Surf Girl - - Surfgirl Summer Travel Guide -

Our ex­perts an­swer all your puz­zling surf­ing co­nun­drums – from tech­nique and lingo, to equip­ment and eti­quette. All cor­re­spon­dence is con­fi­den­tial and we’ll pub­lish the best ques­tions in each is­sue.

What does left and right mean?

- Ffion from Pem­brokeshire, UK

In surf­ing terms, left and right re­fer to which way the wave is break­ing, depend­ing on its di­rec­tion from the point of view of the surfer. If the surfer is pad­dling to catch a wave that’s break­ing from right to left, then the wave is a left. (If look­ing at the same wave from the beach, it will be break­ing to the right, but the surfer’s point of view is the one that counts.) Ob­vi­ously, a right-han­der breaks the op­po­site way – from left to right.

Are you sup­posed to catch most of the waves you pad­dle for?

- Lisa from Bre­mer­haven, Ger­many

If you’re a be­gin­ner or in­ter­me­di­ate, don’t ex­pect to catch ev­ery wave you pad­dle for. Of­ten if you miss a wave it’s be­cause you’re not pad­dling hard enough or you’re in the wrong po­si­tion to catch it. As a gen­eral rule, if you think you’ve done enough pad­dles, do four more be­fore you pop up!

Can you surf on your pe­riod?

- Naomi from York­shire, UK

Yes, surf­ing on your pe­riod is com­pletely safe. Wa­ter-based ex­er­cise is, in fact, one of the best forms of ex­er­cise to do if suf­fer­ing from men­strual cramps. Us­ing the right san­i­tary prod­ucts is ad­vised, such as a tam­pon or – for the en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious surfer – try us­ing a Moon Cup.

How do you ‘hang ten’ with­out nose­div­ing?

- Melissa from Spring Hill, USA

Like any­thing, prac­tise makes per­fect. When prac­tis­ing to ‘hang ten’ it’s im­por­tant to make sure you’re per­form­ing the manoeuvre on the cor­rect part of the wave. You can’t do it on white-wa­ter, you re­ally need to find a de­cent open face sec­tion of the wave. Re­sist the urge to lean over the surf­board; keep­ing a slight bend in your knees you need your body to be in line with the nose of the surf­board, plac­ing your weight to­wards the in­side rail. You will fall for the first few at­tempts, but don’t give up. What is a wild­card in WSL?

- Sarah from Corn­wall, UK Ev­ery year the World Surf League se­lects three surfers who wouldn’t have other­wise qual­i­fied (two for the Men’s CT and one for the Women’s) to join the top 32 men/ 16 women and com­pete in the CT for the en­tire sea­son. These are usu­ally surfers who were in­jured in the pre­vi­ous sea­son and there­fore un­able to re-qual­ify.

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