I think all of us have gotten nervous in the surf at one point or another. When I feel my gonads start to silently creep upwards into my abdomen, I remind myself of one critical fact: deep water is in a lot of ways the safest place to be. As long as you keep your leash on and keep calm, it's very, very hard to get into real trouble. Unless you're in 12-foot-plus waves, the waves just aren't powerful enough to hold you under long enough to drown you. Just relax and enjoy the washing machine and it will spit you out LONG before you run out of breath. As long as you stay calm, you'll be fine.
My two boys (ages 10 and 7) surf, and i make them recite "the two rules" before we paddle out. (1) don't panic, and (2) stay with your board. As i tell them, as long as you stay with your board, nothing that bad can really happen. You'll float around and sooner or later someone will come and get you if necessary.
So paddle out to the deep stuff and have fun!
i agree with this guy.no mattter what the wave will let u go.u might tumble underwater for 5seconds,but afterwards itll let u up,unless your out on a rising swell where your going to take the next sets on the head.deep water is the safest bet.waves break when they hit the sandbar,or when there is no sandbar,itll dump on the beach as shorebreak.also another thing il add,is always swim or paddle diagnolly,never go straight out or come right in.i always assume im in a rip so i swim at angles.for a little practice go to a gaurded beach and try to swim to the outside then swim 3 lifegaurd stands.depending on the conditions youll probably pass through 2 rips.its not the rips u want to be worried about,its that toilet bowl thing that keeps u right in the same place taking waves on the head.youd think that itll blast u to the beach,but youll be there for 10 minutes until a lull comes and not go anyway