River Surfing 101: Tips For First-Time Surfers

Posted on: 10 March 2023


If you're a thrill-seeker looking for an adventure in the great outdoors, river surfing may be just the extreme sport you've been looking for. Its combination of surfing and river sports makes it a unique and exciting way to catch a wave. However, before you jump in and start riding the rapids, there are a few things you need to know. 

Here are some tips to help you get started on your first river surfing experience:

Tip: Select the Right Gear

When it comes to river surfing, you'll need the right equipment to keep you safe and help you ride the waves. First and foremost, you'll need a river surfboard, which is shorter and more maneuverable than a traditional surfboard. Additionally, you'll need a wetsuit, booties, and a helmet to protect you from cold water and hazards.

Tip: Educate Yourself on River Safety

River surfing can be dangerous, so it's essential to take safety seriously. Before hitting the water, ensure you know how to swim in a river and understand the dangers that come with it. It's critical to learn how to read the water and understand the river's flow and currents. Research the area you plan to surf and be aware of any potential hazards, such as rocks, logs, or shallow areas.

Tip: Start Small

If you're new to river surfing, starting with smaller, gentler waves is essential. Look for a river with a beginner-friendly wave, or try out a standing wave in a river park. As you gain more experience, you can move on to more challenging waves and rapids.

Tip: Find an Experienced Instructor

River surfing can be a challenging sport to learn on your own, so it's crucial to find a knowledgeable instructor who can guide you through the basics. Look for someone with experience in surfing and river sports, and ensure they have the necessary certifications and qualifications.

Tip: Practice Proper Technique

Proper technique is critical to successful river surfing. Unlike ocean surfing, river surfing requires reading the water and properly positioning yourself to catch the wave. Ensure you understand the basics of paddling, positioning, and standing up on the board. Additionally, practice proper safety techniques, such as rolling in case you fall off the board.

Tip: Respect the Environment

Finally, it's important to remember to respect the environment when river surfing. Rivers are delicate ecosystems, and taking steps to minimize your impact is essential. Avoid littering, dispose of waste properly, and be mindful of any wildlife in the area. Additionally, be aware of any regulations or restrictions in the area you plan to surf. 

For more info, contact a local company like Zoo Town Surfers.