It's about life - not "lifestyle"
So how do you do it?

Simple. If you already know your way around the surf zone, or have studied it, put your fins on and wade out to swimming depth. Wade backwards with attention to oncoming surf and broken waves. Swim out to the breaker line, with your head up to keep an eye on incoming riders, kaykers, bodyboarders, and who-knows-what-else. Your first attempts will go easier at sand beach breaks, and stay away from board surfers.

A great learning experience can be had just swimming under waves which are almost ready to break. You can really get a feel for waves, currents, and the ocean by trying to maintain a position just past the takeoff point.

To catch waves, get just outside the waveline (the lineup). As a wave approaches, turn and start swimming to shore. The key concept in catching waves in all forms of surfing is to try to match approaching wave speed. You'll feel the wave lifting and pushing you forward. If it really is a new experience to you, you might wonder if you caught the wave, or if it caught you.

As with other forms of surfing, to catch and stay with a wave your equipment (you) must maintain a slightly downward attitude. If you put your head up, your body goes down, and off the back you go - a great way to experience "going over the falls" as the breaking wave sucks you over and down into the impact zone.

Start by going fairly straight off, on smaller waves, and then angle in the unbroken faces of the waves. It's as simple as that. Like many things, however, getting good takes a lot of practice.
Copyright (C) 2002. All rights reserved.

Traveling light: daypack, fins, handboard, towel. I wore the t-shirt and sandals. Compare that to lugging around and babysitting a $700 surfboard, leash, wax, boardbags...