Hopefully you now understand a bit more about the beach and how to keep yourself safe. But do you have the skills to make the most of the surf?
Learning to swim in a pool is important but the ocean is a very different environment and you should learn some new skills. Here are a few tips and tricks, but the best way to learn from a young age is to join in the fun at a Surf Ed or Nippers program!
Let’s start by getting into the water. Because beaches usually slope into the water gently, it’s not a great idea to run and dive in; you can easily damage your neck and spine. You can get into the water quickly by wading and dolphin diving:
1. Start by running into the water lifting your legs up and out of the water, this is called wading.
2. Once you can’t wade anymore, you can dive forward and under the water with arms outstretched. When you reach the bottom, push off with your legs and repeat the diving motion again and again. This is called dolphin diving, because from above the water you can look like a dolph
3. Once you can’t easily touch the bottom anymore, you should start swimming. When you need to get through waves you should dive down again with arms outstretched to avoid the turbulent water of the waves.
To get back to the shore when you’re swimming, by far the most efficient (and fun) way is bodysurfing. Start learning how to bodysurf by starting in waist depth water, pushing off the ground and onto the wave keeping your body straight and arms outstretched.
Bodysurfing has been described as ‘pure surfing’ and offers an amazing feeling of connectedness to the ocean.
Check out this great movie that showcases the feeling or 'stoke' that people can get while bodysurfing: