Adults learn to surf and surf with their peers, friends, kids, or their parents. Age is functional. Surfing is fun at all ages. Getting in the ocean begins the fun.
The Physical Requirements When Adults Learn to Surf
The physical requirements are often what adults question first. I call adults anyone after their teen years so this is a wide range. Young people just out of college are probably still used to regular physical activity.
In the middle years of careers, raising children, and facing more responsibilities, adults often become less active. Three physical capacities fade at once:
- Upper Body Strength
All three of these traits would probably be welcome in any sports endeavor, so surfing often inspires adults to get in better shape.
The Four Count Surf Method Helps All Students
When adults learn to surf, I demonstrate the four count surf method which has been successful for all ages for years. Getting into a wave, standing up, and riding a surf board to the beach has a rhythm.
Several techniques or learned practices follow one after the other. Students can get from the beginning to the end by counting to four and moving their body a certain way in each count. Students learn the method on the beach in the dry land portion of the lesson and count out loud in the water.
Students have said for years that when they count out loud and go through the process, it is easier to surf.
What Are the Four Counts
When adults learn to surf, they practice the process and pop ups on the beach before trying it in the water.
In the water, the first count is paddling for a wave. I begin students by pushing them into waves to make it easier. Students still have to count one until they have caught (are in front of) the wave. This is true with foam or real waves.
The transition stage of count two is placing the hands on the board in a man’s push up position. In this stage the student is assessing whether he is in the wave and whether the board is level and straight.
If all is well, the student pushes up of the board in an explosive move so that the front foot can pass under the chest and land between the hands. This is where upper body strength, core strength, and flexibility are important.
On the fourth count, the student is standing on the board in the correct posture surfing to the beach.
The Correct Posture as Adults Learn to Surf
The front foot is in the middle of the surfboard at a 45 degree angle forward. This is often opposed to the feet being parallel towards the rails as students often practice in snowboarding or skateboarding.
The second most important aspect is hips and shoulders are facing forward also opposed to what students do on snowboards and skateboards. What we don’t want is for one hand or arm to be trailing the other while one hand is in front pointing at the beach.
This posture causes the butt to be over one rail instead of over the center line of the surfboard. Students the fall off over the side of the board.
The feet are to be shoulder width apart with equal weight on the front and back leg. The knees are flexed. Both hands are in front of the body so that the shoulders and hips are square. The video below demonstrates.
Having Fun in The Water
One thing I have found when adults learn to surf is they always have fun. The first fun aspect of surfing is the surfboard is a great boogie board and when it catches the wave, there is a speed thrill of moving to the beach.
When successful, it is a great feeling of accomplishment. It is enjoying the sport of kings and the fun millions of people around the globe enjoy every year. It is a recreation that can be enjoyed on so many beaches.
Surfers often go into the water “just to get wet” because they enjoy sitting on their board enjoying the sun and water.
Give it a try!
If you want surf lessons in Oceanside see my Home Page
Follow these external links for more surf instructions:
Surf Lesson Tutorials. These may not be exactly as I teach but they are helpful
This instructor gives a good overall video lesson on learning to surf
See my video on the Pop Up Process: