Surfing Tips for Beginner Surfers

Giulia Manfrini (@guiliamanfrini) is one of our surf brand ambassadors that RIPS! From Portugal, Costa Rica, to Bali, Giulia is a former lawyer who left it all to surf around the world.  We caught up with her recently to get the best surfing tips for beginner surfers — check it out below!


MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini

Surfing Tips for Beginner Surfers

1. Don’t rush to get a smaller board

I have seen lots of beginners surfing with performance shortboards and struggling even to paddle! Surfing is all about having fun and trying to catch as many waves as possible. Use a big soft top beginner board to start and once you have learned how to stand up and ride whitewater, you can transition to a fiberglass board, stepping down in board size length SLOWLY until you have a very strong, balanced paddling technique and are super confident in taking off and riding green waves. Using the right board for your surfing level will help you improve much faster and you have much more fun because you will be catching a lot more waves!

2. Get a good surf instructor

We always think we can learn everything by ourselves, without any tips or help. But, learning the right techniques and surfing rules from the beginning is much easier than correcting mistakes afterwards. And I always recommend to keep taking surf lessons/coaching even once you are catching waves on your own. Surfing is one of the most difficult sports and there are always challenges and something new to learn.

3. It’s all about balance

I often hear women say that they are not fit enough or not strong enough to surf. Believe in yourself! Surfing is all about balance, about the right movements, about positioning you body. Once the wave gives you speed, position your hands at the same level of the chest, keep your elbows close (a lot like a Chaturanga pushup) and lift yourself up. You don’t have to do a push up (don’t press down your board), but slide your upper body up and forward. This movement will allow you also to maintain the board flat and not loose the speed generated with the paddle and the push of the wave.


MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini

4. When paddling for a wave, paddle straight 

After you have found the right balance laying down on the board, point your board directly to the beach and start paddling straight towards the beach, at a 90 degree angle to the wave.

5. Paddle 2-3 more strokes than you think

A lot of beginners miss waves by stopping paddling too soon. Make sure to take 2-3 extra paddles to make sure you get into the wave. Plus, no body likes missing waves because you didn’t paddle hard enough!

6. Bend your knees

Be light on the board and bend your knees (not your back) to find the flow of the wave.



MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini

7. Get used to wiping out

Every surfer wipes out! Be prepared to fall and fall more, and learn to go with the flow of the whitewater. The more you resist and thrash in the whitewater after wiping out, the more tired you will be. Remember that the whitewater will only last a couple of seconds and then you will be able to pop back up to the surface.


MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini

8. Surf as much as possible

Try to make the best of your vacations and go places where you can surf! Check out MI OLA’s surf guides for awesome places to surf around the world!

9. Wear the right bikini

I have seen so many women struggling to surf because they are too focused on their bikini staying on. I know, we are women and we all want to look sexy in our bathing suits! So get a MI OLA bikini! They have an amazing fit, the prints are fantastic, and the suits actually stay on while surfing! Surfing is a sport that requires an high level of concentration, so we cannot miss waves or get a big set on the head just because we were trying to fix that top! Be Sexy and Stay Comfy :)


MI OLA Ambassador Giulia – @giuliamanfrini