Location: Raglan, New Zealand – 3 and 5 day options
My main aim is for you to actually feel like a surfer at the end of one of my surf courses – Ready to surf on your own with confidence.
Who the “Become a Surfer” Course is for.
This surf course is for anyone who is serious about becoming a competent surfer quickly.
It will suit those that have never surfed before as well as those that have surfed a little bit but are struggling with the basics.
You don’t need any prior knowledge of the ocean, I’m going to cover all that in a practical easy to follow way.
If you do have some experience, whether from surf lessons or going it alone, I think the detail in this course will quickly highlight any gaps in your skills and get you on the fast track to improving.
Why do you want to Surf?
Over the years I’ve found that people take surf lessons for different reasons.
Some just want a one-off experience, to give surfing a go. In that case I offer one of my standard surf lessons.
But I’ve also noticed that many beginners already know they want to become surfers and make surfing a part of their lives.
I love helping these kind of surfers get into the sport.
If you’re one of these people I’ll give you a word of warning – most surf lessons are designed to give a one-off experience and don’t really go into the detail required to get you off to a good start in your mission to become a surfer.
I’ve designed this beginners surf course especially for you though. It includes all the skills, techniques and knowledge you need to progress beyond standing on a little whitewater wave to paddling out and riding real unbroken waves with confidence.
Surfing’s Not All About Standing Up – There is way more fun to be had!
Another thing I’ve noticed when doing lessons is that people think surfing is all about standing up. They think that if they can stand up they’ve succeeded in becoming a surfer, or if they can’t stand up easily they think there is no hope for them.
Learning to stand up is important but it’s not something you need to become obsessed with. Some people find it easy, others find it tricky – especially if they lack flexibility, but with persistence it gets easier and easier.
It’s much better to have a goal of learning to ride real unbroken waves, and viewing the action of standing up as just another part of the learning process, no more or less important then other skills such as paddling or reading the waves.
Just trust that you will gradually get to your feet quicker and with more grace, and don’t let any difficulties with standing get in the way of your motivation to learn the other (less glamorous) things you need to know.
When it all comes together you’ll realise that standing on a small whitewater wave is an achievement but it’s not the goal of surfing. It’s nothing compared to the buzz you’ll get once you learn how to ride real unbroken waves. That’s when people get hooked.
When a wave is traveling towards the beach it is firstly just a rolling swell. As the seafloor gets shallower, the swell peaks up into a crest and then breaks, turning into turbulent, foamy whitewater or “whitewash”. When you’re beginning to surf it is best to start close to shore in these whitewater waves until you have the basics down.To surf green or unbroken waves is more difficult and requires good positioning and timing – you have to paddle hard and catch the rolling swells just before they break, then get to your feet quick. Once you do that you’ll experience what surfing is all about.
I hope the following two video clips will convince you that riding a real green wave should be your main goal. If conditions allow, it is very possible you could achieve this goal on your beginners surf course.
Riding a Green Wave
Why I Offer Surfing Courses As Well As Lessons.
So if you weren’t already keen to ride real waves I hope I’ve now managed to convince you that it is best to aim further than just standing up, from the very beginning of your surfing life.
As you’ll soon find out there are a lot of skills you’ll need to be a surfer and many of them aren’t physical. If you want to continue surfing on your own your gonna need to find suitable waves, read weather patterns, understand the tides, purchase the right equipment, adjust fins, wax your board, learn the politics of a surf spot, know how to tie boards on your roof and so on. You could learn all those things the slow way and the hard way but if your not 13 years old with endless amounts of free-time, why not speed up the learning process?
Most surf schools are focused on pumping out 1-2 hr lessons and simply don’t have time to teach you all this stuff. My surf course gives you a solid grounding in these practical skills as well as plenty of time in the water working on the physical skills.
To do this justice it takes a few days minimum and the group size must be small to allow personalised feedback (I cap it at 5).
In my experience I’ve seen that people on 5 day surf courses progress much faster than those that only take one or two lessons in a big group before surfing on their own.
So in order to cover all that needs to be learned, I’ve created two versions of the Become A Surfer course. The full course involves five 2.5 – 3 hr sessions, the short course three 2.5 – 3 hr sessions.
It’s more of a commitment than you’ll need with other surfschools, but if you really want to surf well I hope you’ll understand the logic behind it and give yourself the time to do this properly.
What You Will Learn on Your Surf Course
A summary of the main skills and knowledge you’ll gain:
Day 1 – Mastering the Whitewater (small broken waves near the shore)
- all about surfing equipment
- how to confidently handle your surfboard in the whitewater waves
- how to position yourself to catch waves easily
- how to control your board (turning, stalling, accelerating) while riding whitewater waves (lying down)
- learn how to stand up with the correct stance that will allow easier learning of the next group of skills
Day 2 – The Fundamentals
- useful surf vocab
- how to find suitable surf conditions for you – understanding variables like swell, wind, tides, geography and how they effect the waves
- develop the ability to control your board’s speed while standing up on whitewater waves
- how to turn your board while standing up
- increase the consistency of your pop-up in preparation for surfing unbroken green waves
Day 3 – Out the Back
- Learn the practical skills of being a surfer – waxing, setting up fins and legropes, fixing your board, wetsuit types, buying gear, traveling with surfboards
- Learn how the lineup (area where waves break) works – rips, dangers, safe zones, take off spots etc
- Learn several techniques to get over and under waves to where you need to be to catch unbroken waves with success
- How to spend more time catching waves and less time getting smashed by them
Day 4 – Taking the Drop
- Learn ettiquete for surfing with others – rules about riding waves, rules for paddling in lineup, avoid hassles with experienced surfers
- Develop the ability to consistently catch unbroken waves out the back with good timing
- How to select the right unbroken waves
- How to negotiate the drop (steep part at beginning of unbroken waves) on your feet
Day 5 – Down the Line
- Start catching waves more deliberately
- Increase your wave knowledge further by understanding the peeling direction of waves
- How to takeoff in the right spot to allow you to ride across the face of waves
- How to use your surfboard’s rails to trim across the wave and get long smooth rides
- Get used to picking a good line across the wave and begin working on bottom and top turns which set up all the future moves you will learn
- Debrief – understand what you need to work on to keep progressing, the logical order to increase your skills, when to go to a smaller board if thats your goal, and get tips on things you can do to speed up your progress.
How You’ll Learn
The surf course is delivered in 2.5 – 3 hour sessions. Each session begins with an interactive session away from the beach where you will get to understand and practice the various skills.
We will then head to the beach and spend the rest of the session in the water. At this level it is best for me to be in the water with you so I can help you position yourself in the ocean and provide regular feedback on your rides.
My teaching method involves explaining and demonstrating the techniques in detail, then getting you to focus on just one skill at a time when we hit the water. Once you have that skill down, we then focus on the next one.
About the Location
The lessons are held in Raglan, one of the best surf towns in New Zealand. It is 2 hours drive from Auckland and lies on the west coast. It is one of the most consistent places to surf anywhere in the world because it gets constant swell and the shape of the coast here provides shelter from the south west wind that ruins surfing conditions on other parts of the west coast.
The local beach has gentle breaking waves over a forgiving sand bottom most days of the summer. There are always waves – I’ve only seen it too small for beginners on one occasion. That’s the main advantage Raglan has over other New Zealand surf locations.
On occasion I will consider running beginners surfing courses in other parts of New Zealand such as the Coromandel,Bay of Plenty or Auckland’s Northern Coast for group bookings. If you would like this option get in touch with me.
Why I Think You’ll Like this Beginners Surfing Course
- You’ll understand the path from beginner to competent surfer and how you progress steadily along it
- I’ll equip you with weather and surf spot knowledge so you can always find suitable surf conditions for your level
- I’ll increase your ocean knowledge rapidly so you can avoid learning things the hard way
- At the end you will feel confident to surf on your own and amongst experienced surfers
- You will learn in a small group of 5 or less people – safer and more personal attention
- 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’ll teach you lots of practical skills like how to wax your board, all about fins, leashes, fixing boards, how surfboards work i.e.what makes them speed up/slow down, what makes them turn, traveling with boards…
- You will be taught how to handle your board safely in the whitewater waves close to shore, as well as in the green waves out from the shore. This is really important and will give you confidence for getting to the next level.
- 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 are right
- You can stay in touch with me after your course if you have any questions, and if you keep practicing and progressing you can come back for more advanced coaching in the future.
Book Your Surf Course
There are 3 options to choose from:
3 Day ‘Become a Surfer’ Course
“master the whitewater + learn how to surf across green waves”
- surfboard and wetsuit hire
- in-depth theory sessions on equipment, understanding weather to find suitable conditions, and a practical surf skills workshop
- beach sessions on mastering the whitewater waves, developing a proper stance that makes turning and speed control easier, and a final session where you learn how to get out the back safely and easily
5 Day ‘Become a Surfer’ Course
“take it to the next level and ride ‘green’ waves well”
- surfboard and wetsuit hire
- additional theory sessions on the rules of surfing plus how to read green waves and get in the right spot to take-off
- additional beach sessions on dropping in to the steeper green waves plus how to surf across green waves with speed and control
- final day debrief session that outlines a path for your future progression
- ongoing advice via email as needed
5 Day ‘Become a Surfer’ Fast Track
“progress as fast as you possibly can”
- surfboard and wetsuit hire
- all the theory and beach sessions mentioned on the standard 5 day course
- ongoing advice via email as needed
- a physical training program that addresses the common limitations beginners often encounter
- i’ll help you find a suitable board and wetsuit to use after your course
- bonus session on things you can do on land to improve faster
note: These courses can be taken at any time but there is often a course starting on Fridays, from November through April. Other start days are definitely possible though if Friday doesn’t suit, just let me know. Because each course is limited to 5 people it pays to make bookings at least a few weeks in advance.