Surfing beginners: learn the basic tricks and skills before catching your first wave | Photo: SAC Ashley Shelley

Do you want to learn how to surf? Are you teaching a family member or friend to catch waves for the first time? Learn some basic tips for novice surfers.

Let's get it started. Surfing is not the easiest thing to learn, but still it's far from being a complicated sport. You can learn how to become a surfer in a matter of days. The most common mistakes with beginners are related to paddling, standing up, choosing waves, duck diving, priorities and positioning feet on the surfboard.

That is why surf etiquette is a must-read document. If you're about to hit the surf for the first time, reading introductory books and watching videos is good advice, too. Feed your brain in order that it can tell your body what to do. In other words, visualize your future steps.

Take a look at some basic surfing tips for beginners:

1. Get a large and wide beginner surfboard - more flotation, more stability;
2. Never surf alone. Invite friends or visit a surf school;
3. Don't surf a shore break;
4. Choose a beach for surfing beginners;
5. Make your debut in small wave conditions;
6. Watch how the waves are rolling in before entering the water;
7. Warm up - stretching helps protect you from injuries;
8. Keep away from other intermediate and advanced surfers and swimmers;
9. Always wear a surf leash;
10. Sit on the surfboard;
11. Lie on the surfboard, well centered and balanced;
12. Keep your legs together with your feet out of the water;
13. Paddle steadily and rhythmically, with chest up and lower back arched;
14. Avoid pearling (nose dive) or bogging;
15. Start by catching 20 white water waves, and later move to small roller waves;
16. When the wave picks you from behind, pop up fast, keeping your feet spread shoulder-width apart;
17. Bend your knees to absorb shocks;
18. Need to bail out? Jump away from your board and protect your head with your arms;
19. Remember: wipeouts are part of the game;
20. Feeling tired? Ride back to the beach in prone position;

Watch our favorite surfing video lessons.