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Surfing FAQ

Posted by Norman Kelly on

What’s the difference between a regular pack and a surfing pack?

The main difference has to do with keeping your wet gear separate from dry gear. A surf pack will have a separate compartment for you to store your wetsuit and beach gear, keeping stuff like food, towels, and electronics safe from water damage.  

Do I need to be a strong swimmer? 

You will not need to swim in order to surf, but it is highly recommended that you feel confident in your ability to swim. When things go wrong, you’ll want to be able to pull yourself to safety. 

Should I start with a long or shortboard? 

For beginners, this doesn’t make much of a difference. Once you get into the scene, though, you’ll be able to find the board that suits your style. Longboarders tend to be more relaxed and take on a variety of wave sizes while shortboarding is more aggressive and requires a lot more technical skill to do correctly.  

How can I become good at surfing while landlocked? 

I am sure you don’t want to hear this, but the truth is, NOTHING. Surfing is an ocean sport that involves a complex set of ocean skills. However, there are things that you can do on shore that will help condition yourself. Get in great aerobic shape. Run and or swim often. Pool swimming won’t replace ocean swimming, but it is a great workout. Other board sports, like skateboarding or onshore longboarding, can help improve your balance, too. 

If you are in decent aerobic shape, have decent balance and an average degree of athleticism, you’ll then need to learn how to be at home in the ocean. Real surfing is not done in the waist deep white water at the water’s edge. When you are comfortable in the ocean, a few good surfing lessons will get you started.  

Will I need a wetsuit? 

That depends on where you want to surf. If temperatures are below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need something to keep you warm. If you’re in a more tropical climate, you can go without a suit. That said, investing in a board shirt can help prevent some superficial injuries.