This year again 80 % of the "beginners" surfers say they are apprehensive about going to the peak...! So why? Is it justified? Is this phenomenon growing? And how can we integrate the rookies without risking a fight in the line up ?
Normally we all started at the beginning, except for maybe Slater, John John and Andy Iron who were probably born with a leash on their foot (according to some unofficial WSL sources, Kelly had a score of 9.50 at birth...)
We all had to "prove ourselves", to be respected by the locals and to prove that we deserve our place on the peak... But this stage can be traumatic, or even synonymous with abandonment for many people, more than half of the people we interviewed told us that they would not go to the water at such and such a place because "they will be blocked by the waves" or there will be tensions etc.
After analysing this phenomenon, we can see that it has always been like this, and even if it is very unpleasant, it is an obligatory step, almost a natural selection of motivation...
In contradiction with the spirit of surfing and the constant search for virgin waves, nature and sharing, too many sedentary surfers impose their laws on the line up... some countries are more affected than others... and France is in the top 5! with Hawaii and the "famous" black shorts at the top of the list.
To conclude, learning to surf also involves this difficult stage where you have to fight in the foam and play with your elbows on the line up. To avoid any problems, it is best to choose a spot adapted to your level: firstly for safety, but also because learning to surf is long and even if you are impatient, you should not skip any steps!
It will take you twice as long to learn on a 6''4 in 1.20 m than if you start with a door in the foam. Once you have the support, the sensations and the experience, you can choose longboard, shortboard, reef, beachbreak...
One last piece of common sense advice, when you arrive on a spot say "hello", your mother has told you enough, politeness is the basis ;)
If you don't feel like a Spanish conquistador to the new world, surf schools are for that. There are a multitude of surf camps that offer beginner and intermediate surftrips, the advantage being that they reserve the waves for you to learn and improve in complete safety. Because yes, knowing how to "surf" in the foam is very good but the learning process continues afterwards on real waves.