Often when someone is learning something new, they have many questions and there can sometimes be some fear mixed in with this unknown.
We have put together a list of the most asked questions, hoping that our FAQs will help allay any fears or concerns
Do I need to be a strong swimmer to learn to surf or do a lesson?
We teach our Learn to Surf Lessons in very shallow water. Generally our instructors are in water no deeper than waist deep water. All our surfers can stand and touch the ground so if they fall off their board, all they need to do is to put their feet on the sand and stand up.
We have taught many people who cannot swim at all and for many of these, it is the first time they have ever been in the ocean or been exposed to waves.
Our comprehensive lesson plans and stringent safety protocols have been set up and are in place to ensure that everyone who does lessons with us feels safe and secure during the entirety of the lesson. We believe that surfing and being in the ocean is such a powerful thing and provides so many benefits to everyone, we want to be able to provide this opportunity to experience the beauty, the thrills and the excitement of being in the ocean and surfing waves.
What is important though is that people are comfortable in the water.
How long does it take to learn to surf? How many lessons should I do?
In short, unfortunately there is no simple answer that is correct for everyone. Everybody is different and how long it takes each personto learn and improve is dependant on a number of factors. These include the how often someone surfs; how many lessons they take in the beginning and then additional lessons they have; whether they are taught correctly with correct technique from the start and how much they work to perfect this correct technique; the type of surf and conditions they are practicing and learning in; the equipment they are using; each individuals athleticism and general sporting and balance ability, fitness and strength; their motivation and drive to learn and progress; plus a number of other variables.
What we can advise is, if you really want to learn and improve as quickly as you can
- get lessons from a professional, well respected surf school that runs comprehensive lessons and programs teaching you the correct way
- if possible, start with a progressive program, like our Adult Surfing Programs, which take you step by step through a comprehensively, formally structured program that covers surfing technique but also other really important surfing information like surf safety and surf awareness
- surf and practice as much as you can but making sure you are practicing the correct technique – Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!
- use suitable equipment. In the beginning, you benefit a lot more by using bigger more stable soft boards and really locking in your perfect technique on these far more stable boards and really boost and build your confidence, plus increase your surfing strength and fitness on the bigger boards before then starting to move down to smaller boards
- practice in suitable conditions with small gentle waves with minimal crowds and competition for waves so you can get high wave counts and plenty of practice
- have fun, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, find some surf buddies and arrange to surf together as much and as often as possible and even if conditions are not perfect, but still suitable for your level, get out there and surf.
Is there an age limit on learning to surf and doing surf lessons?
Generally for our Group Lessons, we have a limit of 6 year olds up to however many years but still young at heart! The youngest we have taught is a 3 year old and the oldest being an 82 year old.
The biggest requirement is that people are comfortable in the water. Even if someone cannot swim strongly, maybe someone hasn’t been in the surf before or maybe its the first time in an ocean and large body of moving water, all someone needs is to feel comfortable in the water as they will generally always be able to stand.
We can have younger children in our Group Lessons but we do ask for support from an adult, and even sometimes with 6 and 7 year olds, we may also ask for some help. This is only to help the smaller younger children be able to get back out to our instructors. We unfortunately cannot dedicate an instructor to one or two people in a Group Lesson as it then means the others in the lesson miss out which is not fair for the rest of the Group.
However, there is no such issue in Private Lessons, as the instructor is there specifically for that person or those people in that private lesson.
What is the best way to learn to surf?
When learning anything, there are plenty of ways to go about it. These include
- you can get lessons from a professional who is properly trained and skilled to teach and impart the specific knowlegde, skills and techniques required
- you can get taught by someone who already does it
- you can just try by yourself and by trial and error, by watching others and trying to imitate, by reading and watching information on the internet and YouTube
From our persepctive, and this is not being biased because it is what we do, the best option far and away is option number 1.
Getting taught by a professional, who is trained and skilled in passing on the knowledge and techniques is the most effective, the most efficient, the smoothest and the fastest way to learn and progress but also to enable someone to reach their potential.
Do lessons still go ahead if it is raining?
We often get asked – what if it is raining? Do lessons still go ahead?
ABSOLUTELY!! We get wet in the water when we are surfing, so whether it is sunny or raining, we are going to get wet!
Safety is always our priority above all else. As long as we deem it safe to surf and that conditions are appropriate for a safe lesson, we will run the lessons, get everyone out surfing and having plenty of fun in the waves and water.
While it is maybe not as aesthetically pretty when it is raining, often conditions can be amazing.
One of our surfers who has done many lessons with us in Group Lessons, Private Lessons and as part of our Adult Surfing Programs, continues to reminisce how epic a couple of his early sessions were when it was raining, and in one lesson there were some heavier downfalls of rain, and the ocean went completely flat and glassy with perfect clean small waves rolling in.
Is it safe to learn to surf?
If you are interested in learning to surf and wanting to do a lesson, you may be concerned and worried about the safety and whether it is actually safe for you to learn, especially if you are not a good swimmer, have not spent much time or maybe spent no time at all in the ocean and waves or you have tried before by yourself or being shown by a friend and it was not a good positive experience.
Again, we strongly recommend using a professional surf school with a good reputation and with plenty of experience. Professional, experienced surf schools should all have comprehensive lesson plans and indepth comprehensive Standard Operating Procedures as well as very comprehensive Risk Management Plans and Analyses.
While the ocean, the waves and the environment are out of the control of all of instructors and surf schools, by having this documentation in place, by having strict comprehensive plans and protocols ensures that safety is always maximised.
At Walkin’ On Water Surf School, safety is always the number one priority. We are always monitoring conditions for all our lessons. By looking at the forecasts, the prevailing conditions and the expected conditions, we are monitoring conditions for the coming days, at the start of each day, before the first lessons of each day, before each lesson and also during each and every lesson. We only run lessons or continue with lessons when we believe that conditions are appropriate and suitable for the lessons. If we deem conditions not suitable we will run with alternative plans which may include reducing the number of students in a lesson, increasing the number of instructors or surf school staff in a lesson, adjusting the start time on a particular day to get better conditions, or when required, postponing and rescheduling a lesson to a better time or day. During a lesson, we always conitnue to monitor what is happening with the weather, waves, tide, wind and currents and if things change then we are proactive in adjusting our plan and lesson to again maximise the safety of everyone.
We want all of our surfers to have the best time they can with us, to learn plenty, catch lots of waves, feel comfortable and safe in a non threatening environment and feel safe for the lesson.
What sort of board should I buy after doing a learn to surf lesson?