What It Takes To Be A Surfer

A behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to learn how to hit the waves

Meredith Garofalo Learns How to Surf!

SANTA CLAUS LANE, Calif. - When you think of California dreaming, for many, what comes to mind is the ocean, sand beaches, and surfing.

"I truly believe that the Chumash were surfing down at Rincon and our other beaches here as well.  So I think surfing goes back for a long time," said Chris Keet, the founder of Surf Happens.

So what does it take to hit the waves and experience Surfing USA?  Our own Meredith Garofalo decided to find out for us.

"If you have determination, you have to have will, and some free time, it's not hard," Keet said.

With proper training and understanding what goes into surfing, you can hit the waves.  Just make sure to start small at first and make sure you go over all the basics. 

Experts say in order to become part of the ocean, you need to understand it.

"The main thing that you want to look out for in the ocean is the tide, the wind, the waves, and the currents," said Surf Happens instructor Jenna Dotts.

Which includes spotting rip tides and watching out for sea creatures.

"We always teach people to do the Stingray Shuffle," Dotts said.  "And basically Stingray Shuffle is kicking your feet up and kicking sand up on the ocean floor."

Then there's the anatomy of the surfboard.

"The mid-line is called the stringer," Dotts explained.  "It's just like the stringer on a boat.  It keeps the board centered."

Next, you need to learn how to properly get on, paddle out, and ride the wave once you catch it.

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