WHAT’S MY LEVEL OF SURFING?

Katja Verreydt Beginner surfing

Although in surfing, we prefer not to measure by skills, it is important to have a look at where you’re at to know what you need to take the next step. In surfing, much like other sports, practice makes perfect and progressing in the surf takes time. The more you surf, the faster you will improve. Let’s see what level surfer you are.

Level 1 Surfer

A level one surfer will generally be found in waist deep water on whitewash waves using a foam board. If you’re at this level, you’ve had an introduction to surfing and are just starting to learn the basics. You are not quite yet comfortable catching your own green waves or surfing independently. Booking a beginner learn to surf lesson, you will learn how to select and catch waves with the assistance of a coach as well as how to pop up correctly on the board, how to fall off the board safely, and the basic rules of surfing etiquette.

Level 2 Surfing

A level 2 surfer can comfortably paddle through the whitewash waves on their own and are able to stand up and control the board for at least 3 seconds. Level two surfers are focusing on correcting the pop-up technique and keen to catch unbroken waves. In this level you will learn about wave selection, work on starting to attempt bottom turns, angle your take off and create speed on the waves. This level will put to practice your surf etiquette and test your ability to confidently and safely deal with any situation that may occur.

Level 3 Surfing

A level 3 surfer – also called intermediate - can catch waves without assistance. This level is ideal for surfers who find themselves easily standing up and riding a wave all the way to shore and who feel ready to progress to attempting manoeuvres on the waves. Coaches are usually not in the water anymore as level 3 surfers should be able to independently navigate themselves in the surf. In level three we start to learn how and when to perform more complex manoeuvres, such as a cutback. Surfing WA Surfschool, offers regular training sessions where a street board is used to simulate manoeuvres or as a warm up before hitting the water.

Level 4 Surfing

A level four surfer is very confident in the surf and is able to perform manoeuvres, in the critical part of the wave with speed, power and flow. In this level, your coach will identify areas of improvement and work with you to correct these. You will learn skills and manoeuvres that are relevant to your current ability and that will help you progress as an individual. The objective of this level is to leave the surfer clear about the areas they need to improve on and the ways in which they can do this.

Photo: Oliver Sjostrom