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Pursuing my Bucket List: Learn How to Surf

Hello and welcome! As you may know from my Bucket List, I try to seek out adventure at every possible opportunity. My trip to Sylt was no exception here and when I first saw Südkap’-s Surf School in Wenningstedt, I knew I had to take this chance. 

To get the best results, I decided I wanted to squeeze as much surfing in my 7 day vacation as I could. For me this meant surfing 6 days in a row, each time for two hours. It was also super important to me to have accompanied lessons by a teacher, who can call out my mistakes and saves me time by teaching me the right technique. (And to have someone who would save me from drowning). 

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How Each Lesson Went

Each time our lesson started with getting into the wetsuit. For those who never tried to get into one let me tell you: it is already super exhausting. Once I pressed myself into it and looked like a stranded whale, we would all go to have a Spot Check, where we would observe the waves, the wind and the beach to get an impression of the circumstances. Our teachers taught us how to evaluate the overall situation and where we would enter the water.

After the spot check we continue with theoretical practice that would include learning more about the physics behind the wave for example when, where and why it would break.

Me and the fellow pupils would get our boards and bring them down to the beach where we would have a proper warm up, consisting of some running and yoga exercises, before practicing paddling and standing up on the board. 

Then we jumped right into the ocean and started practicing what we’d just trained until our lesson was over. 

watching out for a wave

Recommend: Germany’s Hidden Gem – Norderney

When You Learn How to Surf

Before I dive into my progress in surfing (hehheheh diving.) Let me tell you straight: I went into it very unprepared and think that it takes so much more than 6 days to learn how to surf. This sport is a mental mixture of timing, strength, balance and feeling and in my opinion super hard to learn. I am super proud of the process that I made that led me to being able to do a turtle roll, surf green water and even got to do proper take offs. Nevertheless I am super eager to learn more! 

Day 1 – Balancing on The Board

I started my first day by simply learn how to lay on my board. You have to know the exact position on the board that will prevent you from falling over or slowing down too much. It was kind off a rough day then and I got swept off my board quite a few times. One tip that I want to mention right away is to always protect your head with your arms when falling off the board to prevent having the board hit your head. It happened to me the first day and well it hurts quite hard. But all in all it helped me to get a feeling for the wave and my board. 

Day 2 – Paddling and Feeling the Wave

On my second day I got into paddling and learned how to do a turtle roll. A turtle roll is a technique that enables you to roll underneath a foamy wave without loosing to much strength while paddling out. 

Day 3 – 6 Getting Better And Better

Day by day I learn more on how to position myself on the board and standing up. Finally by the fourth day I got to do my first proper take off! From the I got more confident while the waves around me got smaller and smaller. By my last day they were so tiny that one could barley paddle out. Furthermore I was surrounded by jelly fish, so not the best conditions over all. I did it and I am so happy that I even got this shot of my, bursting out in joy! 

learning how to surf

3 Tips on Learning How to Surf

If you want to learn how to surf too, let me give you a few helpful tips on this difficult sport. 

Get a Proper Surfing School.

Surfing is so hard and even besides the practical part there is so much to learn about surfing, that it just makes the most sense to learn it properly. It is also crucial for your safety, since a lot of things can happen when you are just learning. They will tell you where to enter the water, where dangerous places are and safe you from drowning.

Before Getting Started, Make Sure to be Super Fit and Trained.

If you want to surf, you need to be super fit. Since I just decided to go on the course spontaneously I couldn’t get any fitter in advance, but I really advice you to not do the same.

If you want to nail it, I advice you to you train your arms especially. You will need some extra power in there.

Don’t be Discouraged When You Don’t Instantly Look Like a Hawaiian Goddess

If you do, congratulations (i hate you anyway). If you do not, don’t be discouraged. Learning how to surf is incredible hard and not something you learn overnight. It takes practice, practice and practice and there is not so much you can do about it. Just make sure that the journey is a fun one!

Learn How to Surf - La Vie En Marine
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Sony Alpha 6600 – the best travel camera out there! 

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