FAQ

Got questions? Here are some answers…

What advice do you have for someone looking for a surf instructor?

Learning to surf is not easy and can be very frustrating; however, finding the right instructor can make all the difference. When selecting a surf program, be sure your instructors can actually surf and that they are willing to share their knowledge with you so that you can progress to the next level. Often times, instructors intentionally try to keep you at the beginner level so that you need to keep purchasing lessons.


There are other surf programs out there that seem cheaper. Why should I choose TSI?

The Surf Institute’s program is geared to get each student on the road to progress and success. This helps to insure that students are that much closer to independence and being able to feel comfortable paddling out into the lineup on their own. The Surf Institute specializes in assisting all ages, all genders, and all abilities. Our method is to encourage confidence, awareness, and patience, as well as all the techniques involved with riding waves.


What makes a good surf instructor?

The best instructors will make your success and safety a priority. They will not be focused on their own waves, but will give you detailed, constructive criticism so that you can improve your surfing skills. When searching for a surf instructor, be sure that the instructor has an adequate number of years surfing, at least 10 years or more. Just because they can paddle and stand up, doesn’t mean they are qualified to teach.


Surfing looks so amazing! What do I need to know before I make the commitment?

Some people have the misconception that surfing is effortless and that the waves just magically push you forward. Surfing is not easy. It requires some strength and lots of determination. You must actually paddle for the waves in order to catch and ride them. Some people are able to stand and ride right away, while others need more time to build their skill and technique. Nonetheless, surfing is a unique sport that, once you get stoked, you never want to stop!


What sort of services do you offer?

We focus mainly on private, one-on-one or small group instruction, which allows for a more intimate learning experience. Our coaches are dedicated to seeing that you have the most successful session possible. TSI is committed to providing quality instruction to all ages, genders, and abilities, with instructors who will customize their approach based on your needs.


Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?

The history and reputation garnered by TSI is unparalleled. Our method incorporates the various intelligences that each individual uniquely possesses. We are committed to offering our undivided attention, which means YOU will be getting all the good waves, not our instructors!


Are there sharks?

While it’d be nice to think that those men in the gray suits are far from us, the reality is we are in their environment! That said; however, the likelihood of witnessing a shark in a Northern LA County lineup is virtually nil. They are out there, but they are not interested in us and are the least of our worries!


Why did you become a surf instructor?

I’ve always had a knack for teaching. While in school with the goal of obtaining a teaching credential, I realized that my side job of teaching others the joy of surfing was far more lucrative and way less stressful than having to be in charge of 30+ school-aged children. It turned out to be a very smart decision!


Those who can’t do, teach. Is this true?

There are all sorts of people out there claiming to be surf instructors. Some are good surfers, some are not. While your instructor doesn’t necessarily have to be equivalent to Kelly Slater, he or she should be proficient at the sport. On the same token, not everybody has the ability to teach. What makes TSI stand out above the rest is the fact that we are not only great surfers, we are amazing teachers as well!