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At Peniche Surf Academy, we understand that every surfer is unique, and learning curves vary. Our Surf Levels Page is your go-to guide for self-assessment.


If you find yourself unsure about your level, it's always recommended to start with the lowest level.




Because we believe in the importance of a strong foundation, ensuring you build a robust skill set to confidently surf different types of wave.


BEGINNER – First timers or with limited experience

Perfect for those who are new to surfing or have only had a few experiences in the past. You are enthusiastic about learning the basics of surfing, catching your first waves and embracing the joy of surfing.

What will we focus on?


  • Introduction to surfing: basic terminology, equipment and safety tips

  • Adaptation to the aquatic environment: managing the board in the water, dealing with waves, currents and channels

  • Paddling techniques: laying down position, proper paddling form and tips for efficient paddling

  • Catching waves: how to position yourself, timing and catching whitewater waves

  • Pop-up technique: step by step guide on how to transition from paddling to standing up on the board (take off) and body stance

  • Surf etiquette: explanation of the unwritten rules and respect for other surfers in the line up


BEGINNER – Mastering fundamental skills

You have progressed beyond the beginner stage but are still building your skills in the white water. You have experience catching small foam waves but you still need to perfect the basics such as paddling, take off, surf stance and small turns.

What will we focus on?


  • Mastering the white water: techniques for riding and maneuvering in the foam waves

  • Body stance: tips on maintaining balance and stability on the surfboard

  • Wave selection: understanding different types of waves and selecting appropriate ones for practice

  • Turning basics: introduction to basic turns (frontside and backside) in the white water

  • Building confidence: strategies for overcoming fear and gaining confidence in the water

  • Speed and break: correct weight distribution on different phases of the ride


INTERMEDIATE – Ready to ride green waves

You are ready to progress to riding unbroken waves, you are motivated to apply on the green waves what you learned in the white water. You need some guidance to go to the peak and catching your first green waves.

What will we focus on?


  • Duck diving and turtle rolling: techniques for navigating through breaking waves (negotiating waves)

  • Angled take-off: how to catch green, unbroken waves and initiate angled take-offs

  • Initiation to fundamental maneuvers: bottom turn, trimming and changing direction on the wave

  • Reading the lineup: understanding wave formations, indentifying peak spots and position in the lineup

  • Increasing the wave count: work on consistency and confidence riding a variety of waves in several spots


INTERMEDIATE – Positioning and wave selection

You have experience riding down the line, performing basic maneuvers and autonomy in the water. You are determined to ride larger waves, explore different sections of the wave and progress your overall surfing ability.

What will we focus on?


  • Advanced wave selection: analyzing wave conditions, identifying wave sets and making strategic wave choices

  • Bottom turn: fundamentals of executing a proper bottom turn for generating speed and setting up maneuvers

  • Top turn and cutback: technical improvement on changing direction on the wave

  • Speed generation: techniques for generating speed through pumping, trim and positioning on the face of the wave

  • Wave timing and performance: improving wave-reading skills, take off on peak/ behind the peak and surfing in the pocket

  • Improving consistency: strategies for increasing wave count, optimizing positioning and maintaining a strong performance level


ADVANCED – Technical improvement with video correction

You have achieved a high level of proficiency and autonomy in the water, you have experience riding different types of waves and surf confidently up to 1m tall waves. You are eager to start with video analysis, receive detailed feedback and push your limits.

What will we focus on?


  • Video analysis: importance of video feedback, analyzing technique and identifying areas for improvement

  • Advanced wave reading: advanced tips for predicting wave behavior

  • Style and flow: refining style, body stance and fluidity in maneuvers

  • Speed and power: learning how to maximizing the maneuvers in order to surf faster and with more power

  • Advanced maneuver breakdown: in-depth breakdown of different maneuvers like snaps, floaters, off the lip maneuvers, carves, barrels, airs, etc

  • Equipment selection: guidance on choosing the right surfboard and fin setups for specific conditions and maneuver preferences


COMPETITION TRAINING – Strategy and mindset

You are passionate about competitive surfing and aspire to participate and excel in competitions. You are motivated, committed and eager to take your skills to the next level. Whether you're already competing or preparing to enter the competitive scene, our program is tailored to help you navigate the complexities of competitive surfing.

What will we focus on?


  • Advanced technique: we'll refine your existing maneuvers and introduce more advanced techniques to expand your repertoire for different wave conditions

  • Competitive strategy: we will work on reading heats, analyzing wave scoring potential and strategizing your approach in the line up

  • Heat simulation: includes timed heats, simulated judging criteria and mock heats with colleagues

  • Mental preparation: visualization, focus training and maintaining a positive mindset

  • Video analysis: we'll review your performance, identify areas of improvement and provide detailed feedback

Let us know what's yours!

The levels you see here are your guide to becoming a better surfer, and helping you improve is what matters most to us. Our coaches will be with you every step of the way, suggesting you move to the next level when they think it will make your surfing even better.

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