Before catching the massive waves it's a good idea to practise getting used to surfing on the white wash. The white wash is where the waves break and it is the easiest wave to catch. Strap your leg rope (or leash) to your ankle, and hold the slack so you don't trip as you enter the water.
The first phase in surfing is paddling. To start off you will need to learn how to successfully catch a wave. It's a good idea to watch other surfers get into the water, and observe the route they use to paddle out.
To paddle, you first lie on your surfboard to do this body weight needs to be positioned along the centre of the board. Your feet need to be raised slightly off the end of the board. Your body needs to be far enough back to keep the nose of the board about a couple of inches out of the water. If you are too far forward on the board you will notice that the nose of the board keeps dipping underwater making it very difficult to paddle. It will take time to find the most comfortable position. Try to be balanced on the board and paddle at almost the speed of the incoming wave. Raise your head when you paddle with arms bent at the elbow approximately ninety degrees. Reach out with one arm at a time, cupping your hands to make a scoop, stroking your way through the water. You don't have to dig your arms too deep. Keep the movement of your arms nice and smooth, pulling the board through the water and finish your paddle by flicking your wrist as your arms moves past your hip.
Pictures (Above and right): The position of different surfers while paddling
How to get over a wave
When you are paddling out you will need to learn how to duck dive, turtle roll or bail when you come to breaking waves.
Duck Dive Keep paddling until the wave is about two seconds in front of you in preparation for the duck dive. Grab the sides, or "rails", of your board just in front of your shoulders. Plant your knees in the middle of the board, raise your torso over your arms and nose dive your board, in one movement, as deep as you can make it go. Paddle your board with all your strength as soon as you can regain control upon surfacing. Keep up your efforts until you're beyond the breakers.
Pushing up is surfings second phase. It is the most difficult position to learn, and it takes a lot of practice and determination to conquer. To get up, put your hands on the rails (edges) of the board under your chest and do a mighty push up so your entire upper body and hips are clear of the board's deck. While your hands are still on the rails, swing your front foot under your upper body and set it in riding position. Your back leg and foot are still extended out behind you. Using your arms and front leg, push straight up off the board and swing your back foot into place on the board. The faster you're up, the sooner you will have control of the surfboard.
Pictures (above and right): Different ways of
pushing up on a surfboard
The final stage in surfing is the standing position. After you have pushed up onto your surfboard place your feet firmly on your board, one foot near the tail and one foot just above the midpoint of the board. Make sure that you are facing sideways on the board (like picture A below). Don't stand up completely, but crouch down for balance and focus your weight on the midpoint of the board.
Pictures (above and...