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Even though surfing is often referred to as the most difficult and complex sport, is something anyone can learn. If they have the patience and dedication for it. If you’re thinking of giving surfing a try this summer, here are a few tips that helped me become the surfer I am today.

Embrace the learning curve

As mentioned, surfing is difficult. It’s not a sport like football or even rugby, two very difficult sports. At least the field isn’t constantly changing on you in those sports. Waves are like snowflakes: no two are alike. When you’re out on the water, the elements around you play a huge part in how you’re going to surf that day.

It’s challenging, but worth the feeling of finally hitting that first “green wave.” Prepare yourself for many failures for years and years to come. Surfing isn’t like snowboard where one day it just clicks. Learn to love the wipe-outs for many, many years to come.

Purchase a good surfboard

You don’t have to go to the surf shop and purchase the most expensive and fancy board. Having a quality board is key. You want your board to have the right rocker and volume. Shop experts will be able to pick on out that fits your needs so don’t be shy to ask for help!

When you’re a beginner, you want your board to have lots of volume (volume is how much floatation the board gets) and are wide to help you learn your balance on the ever changing waters. Careful to avoid too long of a board that will have you nose diving into the water.

Be picky about where you decide to surf

Again, depending on the day and the conditions, surf spots are going to vary greatly. My favorite resource is Surfline.com. This website is written by professionals and is known for being more accurate than your local weatherman. Take note of what board is needed for that area, the time of the tides, the swell, etc.

Make friends!

Don’t be shy out there in the water. Surfing is a solo sport but it’s a very social sport at the same time. Becoming friends with other surfers can help you find sports that are right for your technique level, learn where new surf shops are, and you can even pick up a mentor along the way to help you learn basic techniques and surfing ethics.