沖縄サーフィンショップ「YES SURF」

Q & A - Let’s start surfing in Okinawa!

I want to start surfing. But what should I do?
Let’s start surfing in Okinawa! Chances are that you may not know what kinds of tool you need to have first. In fact, there are various types of board to choose from, which are different in length, shapes, and materials.

And you probably cannot decide which types of surfing you want to first get into, e.g., surfing, bodyboarding, standup paddle boarding, etc. If so, feel free to ask us any question at YES SURF.

What should I purchase first?

First, you need to choose your board type. There are many types of board to do surfing on: short board, fun board, long board, retro board such as single fin and twin fin, and mini board such as four-fin (quad fin) and five-fin.

Choose your board type carefully. Do not use short board if you are just beginning surfing. It is your foremost priority to know how to stay balanced on a board. So we recommend that you use a longer board. Also, a thick and wide board will increase buoyancy and stability when paddling and riding. Choose a longer and bigger fun board or long board that fits your weight, height, and physical strength.

There are many types of bodyboard whose shapes, sizes, and prices significantly vary. Their prices range from 10,000 to 60,000 yen, based on different concepts and models. Some types might make it easier for you to spin while others are professional models. We know that these differences can be confusing sometimes.

So, first, carefully choose the size of your bodyboard. Place your board upright on the ground. If the upright board goes above your bellybutton by 1 to 2 cm, then it should be good. Also, it’s best if your waist touches the tail line of the board and your elbow is open at slightly more than 90 degrees while you take the basic position on the board.

Each person has a different shoulder width, weight, and foot length. So please feel free to come and consult us about the board that might perfectly fit you. We will explain the best shape, material, and price which might match your style.

YES SURF

Is there surf etiquette on the ocean?

YES SURF

First, let’s say “hello” cheerfully to people on the beach. They are your companions with whom you will enjoy surfing in the same ocean. So don’t be a stranger. Don’t be shy and instead say things like “Good Morning!” “Hello!” “Is there a good swell around here?” “I’m a beginner, but is the wave condition alright for me? ” Let’s have fun and let’s enjoy one another.

It’s always disappointing when you see trash on the beach. Let’s keep it clean and enjoy surfing on the beautiful sea. Take home your trash, don’t litter your cigarette butts, and observe good manners.

Can you tell us the basic rules for surfing?

One man, One Wave (Only one person can ride one wave at a time.)

Priority is given to a surfer who has waited for a wave while sitting or lying on a board, has found a wave peak first, and taken off from the point break. One who ignores this rule and takes off in front of the other who has priority for riding commits a “drop in.”

Also “snaking,” which means taking off from behind a surfer who has priority, is also against the rule. But sometimes you are not too sure who has the priority especially when the ocean is crowded or when many people compete for a wave peak. If you cannot ride a wave, stop trying to catch it even if you’ve already begun paddling. It is important to make way for others by telling them to “Go!!”

Don’t enter a same point with a group of people.

If there is already a surfer in this point, avoid going there with a group of people. Every surfer has his or her rhythm for riding waves. If a group of people enter such a spot, this surfer will have fewer chances for catching the waves. Congested surf point also causes competition for waves among surfers. To avoid these, do start from the inside and synchronize your movement with the other surfer’s rhythm when catching waves. This allows everyone to have a good time.

A surfer who is now riding in the ocean has the priority. When “getting out” (by paddling or kicking to the offshore), you should go around the surfer and not interfere with the way of this person. If there is a surfer who is now riding in front of you, get out of her or his way and go in the opposite direction. If you go straight toward the surfer, there might be a risk of collision, and both surfers can be injured.

If you can’t decide immediately which way you should go, do not move around aimlessly but allow the surfer who is now coming to you to avoid you. When you are inside, shout loudly and call for attention. Also, if there is someone nearby when taking off, it is dangerous to force your take-off. Pay attention to one another and enjoy surfing without injury.

It is helpful to honestly apologize by saying “sorry.”

When you have ended up interfering with the other’s way unintentionally, it’s best to be honest and apologize. Sometimes you may miss the timing to call out someone. In such a case, it is better to approach this person, raise your hand, and say “sorry.” If people get in your way, avoid shouting to them and try instead to explain what has just happened to you very carefully. This will help to ease the tension and improve the atmosphere. We sometimes see people who get irritated and angrily say “I’m a beginner. So watch out!” But beginners should learn rules and observe manners when going to the sea. Before riding waves, you should ask yourself the following question, how should I behave so that everyone can enjoy surfing comfortably?

The ocean in Okinawa

YES SURF

The ocean in Okinawa boasts very high transparency so that you can take off while seeing beautiful coral reefs and tropical fish! You may even encounter sea turtles sometimes! There are numerous spots for surfing in Okinawa as the island is surrounded by the ocean. You can enjoy surfing here all year round.

What should I be careful about while surfing in Okinawa?

メインポイント満潮時
main point high tide
メインポイント干潮時
main point ebb tide

Do surf at high tide.
There are rocks and coral reefs underneath the surf spots in Okinawa. At low tide, these reefs and rocks may be exposed and could be very dangerous. So the hours suitable for surfing in Okinawa are limited to only four hours, two two-hour periods prior to and after high tide. We also recommend that those who are beginners wear a pair of reef boots because it is common for them to lose balance and fall from their board into the ocean, causing them to get injured by rocks and coral reefs at the bottom of the ocean.

Surfers in Okinawa check the tide level, wind direction, swell’s direction and height in advance and decide when and where to surf on that day. You can enjoy the ocean of Okinawa more by understanding well the weather conditions that are specific to Okinawa. We offer classes and workshops that are suitable for all skill levels. Also, we provide various types of rental boards, introduce surf spots, and offer guide tours and trial courses for Standup Paddling. By doing these, we hope that you will feel a closer tie to the ocean.

098-994-5633
Opening hours: 11:00 - 20:00 (Wednesdays closed)