The Whitewater. Well, you don't say where you live, and please don't assume everyone on here is from the San Francisco Bay Area (cough). That said, the best place to learn the basics of surfing when you are just starting is in the whitewater, also known as "the soup." That's basically the part of the wave that has already broken. Don't go past the break. Meaning, you stay away from the line-up where all the surfers are and practice falling off your board closer to shore until you get better. Also, ask your local surf shop where a good beginner's break might be.