Every great surfer starts somewhere. The next one might be you. Find out by taking the first step and stealing away for a day (or a few) at one of these beginner-friendly breaks. At these five killer spots, you’ll find predictable surf, helpful instruction, and a sandy bottom (great if you should inevitably fall…over and over). Who knows? One surf session could be the start of a great new chapter for you. There’s only one way to find out.

La Jolla Shores, CA

One of the most popular surf spots in San Diego got that way for a reason: La Jolla Shores features a unique, long flat sandbar that’s ideal for learners, and consistent surf year-round (though it’s best from late fall to early spring). The wind-protected beach break features a unique amount of variability among those gentle waves, too: Since the surf gets bigger the higher up the beach you walk, there’s room to check your progress, even in a single session. Surf Diva offers rentals along with lessons for beginners and intermediates. Once you’ve maxed out on the board, grab a snorkel and check out a few of the seven caves that are part of the La Jolla Underwater Park, where you’ll encounter everything from leopard sharks to brilliant orange garibaldi goldfish.