Knowing your skill level is a good resource to communicate your experience when taking surf lessons. When a new student arrives at our Kailua surf center we always ask about their current capacity, since he/she perhaps already tried to learn alone or previously took classes at other schools. With that information we can begin to work, developing a program designed to maximize your progress.
As well Being able to communicate your current skill and experience to us before you arrive at Kailua Surf Simply allows us to plan your week of coaching to maximise your progress. “Intermediate” can mean anything from a few days, to a few decades of surfing, so instead we use the level 1-3 system. When you’re here, you’ll be learning along side one or two other surfers who are at the same level as you. 


Level one coaching begins in the forgiving white water. You won’t be out of your depth until your comfortable to do so. You’ll learn how to select and catch waves unassisted; how to stall and accelerate the board; the difference between trimming and carving turns; and the functional stance which will allow you to perform big turns and progress onto catching unbroken waves during your stay.
First Stage: All the surf lessons can be done in the whitewater (once the wave has broken and shifted into foam). In this phase we will begin to acquire the basic skills in a fun and gentle way, thus we never enter a certain depth. The student will learn how to select and catch waves without help, how to stop and accelerate the board, the difference between different types of turns, and most importantly the “functional stance“, which is crucial in the basic stage of learning to surf since it is the key to progression.


  • Moving the board properly in the basic lying position (Prone position) and learning to handle the board dynamically and functional. “fluctuation balance
  • Paddling: Progressive from less to more and allowing you to take the foam/ waves alone. Understanding the acceptance of the wave energy and the physical forces at work in this process.
  • Take-off: Setting foot on the board, adapted to each person according to their skills and biomechanics.
  • Basic standing posture: “functional stance” feet in the accurate place, knees bent, back straight and arms in front of the trunk..
  • Surfing the whitewate: Go straight to the shore with the weight well distributed on the board.
  • Whitewater skirting: Moving to one direction, going left or right (front- or backside to the wave)
  • Drills: Basic exercises for mobility


Level 2 surfers can comfortably stand on the board and are focusing on catching unbroken waves.  The surf lessons will focus on the point of paddling past the whitewater and starting to catch waves before they break. The student will learn how to paddle in different ways beginning to understand the negotiation of waves efficiently and safely “out the back“. Selecting and catching continuous waves that are coming in series, understanding the surf etiquette (knowledge about priorities, surf ethics, etc), how to deal with security and confidence any situation that may come up and positioning yourself correctly at the peak to reach the selected wave are some of the abilities you will acquire.


  • Maneuvers to reach the line-up, do good duck-diving and climbing back up. Good use of the existing currents.
    • Take off: Catching waves before they break. Drops with the weight forward.
    • Bottom turn: Well bent and hand carrying (back) to touch the water.
    • Peak location: Correct positioning in the surf.
    • Tugs/speed: coordinated flexion/extension movements to accelerate.
    • Reading waves: Going all the time for the right part of the wave looking for the steepest part.
    • Knowledge and application of the priority rules in the peak.
    • Technical language about skills or surfing maneuvers.


Level 3 surfers can consistently catch head high waves without assistance. So most of the coaching is done with the video camera, allowing you to see what you are doing on the face. We start with how to find the fastest trimming line, then how, why and when to perform horizontal carving changes of direction (cutbacks), then it’s about climbing on top of breaking sections (floaters). The surf lessons include learning how, why and when to perform basic maneuvers in the face of the wave. Understanding movement phases within the turns through the wave to finding the fastest line. Understanding the lines will make you progress beyond your expectations, and you begin to benefit from maneuvers such as cut-back, re-entry, floaters y snaps. Here, classes start to be recorded to facilitate learning those lines. Furthermore, the personal search of your own style starts here.


  • Basic maneuvers: Controlled at the end of the wave (re-entry, floater).
  • Look/rotation: Start of the maneuver, arms accompanying the gaze (where you want to go).).
  • Reception: Centered, flexed and compact, facing the shore.
  • Smart Surfing: Uniting speed, fluidity, coordination and control.
  • Diversity of maneuvers: Mastery of basic maneuvers (re-entry, floater, snap, cut-back).
  • Frontside & backside: Surfing correctly for both sides, left and right.