Typically, you only need a coach if you want to become a professional. If your goal is to become a pro runner, boxer, or baller, you’re going to need an experienced coach to guide you. If you just want to jog for fun, box for exercise, and play basketball with friends, it’s not necessary.
Surfing is the exception, though. It’s one of the few sports where lessons and a coach are essential even if you’re focusing on exercise and entertainment as opposed to competition.
There are exceptions, of course, but in this guide, we’ll show you why surf coaches are important and can make your life considerably easier.
Why You Should Hire a Surf Coach
We said that you don’t need lessons when you’re just playing sport for fun, but that’s just because you have a reference point in those sports.
For example, imagine that you’re playing basketball for the first time. You have never held a ball before, no one has told you how to play, and all you have is a printed copy of the basic rules.
You know that it’s important to bounce the ball. You know that the purpose is to get the ball through the hoop. But if you’re new to the sport, your natural instinct will be to throw overhand or underhand when aiming for the hoop.
It’s only natural to shoot from the chest because that’s what you’ve been told, that’s what you’ve seen on TV.
The same is true for countless other sports.
With surfing, however, the only reference point that the average person has is, “You stand on the board, and ride the wave somehow”.
It’s barebones, and it’s not enough.
Surf coaching will guide you through the basics. Your surf coach will show you how to get on the board, maintain your balance, paddle out to the waves, and ride them safely.
That stuff doesn’t come naturally, and so you need surf instructors to show you the ropes.
How Much Does Surf Coaching Cost?
The average surf lesson costs anywhere from $20 to $100 and will run for between 1 and 2 hours. It depends on where you live, how popular surfing is in your area, and how skilled the surf instructor is.
Whether you’re being taught 1-on-1 or with many other surfers will impact the price, as well, but more surfers will also provide you with less of an intensive and personalized lesson.
The Benefits of Surf Coaches
Aside from the obvious, there are three main benefits of hiring a surf coach.
The first is that they will shorten the learning curve, helping you to become a capable surfer much sooner than if you were to skip surf coaching.
The second benefit is that a surf instructor will help you over the frustrating failures that you experience as a beginner. They will teach you the things that make surfing easier and more enjoyable, and in doing so, it will be less likely that you will quit and toss that new surfboard into your dusty basement along with your unused electric guitar and old children’s toys.
The final benefit of surf instructors is that you have a greater chance of meeting other surfers.
Surf camp is great for this, but you can also participate in group surf lessons. You will meet other surfers who are at the same level as you, making them the perfect companions. You can support each other when you’re on the waves, and that encouragement is essential for keeping you interested and ensuring that you continue to learn.
Skipping Surf Lessons
Whether you’re hiring an expert surf coach, booking a place at surf camp, or joining group lessons, it’s clear that surf coaching will provide you with many benefits.
But what happens if you don’t have the cash for surf coaching, or you can’t find any decent instructors nearby?
In such cases, you can learn everything that you need from YouTube. There are a lot of great coaches on the platform and most of them provide expert tips for beginners and intermediate surfers.
You will learn all of the basics, and while it’s not quite as beneficial as having someone alongside you, it’s definitely better than nothing.
You can even ask your friend to record you when you’re on the waves. That way, you can see how you climb on the board, how you stand, and how you ride. You can conduct your own video analysis after each session, giving you an idea of what you’re doing wrong and where you need to improve.