What do surfing and walking a dog have in common? Well, surfboards don’t bark, but they still need a “leash” to keep them from getting away! Surfing takes lots of practice, but when you’re riding that wave, it’s incredible! Here’s how to start:
Goofy Foot? Put your best foot forward—find out whether you are regular or goofy-footed! Try sliding across a smooth floor with socks on. If you lead with your left foot, you’re “regular,” and the left foot goes near the front of the board when you’re surfing. If your right foot goes first, you’re “goofy,” and the right foot goes up front!
Paddling. To get around in the water, lay chest-down on your board, keeping your legs straight behind you. With each arm, make an overhand swimming stroke that starts at the front of the board and finishes under the board near your legs. (It’s like swimming the crawl stroke, except you’re on top of the board!) As you finish the stroke with one hand, the other hand is just starting. Try practicing in shallow water or a pool first.
Catching the Wave. When you see white water (breaking waves) coming, turn around to face the shore, aim your board the direction the wave is coming, and start to paddle in. When the wave reaches you, it will push you forward. Stop paddling, grab the side of the board, push up your body, and quickly get your feet under you. Both should land at the same time, toes pointing sideways. Move your lead (regular or goofy) foot in front. Hey, you’re surfing!
Everything has the potential to move, known as potential energy. When it does move, it changes into kinetic (moving) energy. A wave is potential energy that travels a very far distance across the water. This energy is created by stuff like the wind. When the potential energy in the water changes into kinetic energy, the water starts moving, making waves. Surfers catch a small bit of this force, jump on their boards, get up, and surf. Cool stuff, huh?