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Frequently Asked questions


Below is a list of commonly asked questions about surf lessons at Serene Waters and about surfing for beginners. If you have any other specific questions not covered on this page then don't hesitate to reach out. I am available over text message or a phone call. Whether you intend to sign up with our school or not I am always happy to help! We teach lessons in Newport Beach, Dana Point, and San Clemente, CA

Image by Tim Marshall

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) that are commonly associated with surf lessons:

  1. Do I need any prior experience to take surf lessons?

    • Surf lessons are designed for first timers, beginners, and intermediates, so no prior experience is necessary.

  2. Do I need my own surfboard and wetsuit, or can I borrow equipment? Does this cost extra?

    • Our surf school provides all the necessary equipment: a soft top surfboard, leash, and a wetsuit. This equipment is included in the cost of the lesson. We do not charge additional fees for the equipment. However, the equipment will be turned in at the end of the lesson.

    • We can make local shop recommendations if you would like to rent gear at cost to keep for multiple days.

  3. How long does a surf lesson usually last?

    • The duration of surf lessons can vary, but they often last around 1 to 2 hours. The suit up and ground school is apart of our 2 hr lesson curriculum. 

  4. What will be covered in a surf lesson?

    • Surf lessons cover basic techniques, safety guidelines, paddling, getting up on the board, and catching waves.

  5. How much do surf lessons cost and why do you charge that rate?

    • Our pricing ranges from $125-$199 for a private and group lessons depending on the number of students, location, and length of the lesson.

    • We are offering private tailored surf lessons that include well-maintained surf equipment (brands such as Storm Blade, BruSurf, Buell Wetsuits, Ripcurl, and Xcel) experienced attentive instruction, and a safe guest experience.

    • It's essential to consider more than just the price. Schools offering lower prices may have drawbacks such as worn-out surfboards, improper gear dimensions, lower-quality wetsuits, and a less favorable instructor-to-student ratio. Additionally, opting for lower-priced lessons may mean being placed in larger groups with less experienced and potentially overworked instructors, especially during busy seasons.

  6. What should I wear for a surf lesson? What else should I bring to the session?

    • Wear a swimsuit or athletic wear under the wetsuit provided by our surf school. Bring a towel, sunblock (for your face), drinking water, and dry clothes for after the lesson (warm layers if it's winter or a windy/cloudy day).

  7. Are surf lessons suitable for all ages?

    • For one-on-one lessons, we have worked with kids as young as 5 and adults in their 70s. For group lessons, we recommend ages 8 and up with competent swimming abilities.

  8. What is the instructor-to-student ratio in surf lessons?

    • For our private individual lessons, we have a 1:1 student-to-instructor ratio. A lower instructor-to-student ratio allows for more personalized attention. For our private group lessons and camps, we range from a 2:1 to a 4:1 student-to-instructor ratio depending on group size, ocean conditions, and student abilities.

  9. Will I stand up and ride a wave my first day?

    • Most students get up and ride waves on their first day. For those that don't, there are always areas to improve on that we can address during our time together.

    • Everyone's starting point looks different based on their age, health, and water experience. We will set goals for the lesson based on your abilities.

  10. What happens if the weather conditions are not favorable?

    • Surf lessons are often dependent on weather and wave conditions. We reschedule or offer alternatives if conditions are not ideal. We will often issue refunds if students do not live local and don't have the flexibility to reschedule.

  11. Do I need to book surf lessons in advance?

    • It's recommended to book surf lessons in advance, especially during peak seasons, to ensure availability.

  12. Is there a weight limit for participants in surf lessons?

    • The largest suit that we carry is men's 2XL, which can fit individuals up to about 240 lbs. Some local shops do rent out 3XL+ if needed. The smallest suit we carry is a kids 8. We have had students of all ages and sizes and have never turned anyone away. Sometime less common sizes just need to be obtained at a rental shop which we have coordinated in the past.

  13. What safety measures are in place during surf lessons?

    • Instructors will cover basic ocean safety, non-verbal communication signals, and remain in the water with you for the duration of the lesson. Lead instructors are CPR & First Aid certified. We tend to customize our level of attention based on individual needs and what ocean conditions look like during that session.

  14. Is there a refund policy if I need to cancel my surf lesson?

    • When rain or unsafe ocean conditions occur, we do issue a full refund. With adequate notice (24-48 hrs), we do allow reschedules if we have availability to do so (pickings can be slim during the peak season, i.e., summer and other major school holidays). If a package of lessons or a gift card is purchased, we do not issue refunds. They can be rescheduled or even regifted. Packages and gift cards expire 1 year after purchase.

  15. Do I need to know how to swim to take surf lessons?

    • While knowing how to swim is beneficial, many surf lessons take place in shallow waters, and participants can wear flotation devices. For someone who cannot swim, we only work 1 on 1 with them during exceptionally calm ocean conditions.
  16. I know there is so much more information that beginners may want to know. If that is the case please reach out if you need more info. (949) 464-7123 Text or phone call is best we also use WhatsApp and e-mail We teach lessons in San Clemente, Dana Point, & Newport Beach, California
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