Did you know that there are 4 surfing learning levels?

Although there may be some more specialized surf camps that only teaches surf lessons for certain levels, most surf camps and surf schools offer options for 4 skill levels

Most of the surf camps and schools teach surfing lessons in small groups of students chosen according to their surfing level, because it’s logical that you will not learn the same at a beginner level than in a competition level. That's why it is very important that you know your surfing level when deciding on one or another surf camp.

It’s also important that you can inform your surfing level when making a booking at a surf camp or school, therefore easing to the responsible ones your entry into the appropriate group. Although it’s normal when a new student arrives at a surf camp, he or she may be asked about his/her surfing level, because he/she may have gotten an advanced level by learning with an experienced family member or friend or have previously taken surf lessons elsewhere.

Although there may be some more specialized surf camps that only teaches surf lessons for certain levels, most surf camps and surf schools offer options for the following 4 skill levels:

  1. Surfing Introductory Level
  2. Surfing Intermediate Level
  3. Surfing Avanzed Level
  4. Surfing Competition Level

If you are thinking about spending a few days in a surf school or camp and so that you can get an idea of what you are going to do in your surf lessons, below you will find some general information about it, although it obviously can be different in each of the surf camps!

Surfing Learning Levels

Level 1: Introductory Surfing

This first surf learning level consists of 2 stages: Beginner and Introductory.

Stage 1 Begginer Surfing

The methodology usually implemented in the first basic stage for beginners, in surfing learning is the following:

  • All surfing lessons usually take place on the beach and in the foams, that is, in the wave that has already broken and it moves through the water in a foam form.
  • You start acquiring the basic surfing skills in a quiet and entertaining way, gently without going deeper.
  • You learn how to choose and catch waves without help; how to stop and accelerate the surfboard; the difference between the various types of turns; and, above all, the 'functional position', because it’s fundamental to be the key to future progress.

Stage 2 Introductory Surfing

In this second stage of the first surfing level, you will practice and perfect the following basic skills and maneuvers:

  • Prone position, a basic position to lie correctly on the table.
  • You will learn how to manage your board in the dynamic and functional way, to balance your weight with the surfboard ‘oscillation balance’.
  • Progressive paddling so that you can catch by yourself the foams or the waves, also to understand the power of the wave’s energy and the physical forces acting in this approach maneuver.
  • Take-off or how to stand up on the surfboard according to your biomechanics and your aptitudes./li>
  • Functional Position or Basic standing position on the surfboard:
    • Feet in the proper place.
    • Correctly flexed knees.
    • Straight back.
    • Arms in front of the trunk.
  • Surf in the foam to move in a straight line to the beach with well-balanced weights on the surfboard.
  • Border the foam, by marking a direction to go left (face) or right (back) to the wave.
  • Drills or mobility basic exercises.

Level 2: Intermediate Surfing

In this second surfing level, the surf lessons will be focused on the paddling to pass foams and start catching the waves before they break. The student will learn the following skills:

  • How to paddle in different ways, starting to understand the waves’ transition in an efficient and safe way ‘from the back’.
  • To choose and catch continuous waves which arrive in series.
  • Understanding the 'Surf Code': priority on the wave, surf ethics, relationship with 'locales', etc.
  • How to deal safely and confidently in any situation that may arise.
  • Positioning oneself appropriately at the peak to reach the chosen wave.

In addition you will learn the following maneuvers:

  • To reach the peak ('line-up')
  • Make well the 'spoon' or 'duck' ('duck dive') and coming from behind.
  • The correct use of currents.
  • Take-off to catch the waves before they break.
  • Go down with the weight forward.
  • Bottom turn: well flexed and bringing the back hand to touch the water.
  • Correct positioning of the waves break.
  • Flextion and extension coordinated movements to speed up.
  • Read the wave to go at all times by the correct part of the wave and looking for the more curve area.

You will also learn and apply the priority rules at the peak of the 'Surf Code' and the technical language about the surfing skills and maneuvers.

Level 3: Advanced Surfing

In this third level of the surfing lessons include learning, among others, the following skills:

  • How, why and when to make the basic maneuvers on the wave’s wall.
  • Understand the movements’ phases within the turns through the wave to find the fastest line.
  • Know the lines to progress beyond our expectations.
  • Start making use of maneuvers such as 'cut-back',’re-entry', 'floaters' or 'snaps'.

Now the lessons will start to be recorded so that their subsequent viewing, facilitate you these lines’ learning: We also start to get our own personal style at this level, in which you will practice and perfect the following maneuvers:

  • Controlled basic maneuvers at the end of the wave such as 're-entry' or 'floater'.
  • Sight and rotation: when starting the maneuver the arms go along with the sight of where we want to go.
  • Reception: centered, flexed and compact, facing the beach.
  • Combine speed, fluency, coordination and control to achieve an elegant and safe surfing.
  • Mastery of diverse maneuvers, such as 'snap' or 'cut-back'.
  • Frontside y Backside, surfing correctly for both sides, face (left) and back (right).

Level 4: Competition Surfing

In the fourth and last surfing level, all kinds of surfing will be directed to the proper performance of the committed maneuvers, in the wave’s most critical part, with the necessary power and speed to linking complicated maneuvers. Focusing on establishing what aspects of your surf you need to improve and how you should focus your evolution. You will learn which exercises are important to overcome your mental barriers or your limitations, working on psychological and tactical aspects if necessary.

The maneuvers to practice and perfect are the following:

  • Radical maneuvers in the wave’s hollowest part to achieve a powerful surfing.
  • Extensive repertoire of maneuvers with a high degree of difficulty, such as 'reverse' or 'aerial'.
  • Chain different types of maneuvers in the same wave without losing control or speed ('flow').
  • Define your own style.

And remember that the important thing in surfing is having fun and meeting people by enjoying your favorite sport.