Finding the best surf spots for beginners is easier than you might think.
Most people believe the best surf spots in the world are in places like Bali or Kauai in Hawaii. They're not wrong.
But first, let us guide you around the best surf destinations for rookies in the UK and Europe. Trust us, there's something real unexpected ones in here...
For the perfect mix between SoCal surf culture and French living, head to Biarritz in the south-west coast of France.
The city is often considered the birthplace of European surf since Peter Viertel, an American scriptwriter and avid surfer, realised its potential in the 1950s.
Get your surf on at Hastea Surf School, before heading to a café to sip on champagne and feast on a well-deserved baguette (because that's obviously what you do in France).
At the heart of Pembrokeshire, the only coastal national park in Britain, the Newgale beach is one of the most stunning spots for surfing.
This haven in Wales is ideal for beginners. Crowds won’t be a problem on the two miles stretch of sand, so you'll have plenty of space to practice your paddling before catching waves out back.
The guys at the New Surf Shop are more than willing to teach you all they know.
Belhaven Bay, Scotland
The gorgeous Belhaven bay couldn't be more different from the busy city streets of Edinburgh, even though it's less than an hour’s drive away from the Scottish capital.
Here you'll find a peaceful village with shallow beaches that provide the ideal environment for first-time surfers.
It might be a bit chilly but just think, if you can ace it in the cold temperatures of the North Sea, you’ll rock the Hawaiian waves. Eventually.
Coast to Coast surf school, established in 2004, provides lessons from March to November.
St Ouen’s Bay, Jersey
In the tiny island of Jersey, there are five miles of pure surfers’ heaven awaiting – start packing.
At St Ouen’s Bay, there's a five mile stretch of sandy beach where you can have a recommended kickass warm-up before entering the chilly water of the Atlantic Ocean – but hey, we hear it's great for blood circulation.
There’s a team of experienced coaches waiting for you at the Jersey Surf School.
Saltburn-On-Sea, North Yorkshire
Gone are the days when you had to go down to the English west coast for the best surfing spots.
The north-east coast is now the place to be, and the small town of Saltburn-on-Sea has been at centre of the surfing scene since the start.
Beginners are welcome on either side of the Saltburn’s pier, where the mellow waters will give you an easy first ride.
Learn how to master the waves from the guys at the Saltburn Surf School. They've been doing it since 1983, and the school is the only approved by Surfing Great Britain on the East Coast.
San Sebastian, Spain
If you like your off duty hours to be as much fun as your time in the water, San Sebastian in the Basque country is the ideal spot.
It’s an urban beach with plenty of bars and restaurants that are just as good as the surfing, so you’ll never get bored – or hungry. Plus, you’ll be in good company as the area has a long-standing love affair with surfers.
Check out Pukas Surf, who've been helping beginners since 1996.
Okay, Denmark might not be the first country that pops into your head when you think of surf spots, but it’s actually a great place for surfing of all levels.
Klitmoller, in the north West of the country, is known as the surf mecca of the Danish coast because of its big waves but - bear with us - it’s also great for beginners.
Watergate Bay, Newquay
Not exactly original but very popular – with good reason.
Watergate Bay has a great location facing the open Atlantic Ocean and the stunning scenery of crystal clear waters framed by steep cliffs.
These are just two of the many very good reasons why you should initiate your surfing life in the south-west coast of England.
O'Neill Surf Academy is based in Watergate Bay, one of Cornwall’s most popular surf spots since the 1960s.
The beach here is usually less crowded than others in the area so there's less chance of you hitting a tourist in the face with your board.
If you fancy a bit of sun during your surf training, then south is the way to go - way south.
Lagos, on the southern coast of Portugal, has gentle waves that are great for beginners. Plus, every time you fail to stand up on your surfboard (trust us, it takes a while) you won't care because the blazing sun will be there to comfort you. Perfect for your first paddles.
Check out FilSurf for beginners' lessons in the area.
Portrush, Northern Ireland
In the cold shores of Northern Ireland, Portrush is one of the best places in the country for surfers.
If you're thinking about all the wind, cold and rain, don't let it put you off. There's a whole variety of different waves here, which is why the region is perfect for you to go from zero to hero.