Activities The Great Outdoors How do I Teach My Child How to Surf? Share PINTEREST Email Print This little guy is just getting used to his surfboard. Let your child ride on his belly a bit or even ride a bodyboard. Jay DiMartino The Great Outdoors Surfing Hiking Climbing Skiing Snowboarding Paddling Fishing Sailing Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Learn More By Jay DiMartino Jay DiMartino is a writer and a former competitive surfer who spent more than a decade competing on the famed North Shore of Oahu. our editorial process Jay DiMartino Updated March 18, 2017 Take it Slow: patience, patience, patience. A Little Subliminal Priming Never Hurts: 2. Show him some surf movies and go to the local surf shop every once in a while Keep your Child Safe: Also, a soft board is an invaluable tool in helping build confidence. They run about $300-$400 new. Ask your local surf school or surf shop if they have used soft boards which can go for very cheap. Also, they are often rented at most bigger surf shops. They are very wide and buoyant, made of soft bodyboard material, and have dull flexible fins. All of these designs are geared towards bruise-free and blood-free surf sessions. Practice on Land: What is a pop-up you ask? It’s simply the most important factor in learning to surf. It’s basically a fast push-up that keeps going up into a standing position. Here’s how it goes. With both of his hands on the top of the board (or beach sand facsimile), your child will do a quick push up. Only once his arms are at full extension, he should pull both knees toward his stomach and hop to his feet. Be sure to tell your child, “DO NOT GO TO YOUR KNEES FIRST!” But don’t yell like that. Staying on your knees too long will only lead to difficulty keeping balance and make falling more possible. This move from stomach to feet is called a “pop up”. It should be one smooth motion straight to the standing position. Repeating your beach “pop up” will program your child’s subconscious to be ready for what will happen in the water. Get Your Child Comfortable with the Water: The ocean is a crazy lady, even when the surf is small. You don’t realize how much waves can knock someone around who is small and inexperienced in the ocean. Therefore, if your child is small enough (and your board is big enough), paddle around and even ride some waves with your kid on the nose. This is a blast for both of you, and it will build trust between you and your child, thus making it easier when you push the little ripper off on that first one alone. Pick the Right Waves: The key at this point is to push your kid into as many waves possible to eliminate that fear factor and introduce the comfort factor. Standing up He shouldn’t lean forward or back Now you're Surfing! Have Fun!!!