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Frequently Asked Questions

We have our FAQ page here broken down into three categories: Lessons, Rentals, and General. For more in depth information regarding lessons, rentals, and summer camps visit these links:



  • What should I bring for my lesson?

Once you’re signed up all you need to bring is a swimsuit, a towel, and maybe a water bottle to stay hydrated!


  • How long are the surf lessons?

All lessons are 90 minutes. You spend about 15-30 minutes on land learning to paddle, pop up, positioning, and basics of ocean safety. Then the rest of the lesson is spent in the water with the instructor practicing everything you learned on land.


  • Should I tip my surf instructor?

If your instructor did a good job and you had fun, definitely feel free to tip your instructor! They’ll certainly appreciate it. You can tip them cash or on a debit/credit card at the shop. Many instructors also take venmo, zelle and cashapp tips as well.


  • Will there be photos taken?

We have a photographer on the beach to take photos for the vast majority of our lessons, but if you know you’ll want photos let us know at the shop and we’ll 100% get a photographer out there for you!

For summer camps there is almost always a photographer on the beach taking photos.


  • How much are the photos?

The full pricing breakdown for photos can be found through this link. It starts at $15 for a single photo and is $45+ for all photos taken, depending upon how many people are in the lesson.


  • What is the minimum age for lessons/summer camps?

5 is the minimum age for lessons and camps. We recommend the child is comfortable being in the ocean and has basic swimming skills.


  • Do I need to know how to swim to take a surf lesson?

It is not necessary to know how to swim, but it is VERY HIGHLY recommended. Most lessons take place in water that isn’t over chest high, so you will be able to touch the ocean floor. However you WILL get fully submerged in the ocean at some point. It’s almost guaranteed. So while it’s not necessary to swim you should be comfortable being tossed around in the water.


  • What is your cancellation policy?

Full cancellation policy can be found here. Full refund with 24 hours notice. Within 24 hours there’s a $50 cancellation/rescheduling fee. Sometimes we will recommend rescheduling or canceling due to conditions, in the event that happens the fee is waived. 


  • What do I need to rent gear?

All you need is to be 18+ years old, or have a parent/guardian with you to sign a liability waiver. Then we also just need a credit card to keep on file for a deposit. We do not accept apple pay or tap to pay, so bring a physical card with you.


  • Do I need to make a reservation to rent?

No, typically our rentals are on a first come first serve basis. For large groups (10+ people) shoot us an email at info@pbsurfshop.com and we can get a reservation set up, as well as give you special group rates. If you have a large group you can still do a walk up, but it might be much more difficult depending on the time of year. 
If you want to reserve a specific board from us while you’re in town you can email us a couple days in advance from your arrival and we can hold it for you. Any farther in advance, we can’t hold it.


  • Should I get a foam board or a hard board?

If you’re asking this question 99.9% of the time we will recommend you take a foam board. We have a blog post here that goes into detail about the differences between the boards. Check it out! 


  • I’m a first time surfer, what board should I take? 

Bigger is almost always easier. The bigger the board the more stable it’ll be and the more waves you’ll be catching. We recommend going with an 8’ or 9’ foam board for most people. Larger people will want a 10’ foam board.


  • What hard boards do you carry?

We have all different shapes and sizes, with boards from T. Patterson, Rusty, Linden, Sea Brothers, Hank Warner, and Gordon & Smith. From fish to high performance shortboards, to midlengths and logs. To see all our current rental boards follow this link and scroll down.


  • What size foam boards do you have?

We have foam boards ranging from 5’6” up to 10’0”.


  • Do you have electric bikes or skateboards for rent?

No, we do not rent any electric bikes or skateboards. Electric devices are prohibited on the boardwalk and during the summer police will ticket people riding them on the boardwalk.

We do however rent beach cruisers, SE bikes and have a variety of skateboards.


  • Do you have helmets available?

We have plenty of helmets available for use with a bike or skateboard rental!


  • Do you rent roller skates or roller blades?

No, we do not.


  • What wetsuits do you rent?

All our rental suits are 3/2mm O’Neill reactor 2, backzip wetsuits. We do not rent any 4/3’s or booties/hoods.


  • Is there somewhere to store my things while in the water/while cruising the boardwalk?

Yes, we have cabinets to store personal belongings while you’re out surfing or biking. Our shop isn’t very big though so please don’t bring all your luggage with you.


  • When is the best time to go surf out front?

The best time to surf depends on multiple factors, the wind, tide and swell. If you’re just learning, the tide is going to be the biggest factor for you. Generally a mid tide is going to be the ideal learning conditions. 

If you’re more advanced you’ll want to focus on the morning and evening surfs. The wind is lightest early in the morning and right around sunset. In general the onshore winds start coming in around 10-11am, and go until around 4-5pm. It can still be fun midday but expect some surface chop. The sandbars out front are constantly shifting, so the tide affects the waves differently day to day. As for swell it usually maxes out here around 6-8’ wave faces, any bigger and you need to go elsewhere to find open faces. Feel free to give the shop a call for an up to the minute surf report, we’re in the water and watching the water all day long so we can tell you the optimal time to go.


  • Is surfing hard?

Anything worth doing is going to be hard! And surfing is one of the hardest sports you’ll ever do. It takes a lifetime to master and even then most people never master it without absolute dedication. BUT the journey of it is one of the most fun and addictive things out there! We constantly have people coming into our shop telling us they took their first lesson here, got addicted, and moved from wherever they called home to be near the surf.


  • Do you sell boards in addition to renting them?

We do! We are a fully stocked surf shop with boards, wetsuits, and accessories. We have over 70 new boards for sale in the shop, all kinds of boards in all different sizes! We also sell off all our rental boards, so if you’re in the market for a used board or you rent a board and fall in love with it we can get you set up! Call or come into the shop to ask about pricing on the used boards.


  • Do you do trade-ins or buy used boards?

No, we do not. Try Offerup, Facebook marketplace, or a secondhand sporting goods store.


  • Do you do ding repairs?

No, we do not. We sell ding repair kits if you’d like to repair a board yourself. If you’d like a professional repair we recommend taking it to Joe Roper

If you have any questions that aren’t answered here feel free to shoot us an email at info@pbsurfshop.com or give us a call at 858-373-1138!

PB Surf Shop | San Diego Surf Lessons

Are you ready to create memorable moments that you will treasure for a lifetime with Surf Lessons at Pacific Beach Surf School?

(858) 373-1138
4208 Oliver Ct. San Diego, CA 92109
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