Surfing in Ericeira as a beginner

Tips for your ultimate first surf vacation

The small pebbles, the delicious smell of fresh bread and pleasant chatter of the local Portuguese while the muscular surf dudes prepare their boards to catch the first wave. Something like that, so to speak. That’s my idea of going to learn to surf in Ericeira. After my flight from Barcelona to Lisbon, picking up the car we arrived in Ericeira. A cute little fishing village that has surprisingly still managed to retain its own charm despite the large influx of surfers. At least, in October. I was in Ericeira to learn how to surf.

For years it had been on my list to learn it. When I was in Australia in 2011 I really wanted to, only….I was afraid of sharks. My imagination took a run at me too easily by placing great white sharks in the waves that would devour me as I paddled on my board like a helpless puppy. Even in Costa Rica, we didn’t take the time to learn. Finally, now I thought to myself: I’m going to do it! Come on Danique. Ticket booked and there I was with a friend in Ericeira. Portugal. One of the best places in Portugal to learn to surf.

surfing in Ericeira Portugal

Through Booking we had booked a nice room in an apartment where we shared the bathroom. We had our own shared kitchen and apart from not being able to turn on the kettle and a pan on the stove at the same time (fuses blew), it was all fine. Right in the center (read: do bring your earplugs, as there is a pub opposite) so close to everything. And then our search began: what is a good surf school in Ericeira for us beginners?

What is a good surf school in Ericeira for beginners?

Of course I had already done a little online search for surf schools, Dutch that I am, so I would have some idea of the prices. On average, a surf lesson costs around 35 euros per hour, which is a lot cheaper than what I have seen in northern Spain (50 to 60 euros per hour).

In the end, we were recommended Activity Surf Center , right in the center of Ericeira. Once there, we were welcomed by Lili and Levi. Center teachers. Super kind and spontaneous and in the end we decided to do 1 lesson first and if it was liked then book 3 more lessons. No sooner said than done. They teach in English and Portuguese. In the end, we liked the lessons so much that we booked the lessons with them. I didn’t think I would enjoy surfing in Ericeira so much! But I thought it was top notch!

surfing in Ericeira Portugal

What does a surf lesson look like?

My first surf lesson went something like this: we arrived and had to try on a wetsuit first. I got an m in my hands and I thought, don’t know about that, but I’m pretty tall compared to the teacher who also had an m. I wriggle in, no way, not really nice and smooth so to speak. When I would bend over I was afraid I would rip out of my pantsie. Still an L. It was a good fit.

By the way, you can just put on your bikini underneath. After the fitting, we went along and walked to Ericeira beach in the harbor. Not super nice, but conveniently close and the water was already full of surfers.

We were given a warm up and an explanation of how to stand on your board. Here’s the theory:

  1. look ahead, during all the following actions
  2. lie down on your stomach
  3. place your hands flat at the level of your chest with your fingers pointing straight ahead
  4. then you put your feet upright, then you push yourself up and start “planking” (all this at a retarded speed, of course)
  5. Then you put your (depending on what your preferred foot is) back leg firmly in the back
  6. If your leg is firm then super quickly place your other foot in front of your back foot.
  7. up and hands point toward the shore
  8. Surf it…(in theory)

Sounds easy doesn’t it? It then looks something like this:

After instructions, we went straight into the water. Equal practice right? The first day the waves (in retrospect) were the best. Not too high, not too hard. Exactly right.

But even though I knew how to do it in theory….it usually went that way:

But I finally manage to stand the next day!

The third time I went to try, the waves were quite difficult (for me as a beginner). And I didn’t manage to really stand for more than 2 seconds.

My friend, on the other hand, was a natural, she was already standing with the first try! And remained consistent about it. Ok ok, the last day was also more difficult for her with the wilder sea. The secret according to her? She does a lot of yoga and that gave her a lot of balance and strength in the shoulders. So I think I’ll pick that up again.

surfing in Ericeira Portugal

Training before surfing

Want more tips on how to get well laid? In my experience, you need to get quite a bit of strength from your arms and shoulders, so train these muscle groups especially when you want to learn to surf:

  • shoulders
  • triceps
  • back
  • belly
  • push ups and planks

So in addition, yoga is very good for getting your core stability right. Have you ever surfed? And how did you like it? Will you be learning to surf in Ericeira soon?

After lessons every day, sometimes it’s nice to do something other than surf, just for variety. Discover the best sights, restaurants and tips in and around Ericeira.

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