Surf Tips from Kyle Busey; Five Insider Tips for Rookies

Meet Salt Life Team Member Kyle Busey. Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Kyle started surfing at age 11, and by his 14th birthday, had become a State, Regional, East Coast, and National Surfing Champion. These days he focuses on sharing his talent and knowledge of surfing with students who are just getting started. 

Here are Kyle’s top five surfing tips for rookies who genuinely want to excel on their surfboard.

1. Have The Right Mindset
Kyle encourages rookies to show up at the beach with no expectations and an open-minded attitude. While students with a negative mindset often quickly give up, he finds that a positive outlook provides a strategic advantage in the water. He notes that surfing is an extremely humbling sport. He has seen overly confident individuals quickly crumble, and focused, shy introverts excel - it’s just the name of the game when it comes to surfing.

2. Know Your Ability

It’s essential to stay safe when you’re out on the water, and that starts by knowing what you are capable of at any point in time. Kyle often reminds students, “when in doubt, don’t go out.” If you are trying to surf while exhausted, you won’t be able to hone your skills and can even risk putting yourself in danger. Always put safety first.

3. Understand Designated Surfing Areas

There is a considerable difference between joining the crowd and being a nuisance out in the water. Personal space is very important when surfing, and rookies often don’t realize where they fit in. New surfers should reach out to a local and ask them to recommend the best places for safe learning.

4. Choose Appropriate Equipment

The most common mistake rookies make is using the wrong equipment. Riding a board that is too small or too big can cause many problems while learning and practicing. For rookies, Kyle suggests starting with a 9 or 10-foot foam surfboard until you’re confident in your skills and have nailed the basics of surfing. Don’t fret, if you practice, you will advance in no time!

5. Eye Contact

When it comes to improving quickly on your surfboard, Kyle recommends focusing on eye contact. Your brain is only able to process what your eyes can see. Making constant eye contact with the water and the waves make it easier for your brain to process the wave’s progress in real-time. This will give you the advantage of catching them and riding them as effectively as possible.

As the highest-rated surf instructor in Charleston, South Carolina, Kyle Busey believes that any success in life is derived from the ambition of that individual. He does not believe in the words “can’t” or “impossible,” but instead in ambition, imagination, and the willingness to go after what you want. Kyle makes sure his students are well aware that the sky is the limit.

We hope that these five rookie surf tips motivate you, inspire you, and help take you to the next level out on the waves. If you’re interested in taking a surfing lesson from Kyle Busey, more information can be found on his website at

And don’t forget to surf on over to the Salt Life YouTube Channel for awesome surfing videos from our Salt Life team members. For more great insider tips like these, subscribe to Salt Life’s emails.


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