The Good Feeling Learn to Surf Guide #1: Surf Lessons vs Teach Yourself

Learning to surf – is it better to learn as quickly as you can and have fun while you learn? Or is there something more satisfying about learning the hard way?

When we see people go solo and teach themselves to surf, we notice their progress is usually slower and they don’t seem to get as big a stoke as people who learn with an instructor. There’s also a greater risk of accidents and injuries.
Having spent some time thinking about that, we thought we’d share our thoughts with you. Let us know whether you agree!


5 Benefits of Surf Lessons

  1. Safety first!
    The sea can be dangerous; people have actually been known to drown in it. Being well-informed about the dangers of rips, equipment, and other surfers is a really good start when you’re learning to surf. And being looked after by a certified instructor with life-saving qualifications helps you feel more confident, which aids the learning process.
  2. Support and encouragement
    The support you receive from an experienced instructor is priceless. Instructors are qualified to teach you the right way, and better still; they do it because they love it, so they really want you to have the best experience possible. 
  3. Learning as part of a group
    Learning to surf with others means you’ll still get individual attention from your instructor, and you’ll also get a great vibe from sharing the experience with others, supporting each other with whoops, cheers, high-fives and a nice cold post-surf beer together later.
  4. Individual analysis
    Practice makes perfect. Practice with observation, feedback, error correction and helpful tips makes perfect easier to believe in.
  5. Surf etiquette.
    Knowing the ‘rules’ of surfing will make your introduction to the joys of wave-riding so much more pleasant. If you know what-to-do and what-not-to-do, it’s going to make the whole experience way more fun, and reduce the chance of you getting in the way of others. You’ve got enough to think about just paddling, catching waves, standing up, getting your balance, and staying there; so let someone else worry about where you are and what you’re doing, then you can relax and enjoy yourself!


5 Reasons to DIY

Learning the hard way - it might be better for you to teach yourself to surf, if you:

  • Really hate being taught or instructed, even by an instructor who’s super friendly and makes it fun.
  • Honestly don’t have the money to pay for lessons. Or prefer to spend it on other things, like caipirinhas.
  • Are an extremely confident swimmer with incredible knowledge about the sea, currents, rips and tides, and have amazing balance, strength, stamina, years of free-diving experience, a pair of tights and a cape and can fly.
  • Honestly, we can’t think of another 2 reasons. ;)  Please let us know if you can!


We’ve been watching people learn to surf for many years and one thing we’re sure of is this; most people learn to surf more quickly (and more safely!) if they have lessons. So that’s what we recommend.

Make sure your Good Feeling is as good as it can get - ask us for help if you need it, get in touch if you want information about surf lessons in the area, we look forward to seeing you soon!

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