If you are interested in learning how to surf, our Surf School Portugal is located in the best possible place, boasting consistent ocean conditions and warm, pleasant weather all summer long. Portugal is Europe’s surfing center and has many impressive breaks, reefs and beaches with large, spectacular waves as well as small and medium wave beaches for all levels of surfer.
Our instructors know the best spots according to each individual’s skill level and have a combined experience of 30 years surfing. During this time they have come to know many of the globe’s top surf locations and have familiarized themselves with Portugal’s – and especially Ericeira’s – best spots. Each of our instructors is an expert in judging surf conditions, such as time and location, and all have a European license for surfing standards.
Your first surf lesson begins with an instructor teaching you the basics on how to handle a surfboard, paddle out, catch a wave and get to your feet.
Here are some fundamental steps you will start with at our camp:
Stance: Discover what kind of stance suits you best – left foot forward (natural) or right foot forward (goofy foot). Your stance can be practiced and simulated at home or on the sand.
Surf School Step One: Lie on your stomach on top of your board or on a towel with your body positioned in the middle of the board. Your feet should be near the tail or slightly hanging over it. The nose of the board should be level – not pointing up or down into the water. You can adjust this balance or position by moving your body forward or back by one inch.
Surf School Step Two: How to paddle properly. Paddling when surfing is like swimming a forward crawl, but your arms extend sideways rather than over your shoulders. Cup your hands so that they hold and force the water behind you. While one arm extends and pushes through the water down the length of the board, the other is lengthening behind on the opposite side.
Surf School Step Three: Picking and catching a wave. Position yourself so that you’re facing the beach and paddle forward along with the force of the wave in order to time yourself so you can catch it. Put your hands palm-down on the board in front of your chest in order to push yourself into a standing position. Those who have some difficulty getting to their feet can use their back leg or knee to help lift themselves up. Once standing up, keep your feet shoulder width apart with your back foot straight across the width of the board and your front foot at a 45-degree angle (measured from your instep). Keep your arms out for balance and steering and your knees slightly bent.
Now let’s look at some basic plans for actual surf lessons:
Surf Lesson 1
• Introduction to safety and beach awareness
• Surfing equipment explained
• Paddling technique
• How to catch a wave
• How to properly stand up/get to your feet
• How to control your board
Surf Lesson 2
• Standing up camp, riding your waves towards shore
• Accelerating and stalling techniques
• Pop up camp, refining your stance
Surf Lesson 3
• Backhand and forehand techniques
• Developing your style
• Surf awareness
Surf Lesson 4
• Linking your turns
• Enhancing your technique
Surf Lesson 5
• “Out of depth” waves, “out the back”
• Linking top and bottom turns
• Techniques for paddling out
• Getting through whitewater lines
Surf Lesson 6
• How to ride “green” or unbroken waves
• Sitting on your board
• How to make angled take offs
• Timing and selecting your waves
Surf Lesson 7
• How to make back and forehand turns on the face of the wave
• Positioning yourself in the lineup
• Using rip currents
• Refining your timing and selection of waves
• Surfing with hardboards