The ocean waves are free. The ocean breeze is free. The sandy beaches are free. You already have a swimsuit; so what are you waiting for? With a small investment you can reap huge rewards by riding the ocean waves this summer. Surfing, bodyboarding and stand up paddle boarding can have the entire family from ages four to ninety-four excitedly hitting the beach from the crack of dawn until last light in search of endless waves.
The road to being a seasoned surfer usually starts with the all-familiar bodyboard. Easily purchased in shops up and down the beach or rented at beach stands, this fun piece of foam is your first step in moving ahead from simply bodysurfing the waves. As your skills improve, you will want to get a better board made from advanced materials to allow you to complete tricks, ride drop-knee and even start to stand up. Several local surf shops and the Ocean City Parks Department have bodyboarding clinics scheduled this summer and unlike surfing, bodyboarding can be enjoyed on all beaches all day long. A few words of advice; be sure to invest in a board that is big enough to properly float your weight, sturdy enough to last several summers, and has a strong leash to protect you in larger waves.
Ready to stand up? Let's go surfing! The best way to begin surfing is to take a lesson or introductory clinic, rent a board or purchase a used surfboard. Local surf shops have everything you need to learn to surf and advance your skills, but the most beneficial items you will find are advice and service. Let them know you or your children want to learn to surf and you will get both pointers and water safety information. Your first surfboard for both adults and kids should be at least ten inches over your head to give you enough flotation, stability in learning to stand and ease of paddling. Due to surfing restrictions and crowded designated surfing areas, the best time to learn is the unrestricted early morning or late afternoon hours or a day trip to nearby state parks in both Maryland and Delaware. Once you have a board, a leash and some wax (for traction), you have all you need to surf the day away!
From the ocean to the bay, it‘s time to get off the sand and out into the water, but warning: Surfing is highly addictive and can become a lifelong obsession, so get ready for the ride of a lifetime.