You are going in the ocean, so the better swimmer you are the easier this will be for you. If you don’t know how to swim and you really want to surf, then you should look at the private lessons, for your own safety.
You are going in the ocean, which is a big force of nature, and has to be respected. If you listen to your surf instructor you will be safe. The material (surfboards) is adapted to beginners, so they are made out of foam, with rubber fins.