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What Makes a Good Surfing School

Surf school

Surfing is a thrilling sport, offering adrenaline-packed experiences, a connection to nature, and a unique lifestyle. If you’re looking to ride the waves, choosing the right surf school is essential. In this article, we’ll delve into the factors that make a good surf school and answer common questions about learning how to surf.

Finding the Right Surf School

Before starting your surfing journey, it’s important to find a surf school that suits your needs and helps you learn effectively.

Instructor Qualifications

A good surf school should have experienced, certified instructors who are passionate about teaching. Look for instructors with certifications from reputable organizations like the International Surfing Association (ISA) or the National Surf Schools & Instructors Association (NSSIA).

Class Size and Structure

Class size is crucial when learning to surf. Smaller class sizes allow for more individual attention and personalized feedback. Opt for a surf school that offers a low student-to-instructor ratio and structured lesson plans to ensure you get the most out of your lessons.

Location and Facilities

Choose a surf school located at a beach with consistent waves suitable for beginners just like Guiones Beach. The school should have clean and well-maintained facilities, including changing rooms, showers, and equipment storage. A wide range of quality equipment for rent or purchase is also essential for your learning experience.

The Surfing Learning Curve

Learning to surf can be challenging but immensely rewarding. Let’s address some common questions and concerns about the learning process.

Age and Surfing

Many people wonder if they’re too old to start surfing. The truth is, age is not a barrier. Whether you’re 15, 19, 21, or 22, it’s never too late to learn. It may take more time and effort as an adult, but with persistence and dedication, you can master the sport.

Overcoming the Challenges of Surfing

Surfing can be difficult to learn, but the key is to be patient and persistent. Focus on mastering the basics, like paddling, popping up, and maintaining balance. As you practice, you’ll gradually build the skills necessary to tackle more challenging waves.

The Surfer Mentality

Adopting a “surfer mentality” means embracing patience, resilience, and adaptability. Riding the waves requires you to be in tune with the ocean and its conditions, which means you’ll need to be flexible and adapt to changes. Embrace the process, enjoy the journey, and remember that every surfer was once a beginner.

Preparing for Your First Surf Lesson

Before you hit the waves, it’s essential to be prepared for your first surf lesson. Here’s what you need to know and bring.

What to Know Before Your First Lesson

Before your first lesson, familiarize yourself with basic surfing terminology and etiquette. Understand the difference between a regular and goofy stance, learn about wave priority, and respect the unwritten rules of the lineup. Knowing the basics will make your first lesson smoother and more enjoyable.

What to Bring for Your First Lesson

For your first surf lesson, bring a swimsuit, sunscreen, a towel, and a water bottle. Your surf school should provide a wetsuit and surfboard, but it’s always a good idea to confirm this beforehand. If you need prescription eyewear, consider investing in a pair of prescription surf goggles.

Nourishment and Hydration

Ensure you’re properly nourished and hydrated before your surf lesson. Eat a light meal around 1-2 hours before the lesson, focusing on carbohydrates for energy and a moderate amount of protein. Avoid heavy, greasy foods that could cause discomfort. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, but avoid overhydration just before your lesson.

The Learning Process

Learning to surf is a journey that requires dedication and patience. Let’s discuss the skills you need and the time it takes to become proficient.

Skills You Need to Start Surfing

To begin surfing, you’ll need basic swimming skills, balance, and physical fitness. Surfing requires upper body strength for paddling and core strength for maintaining balance. Building these skills before starting lessons can speed up your progress.

Hours and Lessons Required to Learn Surfing

The time it takes to learn surfing varies between individuals, but most beginners can stand up on a board and ride small waves after a few lessons. To become proficient, expect to spend anywhere from 50 to 100 hours practicing. Consistency is key, so aim to surf for at least a few hours per week.

Progressing from Beginner to Advanced Surfer

As you gain experience, you’ll transition from a beginner surfer to an intermediate and advanced surfer. Focus on improving your wave selection, maneuvering, and turning skills. Consider enrolling in advanced lessons or workshops, and seek feedback from experienced surfers to continue your progression.

Surfing as a Lifestyle and Career

Surfing is more than just a sport – it’s a lifestyle and, for some, a career. Let’s explore the addictive nature of surfing, its physical benefits, and career opportunities.

The Addictive Nature of Surfing

Surfing is often considered addictive because it provides a unique blend of physical activity, connection with nature, and adrenaline rush. Many surfers find the experience meditative and therapeutic, leading them to crave more time in the water.

Physical Benefits of Surfing

Surfing offers a full-body workout that can help you build strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. Regular surfing can improve your balance, coordination, and overall physical health, contributing to a toned and fit physique.

Pursuing a Career in Surfing

While becoming a professional surfer is a challenging and competitive endeavor, there are other career options in the surfing industry. These include surf coaching, surf photography, surfboard shaping, and working for surf-related brands or publications.


Learning to surf is a journey that requires dedication, patience, and the right surf school. By choosing a school with qualified instructors, a suitable location, and a focus on small class sizes, you’ll set yourself up for success. Embrace the surfer mentality and enjoy the process of learning and growing in the sport. Remember, it’s never too late to start surfing, and with persistence, you can turn your passion for riding the waves into a lifestyle or even a career.


Is it necessary to take surf lessons or can I learn on my own?

While some people learn to surf without formal lessons, taking lessons from a qualified instructor can significantly speed up your progress and ensure you learn proper technique and safety measures.

Do I need to be an excellent swimmer to start surfing?

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer, but having basic swimming skills and confidence in the water is essential for safety and enjoyment while surfing.

How do I know if the conditions are suitable for surfing?

Beginners should look for small, consistent waves at a beach with a sandy bottom. Check local surf reports for wave height, wind conditions, and tide information to ensure the conditions are suitable for your skill level.

How do I choose a surfboard for my first lesson?

Your surf school should provide a suitable beginner surfboard for your first lesson. As a beginner, a soft-top longboard with plenty of volume and stability will be the best choice to learn on.

How can I practice my surfing skills when I’m not in the water?

You can work on your surfing fitness by focusing on strength training, balance exercises, and swimming. Additionally, practicing pop-ups and watching instructional videos can help improve your technique when you’re not able to hit the waves.

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