A Beginner’s Guide to Surfing in Ventura

by Fiorella Calderoni

September 20, 2018, is officially the first-ever California Surfing Day! What better way to celebrate than to give it a shot? Check out our guide to beginner surfing below. It’s never too late, or too soon, to learn how to surf!

Here are some tips that will help you get started:

1. Wear a Wetsuit

Trust us, they’re worth the struggle of putting them on. Wetsuits help you regulate your temperature in the water and protect you from potential rashes or scratches when lying on your board or falling in the water.  You can rent one or buy one at Ripcurl, located downtown.

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2. Start on a Soft-Top Longboard

Soft-top longboards are a very popular beginner board– and for good reason! An affordable and easily found board is the Wavestorm. They’re a great entry level board that allows you to focus on getting the feel of the wave and figuring out the perfect time to stand up with reasonably easy balance.

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3. Head to Mondos Beach

There are tons of great surf spots around Ventura. How do you choose the best one? You need to learn how to surf at a spot where the waves aren’t too small or too big and where there is no current. The best spot in Ventura is Mondos Beach!

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4. Bring a friend

Once you have a wetsuit, a board, and a good surf spot, call up a friend! Whenever you’re trying something new, it is more fun to bring a friend along who can laugh at your blunders and encourage you to try again. If you’ve never surfed, you could get a little disoriented in the water and bringing a friend is a great way to find your place and– say your foot strap came off or you lost your hair tie, you can always feel better knowing someone’s there to help.

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5. Pregame

It might sound funny but there is a lot you can learn about surfing on the sand. Before you head to the water, set your board in the sand and practice techniques for paddling and standing up on the board. This way, once you’re in the water, you’ll know what to do.

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6. Catch a Wave and Try Standing Up!

Time to head in and catch a wave! When you see a wave coming, swim fast to catch it, then push up on the board and stand up. A beginner’s trick is to try getting on your knees the first few times and then standing. Once you are up, remember to bend your knees and not your back. The key to surfing is finding your balance.

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7. Fall Back

Safety first! If you ever lose balance when you’re up on your board and you feel like you are going to fall, be sure to fall back into the water and not fall head first. This way you don’t fall on your board or head first into rocks or reef.

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8. Whitewash

Remember, if you ever get caught on the inside and a whitewash wave is coming, face it head on and not from the side. If you face the wave from the side, the wave will flip you, but if you face it head on, then you will simply float over the wave.

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9. Have Fun!!!

Lastly, you need to have fun in order to surf because, well, surfing is all about having fun!!

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Now get out there and give it a shot!

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