Surfing is not "easy" but like any other sport, the more time you put into it, the better you get.Surfing is an ocean sport, that should only be practiced by persons who are already competent ocean swimmers. Swimming in a pool is neat, but it's not ocean swimming, with undertows, rip tides and sometimes BIG waves. I have seen lots of great pool swimmers get rescued. So, my first tip on how to surf is to be at home in the ocean
If you are a beginner, lessons are usually the best way to start, unless you have lots of pals who surf who can teach you. Go to a real surf shop.. The folks there can hook you up with lessons, and even rent you a board to learn on. Don't rush into buying anything, until you have had a few lessons and decide that surfing is really something you want to stick with. If you are fairly athletic, and have good enough 'ocean skills', it should take you too long to master the basics of surfing. Every individual is different, and how long it takes you to get 'giid' is entirely up to you.
I have surfed my entire life and I must say that it isn't easy at all. It takes hard work, practice, and dedication. But, so does anything worth doing. It takes years to get "good at it". There is no mastering it...you cannot master the ocean. You're constantly being humbled by the ocean no matter how good you are. Surfing isn't just standing on a board and riding a wave. When you fully understand and embrace all of the elements involved, then you can call yourself a surfer.