Learning to surf can change your life. I’ve met dozens of people who started surfing and completely changed their lives to include surfing at the top of their priority list. Surfing is a gateway to travel, art, and nature. Surfing will take you to the most beautiful locations on earth and give you close friends you meet along the way. Learning to surf, however, can be a frustrating experience. Fortunately for new surfers in El Paredón, Cocorí offers surf lessons to help get you out in the water and up and riding. If you’re thinking about trying surfing on your next trip to Guatemala, continue reading below for 10 Tips for Beginner Surfers in El Paredón.
Don’t paddle out alone—the most important tip for beginner surfers
The wave at El Paredón is powerful at any size. Beginner surfers should never paddle out alone. If you’re new to surfing, we recommend you take lessons for your first few sessions. Our bilingual surf instructors will show you the ropes of our local break and teach you the fundamentals of surfing. Of all the tips for beginner surfers you’ll hear, not paddling out alone is perhaps the most important.
Use the right board for your skill level
Choosing the wrong board is one of the most common mistakes beginner surfers make is If you’re learning to surf, you’ll want to ride a longboard with plenty of float that offers lots of stable surface area for you to pop up on and find your footing. Soft tops or longboards are ideal for learning. At Cocorí, our rental quiver includes several beginner-friendly soft tops that are perfect for new surfers.
When in doubt, don’t go out
Another critically important surf tip for beginners is “when in doubt, don’t go out.” This means if you’re doubting whether you’re skilled enough to paddle out safely, do not paddle out. There will always be days with small surf, but paddling out in surf that is out of your league could put you and those around you in danger.
Master the fundamentals in white water
Learning to surf is tough, but mastering the fundamentals in white water will give you the tools you need to paddle out to the lineup. Surfing fundamentals like popping up, paddling, and turtle rolling should be practiced in the shallows in white water before you graduate to the lineup.
Learn how to turtle roll
El Paredón is a powerful beach break that requires a serious paddle out. If you can’t turtle roll or duck dive, you’ll never make it out to the lineup. To turtle roll, paddle out towards the lineup. When the incoming surf is approximately 6 feet away (2 meters), grab the rails of your board and roll over while holding them tightly. Let the wave pass safely over your board while you’re underwater beneath it. After the wave passes, roll back over and continue paddling.
Practice proper surf etiquette
Surf etiquette keeps us safe in the water and adds an element of order and organization to crowded lineups. While El Paredón is never crowded, it’s still important to practice proper surf etiquette. The most important rules of surf etiquette are to respect the locals, don't drop in on a surfer already on a wave, respect the priority of the surfer closest to the peak, and be mindful of your equipment.
Be mindful of the current and the rip
El Paredón may be the ultimate beach break, but its might surf produces a strong rip that should be avoided whenever possible. To spot the rip, look for rough or disturbed water leading from shore out to sea. Rip currents are dangerous for swimmers or surfers and can bring even the fittest athletes to the point of exhaustion. If you get caught in the rip current, do not fight the rip and swim toward shore. Instead, swim or paddle parallel to shore to get out of the rip. Then head towards the beach.
To book your stay in El Paredón, click here. For more beginner surf tips and travel content, stay tuned to the Cocorí blog.