Surfing: learn how to sit on a surfboard and turn it before catching a wave | Photo: Shutterstock

Sitting on a surfboard and pivoting is one of the first things you'll need to master when learning how to surf. It requires balance and practice.

Surfers sit down on their boards to wait for the waves. The technique has many advantages. For example, it allows you to keep an eye on the best sets from a higher perspective.

If you're simply laid prone on a surfboard waiting for the action, you'll lose a lot of precious swell information. Sitting on the board will also enable you to turn the board faster toward the beach when you decide to catch a wave.

The trick is to sit just below the middle of the surfboard. This rule of thumb applies to all kinds of surfboards and helps you avoid falling back when waves pass by.

Sooner or later you'll find your balance. In their first experiences in the surf, beginners usually struggle to find their balance and start feeling tired quickly. The good news is that's part of the learning process.

In less than an hour, you'll be comfortable with the sway of the ocean and ready to wait for the best surfing waves. Here's how to sit on a surfboard and turn it for catching an incoming wave:

1. Lie on your surfboard and find your balance;
2. Slowly move to a sitting position in the middle of the board;
3. Hold on to the rails for extra stability;
4. Adapt to the sitting position without grabbing the rails;
5. Wait a few minutes until you find a comfortable and relaxed balance;
6. When your wave is approaching, sit back so that the nose of the surfboard comes up;
7. Grab the rail with one hand;
8. Circle your legs and feet in opposite directions to turn the board around;
9. Lie on the board;
10. Paddle for the wave before it reaches you;

Ideally, when you're sitting, the surfboard should be relatively flat in the water, with the nose slightly pointing up.