There are many surf lesson operators in Orange County, so how do you narrow it down to the best one and where do you go?
You basically have 4 locations to choose from.
Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, and San Clemente
In Newport Beach and Huntington Beach, from what I've seen as an everyday surfer and surf school observer, you get a short lesson in white water waves and a lot of walking in shallow water with short wave lengths. Don't get me wrong, riding the white water is a nice way to learn but it can either:
A) Get old after a while and you're going to want to move to the next step pretty quickly.
B) You're going to repeatedly have waves crashing on you in shallow water and you will not be able to make it past a certain point. This can become a bit tiring with non-stop water in the face.
This video shows how this style of teaching can go:
In Laguna Beach at California Surf Experience we have an expert staff and perform a detailed beach instruction so that we can take you straight to the green waves with the safety of sitting out past the breakers. Meaning you're riding a wave before it breaks and turns into white water. This is a safe way to learn and way more fun for both a single person and a whole group. This is even great for kids, as they get the real surfing experience instead of just splashing around and falling in white water with constant waves crashing on them.
Also after your first lesson riding the outside green waves in Laguna Beach, you can be at a way higher level of surfing at the end of the lesson than you'll be after any other ordinary white water lesson, because you're learning how to paddle out, not walk out through the white water. You're learning how to read the ocean and catch waves. The following day or next lesson you could take part of one of our daily surf guiding adventures to a longer wave like the famous San Onofre State Beach. Here you can take what you have learned in the Laguna Beach surf lesson instead and surf some more quality advanced waves in just a few days of learning.
Here is a video of a group that took a beginner lesson in Laguna Beach
The waves were really small that day but we focused on paddling out and catching waves with the surf instructors close by. The in depth teaching meant that the next day they could be on their own in some longer waves.
The following day we took off on a surf guided adventure where the surfers were catching waves mostly on their own. They were riding really long waves and enjoyed a full all inclusive day at the beach, trying new boards and really taking it to the next level. ONE DAY LATER... CRAZY! This is unheard of for a second time surfing, so it's really important to choose the surf school with the best guides. Here is the video of day two
So there you have it: a break down on beginner surf lessons in Orange County from someone who has taught surfing for years, surfed all over the world competitively, and studied various surf instruction techniques by visiting surf camps all over the world.
California is an iconic place to learn how to surf. If you're interested in learning from the best in the beautiful city of Laguna Beach, California, here you go!