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The most common surfing FAQs

Australia has some of the most amazing surfing conditions in the entire world. So it’s no wonder that people travel from across the globe to “hang ten.” But many people who come to Australia to surf have never done it before, and you might even find the odd local who has never tried surfing. If you are new to the sport or just looking for some information to help you improve your game, check out these common frequently asked questions to get you started.


How to choose the right surfboard

In order to ensure your safety while riding waves in the ocean, it’s important that you have the right kind of surfboard for your body type and ability. There are typically four categories of surfboards to choose from: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and pro. Most people reading this will be in the beginner or intermediate categories. A good rule of thumb for first-time surfers is to get a board that is longer and thicker than others. The extra depth of the board provides more stability and helps the board to stay afloat better than thinner boards. There are also four common types of surfboards: shortboard, fish board, evaluation board and longboard. All four types are suitable for beginners, but the size is what matters here, so be sure to get a board that is meant for your height and weight.

How to choose the right wetsuit for surfing

While most people think wetsuits are designed to keep them dry, the truth is that they are designed to keep you warm. This warming effect happens when a small amount of water is present in the suit between the rubber material and your skin. Your skin will heat up the water that is present in the suit and help you stay warm while you surf. Basically, every kind of wetsuit acts the same way, so all you need to worry about is the size of your suit. You’ll know your suit fits properly if you can move freely in it without it feeling baggy around your stomach, legs, hips, and thighs. You might consider wearing a rashguard around your neck because the suits are designed to fit very close to the body, and some people experience rashes in the neck area. Depending on the temperature of the climate you’ll be surfing in, you’ll want to invest in a thicker material suit.


What are some basic surfing rules?

Sharing the waves with others can be fun, but only if you know the “rules of the road.” Surfers are a particular bunch and like things to go smoothly while they are enjoying the open water. Make sure you learn about the right of way rules associated with surfing. You’ll also want to avoid doing a number of things while surfing including snaking, which is repeatedly circling another surfer to catch their wave; hogging, which is taking all the good waves; and respect the locals. Watch and learn from the best around -- usually the locals -- they can help you get started and show you a thing or two if you ask nicely.

How to pick a surf school

If you are interested in learning how to surf all you have to do is go down to many local beaches, and you’ll find plenty of pop-up businesses and even some permanent ones looking to help teach you how to surf. Before you pay anyone to teach you about surfing, be sure to pick a training centre that incorporates time on the water with time on the beach learning the ropes. You need to learn about safety precautions as well as how to signal if you are in trouble. You’ll also want to choose a training centre that includes the rental of a board and wetsuit if you need it.

What are some basic surfing tips?

The technique is everything when it comes to surfing, and it can take time to perfect your technique. You need to be able to see the water patterns and make a decision about whether or not you’ll be able to “surf” based on the state of the waves that day. You’ll want to make sure you have a good handle on “popping up” from your board before you head out on the water. This requires a great deal of balance and practice so be patient. Finally, try to find a good balance position for your body, so the nose of your board isn’t sinking into the ocean. Getting started is the hardest part, so stick with it and you’ll be on your way to surfing success in no time.


What are some common surfing terms?

  • Crest: the top of a wave
  • Lineup: the queue of surfers waiting to catch a wave
  • Set: a group of similar waves
  • Grubbing: falling off the board
  • Kook: a newbie surfer, which is actually a derogatory term in some circles
  • Inside: the space between the shore and a breaking wave
  • Hang ten: a popular surf saying, but it actually refers to hanging all ten toes on the end of the board while surfing
  • Pearl: driving the nose of the surfboard into the water to slow down
  • Over the falls: wiping out on a wave
  • Mushy: weak waves
  • Groundswell: waves created as a byproduct of an offshore storm
  • Shoot the curl: surf through the barrel of a wave
  • Shredding: aggressive surfing techniques

How to Duckdive and Turtle

When you become more comfortable with surfing, you’ll want to try your hand at two popular techniques called duck diving and turtling. Duck Diving is when a surfer dives under a wave and comes out the other side of the wave. Turtling is a move that surfers use to turn upside and get under a wave.
If you are ready to start your surfing adventures or you want to get some new gear, check out the wide selection of products from Yakima. Have a question? Contact us - We’re here to help!

Last updated: 28th November 2017

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