Here’s your chance to ask the wise surf­ing owl about all your surf-re­lated co­nun­drums - from how to stop nose­div­ing to where to plan your next surf trip. No topic is too big, small or em­bar­rass­ing, so ask away.

Surf Girl - - My Surfgirl Life -

Why do I keep nose div­ing?

- Olivia from Cal­i­for­nia

If you’re nose-div­ing ev­ery time you pad­dle into waves, you’re prob­a­bly too far up your surf­board. Try shift­ing your weight back on the board and see the nose come out the air. You never want to see the nose of your surf­board un­der­wa­ter when pad­dling into a wave.

Why does the nose of my board stick out when pad­dling?

- Jade from Wales, UK

If you’re not get­ting any waves and the nose of the board is stick­ing up in the air, you’re too far back on your board! Shift your weight a lit­tle fur­ther for­ward and try and level your surf­board out. If all your weight is on the back of your surf­board, then you’re not go­ing to go any­where.

I am ner­vous about drop­ping in, how can I over­come this?

- Louisa from Lon­don, UK

Com­mit to your waves. If you’re go­ing to pad­dle for it, put your heart into it. If you hes­i­tate, es­pe­cially at the top of a green wave, you’re more likely to wipe out and pos­si­bly hurt your­self. The best thing you can do is com­mit to the drop, be brave and just go for it.

How do I know which an­kle to put my leash on?

- Bethany from West­ern Aus­tralia

Find your­self pop­ping up and see­ing your leash at the front of your surf­board? Then you need to switch it onto your back foot. Don’t worry if it takes time to fig­ure this out, if you’re learn­ing to surf just be sure to look down and check your feet.

How do I know which beach to surf at?

- Jessie from Sa­gres, Por­tu­gal

Just be­cause you like the look of a beach it doesn’t mean it will de­liver the right waves for your abil­ity. Do your re­search and watch the waves be­fore you head out. There is no shame in mov­ing to a beach with smaller waves or fewer crowds; it’s all about find­ing the right waves for your abil­ity.

What’s the best thing to eat be­fore surf­ing? And when?

Te­gan from New­cas­tle, UK

It’s best not to eat a big meal be­fore ex­er­cis­ing and surf­ing. Be­fore you surf have a smoothie with ba­nana and rolled oats, th­ese are great as they re­lease en­ergy slowly keep­ing you fu­elled up for longer. Have this first thing, while get­ting your surf kit ready and you’ll feel to­tally pow­ered up. Leave it at least an hour be­fore you hit the surf though. Once you’re out of the surf, it’s good to eat some­thing more sub­stan­tial, like scram­bled eggs or tofu with avo­cado, spinach and sour­dough bread.

How do I know if I’m surf­ing the wrong board?

- Aimee from Biar­ritz, France

As ap­peal­ing as it may be to surf a board that you can eas­ily fit under your arm, make sure you don’t go too small too quickly. Begin­ners should start out on a foam surf­board: They are per­fect for learn­ing on and ex­tremely for­giv­ing when you fall (which you will do a lot). When you’re at the stage where you feel you can pop up ev­ery time on a foam surf­board, then it’s time to move onto a fi­bre­glass surf­board. Mini Mals are great boards to tran­si­tion onto, so what­ever you do don’t let a surf shop sell you a short­board. This is a marathon not a race! To send in a ques­tion, email the­wis­esur­fowl@or­ca­

For more surf tips get a copy of e Surf Girl Hand­book at e SurfGirl Beach Bou­tique.

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