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  • Writer's pictureSurf Getaways

Overcoming Fear: How to build confidence in the water as a Female Surfer

Learning to surf is an exhilarating journey, but it can also be daunting, especially for female surfers who may face unique challenges. Fear and anxiety in the water are common obstacles that can hold women back from fully embracing surfing. In this article, we'll explore strategies and mindset techniques to empower female surfers to overcome fear and build confidence in the water.


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Acknowledge and Normalise Fear

The first step in conquering fear is acknowledging its presence. Fear is a natural response to unfamiliar situations, and it's essential to normalise it. Understand that even experienced surfers have moments of trepidation. Recognising this can help to reduce the stigma associated with fear.


Embrace Mindfulness and Visualisation

Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation, can be powerful tools in managing fear. Before hitting the waves, take a moment to center yourself and focus on your breath. Visualisation is also key; imagine yourself riding waves smoothly and confidently. Visualising success can help turn anxiety into excitement.


Set Realistic Goals

Start with achievable goals tailored to your skill level. Instead of aiming for the biggest waves right away, focus on mastering the basics. Setting small, realistic milestones can boost confidence as you gradually work your way up.


Quality Instruction and Practice

Investing in quality surf coaching can make a world of difference. Experienced coaches can provide guidance, reassurance, and constructive feedback. With proper technique, you'll not only feel safer but also progress faster, which in itself can be confidence-building.


Familiarise Yourself with the Ocean

Understanding the ocean's behaviour and respecting its power is crucial. Spend time observing the waves and currents, both from the shore and while in the water. Knowledge about the environment can alleviate some of the fear associated with the unknown.


Build a Support System

Surfing is often seen as a solo sport, but having a support system can be immensely helpful. Join a women's surf group or find a surf buddy who shares your goals. The camaraderie and encouragement from like-minded women can boost your confidence.


Learn to Fall Safely

Falling is part of surfing. Knowing how to fall safely, protect yourself, and resurface quickly can mitigate fear of wipeouts. Practice falling in a controlled environment and gradually work your way up to larger waves.


Positive Self-Talk

Challenge negative self-talk and replace it with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your progress and accomplishments. Celebrate small victories, like successfully catching a wave or improving your balance. A positive mindset can combat fear effectively.


Patience and Persistence

Building confidence takes time. Be patient with yourself and understand that setbacks are part of the journey. Surfing is not just about conquering waves; it's about personal growth and resilience!



Fear is a natural part of learning to surf, but it doesn't have to hold you back. By acknowledging and normalising fear, embracing mindfulness, setting realistic goals, seeking quality coaching and building a support system, female surfers can gradually conquer their fears and develop a profound sense of confidence in the water.


Remember, the ocean is not just a playground for experienced surfers; it's a space for all women to learn, grow, and thrive as surfers and as individuals.

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