. Everyone falls off their board and gets water up their nose.
But the trick is to stay calm and relaxed when you do fall. While it may feel like you’re being tumbled in a washing machine, count to 10 and your body will very likely resurface before you know it! And don’t forget to protect your head and face from your surfboard using your hands.
There’s a saying that “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.” While it sounds cliché, surfing is about enjoying time spent in the ocean and having fun. Don’t worry too much about how you think surfing should look like and instead concentrate on having fun and smiling.
Ready to hit the water?