woman on surfboard learning to surf

Learn how to surf 一 Top tips for women

Nov 22, 2019 | Adventure, Surf


This is a guest post from Allison Harter.


It’s time to kick rocks to the stereotype of how women should be tanning on the beach and watching the men surf. Are you ready to dominate the waves and experience the magical feeling of riding and gliding on the deep blue?

It’s never too late as a woman to learn how to surf. No matter what age you are, or how ocean savvy you may be, today is the day!

Practice makes perfect, and with the proper breakdown, you’ll be steps ahead. Because who said learning something new had to be hard when it can be surf easy.

Here are some key steps to help you learn how to become a lady shredder.  




woman in bikini surfing a wave



Go to your nearest beach and you’re halfway to becoming a lady shredder! You can always stop by your local surf shop to grab what you’ll need 一 a surfboard, wetsuit (if the ocean temperature is cold) and surf wax.

Most beginners start with a soft-top longboard 一 this will make balancing and gliding into the waves much easier! Now that you have what you need, let’s get shredding!



Now don’t get me wrong 一 as much fun as surfing is, it can potentially be dangerous if you’re not educated on respect within the ocean. The last thing you want to do is pull a kook move, so check out Surf Etiquette 101 for Beginners before paddling out in the lineup.

Start with getting comfortable first on the sand practicing your feet position, your ‘pop-up’, and where you lay down on your board when you’re paddling. I recommend using a surf leash when you’re learning. This will keep your board from running away and from hitting others in the water. Let’s get into it!


woman and man on beach holding surfboards learning to surf



Goofy or regular is a term used to describe the placement of your feet on the board. If you’re goofy foot your left foot is leashed and becomes your back foot, and your right foot is the leader. If you’re a regular footer you leash your right foot which acts as your back foot, and your left foot is leading the way.

If you’re unsure which “footer” you are, jump on a skateboard and see what placement you land on naturally, and roll with it!





You’re ready for the next step– depending on how big your surfboard is, paddle position may vary. When you lay down on your board you want to make sure you’re not leaning too far forward or you will sink!

If you’re leaning too far back, you will be as slow as a slug and the nose on your board will be pointing to the sky. Try to find your core balance, and practice paddling on the sand until you’re ready for the ‘pop-up.’




Have you ever done a burpee before? If not, a burpee is an exercise move where you start standing, dropping down into a squat, kick your feet back to a push up then jump back up off the ground. This is the perfect practice move to conquer the ‘pop-up.’

A big beginner mistake is using your knee to stand up on your board before jumping straight onto your feet. Try to avoid this so you won’t develop a bad surf habit. So keep practicing popping up straight to your feet. Hellooooo victory!


woman in bikini learning to surf a wave



Embrace the white wash. The ocean is your friend and rooting for you!

A great way to get a feel for the ocean, and put your new skills to the test is starting on the inside which is closer to the shore. This will be your bread and butter in practicing some mild paddling, and your victorious ‘pop-up.’

Don’t be shy, you’re going to go through some wipeouts and may get a mouth full of salt water. And that’s totally fine! In fact, surfing isn’t about being ‘perfect.’ Surfing will always be a humbling learning lesson through your entire surfing journey.

Keep pushing through with practice until you feel comfortable and confident enough to take your new moves into the lineup.




Now that you’re a little shredder, it’s finally time to strike a move out in some real waves. Remember to go at your own pace. Just like learning anything new, it takes time. And in time you will see that never giving up is truly magical as your surfing will evolve and advance.

Keep in mind of surf etiquette when you’re still fresh to the lineup, so you can watch and observe how it all works.

woman holding surfboard on head at sunset



#1 rule of surfing: whoever is having the most fun is the best surfer.
It’s easy to get caught up in comparison to other surfers skills, don’t let this hold you back in any way. You are a female champion, and you are here to conquer! 

Have fun, catch as many waves as it takes, and spread the stoke of positivity! 


#1 rule of surfing: whoever is having the most fun is the best surfer.Click To Tweet





•Find your nearest beach
Grab your surf stick of choice
Practice your paddle position and your ‘pop-up’ on the sand
•Take your practice moves into the white water
When you’re ready take your surfing into the lineup
•Shred, smile, share the STOKE! 




About the Author

Allison Harter

Allison is a freelance copywriter based out of Orange County, CA. She is a creative machine through her writing, music, paintings, and dance. She’s constantly inspired by the ocean, thinking ‘BIG’ and by the people she gets to meet along the way. She brings positive energy and is always up for a challenge!


Learn how to surf 一 Top tips for women

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