Ask around for good
beginner surf breaks when you're shopping around for the equipment
mentioned above. Most shop proprietors will be happy to assist,
especially if you're making a purchase.
California, by Bank Wright, is a good resource for any surfer
in the state, beginner or otherwise. Swell.com maintains a detailed
set of travel and surfmap information online. Check it out for the
area where you will be learning.
In general, a
beginner wants to find a break with waves that look crumbly and slow.
Try to find small waves and a sandy beach; you'll be walking around a
lot. Don't paddle into a crowded break; you'll likely be a hazard.
Don't surf alone; there will be nobody to help if you're in trouble.
Surf where there are people present but not right on top of them where
you'll be in the way.