In The Rockstel Blog you´ll find useful information for your trip in Sri Lanka. Also surfing, adventures and a lot of tips coming from travellers to make the most of your trip.
Surfer in Dalawella Beach - The 5 mistakes that all surfer beginners tend to do - The Rockstel Unawatuna - Hostel South Sri Lanka
9 May

The 5 mistakes that All Surfer Beginners Tend to Do

Have you already tried to learn to surf many times and still feeling stuck? If you do, then this post is for you with some easy to follow steps that will help if you are a surfing beginner.


1. Practice before you’ re in the water.


Make sure that you can stand up properly off the sand and then on the board. Practice this several times, remembering the three steps:

  • With your chest on the board – paddling with chest, knees together and bent and feet up (depending on the wave, your chest should be on the board and your feet down). Practising standing up on the bard - The 5 mistakes that all surfer beginners tend to do - The Rockstel Unawatuna - Hostel South Sri Lanka
  • Lift your chest and put on your hands on the board ready to push to standing up. Some surf schools will teach you to stand up jumping with a two-step move and others will teach you to stand up in one full jump.
  • Use your hands to push frontwards the board, with your chest up off the board, before finally standing up. Once stood up, your front foot should be at a 45 degree angle, leading your body and acting as your guide.

Have in mind that once you start to take green waves some of these tips – as feet up and chest on the board – can change depending on the type of wave.


 2. Getting the right paddle.


The better you paddle, the more waves you will catch and the more your confidence will grow!

 Keep your back arched and aim to have the surfboards nose coming out of the water.

  • Lift both arms out of the water before you start paddling, are you balanced? If you are, then you´re in the right position.
  • When paddling bring your hand to the top of the board, putting your hand into the water in a lateral position in order to cut through the water.
  • Keep the lateral position of your hand and then turn it to paddle, once your hand is above with your head then you can drag it through the water. In doing this, you will avoid strain on the shoulder and uncomfortable cramp. Anyway, don´t forget to stretch before and after!
  • Keep your arms bent at the elbow when paddling and try not to roll your shoulders from side to side so as to keep your balance.


 3. Don’t try to stand up before the right moment.


Achieving the perfect pop up is different for everyone, surfers are of different fitness ability, flexibility and shape so you need to find the way that works for you.Beginner falling down - The 5 mistakes that all surfer beginners tend to do - The Rockstel Unawatuna - Hostel in Sri Lanka

  • The right moment is when you feel like you are part of the wave, once the wave is pushing you along it is time for the pop-up.
  • Make sure you´re paddling enough. Don´t forget to look over your shoulder to check the speed of the wave and its distance from you, this will give you an idea of how much you have to paddle in order to have the same speed as the wave.
  • At this point is the moment to stand up, pushing the board frontwards with your hands. The current and the splash of the white water can be a little scary in the beginning, but don´t let it put you off from standing up.


4. Finding your position on the board


When on the board, a well aligned surfer gets the best waves. catching

  • Try to keep your weight forward and your feet shoulder-width apart. If you keep your weight central to the area that you went from laying to standing, you´re on your way to catching a great wave.
  • You should aim to get your feet positioned early on to avoid unnecessary corrections during the wave, otherwise, you will not make the most of its speed.
  • Look in the direction of where you want to go.

Although difficult, because of the adrenaline, excitement and perhaps nerves – try to ignore all of these in order to get the right position. If you can position yourself correctly, you will have better balance, control – and confidence – and also enough speed to ride the wave. Regardless of the white water, if you have the correct positioning then you will have balance on the board. It will take you some time to find the right position when standing up. There will be a lot of action going on around you, but just focus on that wave!


5. Respect the rules!


Your instructor will most likely explain the rulesSurf ettiquete - The 5 mistakes that all surfer beginners tend to do - The Rockstel Unawatuna - Hostel South Sri Lanka  but it is important for everyone to enjoy themselves in the water, so be kind to your fellow surfers. You can see the rules here. At the beginning you will feel under confident.

To have a good experience and let others have it, it’s important to know how get along with other surfers. Even you can learn from others so don´t hesitate in asking questions or congratulating that random surfer for their nice stunt.

Don´t forget to have a look at our surf tab for more info about the spots in Unawatuna and around 😉

And you, did you make any of these mistakes? Tell us your experience and if you liked the post, share it!




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