How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Surf? – More Than You Expected

Surfing is a quite famous sport and almost everyone likes it. But everyone doesn’t know how to surf. But have you ever wondered how long will it take to learn surfing? 

I am sure the question is puzzling your mind and that’s why you’re here to read –

If you want to learn to surf you will need between 2 hours and a month of practice. If it’s taking longer then there’s something wrong with your practice system.

Well if you are a fast learner you may achieve it within 25/20 days. So, it’s a dependable fact. The above info is just a summary.

There is a lot more you have to learn if you really want an accurate answer. No worries, we’ve already discussed everything in this article. So, all you have to do is just stick with us.

What Is surfing?

Before we get into the very major segment let’s have some basic ideas. First, let’s learn a little detail about surfing. Surfing is a sport that is played on the surface of the water.

It’s not that demanding but people like to surf on the water. It’s a fun sport. From kids to adults almost everyone likes to surf. It’s a sport that requires a surfboard and balance.

The surfers catch the waves of the ocean, river, or any man-made water waves. They glide on the surface of the waves until the waves break and lose their flow. 

How Long Does It Take to Learn Surfing?

It’s time to answer the very desired question. Usually, It takes one month to learn to surf if you practice for 2 hours on a daily basis. Well, sometimes it can take up to 2 months if you are very noob at this sport.

But if it’s taking more than 2 months then there’s something wrong with your surfing. You need between 2 hours and practice for 1 month to learn to surf properly.

If you are not practicing properly then it’ll be very hard for you to learn to surf. If you are struggling to learn surfing then I got a guide for you here. 

Is it Possible to Learn to Surf Fast?

Now you may think it’s a very long process. Actually, no it isn’t. But you might still be thinking if it’s possible to learn it quicker than usual.

If you follow the rules of surfing properly then the learning process will be faster for you. For example, start surfing by catching the little waves first.

If you try surfing on the large waves at the start, it will be harder for you and it will take a long period too. If you start as a rookie and practice carefully then you will learn to surf faster.

What Do You Need to Surf?

What Do You Need to Surf

Firstly, you need a surfboard, it can be any type of surfboard. But fish boards might be better if you are a beginner. Then you need a surfboard leash.

It should be a 6’0 long leash with a pair of grips. It helps you to keep the board close to you. Then you need a wetsuit

The wetsuit will Keep you warm in the water. The wetsuit you choose will depend on the climate. It can be less or warmer depending on the climate.

You should have wetsuit accessories too. It can be a pair of surf boots and a pair of surf gloves. You also need a surf watch.

A normal sports watch can’t be used while surfing. It should be a waterproof surf watch that you can use while surfing so you can be up to date always.

You should have a Board Bag, Hooded Towel, and Surf wax. Here I am adding a table with some of the best items you need to have before starting to learn surfing.

Things you’ll be needing Get it here
Surfboard Wavestorm 8′ Surfboard
Pair of grips Lightweight Bodyboard Surfing Grip
Surf watch Garmin Instinct Solar Surf Watch
Board Bag OCEANBROAD Surfboard Bag
Surf wax Sticky Bumps Surfboard Wax

How to Learn to Surf Faster? 

Surfing is not a very easy sport. You need to follow the rules properly while learning. First, you need to choose the right surfboard for you.

Then you should start surfing by riding the Little waves. Here’s a complete guide for you to learn surfing.

The More You Practice, the Faster You Will Learn

Firstly you need to master it by lying on the surfboard and balancing it. It will take between half an hour to two or three hours. It will depend on your learning skills. 

Then you need to learn to paddle and catch a wave. The wave should be a small one for the beginning. You can ride a large wave after mastering a little one.

It will take you an hour or two. It will depend on your fitness. The final part is the pop-up move. It’s the hardest part of learning to surf. You will fall off the surfboard many times and get hit by the waves.

It’s a normal thing for the surfers. You need to practice more and more to overcome this situation.  It’s like riding on a bike. Once you master it, it’s for life.

Endurance, Strength, And Energy 

Paddling is the most demanding skill in surfing. You need to know how to paddle properly to balance on the surfboard.

You need to paddle a lot to get out the back after riding a wave to correct your position for the next waves.

When you are in the water for an hour, you will realize your endurance and strength level. Surfing is an enthusiastic outdoor sport. You will need a lot of energy to overcome the natural challenges. 

Agility & Flexibility

Agility & Flexibility

People think surfing is an action sport. It is an action sport but the surfers should be in good shape to respond to the waves. 

Surfing is more like a motion sport. You should move your body part rapidly to balance the board. So You should rotate your hip, bend your knees and move your feet back and ahead. 

You can’t instantly stand on the board from prone and won’t be able to stand immediately to ride on a wave. Waves continue to force us to adjust the board and our body position on the waves. 


It’s dominant that a surfer feels hopeful and comfortable on the surface of the water. 

If you are a beginner and don’t have the right spirit then you can’t learn the tricks of surfing. If you have a fear of small waves then you should overcome it or it’s not a sport for you. 

It’s not as hard as other sports. You just need a spirit to learn how to surf. You need to overcome your fears and practice surfing eagerly.

Stages of Learning Surfing

You can’t learn everything about surfing at once. You have to go through every stage one by one to learn to surf properly. Here are some stages of surfing that may help you with your surfing.

Riding Whitewater Waves in the Shallows

White water waves in the shallow area are ideal for practicing surfing. These waves are not too deep. These white water waves usually break anywhere between knee to chest-depth water.

These waves are the best option for the start. These waves are so enjoyable and cheerful too. Use a soft foam board for starting, the board should be 2feet longer than your height.

Catch some of these waves in the shallow area and try riding on them. In a short time, you will learn how to surf.

Riding Whitewater Waves Further Out

Once you get used to riding on white waves in the shallow area, you should try surfing on the waves further out. 

Again when you are used to surfing on the waves further ahead then you will become confident enough to do some tricks. Such as paddling, duck diving, sitting on the board, or standing up.


Paddling is a lot harder technique than it looks. The surfboards stop moving when there is no flow in the water.

When the board is not moving then you need to paddle to move it to a position where you can find a wave to ride on or get back to the shore. 

Paddling is not so easy. You need a lot of strength and energy to paddle a surfboard. That will be much easier if the board is large.

It will need some practice to go paddling from sitting on the board. It will take between 20 to 50 hours to master paddling. 

Sitting Up on Your Surfboard

Sitting Up on Your Surfboard

Sitting up on a surfboard is a lot more tricky than how it sounds. You can give a rest to your heart and lungs by sitting up for a while.

That will take you a lot of practice to sit up on the board from paddling. It can be tiring and uncomfortable at first but once you master it, it will be quite relaxing.

It can be helpful to see a lot higher above the surface of the water and locate the upcoming waves. It’s much harder for the smaller boards than the large boards. If the board has more space then it’s quite easy to sit up.

But if the board is small in size then it’s quite difficult to adjust and sit on it. Sitting up on the board will take between 50-80 hours to learn property.

Duck Diving

Duck diving is a famous technique in surfing. It’s a technique to get under an upcoming broken wave. The surfers push their boards and dive under the water just like a duck.

That’s why it’s called duck diving. It’s a common and important technique for surfing. Whenever a wave is coming towards you and you don’t want to surf on it then you have to stop paddling and do duck diving to avoid the force of the wave.

If you fail to do a duck dive, the wave force will push you back to the shore and it can be quite painful too. Duck diving will take about 50 hours to learn properly.

It’s a technique of balance, timing, and paddling. It’s almost impossible to duck dive with large boards. 

Standing Up

Standing up is the hardest part of surfing. It will take a lot of time to learn how to stand up. Once you master paddling and sitting up on a few waves close to the shore you should try standing up on the waves you are trying to catch. 

Standing up takes a long time to learn. You can learn it fast but you need to paddle and duck dive first. You should try standing on the whitewater waves close to the shore.

For standing up, you have to balance your board and be confident that you can stand up and ride on a wave. It will take at least 20-50 hours to learn how to stand up on a surfboard. You need a lot of practice too.

Riding Unbroken Waves (Intermediate)

When you master paddling, duck diving, and catching a few unbroken waves you will be prepared for riding on the unbroken waves. It’s the next level of surfing. You will need some time to get to your grips.


After mastering paddling and duck Diving, your next step is to take off on unbroken waves. Take-off is not just standing up on the waves, it means rolling down the surface of the wave. 

You have to take off on a wave at a specific time. To learn to take off you need to practice it relentlessly. 

You need to be confident enough to paddle to the right wave and you should know where you have to be and start the movement. 

It normally takes between 80 to 120 hours to learn to take off. The time of learning depends on the kind of boards and the waves.

Riding Along with a Wave

Riding Along with a Wave

If you are thinking taking off is the final step of surfing then you are wrong, it’s just the beginning. There’s a lot more to learn. The next step after taking off is riding along with a wave. There are two ways to do it. 

Frontside Or Front hand

To ride a wave frontside, your face and chest will be facing the breaking wave. You can do it in a basic way with one foot forward and another at the back.

It can be left or right on any foot you feel comfortable with. And it won’t make any difference when you surf.

You just need to catch the right wave which will give you a position to take off easily and has a wave face to ride along. Riding along with a wave at the front side may take a long time. It will take between 120-200 hours.

Backside or Backhand

Riding the backside may sound familiar with the front side but it’s way too difficult than riding a wave frontside. Riding a wave backside is like writing with your other hand.

It may feel so weird to surf backside on a wave. It will take double the time to learn to ride a wave backside than riding frontside. This will take 240 to 400 hours to learn to ride a wave backside. 


After you learn those steps above you may not want to learn more. You may think you have learned everything you need to know. But there are many tricks to learn. 

If you are confident and eager enough to learn more techniques then I got these maneuvers for you. These maneuvers may take another 100 hours to learn.

  • Bottom turn 

Bottom Turn is a hard technique to get to the grips with. A good bottom turn is necessary for advanced surfing. 

To do a bottom turn you need to find a good wave to surf on. And the timing should be perfect. You have to use your hand and bend your knees as well. 

  • Floater

It’s a technique where a surfer rides along with a breaking wave and floats down with it. It’s an easy technique but it’s quite difficult early on.

When you are trying this for learning it will feel amazing but doing it backhand will be much more difficult for the early learner.

  • Off the top

It’s a technique where you have to drive up to the bottom of a wave and then flow back to the bottom.

This technique requires a good bottom turn to gain the speed to reach the top and then a perfect balancing to ride down to the bottom.

It’s almost the same as ‘off the lip’. But the ‘off the lip’ technique is a little bit crucial and it’s done at the edge of a breaking wave. 

  • Cutback

The cutback is a technique to make a U-turn and get back to the point where the wave breaks to get more speed. You might feel easy doing it backhanded but you need a perfect balance to do it.

The given guide should be helpful for you. Now we’ll be heading towards learning some faqs.


Q: How many lessons does it take to learn to surf?

Ans: If you are learning the basics of surfing you need 3-4 basics. Those basics are mainly paddling, sitting and standing up on the board, duck Diving, and riding on a wave that is already broken.

Q: How long are you a beginner surfer?

Ans: You are still a beginner if you can’t take off and ride on an unbroken wave. When you are enough skilled to ride on an unbroken wave then you are no more a beginner. 

Q: Do surfers live longer?

Ans: Those who sunbathe on the beach generally live a bit longer. Sunbathing makes you healthy and surfing will make you fit.

If a person surf regularly it will lower the incidence of non-heart diseases related deaths. Overall surfers have a little bit longer life than normal people.

Q: What is the best age to start surfing?

Ans: Surfing has no age to start. Even a 5year old kid can start learning to surf. But age between 7 to 9 years is the best age to start surfing. 

But there is no need to worry about how old are you. There is no age specified for learning to surf. You can start surfing at any age.

Q: Do I need to know about swimming for surfing?

Ans: There’s is no need to be a pro swimmer to be a surfer. But you need to know about swimming. They’re a chance to fall from the board to the water. If you don’t know how to swim, you may drown under the water. 

Final Verdict

So, I hope now you know everything about the time range to learn surfing. Well, the main thing is already spoken – the more you practice the faster you will master. 

So, if you are really willing to learn, follow the guide I have explained. Hopefully, it will work well. Also, I would recommend you seek help from a professional trainer.

Or you can watch some youtube videos for better understanding. That’s all for now. All the best for your new surfing career.

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