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Surfing: Standing Up ALL RELATED BOOKS

Surfing: Standing Up

Book Extract

So this is it, the hardest thing you’ll come across in learning to surf. Once you’ve mastered this the rest will follow sooner or later if you stick at it.

Walk out with your board to the same point where you were bellyboarding and in a lull between sets turn the board shorewards, then lie on it. Keep checking behind you for the next set. Give about four hard strokes on each side, and when the approaching wave picks you up give a couple more. Then go through the motions you practised on the beach as quickly as possible:

This all sounds like a hell of a lot to remember while you are struggling with an unfamiliar object in an unfamiliar medium, but understanding the technique involved is half the battle – if you know what you’re supposed to be doing before you start, it will make the whole thing come naturally much more quickly.

At first you’ll probably find it difficult, if not impossible, to get from lying down to standing up in one quick, smooth movement. Don’t worry about this. You may find it easier to learn the whole thing in stages – prone, kneeling, crouching then standing. If this is easier for you, go for it. However, try to avoid getting into the habit of kneeling as it’s more difficult to get to your feet quickly from a kneeling position. Good style, in the long run, is about a quick and fluid movement from lying to standing. Stick at it, you’ll get there eventually!


© Not to be reproduced without written permission from Fernhurst Books Limited.

Surfing: A Beginner’s Guide is written by Alf Alderson. Alf is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer who splits his time between the Pembrokeshire coast and the French Alps. He specialises in adventure sports and travel journalism, and his writing has appeared in a wide range of publications and websites including The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Independent, Toronto Globe & Mail, South China Morning Post, Financial Times, Abu Dhabi National, Coast Magazine and a wide range of surfing and skiing magazines and websites.

With four decades of surfing behind him in almost every corner of the globe, Alf is a regular fount of knowledge for all things surfing.

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