Anouk Govil, junior scientist, water sports enthusiast, and queen of open mic, at your service. I'm a biology major attending California State University Channel Islands. Out of school, I am usually at the beach hanging ten, kayaking, or fishing. Come nightfall, I can sometimes be found at the local bar during open mic sessions, hitting the high notes of my favorite power ballads to perfection—most of the time.
Anouk Govil. The harmful effects of climate change are becoming more evident each day. The oceans absorb a huge percentage of greenhouse gases and other waste. Ocean acidification, pollution, and garbage are harming marine life, destroying habitats, and making several species vulnerable. Here are some ways surfers can contribute to saving the seas:
Participate in beach cleanups
Anouk Govil. Keeping beaches trash-free isn’t easy. While there are conservation groups and beach workers regularly maintaining the area, they still need more hands to help keep the beach clean. It would be nice for surfers to take part in community efforts to help reduce waste on beaches. Spending an hour or two on the beach to clean can be such a big help.
Avoid using ocean-harming products
Sunscreen and other cosmetics have chemicals that can harm the ocean and damage marine life. Surfers must be aware of which brands and products are potentially harmful to go for better alternatives. They must also avoid consuming products from marine species such as shark squalene and snail slime obtained with unsafe methods. Anouk Govil.
Choose environment-friendly surfing equipment
Many surfboards in the market are made of multiple materials like plastic, fiberglass, and wood manufactured in factories. Include packaging and shipping, a lot of energy is used to make these boards. Surfers must be sure about the kind of boards they want to own to reduce waste. It might be better if they can resell their boards or instead use second-hand ones. Anouk Govil.
Surfing and traveling have an affinity that fans of both adore. The sport improves a surfer’s balance, stability, and focus, while traveling allows a person to explore endless possibilities or take a break from a busy lifestyle in the city. Anouk Govil.
Choosing the right surfing destination is essential for a fun and safe time on the waters. The Outer Banks islands’ Kitty Hawk is known for being the destination where the Wright Brothers took their first successful flight. The crowds don’t make the pier’s breaks any less wonderful. Kitty Hawk is definitely one of the best surfing spots in the East Coast. South Padre Island, Texas is the Lone Star State’s finest bet for some swells. Fall, winter, and spring offer the most amazing waves in South Padre Island. Anouk Govil.
Beginners and experts love the waves in Trestles, San Clemente. The Uppers, Lowers, and Middles offer waves of different heights and shallowness that cater to every surfer’s training needs. The Lost Coast has secret spots that surfers have to find for themselves as locals love to keep the spots classified. An elusive area, the Ghost Point, is a favorite among locals and visitors for its beauty. Anouk Govil.
Huntington Beach in South California maintains a serious surfing culture that is adored by surfers around the world. Surfers flock the beach for its consistent waves and breaks. Waves by the pier are mild, but surfers can get great swells along other parts of the destination. Anouk Govil.
Anouk Govil. Surfing is a great activity, especially for those who love the beach. But aside from learning the skills, one must also be aware of surfing etiquette, especially when catching waves on a crowded beach. Here are some of the things surfers of all levels should remember:
Respect the right of way
The person closest to the peak has the right of way. When paddling and waiting for a wave, those beside or behind the surfer should give way as it can be very dangerous to compete for the same wave. However, in the case of a split peak, surfers must take opposite directions. Shouting out “left” or “right” is important when this happens. Anouk Govil.
Avoid the drop in
Now that a surfer has understood the right of way, they must also understand what a drop in means. This happens when someone catches a wave that a person is already riding. Doing this is not just rude; it is also dangerous. It can block a person’s path and might ruin the order of catching waves for surfers. Anouk Govil.
Paddling around another surfer to get the right of way is also disrespectful. Remember that the right of way is given to the one closest to the wave. Paddling in front of that person can distract the person in line and others who are waiting to ride their waves.
Keep the board close
Anouk Govil. Sometimes the waves are so intimidating that one’s instinct is to abandon their board. This is another hazard that might actually injure another surfer. Before hitting the waves, be sure to master the duck dive and the Eskimo roll to go back to shore with the board safely.
Not all surfers are up for winter training sessions. Staying in shape during off-season can be challenging, especially for those who are limited to the surfing. Athletes ought to know a few cross-training exercises to keep their form during downtime, and surfers are no exception. Anouk Govil.
Yoga is a great cross-training workout. It stretches, relaxes, and builds the muscles. Surfing relies heavily on stability—a forte of yoga. Practicing yoga is encouraged among surfers for them to stay in shape and aligned even when out of the water. Skipping is a full workout that builds stability, speed, and strength. It goes beyond strengthening the core as skipping generally is a workout that targets the legs and improves overall coordination. Anouk Govil.
Hated by many, burpees make for a great workout session. This humble move is a total crusher and works as powerful cardio + strength combo that develops explosive power, balance, and stability. Trail running during winter can feel like a stretch, particularly when one isn’t a runner to begin with. Regardless, this cross-training exercise develops strength and focus necessary for conquering big waves. Plus, the views and the thrill of running off-road offer nearly the same excitement and adrenaline rush felt when surfing. Anouk Govil.
Push-ups are generally part of an athlete’s warm-up. During off-season, be sure to master the exercise. Take the workout to new heights by doing variations. Squats and jump squats build the core, quads, hamstrings, and the butt while training the knees and ankles for potential falls and general impact. Lower body strength and balance are developed through these basic moves. Anouk Govil.
Winter training for any sport always seems like a daunting undertaking. The usual winter breeze and below freezing temperatures require athletes to exert more effort to keep their bodies warm while training their minds to power through the cold breeze. Kayak training in the winter requires a lot more preparation than paddling in the summer. Anouk Govil.
Dress for the occasion. At the very least, a kayaker must wear a wetsuit when paddling in the cold air and water. Over the wetsuit, wear a drysuit that’s made specifically for paddle sports as this would provide more protection and warmth during harsh breezes. Water booties are a must, too. Keep the hands warm and protected by wearing neoprene gloves or pogies. Anouk Govil.
Wear a helmet that is both warm and comfortable to wear. When it gets too cold, wear a balaclava underneath the helmet for additional heat. There’s a reason parents always tell their kids to wear a hat when it’s cold outside. Repeated exposure to cold water can cause damage to the ears. Use earplugs when kayaking on a cold winter’s day. This will keep cold water and snow out of the ears, keeping them warm and healthy throughout the paddle session. Anouk Govil.
Bring a thermos filled with hot water, soup, or coffee to enjoy after (or before!) a chilly kayaking session. Along with a change of warm clothes, a hot food or beverage can prevent one from suffering from hypothermia after kayaking in freezing temperatures. Anouk Govil.
The holidays are coming and many may still have no idea what to get their loved ones. Athletes are picky when it comes to buying gear and surfers are among the pickiest ones. If surfboards are out of the list for gift ideas, here are few cheaper items to look for. Anouk Govil.
A leash can break any moment, and not all surf shops are open throughout the day. Gift a backup leash in case the main one breaks. One can never go wrong with a pair of great booties. While some surfers may play it tough during cold days, they would sure as heck be thankful if they’re gifted with a pair to keep them warm on winter surfs. Anouk Govil.
Changing ponchos have become more popular over the years. This gear piece keeps a surfer warm and offers more protection than a towel while one changes out of a wetsuit. Surfing and film photography have an affinity, that’s why a Kodak Disposable Waterproof Camera is one the best gifts one can give to their surfer buddy. Anouk Govil.
Rather than bringing the surfboard to a local shop for a simple nick, might as well give a surfer the chance to fix it on their own with a surfboard repair kit. A surfer’s ears can feel a little abused over time. Surf Ears Ear Plugs keep the ears safe from surfer’s ear caused by dirty or cold water and harmful bacteria. This pair allows a surfer to enjoy full protection without having to compromise their hearing. Anouk Govil.
Surfing, on its own, is a full-blast workout. Much like any sport, surfing requires hours of training before a person jumps from beginner to intermediate. Individuals who desire to pursue surfing would find themselves creating a workout plan to improve their strength, stability, and flexibility on water.
It’s not every day a person gets to go to the beach to practice their surfing skills. Gym workouts are the best alternatives to hours of training at the beach. Squats are incredibly helpful in building strength and stability without the need for any gym equipment. The classic workout is a complex movement due to the activation of muscles from the hips all the way to the feet. Anouk Govil.
The core is the foundation of their body, making it incredibly important to build its strength. Planking develops core muscles, improving strength and flexibility necessary for surfing. Start doing the workout technique for 30 seconds that increase time accordingly. Push-ups, another classic technique, engages the whole body. Proper push-up form aligns the spine, improves shoulder strength, and develops core muscles. Anouk Govil.
Proper hip movement is essential to surfing. Lunges help one learn correct hip movements without restrictions. Over time, one can increase the difficulty level of the workout by doing other variations and incorporating weights. If possible, practice swimming before heading to surf trips. Swimming and paddling share movements that improve shoulder strength and build back and arm muscles. On top of improving strength, swimming develops speed and stamina, which are both crucial in surfing. Anouk Govil.
Anouk Govil. Surfing requires skill and perseverance. Though it may look easy, not everyone can be a master of the sport in a short amount of time. But for those who are willing to put in the time and effort to improve their form, here are more surfing tips that they could use.
Choose a good trainer
Anouk Govil. In many places, there are trainers who are used to teaching beachgoers who want to try surfing just to cross it off their bucket list. But for those who are serious about learning, getting a good trainer is a must. This will allow a student to keep track of their progress and to improve their form.
Join a community of beginners
While many people pursue surfing for the community, joining one with a good number of experienced surfers might make things difficult for some beginners. Inviting friends or forming a group with other beginners allows a person to master surfing at their own pace. Though one might encounter a group of advanced surfers, one must not be intimidated as these people have been practicing for a long time. Anouk Govil.
Get better at paddling
Paddling is a crucial part of surfing that a beginner must learn. While it looks easy, it can be exhausting for the whole body. However, it is an important skill that one must learn for many hours so that they can improve their balance and speed. Professional surfers and trainers say that a beginner learns the rhythm of the waves while paddling. This is why it’s important to spend a good amount of time with this skill before proceeding to more advanced techniques. Anouk Govil.
Anouk Govil. For many people, the beach is their happy place. But due to the pandemic, many beaches all over the world have closed. As the many states in the US are easing restrictions on the closure of public spaces, many are choosing to leave their homes to spend some time with sun, sand, and surf. Here are some new normal safety precautions for those who want to head to the beach.
Going to the beach during the weekend or during a holiday might not be the best idea. Beachgoers should still follow physical distancing and in some places, mask-wearing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. However, the excitement of people to get close to the sea have caused massive crowds in popular beaches. Instead of going during the peak days and hours, one must be wise to avoid crowds and to stay with their group so that they can enjoy their trip without worries. Anouk Govil.
Bring personal beach gear
Experts suggest avoiding using shared objects like beach chairs, towels, floaters, or surfboards. To stay on the safe side especially when out with the family, it might be better to bring one’s own beach gear. To enforce physical distancing with those not from the same group or household, it would be good to assign space by putting barriers as simple as a beach towel keeping in mind the one-meter rule. Anouk Govil.
Limit time outdoors
While it’s tempting to spend the day at the beach, staying the whole day is not recommended. Though the beach is an open space, being in a public place can expose a person to the virus. Some places limit the activities people can do at the beach. There are some that prohibit sports and picnics to discourage gatherings. Some places enforce a time limit for the visitors. Whether or not there are rules in place, it’s best to limit one’s time at the beach to an hour or two. Anouk Govil.