FlightHub’s surfing guide for Canadian’s travelling abroad – a sponsored post written by FlightHub
Unless you were fortunate enough to grow up on either coast of Canada, many Canadians never get the opportunity to learn how to surf while at home. Instead, Canadians would rather swap out water sports for snowboarding and ski lessons, preferring their H2O be in solid form rather than liquid. For the select few that never hit fresh powder on a snowboard, the idea of surfing becomes even more daunting: how are you going to stay up? How do I place my feet? What if I get tired? Because of this, FlightHub decided to compile a quick how-to for all the Canadian surfing newbies looking to try their luck on the board while abroad.
Get an instructor
To be put simply if you’ve never surfed before the first thing FlightHub suggests you do is find yourself a surf instructor. Yes you may need to pay for their time and equipment, but the benefits of having someone who actually knows what they’re doing with you while you learn how to surf is pretty helpful. Find a local surf shop and see if they provide lessons, if not, ask your hotel concierge or seek the activities list at your hostel. Lessons usually last about a half hour on dry land, and gives you the opportunity to look absolutely ridiculous. Don’t fret, this is perfectly normal. Figuring out the ways to get up on a board, your stance, how to bend you knees, and where to place your feet are all reviewed prior to getting in the water (helpful, right?).
Don’t over think the wetsuit
Depending on where you’re surfing, using a wetsuit may be necessary. Don’t over think it, just put that bad boy on and relish the fact that you can comfortably get in the water without freezing your toes off. With FlightHub’s experience, it’s better to be kept warm and looking like a majestic penguin than freeze and look like a plucked chicken. A word of caution post surf: FlightHub suggests to gently take off the wetsuit once you’re done with it, and try to avoid discarding the suit in the sand while wet. This will make for a much exfoliated bum the next time you try to put it on.
Don’t get discouraged
Growing up, movies like Blue Crush gave young Canadians the very wrong idea that surfing was easy. Let FlightHub repeat, surfing is very, very, hard and equally tiring. Don’t be surprised if a lesson ‘only’ last 3 hours, this is by no means a short amount of time. Another way to help with conserving energy while surfing is that board size does matter. Make sure your board is longer than you are, as this kind of board is easier and more forgiving to novice surfers. Now that you’re equipped, FlightHub wants you to know that we’re encouraging you from the side lines while the waves mercilessly knock your over repeatedly. Remember that you’re there to have fun, and that when you get knocked down just get up again!
Learn the correct surfing etiquette
Etiquette is always important when learning how to surf, and should be observed as an additional safety measure. FlightHub doesn’t want to leave you hanging, so the first thing to know about surfing etiquette is who has the right. This is important because it makes sure that everyone can enjoy the waves with safety in mind. Typically, the person who’s been waiting the longest, or the one furthest inside has the right of way. Should you break etiquette for whatever reason, just apologize like the polite Canadian you are!
Don’t swim out farther than an instructor tells you to
Riptides are very dangerous and can pull you out over 100 meters from the beach in just minutes. Be vigilant of where you are at all times while in the water, and never swim out farther than what is indicated as being safe. Remember that surfing requires very strong swimming skills, so if you’ve pulled off the rubber rings prior to entering the water, make extra sure that you keep close to the shoreline. If you happen to be caught out farther than you intended signal to, signal to your instructor or try to swim back towards the shoreline.
FlightHub hopes these tips were helpful, and wishes every Canuk abroad good luck, and to catch you on the flip side!
This post was brought to you by FlightHub, one of North America’s leading online travel agencies. Launching in 2012, FlightHub employs over 400 people globally. Thinking of going surfing while abroad? Check out FlightHub Review and see what others are saying about surfing and join in on the conversation!