Spoiler Alert, Teaching Yourself to Surf Isn't EasyBelieve me, I totally understand why someone would shy away from taking a surf lesson. They can be expensive, it can be intimidating to learn from someone new, and surfers also just make it look like surfing is easy (spoiler alert, it's not). Take it from me, a self taught surfer, who wishes I had taken a lesson in my beginning stages of surfing. Here’s a few reasons why taking a surf lesson might be the best option for you if you are interested in trying out the sport:
You Don’t Have to Buy Your Own GearOne thing with surfing that I do love is that once you have the gear, it is essentially free to go (minus some parking fees here and there depending where you surf), but to get the gear initially is a decent chunk of change. The benefit of a surf lesson is that you get to learn and try the sport without having to own your own gear - everything is included! This can give you peace of mind when showing up to the beach that this part is taken care of for you. It also allows you to try a few boards out and see what you like and don’t like. I can’t tell you the amount of times I have purchased a board to then try it out a few times and realize it was not the kind of board I wanted.
You’ll Learn Much Faster
As I mentioned before, I never took a lesson, so it took me a ridiculous amount of time to actually get anywhere with surfing. I made every mistake in the book and could not see what I was doing wrong. When having an instructor with you, you have an experienced coach watching your every move to help you make necessary adjustments where they see fit. Surfing is all about minor adjustments; even just scooting up an inch on your board can make all the difference, but without knowing that you will feel stuck and frustrated. Having someone be able to give you tips on small adjustments to make tremendously helps your surfing and you will notice how much faster you progress rather than trying to figure it out on your own. Because let’s face it, though the ocean is lovely you came here to ride waves, not bob up and down in the water!
Contrary to Popular Belief, Your Friends are Not Great Surf Instructors
If you live near the beach or in Southern California in general, you probably know someone that surfs - maybe even one of your close friends! Though I am sure they have offered to take you surfing, which is very kind and generous, you may still want to consider hiring an actual instructor. Many times going with a friend that is going to “teach” you ends up with you just tagging along on their personal surf session. They are there to catch their own waves and may not be giving their full attention to what you need help with. This creates bad habits, dangerous situations, and overall less fun if you are struggling to catch a wave. By having an instructor with you, you have someone that is going to give you their undivided attention, make corrections to help you progress, and create a safe and fun environment that centers around you catching your best waves!