you need 10,000 hours of practice to reach your full potential in anything you do "http://www.victorantonio.com/malcolm_gladwell_10000_hour_rule" . if your able to surf 8 hours a week it would take you 12 years to get around 5000 hours .that would qualify you as an intermediate .Intermediate means "occurring between two extremes, or in the middle of a range". It comes from the Latin word 'intermedia' which literally means 'among the middle.

Why even mention this simply for the fact that people claiming to be anything more then a beginner prior to 3 years of experience are damaging the sanctity of surfing and making a mockery of people who have dedicated countless hours to surfing in ****ty conditions just so they can be ready for the few days its clean and head high..