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> Surfing - Here's how to get started
Why you should take lessons!

If you think you would like to try surfing we strongly recommend you book yourself into a surf school and take lessons from a qualified surf instructor.

Surfing can be a very dangerous sport and every year loads of beginners as well as experienced surfers are seriously injured or killed while surfing.

Surfing Instructors can give you first hand knowledge of the dangers involved and it is their job to help you should you be in difficulty. Apart from protecting you from the dangers of surf, instructors will also teach you etiquette, explain the 'right of way rules' which apply to surfing (i.e. so you won't be a menace to other surfers), show you the technique necessary to catch waves, to stand up and to look cool.

What taking a surfing lessons can be like...
We took lessons: Hmmm, it was a couple of years back when I got a bunch of friends together and I booked us all in for 3 days of teaching at a Surf School in Newquay. I found the school on the web, saw they were approved by the British Surfing association and when I spoke to them on the phone they seemed like good guys and pretty cool about things in general. On the first day we met at the surf school to collect our wetsuits and boards and imagine our luck when Adrian our surf instructor asked if he could add another person to our group who happened to be a stuardess on a few days leave... ahem... none of the other boys objected and we were off to an unbelievably good start! Wa-hoo!
We loaded the begginer style 'soft foamy' surf boards onto the van and went down to the beach for our first lesson. Before we entered the water we had our first ground school session. This was the bit where our instructor explained about the dangers of surfing (and dangers unique to the particular beach we were on), the various do's and don'ts of surfing, what to do if you get into trouble, the equipment, and a whole host of other stuff.

Then while still on the beach, we were shown the proper technique to paddle, catch a wave, and stand-up. Hmmm... the group I was with are pretty much accustomed to looking like dicks in everyday life, so we didn't really mind the bit of the ground school where we had to lay facedown on our boards, paddling sand like crazy then jumping up on the surfboards pretending to surf. Although it seems silly, the exercise does teach you the proper technique to paddle, press and stand which are fundamental to surfing. We then had a few minutes jog to warm up before entering the water. Adrian kept close supervision on the group and he offered tips and encouragement. By lunchtime most of the group were able to stand up and surf a little (even if were for a brief second or two) which is a major achievement for us and although our technique wasn't the best we were able to improve it over the following days. Oh, and when say 'improve it', I mean we were able to surf most of the waves we went for, which were pretty small things and nothing like the big barrels you see on television. Our early days of surfing were spent catching small or already broken waves (foam), surfing in a straight line (turning the board and going along the wave came later) and wipeing out.

Surfing was a lot more fun and physical than any of us thought it was going to be and now we are all pretty much hooked on the sport.