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How to Catch Waves

It's taken some time but here we are at Surfing Lesson One. Now, there are a few different approaches to this lesson, and most of the time it begins with lying on your board in the sand and practising what is called the 'pop-up'. Popping up is the term used where the surfer has caught the wave and goes from the paddling position, lying on top of board, to the upright stand up position. We are going to skip this at the moment, and it will be covered in Surfing Lesson Four.

Lets get straight in to the water and talk about catching the white water part of the wave (where the wave has already broken). For more detail about waves in general take a quick look at the Waves page. It is more fun getting straight into the waves and having a mess around than getting all sandy on the beach.

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Waves To Start Surfing On
For your first days surfing the waves should be small, being easy enough for you to walk out to where the waves are breaking, and not have to fight your way off the beach being constantly battered by waves (remember that surfing should be fun!).

Make sure that you are not holding your surfboard in a position where a wave could knock it back into your face and cause you an injury. Hold the board out at arms length with a hand on each rail. Jump over the oncoming white water as you walk your way out. Keep a look around to make sure you are not about to get washed into someone's path, or that you are not immediately behind someone who may lose hold of their board - it can be quite scary seeing an oncoming wave complete with 9 foot of longboard wrapped up in it!.

At all times keep the safety aspect in mind and everything should be OK. Keep going out until you are at a comfortable depth. Keep a look out for waves that are breaking towards you. We are now in a position to start catching waves. Oh, perhaps the wave on the left is not quite the right wave to start on.

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