At Aqua Surf, safety is our first priority! Our team of expert surf instructors teaches with important values in mind. Students of all ages have a fun and lasting experience learning with Aqua Surf. It is normal to have many wonderful questions, especially when just looking for “surf lessons near me.” We wish to provide students with an abundance of information, so the surfing experience is an unforgettable adventure. Please find the detailed list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) below. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions, or just wish to chat.

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General Questions

What is the best time for a surf lesson? Morning, afternoon, or early evening?

Mornings are generally the best. Afternoons can be fun too, but conditions change throughout the day. We are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Aqua Surf staff regularly checks incoming swells, tides, and winds to determine optimal conditions for your skill level. Our staff will contact you 24 hours before your scheduled lesson if the weather or other conditions are unfavorable.

How long are package lessons?

Package lessons are 90 minutes each.

How much time do you recommend for our surf lesson? 90 minutes or 2 hours?

We suggest 2-hour lessons for more water time to catch more waves (especially if it’s your first time surfing). 90 minutes may be suitable for kids under 7 years old.

Is it safe?

Safety is our first priority. All of our surf instructors are experienced in the ocean, certified in CPR and first-aid, and trained in emergency response procedures. We want this to be an experience you will cherish forever, so feel free to contact us for more on our safety standards.

How many classes should I take before surfing on my own?

Everyone is different.  We suggest discussing this with your instructor after your first lesson, but if you are a beginner, we recommend taking 6-9 lessons before attempting a solo surf session.  Taking 6-9 lessons will help you build the skills you’ll need to navigate waves with confidence.

Can we rent equipment without taking a lesson?

Yes, however, we recommend taking at least one lesson before renting equipment.  We charge $45/day per board and $30/day per wetsuit. Rentals are available as early as sunrise and can be returned as late as sunset nearly every day of the year. Overnight rentals are charged for an additional day.

Can we rent equipment after our lesson?

Yes.  We charge $45/day for boards and $30/day for wetsuits. We run from sunrise to sunset nearly every day of the year. Overnight rentals are charged for an additional day.

What do I need to bring to the lesson?

For your lesson, pack sunscreen, a bathing suit, a water bottle, a beach towel, and a snack.  You will receive an email with this list after completing your reservation. Wetsuits and surfboards are provided, but you are welcome to bring personal gear instead.

Do I need to rent or bring any surf equipment?

Aqua Surf provides all necessary equipment for your lesson. We supply top-of-the-line soft top surfboards and wetsuits in a variety of sizes.  Please contact us directly with special requests.

What if I'm late for my surf lesson?

Your instructor may be flexible, however, lost time may not be made up.  We highly recommend you show up to your appointment on time and call us if you are running late.

Can I take my own photos?

Absolutely. We want our students to capture this exciting moment. For safety purposes, however, we ask that you leave your cameras on the sand when we transition to the water. We also request that you refrain from commercial photography or videography unless previously discussed and approved by Aqua Surf School.

Scheduling & Rescheduling Lessons

Can I get a refund if I cancel a lesson?

We have a $49 cancellation fee. Please see our full refund policy for more information.

Do I have to be a certain age to learn to surf?

Surfing is for all ages. We have taught kids as young as four years old and adults beyond eighty. We welcome students ages 4-94.

How clean is the area where you teach?

We do our part to keep the beach clean by participating in regular beach cleanups. We also enforce a strict clean-up policy at our beach locations.  Our team’s motto is to always leave the beach cleaner than when we came. Additionally, we pay our government 15% to 20% in surcharge fees from every person taught. These fees help fund the government’s ability to maintain a clean beach environment. Our Santa Monica Beach location regularly receives an A+ Wet and Dry rating from the Heal the Bay Beach Report Card.


How can I sign up?

The best way to make a reservation is through our website. For assistance, call us at 310-902-7737

Does every participant (children, teens, and adults) need to fill out the release form?

Yes, each participant must have their own release form filled out and turned in before the lesson.  A parent or guardian must sign the release forms of participants under the age of 18.

What payment options are available? Can I pay when I get there?

Credit card payments are preferable, but we also accept checks and cash.  If you are paying with cash or check, you can bring the payment to our office beforehand.  If booking day-of, we can take cash payment on the beach. Same day payments can also be made over the phone via credit card, or online via our website. Priority is always given to those who register in advance.


If we really liked our last instructor, can we request to have them again?

Yes! If your requested instructor is available, we will assign them to your lesson.

I want to advance my skills and learn more advanced maneuvers. Do you have an instructor that can coach me?

Yes, we have instructors suited to teach all skill levels.  When reserving a lesson, note your specific goals in the “tell us about yourself/group notes section” so we can pair you with an appropriate instructor.

Do you have any instructors who speak Spanish?

Yes, you have the option to have your lesson taught in Spanish. However, our bilingual staff is in high demand, so please try to reserve your appointment online and in advance. Please request a Spanish-speaking instructor when you set up your appointment or contact us.

How many instructors are assigned to each lesson?

Generally one instructor will be assigned to each lesson. You may request an additional instructor for your lesson for $99. We normally maintain a three to one instructor to student water ratio, so if your group is larger a rotation may be implemented.  If conditions are poor, we will hire an additional instructor for no additional cost.


Where does Aqua Surf teach? Which location would you suggest?

We offer a number of locations including Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and many others throughout Southern California.  We often recommend Santa Monica, because it offers a safe and fun environment for beginners. View our full list of surf lessons locations.

What if I want to change my lesson location after booking?

We try to be as flexible as possible. Please contact us and we will do our best to accommodate any rescheduling requests.

Is there parking? What if I am picking up/dropping off?

Yes, all of our locations allow metered or street parking. We will provide you with directions and a map after you sign up.

The beaches in L.A. are so big, how will I find my instructor?

Your instructor will meet you at our Aqua Surf van or truck. Please refer to the directions in your confirmation email. Also feel free to contact us if you need additional help on the day of, or check your email for your instructor’s phone number.

Beach Conditions

Isn’t it too cold to surf in the winter?

Not at all. Our wetsuits will keep you warm when the water is cold.

Do I have to wear anything under my wetsuit?

The wetsuits are a snug fit, so you’ll want to wear lycra, tight briefs, a bikini, or a one-piece.

What if surf conditions are unfavorable?

When the weather and/or ocean conditions are unsafe, we will reschedule your lesson, credit your account for a future rescheduling, or issue a complete refund.


Do I have to use my lesson package consecutively?

No, you can book your lessons for any available day and time until your package expires.

Do you offer packages for birthday parties?

Yes. Birthday Surf Parties provide an exciting safe atmosphere for party-goers to celebrate while learning something new. Please contact us with the date, party size, ages of the participants (are they kids, teens, or adults).


Can my surf experience be photographed/recorded?

Yes. We offer photo packages starting at $150 and video packages starting at $300. Our in-house photographer will edit and email your package to you within 1-2 weeks of your lesson.

Are there any perks for returning customers?

 If you join our email list, and follow our social media you will have the opportunity to take advantage of our special promotions regularly.

What are your office hours?

Our office can be reached via text, phone, or email from Monday-Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm.

What if someone in my party leaves an item behind?

The Instructors and beach administrators will collect any property left behind, but Aqua Surf School is not responsible for lost items. Please call ASAP if you believe you left an item on the beach.