The question on the minds of everyone who dreams of riding the waves, and one that many surf instructors never tire of hearing, is: “How long will it take me to learn to surf?” This is a question that many people often ask teachers and schools. The reality is that it’s difficult to answer because it depends on many variables: your physical condition, your consistency in practice, whether you take classes or go on your own, etc.

Guy surfing a wave

The first good news is that, with determination and a bit of patience, you can be surfing in less time than you think! The second good news is that with surf lessons, you’ve already taken the first step to learning to surf faster than if you try it on your own. So leave your doubts on the shore and dive into the exciting world of surfing.

Beginners: Start off on the right foot

  • The Learning Curve: In your first few lessons, you’ll be standing on the board, balancing, catching white water, and maybe even some small waves with assistance.
  • Once you start mastering getting to your feet on the board, the next thing you’ll need to focus on is learning to control the board’s smooth gliding motion. You’ll find that it’s common for the board to slow down and lose speed if you stand up too far back. When you position yourself in this area of the board, the “tail” of the board sinks, causing it to slow down.
  • Another common mistake in this phase is to position yourself too far forward, causing the “nose” of the board to sink. This will cause the board to suddenly slow down and catapult you forward over the board.
Girl swimming and paddling on a surfboard to get into position.

No matter what mistakes you make in these first few weeks, don’t despair. It’s important to be tenacious and surround yourself with professionals who can help you identify what you need to correct and how. The sole objective of this initial phase is for you to balance yourself and find the right point where you feel the board gliding smoothly over the water without friction.

After 3 or 4 sessions with a professional:

Man surfing
  • After 3 or 4 classes, it’s time to start catching small waves on your own, although with the help of the instructor to choose the right one.
  • Once standing, you’re not only aiming for the board to glide smoothly but also to steer it left or right with your back foot. Do it gently, using the toe or heel, but be careful! A sudden movement will make you lose speed and the wave.

Probably at this point in your learning journey, you’ll start to see the answer to the question “how long will it take me to learn to surf” as you begin to achieve your first successes on the waves 😉

Intermediate: Surfing with Style

Girl surfing first waves after 3 or 4 classes

Perfecting Your Technique: In this stage, you’ll refine your posture and movements on the board, improving your paddling technique, and gaining consistency in catching waves.

  • Once you master the prone position, paddling, and popping up, it’s time to broaden your perspective. Begin to understand how waves work, identify the peak and the channel, apply the ‘unwritten rules of surfing’, interpret forecasts, and choose the ideal conditions for surfing.
  • Around 2-3 Months: Once you’ve mastered all the aspects mentioned so far, it’s ideal to increase the frequency of your surf sessions, taking advantage of every opportunity to get in the water. This is crucial for your progress; one class a week may not be enough. Even though the advice and corrections from your instructor are excellent, without practice, progress will be limited.
    It’s the right time to start surfing on your own with autonomy. By this point, you’ve probably made friends with classmates who will also be willing to surf with you. You can rent the equipment at SurfySpot or consider the option of purchasing your own board and wetsuit (check out our article on this topic).

This is where many people make a mistake. Some limit themselves to surfing only in classes, and once they start surfing on their own, they stop taking lessons. However, if your goal is to continue progressing, this approach is not suitable. The key is to find the balance between classes and independent sessions.

The fact that you can surf on your own and catch waves autonomously doesn’t mean you’ve reached the peak of your surfing career. This is just the beginning!

Mensaje en papel: "Worry less"

Remember that while for many people reaching the intermediate level takes around two or three months of consistent practice, don’t worry if it takes you a bit longer, everyone has their own pace! Extra classes and more practice will always help you accelerate this path.

Advanced: Mastering the Waves

Guy surfing a wave with advanced skill
  • Maneuvers and Personal Style: Advanced surfers work on more complex maneuvers, choose boards that suit their style, and venture into more challenging waves.
  • Varies According to Dedication: The time it takes to reach this level depends on dedication and the frequency of practice. Some can do it

Always remember: Everyone has their own path in surfing!

Don’t compare yourself to others or torture yourself asking, “How long will it take me to learn to surf?” or why others progress faster… Focus on yourself. Remember why you started and celebrate every small achievement on your journey. The important thing is to enjoy the journey and the progress you’re making.

Mensaje en un cuadro: "Recuerda por qué empezaste, tus motivaciones únicas y personales."

So, future surfers, don’t wait any longer! Surfing is an experience worth having, and the benefits it brings go far beyond the water. If you enjoy it, learning and advancing your level is a matter of perseverance and tenacity, which progresses faster and with less frustration with a professional.

Dare to ride the waves and you’ll discover a world of fun and excitement that will stay with you for life. Remember to visit SurfySpot to find the best classes and surf camps that will help you accelerate your progress in surfing. See you in the water! 🌊🏄‍♂️

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