Kanoa’s 7 Tips For Beginner Surfers

Too intimidated to give this thrilling activity a try? You’ve got this with plus-size surfer Kanoa Greene’s top tips for how to get started surfing.

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We love following Kanoa Greene on social—her photos are fierce, fun, and show that all bodies are #FitToThrive, even in a sport as scary as surfing. We turned to Kanoa for her tips on how to get started with surfing as a plus-size woman. 


Written by Kanoa Greene

Surfing for the first time can be intimidating. Believe me, I’ve definitely had my fair share of nerves when I hit the waves for the first time. I’m currently working to launch our first Body Positive Surf & Yoga Retreat for women of all shapes and sizes (coming Spring 2020), which will be a great introduction to surfing, but in the meantime, here are 7 tips for my fellow plus-size soul sisters who are looking to start their surfing journey.

Photo credit: Carlos Palacios

1. Find a Good Teacher

Do the research and find an instructor or surf school that is reputable, has positive reviews, and has worked with beginner surfers of all shapes and sizes. The quality of surf instruction will have the biggest impact on your experience so take the time to find an instructor who is not only knowledgeable but also helps you feel comfortable and confident. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the right instructor for you!






Photo credit: 124 West

2. Go to a Beginner-Friendly Beach

Going to a beach that is appropriate for beginner surfers will make your experience safer and smoother. Finding a beach known for steady and calm waves can help you progress faster with your instructor.

3. Bring a Friend

Let’s be honest, everything is more fun when you’re with friends. Being surrounded by people who are cheering you on and doing the hard things right alongside you will make your surfing experience one of your best memories ever!

Photo credit: Carlos Palacios

4. Get Used to Wipeouts

As a beginner surfer, expect to fall a lot! Even pros wipe out, it’s part of the process. Just because you fall off of your board a hundred times doesn’t mean that you aren’t meant to be a surfer. Keep at it and you’ll get there!






5. Cross Train

Gaining strength, flexibility, and endurance will only help you out on the water and up on the board. Paddling out, doing a pop-up, and riding a wave takes all three of these things, so adding workouts like strength training and yoga to your regimen can set you up for success.

6. Wear the Right Gear

Depending on your location and the time of year, the water temperature you surf in may require you to wear a wetsuit. Look up the water temperatures ahead of time so that you are adequately prepared. If you don’t want to wear a rash guard, using products like Belly Jelly or PawPaw ointment help prevent board rash. More brands like 124 West are starting to carry extended sizes in surfwear so you can look and feel fabulous while you catch your first wave!

Photo credit: Carlos Palacios

7. Have Fun!

At the end of the day, if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. Always remember that the best surfer out there is the one having the most fun!









Do you have your own surfing story? Or is there another watersport you’ve tried and loved? We’d love to hear from you! Tag us on social at @diaandco or reach out to us at social@dia.com to share your story.

Kanoa Greene

Follow Kanoa on Instagram at @kanoagreene