Do I need to be a good swimmer to surf?

No, but it certainly helps. Even if you aren’t a highly-skilled swimmer, you can still be a totally competent surfer. Of course, if you can’t swim at all, do not even think about entering the ocean. Enroll in swim lessons and spend time in the swimming pool before you take on the dynamic, and dangerous, ocean arena. If you’re in the poor-to-fair range as a swimmer, it’s advised to brush up on your skills before you try surfing. Remember, you will have the buoyancy of the surfboard under you most of the time, but you don’t want to be dependent on the board to stay afloat. There will be times when you come detached from your board, so if a dire situation arises, you need to be able to safely swim to the beach.