Introduction To Surfing | Mission Bay Aquatic Center, San Diego, CA
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Learn the basics of surfing and experience the thrill of riding a wave. This session will briefly discuss the fundamentals before you paddle out into the surf to start catching waves. 

What Will I Learn?

By the end of this class, participants will possess foundational surfing skills and knowledge. Topics Include:

  • Basic surf conditions assessment 
  • Board management
  • Paddling techniques
  • Pop-up techniques

Topics are introduced in the classroom and then practiced in Mission Beach. Paddling techniques will first be practiced in the flat water of Mission Bay before moving to the surf.

Is this the right class for me?

Introduction to Surfing is a one-session course structured for people with little to no surfing experience. This course gives the participant an opportunity to be introduced to the ocean environment and have guided in the water practice. If you are looking for a more in-depth course with more practice time in the ocean we suggest the Surfing Four Session class.


  • Introduction to Surfing is an entry-level class with no required prerequisites or prior surfing experience.
  • This class is open to all participants aged 14 and up.
  • A general liability waiver is required to participate. Anyone under 18 must have a waiver signed by their parent or legal guardian.
  • Participants must acknowledge and show that they are water safe (able to swim 50 meters and comfortably tread water). You will complete a swim assessment in the flat water of Mission Bay before entering the ocean.

How to Prepare

Be prepared to get in the water for this class. Wetsuits and surfboards are provided. Standard bathing suits are typically worn underneath wetsuits.

You may bring your own wetsuit if you already own one, but we do not allow students to bring their own surfboards (MBAC provides boards that have proven to be appropriate for learning and safe for use in a group setting).

Bring sunscreen and a refillable water bottle. MBAC has a water bottle refilling station and there are a number of restaurants nearby, but keep in mind that food and drink are not available for purchase at MBAC. Lockers and showers are provided.

Parking can be a challenge at MBAC, especially during the summer months. Please visit our parking page for more information.

What's Next?

MBAC offers surfboard and wetsuit rentals if you would like to continue surfing on your own after completing this class. If you would like more surfing instruction after this course we encourage you to registed for Surfing Four Session


Course Fee: $99.00
UCSD/SDSU Student Fee: $65.00

Upcoming Classes

Class Runs # of Sessions Day(s) Time Enroll
7/21/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
8/4/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
8/11/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
9/15/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
9/29/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
10/20/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
10/27/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM
11/3/24 1 Su 12:30PM-3:30PM