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This is one of the most common questions we hear from those looking to get into surfing, alongside ‘How long will it be before I can catch a wave?’ or ‘How long until I can stand up on the board?’. We understand the impatience; you just want to be out there already. At Surfing Croyde Bay when our clients are having surf lessons in Croyde and they ask how long will it take me to surf, the answer, of course, depends on several factors. In this post, we look to answer some of your queries about how long it might take you to get to grips with basic surfing techniques, and how much progress you can expect to make in a day, a week or a few months.
In short, the more you put in the practice, the quicker you will learn. Learning the basics, i.e. to stand up on a board and ride a wave, can take anywhere between two hours and one month of practice.
Firstly, you will need to become confident and comfortable lying and balancing on a surfboard. This generally takes between half an hour to up to three hours.
The next stage is learning to paddle for a wave and then catch it. Depending on your fitness level, this can take an additional hour or two. The last stage is the most difficult for most; this is mastering the ‘pop up’. It is likely that while practising the pop-up, you will fall off your surfboard – a lot. You can also expect to be pounded by the waves. Many beginners find this frustrating, but if you can stick with it sooner or later, it will become second nature. Mastering the pop up is like riding a bike, once you have it you have it for life.
In our experience, people who book weekend surf lessons tend to learn at a slower pace than surfers hitting the waves up to four times per week.
Factors which might affect how quickly you can learn to surf: