Costa Rica Surf School Tips: The 5 Most Common Surfing Mistakes
January 18, 2013
Surf schools all over the world are aimed at teaching students the proper techniques for how to surf. Our Costa Rica surf school is no different. The surf instructors here are on the lookout for common beginner mistakes which may inhibit the surf student’s initial success. The surf instructors take the time to correct these mistakes so that our students may have a successful learning vacation in Costa Rica!
It is second nature for those who have been surfing for a long time to surf without thinking about their form, however if beginner surf students aren’t corrected immediately they may acquire some bad habits, which can prevent them from becoming the great surfers they are meant to be.
One thing that seems to help our novice surfers is an awareness of their all too common blunders early on. I asked head surf instructor, Ricardo, what the 5 most common mistakes in surfing were. Ricardo readily rattled off the top five mistakes he sees students make daily- and they go as follows:
1. Looking down when trying to stand up. There is an old adage that says you end up where you look. Hence, if you look down that is where you will go. Students should look slightly ahead of them, and that is where they will go!
2. Hunching forward. Surf schools will always give students the same common instruction to bend their knees once they have stood up. However, for some reason many people interpret this as leaning forward. When they hunch over and round their backs it throws their center of gravity forward and prevents them from having the ability to stand up properly.
3. Getting up too soon or too late. As they say, timing is everything… and in the case of surfing that knowledge comes with practice. As Ricardo explains, there is a point at which the wave catches the board and many students mistakenly assume this is the point to stand up. In reality they should be waiting for the feeling of the wave propelling the board forward with force. However, they should not wait too long, otherwise they will have missed their chance and most likely nose dive into the wave or end up in the whitewash.
4. Getting up using their knees when they haven’t been instructed to do so. Surf students who are in shape and strong enough should pop up in one fluid movement, this way they can learn how to ride the wave properly. Some students who have had injuries or who do not have the arm strength will be instructed to get up using their knees and slowly build up to the point where they can pop up, but the majority of students should pop up in one flowing motion without the use of their knees.
5. Not listening to the instructors. This one seems like it would be fairly obvious, after all, why would a surf student not listen to their knowledgeable instructor? But alas, sometimes students either think they know better or feel more comfortable doing things their own way. Listen to your instructors, their experience and guidance will have you surfing like a veteran in no time.
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