Choose the right surfboard and wetsuit
A good surfboard should have some width and thickness. The length of the surf will depend on how big you are: the bigger the person, the bigger the board. It is a good idea to choose a longer board as it can help you get a lot better faster and also help you get the basics down as you can scale down as you progress.
A short board is usually unstable and wobbly for inexperienced surfers. Starting with a bigger board will help you progress faster, help you have more fun and ride more waves. Apart from the surfboard, you have to also select the right wetsuit. The average water temperature is used to determine the wetsuit thickness you need to rent or buy.
Find the right spot
Look for a good beginner surf spot. If you have no idea of where this is, you can ask the local surf shop. Avoid point breaks, reef breaks and heavy shore breaks as it can become a dangerous place for a beginner.
Surfing should be fun and not a place to get beat up, thrashed around or held down. Do your research and you will experience the difference between having a good and bad first experience.
You need to know about rip currents
A rip current is a strong and narrow current which heads to the sea from the shore back. If you find yourself in a rip current, the best thing to do is to paddle in a way that is parallel to the ocean shore as it will enable you to see where the waves are pushing in.
Do not panic. Just keep calm and hold your breath while surfing in the ocean. When you panic, you will not be able to hold your breath. With strong rip currents, you will have to go out with the rip into the deeper water where your balance is restored and the pulling current will subside.
After this, paddle parallel to the shore and work your way in. Some of the signs of a rip current include: change in the color of water within the rip, pulling of objects or surfers to the sea with little or no effort and waves which do not fully break in the rip.
Learn how to stand up on your surfboard
Before you go surfing, you have to practice doing pop-ups. To do this, lay down on the floor with hands near your chest but not too wide. You should be able to push off your board to get up to your feet in one smooth motion without touching your knees. Practice on how you can lay down and pop to your feet and landing sideways.