10 tips on how to become a surfer when you suffer from water phobia

surfing, Anniken Binz, Hawaii

Have you always watched the surfers and wanted to be one of them, but thought it was impossible due to your fear of the water? Or is your case of water phobia so bad that you’ve never even been attracted to surfing? Mine is the latter. I’ve been on several surfing trips without surfing before. I could never imagine myself surfing, it was very unattractive to me. But somehow, by mere coincidence, I ended up in the water too.

Here are some advice to get you started if you’re keen, but don’t have the guts!

  1. Go to a warm exotic country with clear turquoise waters and beautiful beaches. The positive surroundings will help you feel comfortable.
  2. Make sure you have enough time at your disposal (preferably more than 1-2 weeks). It takes time to get used to the water, and to learn to surf.
  3. Practice breathing deep, calm and slow breath. It is physically impossible to stress when you’re breathing deep and slow. If you want to perform in the water you need to learn how to relax because stress will only help you fail.
  4. Go snorkelling in the clear turquoise waters and watch the rainbow coloured fish. Start shallow, waist high is good enough. Eventually venture out in deeper waters. Practice breathing and relaxing. And then go snorkel some more. Exposure actually helps.
  5. Get an instructor. It’s the only way to get you started.  You’ll save yourself a lot of time and energy by getting it right from the start. It’s also less scary when you have somebody taking care of you.
  6. Paddle. Work up your paddle strength and technique in flat waters before you try to catch a wave. If you’re exhausted from paddling your performance will go down and you will spend more time under water that on top. Being on top is always better.
  7. Never go out alone unless you want some extra adrenaline. Personally I perform half as well when I’m all alone. I get very scared of falling. Watching the other surfers is also a good way of learning.
  8. Mount your GoPro on your surf board. When you’re busyposing for the camera you might forget to think about everything underneath you. And watching your own mistakes afterward is a good way of learning.
  9. Learn to love fear. Without it you would get half the adrenaline and surfing would be boring. You’ll never get over your water phobia, but you’ll learn to deal with it.
  10. Never give up! You know you can do it. There will always be bad days, without them you would not appreciate the good ones.
    IMG_9801

    Get a big board to start you out!

    Hawaii, surfing, Anniken Binz

    Hawaii falls into the category of warm, exotic, beautiful turquoise warters.

    Hawaii, sunset, Anniken Binz, Sharks

    Sunsets are beautiful, but it’s difficult to see what’s beneath you, and if your scared of sharks it is not the best time to go in the water.

    surfing, Anniken Binz, Hawaii

    Some days you end up waiting and waiting for a wave to come by. Spend the time on focusing on being comfortable in your surroundings

    surfing, Anniken Binz, Berghaus, Hawaii

    Wear yoga pants if you are starting out with a soft top board in order to avoid burn marks on your knees.

    surf2

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