Ticket to Ride

Looking for liquid thrills, a cool buzz, and the supreme stoke of walking on water? We've got the fast formula for your surfing immersion—skills shortcuts from top pros, the best beginner breaks and boards, wave wisdom from legendary watermen, tropical surf camps, and style essentials. No more excuses. It's time to get wet.

RIDE IT OUT: Coming off the bottom of a perfect Hawaii break.     Photo: Corbis

Beginner Surf Spots

CLICK HERE for an exclusive guide to 20 of the best beginner breaks in North America, with the lowdown on the beach scene, local surf shops, and more.

It's the rapture—that's why we surf. The bliss that envelops your soul the moment the ride begins. And while it's true what they say about surfing not being easy, we're here to tell you the rest of the story: that learning to carve turns down a rolling wall of water is perhaps the greatest adventure in sports, that you'll catch your first wave soon, that a lazy day at Waikiki is as satisfying as an epic one at Cloudbreak, and that all the wipeouts along your progression from kook to kahuna are as much a reason to paddle out as tube rides and that righteous tan.

To get you on board as fast as possible, we kick things off with some tips to flatten your learning curve from C. J. Hobgood, pro surfing's 2001 world champion, and his twin, Damien, number four on the 2005 tour. For the past three years, they've been reflecting on their own development while hosting Camp Hobgood, a skills clinic for top amateurs. "The first time I ever stood up on a wave, I thought, This is the best thing I have ever done," says C. J. "I haven't had a ride since that's felt so good." So pull on your trunks and grab some wax—it's your turn to stand and deliver.

Swell Express: C.J. and Damien Hobgood's Speedy Plan to Get You Surfing Like a Star

Anatomy of a Break: How to Find Your Way Through the Liquid Labyrinth

Short Story:
Add Some Flash to Your Form with These Tube-Ready Trunks

Easy Rollers:
The Best Beaches for Practicing Your Moves Offer Slow, Gentle Waves and a No-Pressure Atmosphere

Trippin': Q&A with Rob Machado

School's In Session:
Hone Your Fundamentals at These Sweet International Spots

Beyond Blue Crush:
Surfing's Finest Film Moments

The Board Room:
Surfboard Reviews

Don't Be That Guy:
Style Snafus That Scream, "I'm a Kook!"

Stoke Signals:
Forecasting the Perfect Wave

Sea Cozies: Step Into Next-Gen Surfwear

Fit to Surf:
Bodywork Special

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