Beginner Surfing Tips, Tricks & Techniques (Your Handy Surfing Guide)


Want to catch more waves, improve your surfing technique and have more fun in the ocean?

Then, don’t miss your easy-to-follow guide packed with carefully selected surfing tips to fast-track your progression.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or just need a quick refresh on the basics, we’ve got helpful tips and advice to help you master the early stages of surfing.


Learn how to read a surf report

This could easily be the most important tip on this list.

Knowing how to read and understand a surf report is essential to progressing quickly towards becoming an intermediate surfer. 

You don’t have to understand much of the statistical information and data, just a few simple things you can look for to check if the surf will be any good.

Head over to our guide on how to find the best surf conditions for beginners for our simple method of checking a surf report like Surfline. 

Look after your equipment

Both traditional PU surfboards and epoxy surfboards are going up in cost every year.

Buying a new board can set you back $500+, and a decent new wetsuit anywhere north of $300.

With prices going up all the time, it’s never been so important to treat your surfing gear with respect.

This means rinsing your wetsuit after every surf and making sure you regularly clean your surfboard.

Find some surf buddies

In the early stages of surfing, some comradery can help you stay motivated.

Being able to share your experiences and tackle frustration together is going to make the whole surfing experience much easier.

Don’t ride small surfboards

When you’re learning to surf, extra buoyancy is most definitely your friend.

The buoyancy or float of a surfboard is measured in litres using a metric called volume.

As a beginner, you’re going to want, at the very least, 45l+. This added foam will help give you a little extra paddle power making it easier to catch more waves.

Take a surf lesson 

There’s nothing wrong with teaching yourself to surf but if you want to get out the back and surf the open face of the wave as soon as possible, you might want to take a surf lesson.

The instructors at a surf school are all qualified to give you expert advice and guidance while you are out in the ocean.

They can quickly highlight where you’re going wrong and correct any bad technique in your paddling and pop-up.

Even if you’ve mastered the basics, taking a surf lesson is still a good idea to keep you focused and on the right track. 

Use the right wax 

Surfboard wax is classified based on water temperature.

Use cold water wax in warm water and your freshly combed wax job will fall off the deck of your surfboard like butter.

Go to a beginner-friendly surf spot 

By a friendly surf spot, I mean:

  • Sand bottomed
  • Lifeguarded
  • Surf in the 2-4ft range

The right spot should have friendly waves breaking in safe water with no rips or currents.

The last thing you want as a beginner is an unpleasant experience which can easily happen if you paddle out at a surf spot that’s beyond your skill level.

Learn about surf etiquette 

Surfing has a list of unwritten rules that keep the lineup orderly. 

The basic premise is waiting your turn and only catching a wave if there are no other surfers already riding.

You’ll also need to learn how to paddle around the peak to avoid getting run over by other surfers as you duck dive waves.

The unwritten rules of surfing are way too much to cover in this post, so head over to our dedicated guide to surf etiquette for the full rundown.