Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

So You Want To Learn How To Surf

Published on November 2, 2013 by   ·   1 Comment Pin It

It’s nearly winter holiday – which means lots of sunny vacation destinations, but not everybody is born with a board and a bod to match. Unless you’re Tanna Frederick, surfing superstar, successful actress and fitness aficionado with a second-degree Tae Kwon Do blackbelt and a passion for philanthropy. Tanna founded “Project Save Our Surf,” an annual surfing event that benefits oceans and clean water initiatives.

Here are her top 10 Surfing Tips:


So You Want To Learn How To Surf…


1. Find a good teacher.

This is very important, as who you choose to teach you can affect whether you surf a second time. Some instructors will get you up the first lesson, get you surfing down the line, and teach you about safety and tides. Some teachers are not as thorough as others. I recommend you find someone from a friend, a referral.

2. Get a soft top.

I have a quiver of boards, but I have to say my favorite are my trusty Wavecatchers from Costco. A lot of people start out on a long board which is a good way to get technique down and correct paddling out skills while still having a ball and catching a nice long ride. Then as you get better, you can move down in size.

3. Get a wetsuit.

In LA, a 4:3 for Winter, a 3:4 or 2:3 for Summer/ Spring.

4. Read Shaun Tomson’s ‘The Surfer’s Code’.

Shaun co-founded Project Save Our Surf with me. He is a legend and a helluva surfer. His book translates into life lessons that go beyond just paddling out and catching a wave. You can also watch ‘Bustin’ Down the Door’ – get your history on and learn about the origins of surfing and the legends that broke the door down for professional surfing.

5. Start to familiarize yourself with tide charts.

A big part of surfing is knowing when to go out in the water, and plenty of publications print out books which show daily tide charts for the entire year. Figure out what point during high tide and low tide and the change in the tides surfers go out in the water. It changes day to day, season to season.

6. Be cool to local surfers, but at the same time don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Some areas up and down the California coast can be somewhat territorial, but for the most part other surfers are pretty mellow and will help you if you have a question.

7. Watch people surf sitting on the beach.

You can pick up different styles and see what waves they choose to go on, how they ride down the line, how they work their center of gravity…immeasurably helpful.

8. Appreciate the dolphins but don’t swim after them.

They’re gorgeous, magical creatures, but it is prohibited by law to go after them.

9. Practice, practice, practice.

Stand on the sand and practice popping up on your board. It’s a different group of muscles you’re utilizing, and the better you can get as a beginner popping up on your board, the faster you’ll adapt to popping up on a wave. Once you get in the water, you have seconds to get up on a wave, and you want to have your body doing that motion second nature.

10. Have fun.

The negative ions, the scenic coastline, the peacefulness and serenity of the ocean.


Tanna Frederick can currently be seen starring with Judd Nelson in the Henry Jaglom comedy “Just 45 Minutes from Broadway” which explores the complex emotional lives of theater folk. She’s also hitting the boards in “The Rainmaker” at the Edgemar Theatre in Santa Monica. The Los Angeles Times said, “The standout of this terrific cast is Tanna Frederick’s acerbically yearning Lizzie…It’s a transformation not to be missed.”

Frederick has two more films coming out this year — Jaglom’s romantic comedy “The “M” Word” (May/June) with Corey Feldman, Michael Imperioli and Francis Fisher and “The Farm” (October) in which she stars as a single mother who returns to Iowa (Frederick’s hometown) to deal with her past. In June, Frederick will return to Iowa to star in the dark comedy “Just Beautiful,” a film about a workaholic loner’s quilt-driven quest to rediscover fun (mandated by her dying perfectionist father).

Frederick starred opposite Noah Wyle in Henry Jaglom’s 2010 romantic comedy “Queen of the Lot.” She played Maggie Chase, as actress desperate to claw her way off the B-list of action films into major movie stardom. Frederick’s performance in her first feature with Jaglom, “Hollywood Dreams,” earned her Best Actress at WorldFest Houston, Montana International Film Festival, Fargo Film Festival and the Wild Rose Film Festival. The film took Best Picture honors at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival and to Best Comedy at WorldFest Houston. She was named Method Fest’s “Performer to Watch” and has also received the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival’s “Maverick” Award.

Off-screen, Frederick has proved just as driven and talented. A fitness aficionado who runs daily, Frederick ranked 52nd out of 1,321 women in her division in the LA Marathon in 2010. She is a second-degree Tae Kwon Do blackbelt and a passionate surfer. She founded “Project Save Our Surf,” an annual surfing event that benefits oceans and clean water initiatives. She is also founder of the Iowa Film Festival, which debuted successfully five years ago and has tripled in size. Frederick’s latest venture is Project Cornlight, which aims to develop Iowa-based films and other projects showcasing Iowa talent. She was recently named the recipient of the University of Iowa’s Distinguished Alumni Award for 2012.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pin It

Readers Comments (1)

  1. […] 10 Surfing Tips from Tanna Frederick […]

Shop GGA

  • Contributors
  • Press
  • Cheapskates
  • Sign Up
  • About
  • Advertisers
  • Contact Us
  • Style & Beauty
  • Lifestyle
  • Mamazon
  • Nosh
  • Wellness
  • Exclusive
  • Default
  • Get This
  • 2018
  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008