Have you ever wondered how some surfers always seem to pick the best waves and ride them with ease? The answer lies in the ability to read the waves. In this article, we are going to unravel the secrets of how to read the waves like a pro and master the art of surfing.

Before jumping into the water, it’s essential to understand how waves interact with the environment. Just as you learned to interpret a weather forecast, now you will learn to interpret the waves. Imagine this as your personal “radar” on the water.

1. Observe How the Wave and Its Sections Break

When you hear other surfers talk about lefts or rights, they are referring to how the wave unfolds from their perspective. If they follow the wave to the right, that’s a “right” for them. This is key to understanding the instructions in the water. Remember, we always speak from the perspective of whoever is riding the wave!

2. Analyze the Series and Currents

Spend some time observing the beach from an elevated position before diving in. Identifying areas of current is essential. Look for contrasts between the white foam where the waves break and the dark, flat waters of the currents.

3. Visualize the Take Off Moment

From your elevated position, find the top of the wave and mark a landmark. See where other surfers position themselves and how they paddle. Imagine your “take off” moment and the exciting ride on the wall of the wave.

4. Look for the Best Position in the Peak

The optimal point to enter the wave is where it reaches its maximum height before breaking, being the most vertical point. Finding this ideal location depends on your skill level and your willingness to take risks. Remember that in surfing, trial and error is crucial to improve quickly.

5. The Water Strategy

Once in the water, when you see a wave approaching, look for the top and paddle in that direction. In general, if you are paddling to your right, the wave will open to the left, and vice versa. Be sure to adjust your direction if you see the wave break on one side. Remember, if you still don’t feel comfortable at the peak, choose an area where you can safely take off.

Reading waves is a skill that improves with practice and experience. By understanding how waves interact with the environment and how to anticipate their behavior, you’ll be able to choose the best opportunities and get the most out of every session in the water.

If you want to learn to surf safely, do not hesitate to join us in Huanchaco, Peru. The Urcia Surf School team awaits you to take you out to sea.

Caballito tour

For thousands of years local fishermen have been using Caballitos de Totora (reed surfboard-like boats) to navigate the ocean and surf the waves. It’s how surfing in Peru started! During our Caballito tour, Santos Urcia – father of Juninho – will show you how a caballito is made and will explain about this tradition that is still very much alive today. Of course you will have plenty of opportunity to try riding one yourself and catch some fish! Afterwards we will have a traditional Peruvian Ceviche lunch where we will prepare the catch of the day together. The tour takes about half a day in total.

Caballito de totora tour by Urcia Surf School in Huanchaco


After some days of intense surfing a massage can pep you up again! Massages last 1 hour and take place at our masseurs. Let your masseur know which muscles you prefer to be treated.


Start or end your day with a relaxing yoga session! The sessions take 1 hour and take place at the beach. Your yoga instructor will adapt the exercises to your level.


Our hearty and healthy surfer breakfast includes coffee or tea, yogurt, cereals, fresh fruits, bread, cheese, ham and eggs. 

We cater for vegetarians, vegans and or alergies. Please indicate this in the comment area.

Breakfast at Urcia Surf House

Spanish Lessons

Combining surfing with learning Spanish
If besides surfing you are up for another challenge, we also offer Spanish lessons as an option for all our surf camp packages. It’s not uncommon for the friendly locals of Huanchaco to start a conversation or give you surf tips while waiting for the next set of waves. Thus you can directly put your new Spanish skills to practice. What better and more relaxed way of learning Spanish than doing so while surfing?

Spanish Lessons
For the Spanish lessons we work together with Manuel, a local spanish teacher with a lot of experience. In 1-hour lessons in small groups he will help build your confidence speaking and understanding Spanish, so that in no-time you will be able to chat with the locals, be it in the line-up or at the bar. The first Spanish lesson your current level will be assessed and based on that the focus for the rest of the course will be determined. At the end of every class you will receive some homework to continue learning in between classes at your own pace.