Knowing how to catch a wave is the what the end result of all of the learning and practice brings you to. The steps that you will take in order to catch a wave are pretty much set in stone and there really is no other way to accomplish the task other than in the order in which every surfer has to follow so that they can get the ride. Of course every experienced surfer already knows how to catch a wave so we are basically going to be addressing the newbies. Before we get started make sure you have a surfboard, and mini-mal surfboards are a good choice for beginners.
Step one for catching a wave is paddling out into the surf. Walk yourselves and your mini-mal surfboards out into the surf until you are deep enough to lay on the board without bottoming out. When paddling out make sure that you paddle to the right side of the surfers and more towards the area where they are not waiting for waves. Paddling into the surf zone and in front of those catching waves is inherently dangerous for you and will be an annoyance to the other surfers. On the way out make sure to duck-dive the waves and make sure that you do not let go of your surfboard because that is dangerous too.
Step two for catching a wave is to get into the lineup with the other surfers for catching a wave. Make sure that you straddle your mini-mal surfboards at or about the middle of the surfboard for maximum balance while waiting for your turn to catch a wave. Here is where what surfer has the right of way comes into play and the rule of thumb is that the surfer closest to the peak of the wave has the right of way or the surfer to your left. The only exception to this rule is if the break is a left hand break, then it is the surfer to your right who has the right of way. Do not drop in on the surfer with the right of way.
Step three for catching a wave is once it is your turn to catch a wave start your move. Make sure to start paddling your mini-mal surfboards a little bit before the wave starts to break over you. Make sure to check to your left and right just to make sure that no one is taking off to your left or attempting to drop in on top of you as you catch the lip of the wave and start your ride. Another good reason for checking to your left and right is so that you can avoid an accident if you see it coming and keep from getting hurt seriously or hurting someone else even the idiot that drops in on you, because fingash and board smash really does hurt.
Step four for catching a wave is to stand up on the board. Once you start moving down the face of the wave on your mini-mal surfboards you have to stand up on the surfboard. In order to stand up on the surfboard you have to pop up and place both feet on the surface of the surfboard at the same time or you will wipe out. Once you are up and standing on your surfboard, you will then ascend into the pit or bottom of the wave and then make your cut to the left or right depending on which way the wave is breaking. At this point you can then do your moves down the face of the wave as you desire and that is how you catch a wave.