August 19, 2022

How to know if you’ve chosen a bad surf school

When you do not have the experience and competence to give an adequate assessment of what is happening

When I was skating, a group of three newbies with a local Moroccan instructor swam to the spot.

Well, or instead, how, I saw the newbies on the software right away, but to figure out who they were with, I had to work hard because he didn’t follow them at all; he rode himself, joked jokes, sang songs.

I looked at him. I thought: “Dude, you seem pretty sure the job of a surf instructor is to show everyone that surfing is cool. Actually, no.”

Then I saw that one of his students swam into the canal; she was instead robustly carried away.

As a result, she tries to catch a wave in the wrong place and risks falling into stones

So, taught by similar situations in Bali, I swim up to the “instructor” I’m not going to make any scandals, I quietly hint to him that it would be nice to return the girl to the line-up.

Just in case, I ask: “Are these your students?” Answers: “Yes,” – but somehow begins to change in the face.

I began to tell him that his girl was swept away by the current, but an evil grimace had already taken the place of his smile; he almost spat out in my direction that he did not speak English and swam away. It put me a little into a stupor, especially since he speaks English – I heard his students are Russian, and I give a grudge, not in French; he teaches them lessons.

Then, of course, I lost my heart. It made me so unpleasant because of him that I did not even think that I would have to swim to the girl and explain to her that she was in the wrong place and where it would be better for her to move. I had already dashed off by that time, so I just went ashore with the next wave.

And today, I witnessed a different situation, the same. A storm has come, a strong wind is blowing all day, and the rain is about to start.

I went to the store for vegetables, and passing by the beach, I saw another group of students, with another instructor, going to the ocean

They go, of course, on the foam because there is no line-up on this day, in principle – because of the wind, there is porridge in the ocean.

But to carry out the foam in such conditions is the last thing. One girl barely drags her soft top, playing to the wind tearing the board out of her hands.

Why are they going to the ocean? Who decided that these conditions were appropriate for the lesson? Most likely the one who gets money for this lesson.

And then I thought. I am fond of the quality of education; I recommend schools and camps very selectively; I always see the difference whether they teach well or not, the conditions are suitable or not.

But for people without experience, how to define it? In such situations, I do not dare to come up and say: “Your instructor is shit.” I’m just sad that they were unlucky. Instead, experienced surfers and honest instructors try to give hints.

So that, for example, a good school will give you money back, but not teach the lesson in the wrong conditions. But how will a beginner determine that he was taken to an address in unacceptable conditions?

I see only one answer here: trust your feelings. If it seems to you that something is wrong, then most likely it does not seem to you

Trust your feelings and not just the instructor’s words if the wind is too strong or the waves look scary. In the case of big waves, a good one will instead ask how you feel and whether you are ready to expand your comfort zone than say: “Well, you are inventing everything, everything is fine, let’s go.”

If it seems to you that something is wrong, then most likely it does not seem to you.

If it seems to you that the instructor rides himself and does not really follow you, most likely, it does not seem to you.

However, when the instructor is watching, you feel his presence and attention. And if you do not think it, most likely it is not there.

I think that we are accustomed to questioning our feelings, not only in surfing but in general in life. Although feelings are facts.

When you feel bad, and someone says: it seems to you that this is good, this is a lie. Because you feel bad – that’s a fact.

Yes, maybe you chose a school at random and ended up not the best one

An unpleasant experience, but don’t make it worse with self-deception.

Trust your feelings when you have no experience in something, and with your brains, you cannot assess what is happening. In the case of surfing, they should be pleasant.