Monday, June 30, 2008

Best Places for Beginning Surfers in U.S.

For those of you just learning to surf, here are a few surfing spots you might want to consider:

Cowell's Beach, Santa Cruz, California
Some say Cowell's Beach in Santa Cruz is one of the best places in the world to learn how to surf, with long, gentle, easy waves.

Corolla Beach, Corolla, North Carolina
Located on the northern end of the Outer Banks. Nice, warm water; gentle surf during the summer.

Folly Beach—South Carolina
Located twelve miles south of Charleston, Folly Beach's surf is perfect for beginner's learning to surf.

Sebastian Inlet, Florida
The Sebastian Inlet in Florida has a beautiful beach known for its small to medium sized waves, which range from 4 feet all the way up to 10 feet. The beach is great and the waters can be rather warm, the average temperature remains around the 80s F. Great place for beginners and intermediate surfers.

Malibu Beach, Malibu, California
Malibu is definitely a prime surfing location, with almost-perfect conditions for beginners to learn how to surf. The waves are not extremely high and in most places vary between 4 feet and 6 feet. The conditions may vary according to the weather of course.

San Onofre State Beach, California
Some call San Onofre State Beach the "Waikiki of the California Coastline," offering the beginner gentle breaking waves and long sandy beaches.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
The average temperature at Cocoa Beach varies from the mid 70s all the way up to the high 80s so the weather in this area can be classified as subtropical which is a great surfing combination.

A Few Things to Consider for Beginning Surfers:

1. Try renting your board at first. At the surf shop ask for a foam longboard to start out on. These are sometimes called foamies or softboards and are far safer and easier to start out on than a short fiberglass board. The foam boards are wider and longer and therefore more stable. This makes them easier for a beginner to be able to get up on and stay up on.

2. Wearing a leash which ties you to your board is important because it keeps it from becoming a hazard to other surfers.

3. Avoid surfing in crowded areas if you are a beginner, this will keep others away from your board if you lose control.

4. Never try to ride a wave which is beyond your abilities. If you feel uncomfortable try to stay away until you gain more experience. This will help you avoid injuring yourself or someone else.

5. If you are paddling out you need to know that a surfer who is actively riding a wave has the right of way. Try to avoid crossing his path for your safety and his. Incidentally, do not try to position yourself in front of a surfer who has the right of way (sneaking).

6. Always pay attention to weather conditions. If you constantly visit your local beach you know how fast the weather can change. This is highly relevant in places with huge waves such as Hawaii.

7. All surfers should know CPR.

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