Your first surfing lesson in Spain: everything you need to know

Before starting your first surfing lesson in Spain, there are many things you should know: Where to book a surf course for beginners? Is it better to start surfing in the north or the south of Spain? How should I dress for my first surf lesson in Spain? 

All these questions will be clarified in our article.

The first day of surfing in Spain

Before the lesson

A surf instructor in Spain walks to the beach with 2 teenagers.
©Ocean Life Surf School

The only thing you really need for your first surf lesson is a swimsuit. The wetsuit and of course the surfboard will be provided by the surf school

Once you arrive at the beach where the surf school is located, your instructor will give you your wetsuit and your surfboard, based on your height and weight. 

What to bring

  • Swimwear & towel
  • Flip flops
  • Dry clothes and swimwear
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle

During the lesson on the beach

The participants of a surf course in Spain train on the beach.
©Ocean Life Surf School

Once you are ready, you will head down to the sand and the actual lesson can begin. The instructor will explain how to properly tie the board to the ankle, how to find your balance on the board, how to to stand up on the board, how to get back on the board after a fall and other theoretical things such as learning about the beach itself and the waves. After the instructor has answered all your questions, a short warm-up phase will begin. This will help to avoid injuries.

During the lesson at sea

Now it’s time to put into practice what the instructor has shown you during the theory lesson. You will try to balance on the board and ride your first waves. But don’t be intimidated if it seems difficult, you will improve quickly. 

After your first lesson you will be able to:

  • Ride a wave lying down
  • Bodyboard
  • Stand upright as you surf very small waves close to the beach

After the lesson

A participant in a surfing course in Spain tries to stand up on the board.
©Calima Surf Lanzarote

After the lesson is over, you can shower at the surf school, and head back to the hotel, rest up, and recharge your energy for the next day’s lesson. For beginners, a course of at least 3 consecutive days is recommended.

After 3 days, your skill set should include: 

  • The ability to catch small waves 
  • Knowledge about the surfing conditions e.g. tide and wind, and 
  • The ability to surf waves near the shoreline

After 5 days, you will have developed your skills to the point where: 

  • You’ll be able to turn on the wave 
  • You will understand the currents 
  • You will know how to move in the ocean
  • You’ll be able to go out a little further into the sea

… and surfing in Spain for children? 

Children can also surf in the water. The minimum age is normally 6 years, sometimes 5. Spanish surfing instructors are very well trained to work with children and will teach children in a fun and playful way.

Book a surf lesson in Spain

Canary islands or Mainland?

Before booking your first surf lesson in Spain, it is important to decide whether to stay on the mainland, the best spots being on the Atlantic coast in the north,t or go to the Canary Islands. In both cases, the lessons will take place in the Atlantic Ocean. However, the water temperature is definitely more pleasant in the Canary Islands. 

Another thing to consider is that, in the north, the waves are only suitable for beginners in the summer, whereas in the Canaries, the conditions are perfect for beginners all year round because the waves are low. 

Here are some great spots for beginners, both in the north and the south.

Escuela Cántabra de Surf Quiksilver RoxyCantabriaSomo Beach
Ocean Life Surf SchoolTenerifeLas Americas Beach
Prado Surf A LanzadaGaliciaPlaya de A Lanzada
Calima Surf LanzaroteLanzaroteCosta Teguise, Puerto del Carmen or Caleta de Famara

If you want to know which are the best places to take surf lessons in Spain, read our article: The 5 best spots to surf in Spain as a beginner

Private or group lessons?

In Spain, surf schools offer group courses for a maximum of 5-6 people. This allows the instructor to supervise and guide all participants in a safe and targeted manner. However, if you’re looking for more flexibility and want to learn faster through more focused teaching, a private instructor is recommended. 

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