Turning beginners into surfers faster &
Unleashing the potential of the average surfer

About UP Surf Coaching

It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, when your surfing improves you end up having more fun.

You get a sense of personal accomplishment, or maybe you unlock something that means you can take on bigger waves, or you fix your technique and finally do that move you’ve been working on….

Improvements come in many ways –  increased ocean knowledge, better physical preparation, awareness of technique just to name a few.

I’m on a mission to help beginners and experienced yet average surfers unlock their surfing potential.

The approach I take is quite different from other surf schools, is very thorough and treats everyone as an individual. You won’t find any big group lessons here.

Read on and find out if my style of surf coaching is for you.

Why UP Surf Coaching Exists

Reason 1 – I noticed that standard beginner surf lessons often don’t teach people the skills they need to progress quickly, or prepare people to surf confidently on their own.

Solo surfer.

Basic skills + ocean knowledge = the confidence you need to progress and have fun on your own.

When people go to a surf school they usually have an awesome time in that first lesson, the instructor puts them in the right place, they catch waves, stand up and get hooked.

But most surf lessons don’t go into the nitty gritty details of what it takes to be a surfer, and if the student is serious about getting into the sport this can set them up for some frustration.

Many beginners feel a bit lost after the typical one-off lesson. They wonder what they work on next, how they go from standing on small whitewater waves close to the beach to riding proper waves out the back with the real surfers. Others don’t have the confidence to paddle out from the shore as their lesson didn’t teach them enough about the ocean or how to navigate around and under the waves and other surfers.

I reckon lots of would be surfers get demoralised at this point and give up.

Reason 2 – I realised that “average” surfers are usually unaware of how much they could improve with coaching, and they are almost completely ignored by the surf coaching industry.

Raglan surf lessons for average surfers.

Almost all surf coaching and training is being focused on 2 specific groups – total beginners and upcoming professionals.

What about the 35 year old late-starter who wants to improve his top turns and get his first barrel?

What about the girl whose been surfing 3 years but wants some help to surf point and reef breaks?

What about the busy family man who doesn’t surf as much as he used to, but wants a training program and some technique coaching to ensure he rips on his next surf trip to indo with the boys?

They often get that classic surf tip “Just surf more”. Whilst water time is vital, it’s not that simple. Many average surfers go on making the same mistakes year after year.

They generally attempt to improve by buying the latest boards and fins, but possibly haven’t considered that coaching could be a much more effective and cheaper solution.

It’s crazy that there aren’t many coaching options for these forgotten surfers – they make up more than 90% of the worldwide surfing population.

The VISION for UP Surf Coaching

To provide a solution for these 2 groups of surfers by:

  1. Giving Serious Beginner’s and Novices a surf course that will turn them into competent surfers faster than traditional surf school lessons. I’ve thought long and hard about what needs to be covered for beginners to learn quicker and easier and I’ve come up with this course that includes all the vital skills to get people off to a flying start. They can then go it alone with confidence, knowing what their limits are, what they need to work on and exactly how to progress to the next level.
  2. Offering “Average” Surfers a range of surf coaching and training options designed with an understanding of the common problems these surfers face. Allowing them to surf better and realise their potential. When I say “average surfers” I’m referring to the largest group of surfers who are past the novice level but below the competitive or professional level, i.e. they surf for fun.  Late starters working on the basics, weekend warriors wanting to polish their moves, young and old – all kinds. Click here to find out what level I would classify you as and how you would be coached.
  3. Providing surf coaching that is holistic. Focussed on getting the mind and body right. You can show a surfer his errors on video and explain the correct technique, but that doesn’t always mean he can fix it. The error might be due to poor posture rather than being unaware of the correct technique. If a surfer is determined to improve I will look at the whole picture and provide practical suggestions on areas such as diet, beliefs and mindest, visualisation techniques, land based training methods, equipment, breathing and so on.

How I Think You Will Benefit from this Approach:

I won’t list everything here, but a few points to hopefully give you an idea.

Beginners: On the Become a Surfer Courses

  • You’ll understand the path from beginner to competent surfer and how to progress steadily along it
  • I’ll increase your ocean knowledge rapidly so you can avoid learning things the hard way
  • You’ll come away with a solid foundation of skills that can be built upon – correct stance, correct popup technique, turning skills, speed control etc
  • I will cover all you need to know to be gliding across real unbroken, green waves with speed, hopefully by the end of your course if conditions allow

Experienced “Average” Surfers: On Private Surf Lessons in Raglan, or on UP Surf Camps around NZ

  • Gain awareness of  your surfing technique, what you’re currently doing right and wrong
  •  Find out whether your body is limiting your surfing ability and the most effective ways for you to fix your unique issues
  • Understand how your mindset could be limiting your surfing performances and adopt methods used by top athletes to reach potential
  • Be ready for when the waves are firing!

Why Choose UP Surf?

In-depth beginners lessons .

I am aware that many beginners want to go further than just standing up on a small whitewater wave. I know from experience that beginners can actually become competent – i.e. riding decent unbroken green waves with control – in a short space of time. The process does take a few sessions and this is why I decided to offer surf courses instead of just offering one-off beginner lessons.

The Beginners Surf Courses I’ve put together are very thorough, I’ve developed them through trial and error. If you truly want to learn, I am confident they’ll get you off to a flying start.

If you are more experienced and fall into the “average” surfer category I think you’ll find UP Surf’s exclusive focus on your goals and understanding of your likely problems beneficial.

I noticed there weren’t too many options out there for the average guy or girl so I spent time learning off some of the best coaches in the World like Martin Dunn and Matt Griggs. I found out what they do with the Pros and then applied it to designing complete programs that meet the unique needs of the average surfer.

In the process I also realised how important good posture is to good surfing. If your not a pro surfer you probably spend most of your time working and this can make your posture pretty bad, especially if you sit all day. Trying to fix surfing technique or learn new moves just isn’t gonna happen if you’ve got poor posture and the poor movement patterns that go along with it. So, I’ve also studied Corrective Exercise Kinesiology and think it’s a great way for average surfers to make leaps in performance.

I love learning all this stuff and if I can use my knowledge to help you enjoy your surfing more I’ll be stoked.

My Background

Andrew Lucas Surf Coach in Raglan.My name’s Andrew Lucas and I’m the sole coach at UP Surf Coaching. I qualified as a surf coach in 2006 and since then have worked for schools in New Zealand, Australia and Panama.

I’ve taught a range of levels from beginners to experienced surfers and had some great results.

I think my main strength as a coach is my understanding of the average surfer, especially those that didn’t start surfing at a young age.

Andrew Lucas the surf coach for UP Surf Coaching at Manu Bay , Raglan.

Me having a quick surf at Manu Bay.

I got into surfing later than I would have liked and as there were no real waves where I lived, I was basically a weekend warrior and would often go months without surfing. It wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I decided I needed to re-locate, finally becoming a regular surfer. My first real surf trip was when I went to Indo at age 25.

I’ve got myself to a level where I can surf a wide range of conditions, do a few decent turns, get barreled when the waves allow and attempt the odd air (without too much success but working on it). I’m in my 30s now but still feel I’m improving and I’m feeling more surf fit than ever.

If you have a background at all similar to mine, you’ve likely had to work for a living 40 hours per week, maybe sitting for much of that, not getting much water time. This kind of lifestyle basically trains your body to be better at sitting, just as a pro-surfers lifestyles train their bodies to be better at surfing from age 5 or whenever they start.

Once you accept that any lack in your surfing ability isn’t simply a lack of talent but more that you’ve had a lack of opportunity and practice, you can start doing things to overcome the negative effects of your non-surfing lifestyle and sometimes see quite rapid improvements.

Because I’ve been through it, I can recognise and understand the main barriers average surfers have to improving. Whether the barrier is a physical issue like tight hips and incorrect movement patterns, a mental one like unawareness of correct technique, chances are I’ve been through it and can help you fix it.

This is my strength, I share a common background and have spent hours and hours researching ways to fix problems that many average surfers have. If I had just surfed all day everyday from age 5 I would no doubt surf better, but I wouldn’t be anywhere near as good at spotting, understanding and fixing the common problems average surfers have when trying to surf better.

Qualifications wise, this is what I’ve got:

Completed Level 1 and 2 International Surfing Association (ISA) Surf Coaching Certificates


Surfing New Zealand Level 2 Surf Coach


C.H.E.K Exercise Coach (the training system Mick Fanning and other pro surfers use)


Completed a High Performance Surf Coaching Program with Matt Griggs (former Rip Curl team manager)


Community Surf Life Saving Award and Current First Aid Certificate.

Want to Surf Better?Get in Touch