Surfing can be a demanding sport and you should be reasonably fit and able to swim at least 50 metres in open water. Ideally before planning a surfing trip it is advisable to carry out a programme of exercises spread over the course of a couple of weeks. Running, Cycling and especially Swimming will help improve your stamina and will help tone up the all important paddling muscles.
Experience in bathing at surf beaches is advantageous as it will help you develop an awareness of the behaviour of waves. Always remember to carry out a warm up before going surfing and before carrying out any type of training.
A one piece wetsuit, either a full suit or shorty (short arms and short legs), is a must for surfing in Britain.
Before paddling out always watch other surfers to see where best to enter the water. Ask the advice of lifeguards or experienced surfers to find out if there are any dangers you should be aware of. To paddle the board, lie prone on it - length wise, with the nose of the board just above the surface of the water. Use your arms as paddles either side of the board (using the crawl swimming stroke) and practice paddling to find the technique best suited to your needs. Always follow the BSA Code of Conduct for Surfers.
All surfers must be able to swim at least 50 metres in open water.
Ensure that you are covered by Public Liability Insurance for surfing.
Keep your surfing equipment in good condition.
Always wear a surf leash to prevent you from losing your surfboard
(or bodyboard). For you your board is a safety device, to others it may be a lethal weapon.
Have consideration for other water users including anglers.
Never surf alone or immediately after eating a meal.
Always return to the beach before nightfall.
Never mix surfing with alcohol or drugs.
Always wear a wetsuit when surfing in Britain.
If you are new to the sport never hire a surfboard without first having a surfing lesson. (Given by a BSA qualified instructor)
Be considerate of other beach users especially when carrying your board to and from the water.
When possible use a lifeguard patrolled beach. Obey the lifeguards instructions and be prepared to assist them if required.
Where possible surf in a recognised surfing area
(e.g. in between the black and white checked flags).
When paddling out avoid surfers who are riding waves.
When taking a wave see that you are clear of other surfers.
Remember, if someone else is already riding the wave you must not take off.
Be environmentally friendly. Always leave the beach and other areas as you would wish to find them.