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A Chance to Surf in Puerto Rico

Basic Surf Lessons at your Fingertips
Publication of Discovery: Sept. 30, 2016
Issue: September, 2016

It is early in the morning and the sounds of waves wake you up. As you gladly stare at an impressive ocean view in a Caribbean island, you enjoy watching the surfers riding waves. If you are a surfer, you are probably rushing to go to the beach because you need to ride those waves. If you are not a surfer, you may be admiring the surfers’ spectacle while wishing you knew how to surf. You might even be thinking that it seems difficult to learn how to surf.

If you are lucky enough to be in the island of Puerto Rico and have ever been interested in learning how to surf, you are in the right place.

For more than four decades, Puerto Rico has been internationally known as a surf destination. Although there are a variety of surf spots around the island, surfers are very attracted to the northwest side of Puerto Rico. Rincón, Isabela, Aguadilla and Aguada are among the Municipalities where surfers meet on the northwest side of this Caribbean island.

According to Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s owner and instructor, Ramse Morales, Puerto Rico’s surf high season occurs around November-March. However, he explained that Puerto Rico is suitable all year round either for surfing or engaging in the adventure of learning how to surf.

We had the opportunity to witness a surf lesson for beginners given by Ramse, who has been surfing for over 20 years and founded Surf Lessons Puerto Rico around 10 years ago. While we were looking at the pretty Jobos Beach in Isabela, Ramse explained that the selection of the proper beach for beginner lesson’s purposes will depend on the weather conditions, among other factors. According to this surf instructor, it is recommendable for surf lessons targeted for beginners to be held in beaches where waves reach a maximum height of 3 feet.

In general, Ramse recommends beginners to use a long surfboard rather than a short surfboard. However, this instructor suggests clients the proper surfboard, depending on the height and weight of the beginner. You may read the “delve!” subsection to learn about basic parts of a surfboard. Also, we suggest reading the “tips” subsection to learn about Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s general tips for beginners.

Below we share a summary of some Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s basic instructions taught during the lesson in Jobos Beach.

Surf Lessons for Beginners’ Basics

#1- Lying down on the surfboard

Lie down on the surfboard with the front of your body facing downward, placing your core (torso) on the center of the board. Make sure that your body is not lying down too far back or too far forward on the surfboard. To find your “sweet spot”, known by surfers as the right position on the center of the board, is important in order to prevent the tail or nose of the board from diving. Also, lying down in the proper position will help you paddle better towards the waves.

While you are lying down, keep your chest and head in an upward position. Use your ribs to keep balance on the surfboard.

#2- Paddling towards the ocean

Paddle with fully stretched arms, making one stroke at a time and using the force of the center of your hand. As you paddle backward, paddle all the way back nearby your knee.

Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s instructor will teach you the techniques to paddle faster and cross the waves.

During the lesson, the instructor will suggest when to paddle.

#3- Catching and riding a wave

To catch a wave, make sure that the surfboard’s nose is positioned towards the waves.

The Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s instructor will teach you segmented body movements to stand up on the surfboard (to “pop up”) in order to catch and ride the wave.

The instructor will take care of the waves’ selection and let you know when to “pop up”.

The Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s basic surf lesson includes step-by-step instructions and demonstrations on the beach’s sand area. You will be able to practice how to lie down on the surfboard, and the paddling and “pop up” moves while the surfboard is on the sand. Then the instructor and you will take off to the ocean to practice the basic surf moves and try to achieve your goal: to catch and ride a wave.

Vanessa Negrón, who took the basic surf lesson, stated that while riding a wave she likes to feel the tickling sensation resulting from the increase of adrenaline level. She named this sensation as “rush”. Though feeling this “rush”, Vanessa cheerfully stated that surfing relaxes her. She explained that while she rides a wave, the experience is all about the wave and her.

In regards to the techniques, Vanessa found that standing up on the board was not too difficult to learn. She pointed out that she needs to improve her skills to paddle since it is a strenuous task. She recognized that she needs to do more cardio exercises in order to be more fit and gain more strength to paddle better.

For those beginners interested in scheduling the Surf Lessons Puerto Rico’s surf lesson, plan accordingly since it may be a half-day lesson. Surf Lessons Puerto Rico also offers lessons about intermediate and advanced surf techniques. To schedule a surf lesson, you may contact Surf Lessons Puerto Rico at 787-617-4731.

tour provider: Surf Lessons Puerto Rico
book here
where the crew ate: Café 413
photograph by: F. Javier Gil

Note: This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all details with the pertinent businesses before planning your trip. Please be cautious. The company behind this publication assumes no responsibility for your safety when participating in the activities mentioned in this article. You are responsible for confirming whether you are capable of participating in any of these activities or tours, regardless of the effort level or any other information provided in this website.

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Vanessa Negrón, Rincón, PR- "The surf lesson was very thorough. Ramse was very attentive during the practice in open water. For example, he advised me how to do the cobra-like pose while I needed to cross a wave.” (translation ours).

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