Monthly Archives: October 2017

River Surfing Gear

River surfing can be tough to learn for beginners, and it can be dangerous without the right gear. Here is what you need to get started.

  • Boards

No single board works well for all conditions. Instead, most surfers will develop a set of boards that work well in their area. Some start with traditional ocean boards, but it’s not an easy way to start. It’ll be easier to learn if you start with something with more volume and a larger planing area than most ocean shortboards, and less length than the long soft top boards that most ocean surfers start out on so you can fit onto the wave. Look for soft top boards with significant rocker. Save fiberglass boards for when you have your feet under you a little better, and don’t drive your board into the rocks quite so often.

  • Helmets

Helmets are nearly mandatory at just about every river wave. Look for something whitewater specific rather than a bike or climbing helmet.

  • Leashes

Wearing a leash is th eeasiest way to get killed river surfing. If you feel like you need a leash, get something as a quick release around your waist.

  • PFDs

A PFD is a good idea in high-volume rivers, particularly if you’re in a situation where you may be held down for a while.

  • Booties

Some foot protection is going to be important; most rivers are shallow and many urban corridors will have glass and other trash in the rivers that will cut up your feet if you’re not careful. You need to look for a trade-off between protection and feel for the board; generally you can get away with something thinner than most people kayak with, but test things out for yourself to see how much thickness you want.

  • Insulation

Unless you’re only surfing in the heart of summer, eventually you’re going to need something more than swim trunks to keep you warm. Wetsuits are the way to go here; a 2:3 wetsuit (2mm on the arms and 3 mm on the chest) can keep you warm enough for many conditions, though a 3:4 wetsuit isn’t a bad idea if you’re surfing in a colder climate. If you want to do things the hardcore route and surf through the winter, you may be in the market for a drysuit. They’re pricy, but they’re worth it if you’re building up ice on the banks or on yourself.

Surfing Exercises

If you want to exercise to get in shape for surfing start with your feet. The feet help provide shock absorption, balance, force, control, power, flexibility, strength and agility to your ride. All of the following exercises can be done in bare feet.

Sitting:

  • Start by rolling a tennis ball under your foot. This helps awaken the soft connective tissue (fascia). Do not put your full weight on the foot being rolled. Work up to using more pressure and using a lacrosse ball or golf ball. Roll the ball with a little more pressure under the heels, balls and outer edge of your feet and less pressure in the arches and toes. Spend at least 1 minute on each foot.
  • Try to pickup sand/small rocks with your toes. Once you have accomplished this task try to fling the objects with your toes.
  • Lift your foot off the ground and write in the air your favorite surfing spot. Pretend your toes are a pen and your ankle is a wrist.
  • With your feet apart keep your heels stationary and push/drag the balls of the feet and toes outwards away from center. When they are out as far as they can go (duck footed) lift the front of the feet off the ground (heels stationary) and bring them back to neutral. 10-15 times.
  • With your feet apart keeping your heels stationary lift the balls of your feet and toes up and go outwards. When they are out as far as they can go bring the front of the feet down and drag them back to neutral. 10-15 times.
  • Press your four small toes down and try to raise your big toe. This is a difficult exercise and when you first attempt it you can lightly hold down your 4 toes with your hand. Sometimes if you tap or lightly push the arch of your foot it helps. 10-15 times.
  • Press your big toe down and try to raise you 4 little toes. Again, you can start by spreading your toes as far apart as you can. Hold for 3-5 seconds 5-10 times.
  • Rock feet back and forth from heels to toes. 15 – 20 times.

Standing:

  • Walk on your heels and then walk on the balls of your feet.
  • Lift your big toe and feel your arch go up. Bring toe down and try to keep the arch raised for a few seconds.
  • Stand on a step with the balls of your feet on the step and your heels hanging over the edge. Slowly use the whole front of the foot to rise up as high as you can then drop your heels down as low as you can get them. 10 -20 times.
  • If it hurts

Surf Camp

As so many people are taking an interest in surfing, it makes sense to learn that there are many more surf camps being set up. Regardless of the ability of the surfer, there is bound to be a place that will match their capabilities. Even if you are planning to surf for the first time, you will find a place to go and there will be many others in the same position as you, although there will be some who have more experience and ability. If you are not sure about your interest, there is no need to get top of the range equipment. However, make sure you have the right items before you get there. The more advanced you get, you will find that there are still as many places to visit, but here you will be in the same group as people who have reached the same level of proficiency as you have. Before booking, it will be best to check that you are going to the right place.

This is so because you do not want to end up feeling like an outsider and not getting the most out of the time you spend at surf camp. Camps will have an expert on hand to let you know whether or not the camp is suitable for you and may even suggest others if theirs is not. There will be a couple of ways to find a site that is suitable. You can either look up an area that you want to visit and see what is available there or select the level that you want and then see which of the locations is preferable. As well as ability, there is cost to consider and this needs to be taken seriously as there could be other events that you want to try in the area. For many people, the main attraction is the knowledge that the people running the camp have the same interest as them, and a desire to help them improve their art. The environment needs to be friendly all the time and if going to another country it will be worth checking if any of the instructors or staff speak your language.

Even if you are a good surfer, there may be times when you need help and knowing that all instructors are trained to the highest degree, and that they consider the safety of the visitors as the most important part of their job. All the time that you are in the water having lessons, you will be accompanied by an instructor – as long as you choose a well-run company to deal with.

 

Best Places for Surfing in Bali

A side from their ultimate beauty, Bali’s beaches are also wonderful for surfing. Here, I have summed up 6 of the best of them for your reference.

1. Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan is a small island located about twenty kilometers from Bali’s eastern beach. You can reach this place by speedboat in an hour. Several cruises such as Balihay Cruises and Bali Cruise Bounty provides a transportation service to reach this island. This isle is great for surfing. In addition, it has stunning natural panorama that is very interesting for sightseeing. You can also do snorkeling and diving here.

In Nusa Lembongan, you can surf comfortably because the beach here is not too crowded. For utmost surfing pleasure, go to surf between April and October where the wave reaches its maximum height.

2. Serangan Beach

Serangan Beach is located in a small island near Denpasar. Although it’s close to the Bali capital city, Serangan Beach is not as crowded as Kuta and Sanur. This beach is favored by many surfers. The wave here is good for the beginner because its height is only four to six feet. The best surfing time in Serangan is in the morning, from November to April.

3. Kuta Reef

Kuta Reef is an ideal place for surfing in the world-famous Kuta Beach. The exact location of Kuta Reef is in front of Sandhi Pala Motel, or, about 800 meters offshore. To reach Kuta Reef, you can rent a boat that is available nearby the beach.

4. Uluwatu

Uluwatu is in the northern Bali and close to Pura Uluwatu. Only professional surfers are allowed to surf here due to its very high wave. It is often used as the place for surfing competition.

5. Padang Galak

Padang Galak Beach is also called as Ketewel Beach. This beach is known to be one of the best surfing places in Bali. To reach this beach, you only need twenty minutes trip by taxi from Denpasar. Padang Galak is also close to Sanur. This surfing spot is favored by many tourists, especially the Japanese.