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By Rory Switzer.
Unless you were a grommet born and raised on the beach where learning how to walk and surf coincide, chances are you looked like/will look like an idiot when trying your hand at riding a wave. Seasoned surfers like to refer to beginners as “kooks”. For those of you reading this that have yet to attempt walking on water, let me be the first to tell you that it is near impossible to not “kook it”. Looking cool is simply out of the question, so leave your go pro on the beach. You’ll get the tips on how to surf from your instructor, mate or yourself, but here are a few non-skill related tips on how to minimise embarrassment when learning how to surf:
Unless you’re under the age of five, budgie smugglers on blokes are not acceptable for surfing. Swimming laps? Yes. Surfing? No. Full stop.
This may be a given, but then again you should never make assumptions on people’s common sense as when you assume, you make an ASS out of U & ME. With any hope the fins will already be safely lodged in your board… but if not, remember the pointy end goes towards the tail of the board.
Before you actually manage to stand up on a wave, try and remember what your mother always told you before crossing the road, look both ways. Taking the time to learn proper surf etiquette is essential in avoiding an unwanted confrontation with a local board rider. That means waiting your turn and not paddling onto someone else’s wave. Follow this for a more in-depth look into surfer’s code.
Claiming is when you physically celebrate after riding a wave, most commonly the single or outrageous double-fisted hand pump. This is a common kook move and a major no-no. As a rule of thumb, do not claim unless you’ve just been spit out of a heaving 12 foot barrel with a great white shark chasing your tail.
Good luck there.
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