The time it takes to learn surfing varies widely based on individual factors such as fitness level, the age at which you start surfing, your natural skills for surfing (coordination, reaction speed, ability to observe and analyze), the consistency of practice, your mental abilities to overcome frustration and move forward, and the professionalism of your teachers.

We summarised how long you may stay at each surfing level so you can have an idea about the timing to learn how to surf.

1. How long does it take to learn surfing as a beginner

Beginner stage (few months to years): In the initial stages, beginners focus on fundamental skills like paddling, balance, and getting up on the board (pop-up). Initially, beginners typically become acquainted with the basics and start catching whitewater waves. Furthermore, progressing beyond the whitewater and attempting to catch unbroken waves marks progression on this level. Developing wave selection skills, mastering the pop-up, and understanding basic surf etiquette are key milestones during this period.

The beginner phase can last from months to years, and your advancement depends on various factors. These include your fitness level, age when starting surfing, inherent surfing abilities (coordination, reaction speed, observational skills, and analytical ability), consistency of practice, mental resilience to overcome frustration, and the quality of instruction provided by your surf instructors.

*There is nothing wrong if you stay at this stage for many years. Moreover,  you can catch small green waves or enjoy riding whitewater waves; what's important is to enjoy the process of surfing!

2. How long does it take to learn surfing as an intermediate

Intermediate level (months to years):  Becoming a competent and confident surfer takes consistent practice and experience. Additionally, intermediate surfers can handle various conditions, catch green waves consistently, and perform basic maneuvers like turning and trimming. Moreover, they become better at picking the right waves and try different surfboards to see what works best. Furthermore, they also get the hang of reading the ocean and understanding how wind and waves affect their surfing. Handling crowded spots becomes easier, and they gain more stamina by spending more time in the water. Ultimately, this stage is about self-improvement, figuring out what works, and creating their own surfing style.

The factors that influence your progress at this stage are similar to those in the beginner stage, but they also include the variety of surfing conditions you experience, the surf trips you take, and your openness to information from other surfers play a significant role.

*If you've reached this stage, the potential for improvement knows no bounds. Even if you didn't start surfing as a kid, take pride in becoming a strong intermediate surfer. Embrace new surfing adventures and explorations with every session!

3.  How long does it take to reach an advanced level in surfing

Advanced Stage (years of dedicated practice): Advancing to an advanced level, where surfers can handle larger waves, execute more complex maneuvers, and perhaps even enter competitions, typically takes years of dedicated practice and a deep understanding of ocean dynamics.

*More likely, this level can be achieved if you started surfing as a kid and dedicated your whole life to it. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

Tips for Faster Progress:

  • Consistency is Key: Regular, consistent practice accelerates the learning process.
  • Take Lessons: Professional guidance from experienced surf instructors can significantly shorten the learning curve.
  • Physical Fitness: Building strength, flexibility, and stamina contributes to quicker progression.
  • Choose the Right Equipment: Using appropriate surfboards for skill level and wave conditions aids in faster learning.

Remember, the journey of learning to surf is highly individual, and the joy of the process is as important as reaching specific achievements.  As you can see, there is no specific timeframe for becoming a master of surfing. Remember, the best surfer is the one who enjoys more. So, instead of fixating on your level and how quickly you're progressing, savor the moment—after all, that's what surfing is all about.