5 Reasons You Should Take a Lesson from a Professional Surf Instructor

Spoiler Alert, Teaching Yourself to Surf Isn't Easy

Believe 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 Gear

One 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.

a young woman laughs while paddling a yellow SUP at a kelp forest in Malibu. 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!

Having an experienced coach watching your every move will help you make necessary adjustments so you can actually improve!

a young woman laughs while paddling a yellow SUP at a kelp forest in Malibu. 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!

Surf Etiquette and Safety

Etiquette is the unspoken language of surfing, and because of that it is the hardest to figure out

A huge part of surfing and surf culture is etiquette. Etiquette is the unspoken language of surfing, and because of that it is the hardest to figure out. With so many people in the water, you have to be respectful of other surfers and aware of your surroundings all while trying to catch your own waves. How do you know when to go for a wave or back off? How do you make sure to get out of someone’s way if you are paddling back out? Where do you position yourself in the lineup? There are so many questions! Without a surf instructor helping you navigate this social minefield of surfing, you run a higher risk of making many surfing faux pas and even hurting yourself or another surfer in the process. To avoid this, taking a surf lesson will always include a lesson in the social side of surfing and what to look out for, which is perfect chit chat in between sets.

New Surfing Friends and Surf Community

Instructors are great resources for getting involved in the surf community!

One of my favorite parts about surfing is that I can go alone or with a group depending on my day and schedule. But let’s face it, surfing is always more fun with friends! If you are new to surfing and don’t have anyone to go with, taking a lesson could be a great resource for you. Not only will you get the gear and instruction as mentioned before, but your surf instructor may know of some surfing clubs or groups in your local area that you can join. Joining a surfing club is a great entry into the surfing world as you will be able to connect with other locals of all ages and ability levels who you can also learn from as well. These clubs are great for making new friends to go surf with, gear and board recommendations, best spots for beginners, and also fun surf related events in your area. Without an instructor, these resources may be harder to find or get into, so use your instructor's knowledge and experience of the area!

Ready to Surf with an Instructor?

Ready to get started? Our Wavehuggers surf instructors are trained to teach students at any level, and are amazing guides to introduce you to the world of surfing in Southern California. Now through March 31st, 2021 you can take 15% off private surf lessons! Just use the code WORLDWATER15 at checkout (or WORLDWATERPACK for gift certificates and packages)!

Author: Kaylee Duncanson