Many people base their level of surfing based off of how well they did the first time they tried. This is a common miscommunication among students and surf instructors. Being able to communicate your current skill and experience level to your instructor before you begin your lesson is key to maximizing your experience at Pacific Surf School. The most common situation we see is people coming to us after taking a lesson in Waikiki and thinking they are ready to attempt surfing the green waves off Pacific Beach Drive. “Intermediate” can mean anything from a few days to a few decades of surfing, so instead, we use the level 1-4 system. Most likely you are surfing with people that are in the same boat as you surf experience wise but if not we will do our best to move things around accordingly. We never mix ability levels within groups. Here is a summary of which skills are specific to each level. Unfortunately, our beach break is much different from Waikiki. Take a look at our 4 levels and hopefully, you will have a better idea of where you’re at and can feel better prepared to go to your lesson.
Level one surfing begins in the more forgiving whitewater. We start all beginners here until you feel comfortable to move out further and challenge yourself to do so. You’ll learn how to select and catch waves unassisted. You will also learn how to slow down and accelerate the board. As you progress, the functional stance which will allow you to perform big turns and progress onto catching unbroken waves. This leads into level two.
Level two surfers can confidently stand on the board and are focused on catching unbroken waves. This does not mean surfers are in the outside just means were past white wash. In this level you’ll learn to paddle through the white water efficiently and safely. You will also learn about different parts of the wave and how to better predict a good wave to surf. These surfers also know a bit about surf etiquette. In specific, who has priority on a wave in the lineup.
Level three surfers can consistently catch head high waves without assistance. If you feel confident don’t be afraid to tell your instructor that. We pride ourselves on the fact that every one of our instructors are die hard surfers and I promise you they would be stoked if you were ready to go straight to the outside. We teach all of our lessons on foam boards but does not mean you can’t have as much fun as you would on a short hard top.
Level four surfers are mostly just going out to have a buddy. Which is totally fine. Sometimes it’s just fun to have someone with you sharing the stoke. We are very hands off yet will give you the technical advice as you need it. Our goal with level four surfers is to have as much fun as possible while fine tuning the skills you already have.