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Meet Kai Sanson of Zuma Surf & Swim Training in Malibu, Santa Monica & Venice Beach

Kai Iguana

Tips for Beginning Surfers, Surf Tip #6

TIP #6 -- Look for and paddle out in the “channels.”

Channels, you ask? Channels are where the water is literally channeling back out to sea (aka “the path of least resistance”). Paddle out where the waves are NOT breaking or where they are breaking less. This means pushing through fewer waves for you as you paddle out. More importantly, you will not be paddling out right where other surfers are riding the waves (and that’s another tip of its own to come involving “surf etiquette”).

Trouble finding the channels in some spots? Here’s a hint: Many beach breaks will have small channels that may be hard to see at first. Watch the water BEFORE you paddle out and find one. Also, watch what other surfers are doing...where are they having trouble, where are they having an easier time getting out there? Jumping in the rip current is an option some surfers do - it may help you blaze by your buddy who didn’t find the channel and is busy trying to fight the white-water. However, unless you’re a more experienced surfer and/or a fairly strong & skilled ocean swimmer, this could cause more trouble and danger for you than it’s worth.

Missed or need a recap on the last five beginner tips? Just click on the below links.

~ Tip #1
~ Tip #2
~ Tip #3
~ Tip #4
~ Tip #5
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