Surfing Lessons — Learn to Ride the Waves
Want to learn to surf but don’t know where to start? Surfing lessons are all about taking your surfing to the next level regardless of how much experience — or lack thereof — you may have. It’s all about conquering fear, learning water safety, expanding your ocean and wave knowledge, and returning to the true essence of surfing — fun and relaxation!
You’re never too old to learn to surf. People of all ages are drawn to the majesty of our beautiful oceans. If you feel the call of the sun and surf pumping through your veins, it’s time to find an instructor!
Learning to Surf — Finding an Instructor
The internet is a great place to find instructors and research their backgrounds and qualifications. Regardless of your reason for seeking out a surfing instructor there are a few things that you should consider mandatory: A long history of surfing (preferably professionally to some extent), up-to-date first aid certification, proven (preferably certified) surf rescue experience, and a thorough knowledge of wave, weather and wind conditions (which should be commensurate with the instructor’s experience, i.e. The more time that they’ve been spent in the water, the greater their understanding of the ocean and weather conditions).
There are many excellent surfing instructors throughout the world. Many have been involved in competitive surfing of some description or have at least spent enough time in the water to have a sound knowledge of the demands of the sport.
If you’re on holidays at the seaside and just want to experience surfing as a holiday activity then you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a local surfer or local surf school that can give you a quick rundown of the basics and give you a quick ride or two on a board. In some of the more renowned surfing spots you’ll likely even be able to find a pro surfer to guide you to your first wave.
If you’re a little more serious about your surfing, or want the complete surfing experience in the hands of a true professional, there are many professional/ex-professional surfers who can guide your development as a surfer and help you to get the most out of your surfing experience.
Surfing greats such as Nancy Emerson, Corky Carroll and Frieda Zamba offer surfing lessons at some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Whether you’re a beginner and very wet behind the ears, or a professional surfer in your own right, these experienced professionals can help you hone your skills and develop your style, giving you more confidence in the water and in your ability to navigate waves and the surf zone.
Depending on how serious you are about the sport, you’ll be able to choose from surfing lessons of a couple of hours at a time to surfing clinics and camps for more intensive training. You can learn to stand on a board and catch a small wave in a day, or work on form, style and ocean awareness with surfing legends over the space of several days to a week or more.
Going It Alone?
You may be fired up and ready to surf, but don’t jump the gun. It might be tempting — especially in a beachside location or if you have friends that surf — to just grab a surfboard and go for it.
This is a bad idea for two reasons: One, it’s much easier to learn the right way to do things initially than to rectify bad habits and, two, you don’t want to spend your hard earned money on surfing gear (and, in particular, on a surfboard) before you’ve had some training and experience, because you won’t know what board best suits your style of surfing.
Many surf schools will provide equipment for you to learn with. If you come across one that doesn’t then it’s usually possible to hire the necessary equipment from a surf shop. Have a couple of lessons first, maybe try a few different surfboards of various shapes and sizes (on hire from the surf shops), and then think a little more about what board is best for you. Your instructor should also be happy to give you some advice about where to start.
Another good reason to not go it alone initially is because surfing, like any sport, can be dangerous for the uninitiated. The awesome power of the ocean doesn’t discriminate according to experience and even small breaks can have dangerous rips and currents. It’s far safer at all times to only swim and surf in the company of fellow beach goers. That warning stands for both new and experienced surfers — an unknown break is always potentially dangerous.
Any surf instructor worth their salt will make sure that you only surf in conditions that are safe for your level of experience. Aside from the possibility that a serious spill might put you off surfing for good, big water surfing without the necessary experience is irresponsible at best, suicidal at worst — never surf in conditions you aren’t ready for, and only experiment under the watchful eye of a professional surfer or an experienced buddy!
Most surfers will tell you that surfing is more than just a sport; it’s an existential experience, the ultimate rush, and it can be addictive. So get yourself an instructor, suit up, grab a board and hit the beach!