Summertime’s unique approach and exceptional attitude have made “green shirt instructors” a mainstay up and down the Jersey Shore. While it is true that “the best surfer is the one having the most fun,” there are four clear levels of surfing expertise. Students will find that as they progress through the stages of development, there is always something meaningful to learn.
How To Identify Your Level
Knowing your level of surfing expertise is crucial to finding the best Summertime Program for you.
During a surfer’s skills progression, they will advance through 4 stages of development. The amount of time that it takes to move through the stages depends on the student as everyone progresses at their own pace.
Check out how the infographic below and scroll down for helpful details to understand which programs are best for who!
Level 1 – Beginner
“The best place to get started with the surf lifestyle.”
Beginner programs are for true beginners with minimal experience and understanding of how to read the ocean.
- Stoked adults can move past the beginner stage as quickly as four classes, but most will succeed in around a dozen classes. Physical fitness is a huge component of progression, and advancing surf-specific fitness levels is the fastest way to reach the next level.
- Stoked kids ages (7-14) can graduate from the beginner stage by working hard during their week(s) of camp. We recommend a 2-week camp commitment for stoked young surfers, preferably for consecutive weeks. As they grow and their strength develops, many kids who attend camp recurring summers gain the confidence and skills to be ready for next-step programs within 3 summers. Of course, some kids have the talent to progress faster than others, and for some, one week is all they need to gain an understanding of the fundamentals and be ready for next-step programming.
- Keikis “little ones” ages 4-6 are usually not physically developed enough to move from the beginner stage. That being said, there are some very special exceptions to that and we are very proud to work with them.
Level 1 Programs:
Level 2 – Intermediate
“It wasn’t until I learned so much, that I realized how much I had to learn”
Level 2 is an area that students can expect to spend a lot of time in. This is where surfers become independent, and start to develop consistency in their successes.
- Have grasped the fundamentals and possess a basic understanding of reading the ocean
- Can perform the “four P’s”, from positioning to pop up
- May not be consistently catching their own waves yet, but have attempted to, and with an instructor’s help can consistently get to their feet and ride the wave.
- Level 2 Surfers are consistently finding success:
- Safely entering and exiting the water independently
- Paddling past the breaking waves to the lineup independently
- Level 2 Surfers are starting to find success :
- Catching their own waves and making the drop in clean conditions with waves as big as stomach high
- Repositioning themselves in the lineup to catch waves even with a light to moderate current
- Showing control of their surfboard while riding straight in the whitewater
- Cutting down the line (to the right or left) on the open face of the wave
Level 2 programs:
Level 3 – Advanced
“The better you surf, the more fun you can have.”
Level 3 surfers have made the most difficult step and have become fully independent surfers. They have progressed from riding straight towards the beach to comfortably surfing down the line in either direction. Some surfers will remain at this level for their entire lives and enjoy surfing intermediate-advanced breaks around the world.
- Have their own equipment that suits their ability level
- Surf independently outside of coaching sessions and is comfortable in waves up to chest/shoulder high in most conditions
- Level 3 Surfers are consistently finding success:
- Keeping full control of their surfboard and can stay in position against a strong current
- Reading the lineup and positioning themselves in critical areas to catch waves. They can also get themselves out of a hazardous situation independently
- Demonstrating competent wave selection
- Attempting some advanced maneuvers such as the bottom turn, speed trimming, and cutbacks
- Level 3 Surfers are starting to find success:
- Working toward confidence and consistency in your execution of the bottom turn, trimming, and cutback
Level 3 programs:
Level 4 – Performance
“The Best wave of your life is still out there.”
Level 4 surfers are pushing themselves to find their limits.
Level 4 Surfers:
- Are comfortable in waves up to head high in all conditions and have the skills to push their surfing in bigger conditions under the guidance of coaches
- Can read the ocean well and demonstrate good positioning and wave selection the majority of the time
- Have a basic understanding of the body mechanics associated with different maneuvers and can make adjustments based on feedback from coaches
- Have surfed on a variety of different equipment, and can demonstrate above-average board control in almost any conditions
Level 4 programs: