How to Go From Beach Bunny to Surf Star

By Sheri Winters of Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows
August 7, 2012 | Santa Monica, United States
How to Go From Beach Bunny to Surf Star
Photo by Ally Winters
Sheri kills it in a surfing lesson at Bay Street, Santa Monica.

I grew up in Orange County — California's surfing mecca — so learning to surf was as natural as learning to ride a bike.

Until recently, though, it had been a long time since I attempted to ride a wave. So I thought it was time to get back to my roots. After all, so many of my guests request surf lessons; I figured it was time I brushed up with a first-hand experience.

I turned to local experts Learn to Surf LA, whose lessons are geared to people who have never attempted the sport (though they serve everyone from novice to advanced). They provide everything you need — from the board to the wetsuit — and they adjust their instruction for all swimming levels.

My lesson took place at Bay Street in the heart of Santa Monica, which is a popular part of the beach for surfers. My instructor started me out in the white water where I could practice my balance. I was on a longboard which helped. Overall, I think I fell more than I stood up — it was one heck of a workout: an-hour-and-a-half of standing up and falling down — but I had an absolute blast.

If you really get the hang of it, the hot place to go is in nearby Malibu: Surfrider, the beach where the local pros go.

Or, if you're like me and you're not quite ready to join the pros, it's at least a great spot to get some inspiration!