Best Surf Schools and Surf Camps - Learn how to Surf
Best Surf Schools and Surf Camps Unsplash

Best Surf Schools and Surf Camps

Best Surf Schools and Surf Camps - Learn how to Surf

Are you ready to ride some waves? Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned surfer, learning from a professional surf school can vastly improve your skills and overall experience. With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which surf school to go with. In this article, I'll be showcasing the best surf schools around the world that cater to beginners and pros.

From California's famous surf spots to global destinations like Costa Rica and the Canary Islands, these surf schools offer top-notch training, experienced instructors, and the opportunity to catch some epic waves.

Key Takeaways:

  • There are surf schools available for all levels, from beginners to professionals.
  • Surf schools provide professional instruction and a fantastic learning environment.
  • Choosing the right surf school can greatly enhance your skills and overall experience.
  • Surf schools offer a unique opportunity to catch some of the best waves around the world.
  • Whether you're looking for private instruction or group lessons, there's a surf school suitable for you.

Choosing the Right Surf School for Your Surf Experience

If you're new to surfing or seeking to advance your current skills, finding the appropriate surf school is crucial. At the same time, you wouldn't want to join a school that is either too easy or too challenging. Surf schools cater to various experience levels, ranging from novice to professional surfers. Therefore, it's important to assess your skills and objectives before choosing a surf school.

Beginners can seek guidance from surf schools that offer introductory lessons to help master the waves, paddling and standing on the board, all while in a safe learning environment. Intermediate surfers can progress with training focusing on advanced techniques like wave selection and carving in a variety of conditions. Professionals can benefit from surf schools that offer specialized training to enhance specific surf techniques or tactics.

The Different Options Available

Here are some of the different surf school options based on the experience and goals of a surfer:

  • Surf Schools for Beginners: These surf schools provide sessions for newcomers to learn the basics and provide a safe learning environment. Here you also get to learn about the different aspects of safety when in water and while surfing.
  • Intermediate Surf Schools: These schools focus on building the skills that intermediate surfers require. It could be learning more advanced techniques, early turns, catching green waves, and refining the basic techniques.
  • Surf Schools for Professional Surfers: Professional surf schools provide a unique opportunity for experienced athletes to refine their skills through specialist training, including aerial maneuvers, barrel riding, and advanced wave recognition.

Whichever option you choose, ensure that the surf school aligns with your learning goals. Before enrolling, make a comprehensive assessment of the school's reviews, qualifications of the instructors, previous success stories/reviews of previous attendees, and check pre-requisites that you need to meet.

Learn to Surf - Best Surf Schools in California Beach

California is a surfer's paradise with a thriving surf culture and an abundance of excellent surf spots. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer looking to take your skills to the next level, California has a surf school perfect for you. Let's take a look at some of the best surf schools in California that offer amazing instruction and unforgettable experiences.

Surf SchoolLocationSkill Level
Pacific SurfSan DiegoBeginner to Advanced
Surf DivaLa JollaBeginner to Intermediate
HB Surf SchoolHuntington BeachBeginner to Intermediate
Aqua Surf SchoolLos AngelesBeginner to Intermediate
Zuma Surf & Swim TrainingMalibuBeginner to Advanced
Nor Cal Surf ShopPacificaBeginner to Advanced
Surf SimplySan ClementeIntermediate to Advanced
Waves Surf AcademyNorth ShoreBeginner to Advanced

San Diego is a popular location for surf schools, with Pacific Surf offering lessons for beginners to advanced surfers. Surf Diva in La Jolla is great for women and girls who want to learn to surf while HB Surf School in Huntington Beach is ideal for anyone looking to catch waves in Orange County.

For those looking to progress their skills, Aqua Surf School in Los Angeles offers lessons for intermediate surfers. And if you want to hit up one of California's most famous surf spots, Waves Surf Academy offers lessons on North Shore.

Surf Simply in San Clemente is perfect for surfers who want to take their skills to the next level and improve their technique. Meanwhile, those who want a comprehensive surf experience can check out Zuma Surf & Swim Training in Malibu and Nor Cal Surf Shop in Pacifica for all-inclusive surf packages.

If you're an intermediate surfer looking to progress your skills, there are several surf schools throughout California that cater to your needs. These schools offer guided instruction and advanced techniques to help you take your surfing to the next level.

Overall, California is home to some of the best surf schools in the world, making it the perfect destination for anyone looking to learn how to surf or improve their skills. With incredible waves, experienced instructors, and a thriving surf culture, California surf schools offer unforgettable experiences for everyone.

Surf Camps and Adult Surf Lessons

If you're looking for a more immersive surfing experience, surf camps are an excellent option to consider. Not only do they offer an opportunity to sharpen your surfing skills, but they also provide a unique chance to fully immerse yourself in the surf culture. These camps cater to both adults and families who are passionate about surfing and want to dive deeper into the sport.

Many surf camps offer all-inclusive packages that provide accommodation, meals, and access to some of the best surf spots. These packages make planning your trip effortless, leaving you time to focus on improving your surfing skills, relaxing, and having fun.

Benefits of Surf Camps

One of the most significant advantages of surf camps is that they allow you to build a community of like-minded people who share the same passion for surfing. This community provides a supportive environment where you can gain insights into the sport, hone your skills, and create meaningful connections with other surfers.

At some surf camps, you can also participate in various other activities such as yoga, meditation, or fitness classes, making it a holistic experience that incorporates physical and emotional wellbeing. You'll return home feeling refreshed, energized, and more in tune with your body and mind.

All-Inclusive Packages

Many surf camps offer all-inclusive packages that provide everything you need to have a stress-free and enjoyable experience. These packages typically include:

AccommodationComfortable and convenient places to stay that are within easy reach of the beach.
MealsHealthy and nutritious meals that cater to various dietary requirements.
Surf EquipmentTop-quality surfboards, wetsuits, and other gear that is suitable for your skill level.
TransportationConvenient transportation to and from the surf spots, eliminating the hassle of finding your own way there.
Surf LessonsProfessional and experienced surf instructors who offer personalized attention and support to help you improve your surfing skills.

Overall, surf camps provide an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the surf lifestyle and improve your surfing skills. With all-inclusive packages that cater to adults and families, you can enjoy a stress-free and enjoyable surfing experience. So pack your bags, embrace the surfer's way of life, and prepare to catch some epic waves!

Private Lessons for a Personalized Experience

If you're looking for one-on-one surf instruction that is tailored to your personal needs, private surf lessons are an excellent choice. These lessons allow you to work closely with professional surf instructors, providing a personalized experience that yields faster progress and an increased understanding of the sport.

Private lessons are perfect for anyone who prefers a more individualized approach and wants to focus on specific areas of their surfing technique. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer looking to perfect your style, private surf lessons can help you reach your goals.

Some benefits of private lessons include:

  • The undivided attention of a professional surf instructor.
  • A customized lesson plan tailored to your individual needs and skill level.
  • Faster progress and increased confidence in the water.
  • The ability to ask questions and receive feedback in real-time.
Surf Schools That Offer Private Lessons
Surf SchoolLocationCostInstructor Qualifications
San Diego Surf SchoolSan Diego, California$150 per hourCertified by the National Surf Schools and Instructors Association
Ocean Experience Surf SchoolSan Diego, California$185 per hourExperienced professional surfers
Hans Hedemann Surf SchoolOahu, Hawaii$150 per hourFormer competitive surfer with over 40 years of experience

Private surf lessons are a great option for anyone looking to take their surfing skills to the next level. With expert guidance and personalized attention, you'll be sure to make significant progress and feel more confident in the water.

Group Beginner Surf Lessons for a Fun Learning Environment

If you're looking for a social and supportive learning experience, group surf lessons are a fantastic option. These lessons are ideal for individuals who enjoy learning alongside like-minded individuals while having fun. At The Surf Shack, we offer group surf lessons led by experienced instructors who specialize in maintaining an inclusive and engaging atmosphere.

Our group lessons are tailored to suit individual needs, whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or an intermediate surfer looking to perfect your technique. Our surf coaching is designed to help you progress, improve your skills and catch more waves.

Benefits of Group Surf Lessons 
Fun and engaging learning experience
  • Classroom-style instruction and demonstrations
  • Interactive activities for developing surfing skills
Camaraderie and support
  • Learning and celebrating progress alongside peers
  • Encourages socializing and making surfing connections
Affordable and cost-effective
  • Shared lesson cost among group members
  • No additional charges for individual instruction time

Our surfing classes take place in the beautiful beaches of Huntington Beach. The classes are offered on a daily basis, seven days a week.

We Provide the Surfboard Rental. Join us for a group surf lesson today!

Surf Schools in Global Surfing Destinations

If you're looking for a surf experience of a lifetime, consider heading to one of the world's most popular surfing destinations. Costa Rica and the Canary Islands are two such locations, known for their stunning beaches and consistent waves.

To make the most of your surf adventure, consider enrolling in a surf school. These schools offer custom-made surf packages that include lessons, accommodation, and access to some of the best waves around.

Costa Rica Surf Schools

Costa Rica is a surfer's paradise, boasting warm water, consistent waves, and a laid-back vibe. The following surf schools offer excellent instruction and unforgettable surf experiences:

Surf SchoolLocationPackage Deals
Witch's Rock Surf CampTamarindoCustomized packages available for all levels
School of the WorldJacóCustomized packages available for all levels
Surf SimplyNosaraAll-inclusive package deal for intermediate and advanced surfers

Canary Islands Surf Schools

The Canary Islands are located off the coast of West Africa and offer surfers some of the best waves in Europe. The following surf schools provide excellent instruction and immersive surf experiences:

Surf SchoolLocationPackage Deals
Surf CanariesFuerteventuraPackages available for all levels, with accommodation
Lavaflow SurfLanzarotePersonalized packages available for all levels
Magma Surf SchoolGran CanariaCourses and packages available for all levels, with accommodation

By enrolling in a surf school in Costa Rica or the Canary Islands, you can soak up the sun, ride some epic waves, and come back with memories that last a lifetime.

Learning from Professional Surfers and Former Pros

Want to take your surfing to the next level? Learning from experienced surfers can do just that. That's why we've compiled a list of surf schools that have professional surfers and former pros as instructors. These schools offer a unique opportunity to learn from the best of the best and gain insider knowledge on everything surfing.

At in , for instance, you can learn from , a former pro with years of experience under his belt. His expert insights and surfing techniques will undoubtedly help you progress in your surfing journey.

Another great school to consider is in . With a team of professional surf instructors, including , you'll get to learn from those who have made a career out of surfing. Their tips and advice are invaluable and can help you improve your surfing in ways you never thought possible.

School NameInstructorsLocation

Don't miss out on the opportunity to learn from professional surfers and former pros. With their extensive knowledge and expertise, you'll become a better surfer in no time!

Surf Schools with a Focus on Safety and Etiquette

As a beginner or experienced surfer, it's essential to prioritize safety and etiquette while out on the waves. Safety first, always. That's why we've selected surf schools that give special attention to teaching proper surf safety and etiquette.

Teaching Fundamental Principles of Surfing

The best surf schools understand that a solid foundation is crucial to mastering the sport. They prioritize teaching the fundamental principles of surfing first before letting learners take on the bigger waves. A well-rounded approach to learning underlines a safer environment, where every participant can grow their knowledge and skills at their own pace under the guidance of trained professionals.

Creating a Respectful Learning Environment

Surf schools with a focus on safety and etiquette maintain a respectful learning environment where learners can feel comfortable and confident enough to take on new challenges. They instill values of sportsmanship, respect for fellow learners, and love for the ocean, making for a more welcoming, inclusive, and positive environment.

Certified InstructorsThe surfing instructors are certified to ensure they can deliver high-quality training and guidance
One-on-One InstructionSurf schools offering one-on-one instruction ensure learners can receive personalized feedback to enhance their surfing skills
Equipment MaintenanceEnsuring surfboards, wetsuits, and other equipment are well-maintained helps reduce the risk of injury and increases the lifespan of the gear
Emergency PreparednessSurf schools with a focus on safety are prepared to handle medical emergencies while learners are out in the water

When selecting a surf school, choose one that emphasizes safety, etiquette, and a respectful learning environment. This is essential to not only becoming a skilled surfer but also a responsible one.

Surf Schools for Kids and Families

Looking to get your kids off their screens and into the water? Or maybe you're searching for the perfect family-friendly vacation? Regardless of your reasons, there's no better way to bond with your loved ones than through learning to surf together. Thankfully, there are plenty of surf schools that cater to kids and families.

These surf schools provide age-appropriate lessons that teach children proper surf techniques and water safety. Plus, they create a fun and inclusive environment that ensures the whole family can participate in the excitement!

Top Surf Schools for Kids and Families

SchoolLocationPrograms Offered
Ocean Experience Surf SchoolSan Diego, CAPrivate and group lessons, surf camps
Surf HNLWaikiki, HIPrivate and group lessons, family packages, birthday parties
Surf Lessons MauiMaui, HIFamily lessons, ages 5+
Paskowitz Surf CampSan Clemente, CAAll-inclusive family surf camps, RV stays
Aloha Surf SchoolKailua, HIPrivate and group lessons, family surf lessons, water safety programs

These surf schools provide the perfect environment for families to learn, grow, and have fun together. Whether it's your child's first time on a surfboard or you're looking to improve your skills, these schools cater to all levels of experience. So why not make your next vacation a family surf adventure?

Surf Schools Near You and Summer Camps

If you're itching to catch some waves but don't want to travel far, we'll help you find surf schools near you. With a quick search of "surf school near me," you can find excellent options that cater to your location and schedule. It's a convenient and easy way to get started on your surfing journey without taking too much time out of your day-to-day.

If you're looking for more immersive experiences, surf camps are an incredible way to learn the fundamentals while also enjoying a summer vacation. Many surfing schools now offer all-inclusive packages that cover accommodation and access to some of the best surf spots around. You'll enjoy the added benefit of being around other surf enthusiasts, making the experience that much more enjoyable.


After exploring the top surf schools for beginners and pros, it's clear that there is no shortage of fantastic options for those looking to learn or improve their surfing skills. Whether you prefer private instruction, group classes, or an immersive camp experience, these surf schools offer it all.

It's important to consider your skill level and goals when choosing a surf school, but don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new. With professional instruction and a fun learning environment, these surf schools provide the perfect opportunity to catch some waves and make lasting memories.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your surfboard and head to one of the many surf schools we've highlighted in this article. With their focus on safety, etiquette, and personalized instruction, you'll be well on your way to becoming a skilled surfer in no time.

Thank you for reading this article on the top surf schools for beginners and pros. Happy surfing!


Surf School FAQs

What is a surf school?

A surf school is a business that provides surf lessons and other surfing-related services, such as surfboard rentals and guided surf trips.

What can I learn at a surf school?

At a surf school, you can learn the basics of surfing, such as how to paddle out, stand up on the board, and catch waves. You can also learn more advanced surfing techniques, such as how to turn, do tricks, and ride different types of waves.

What are the benefits of taking surf lessons?

Taking surf lessons can help you learn to surf safely and effectively. Surf lessons can also help you improve your surfing skills and make surfing more enjoyable.

What should I look for in a surf school?

When choosing a surf school, you should consider the following factors:

  • Location: The surf school should be located near a good surf spot. 
  • Reputation: The surf school should have a good reputation for providing quality instruction. 
  • Instructors: The surf school should have experienced and qualified instructors.
  • Equipment: The surf school should have high-quality surfboards and other equipment.
  • Price: The surf school should offer surf lessons at a reasonable price.

How much do surf lessons cost?

The cost of surf lessons varies depending on the location, the surf school, and the type of lesson. Private surf lessons typically cost more than group surf lessons.

What should I bring to my surf lesson?

You should bring the following items to your surf lesson:

  • Swimsuit: You will need to wear a swimsuit under your wetsuit.
  • Sunscreen: You should apply sunscreen to your skin before your surf lesson.
  • Towel: You will need a towel to dry off after your surf lesson.
  • Water bottle: You should bring a water bottle to stay hydrated during your surf lesson.

What should I wear to my surf lesson?

You should wear comfortable clothing that you can move around in easily. You should also wear a rash guard or wetsuit to protect your skin from the sun and the water.

What are some of the best surf schools in the world?

Some of the best surf schools in the world include:

  • Lapoint Surf Camps: Lapoint Surf Camps has surf schools in Portugal, France, Morocco, and Sri Lanka.
  • Surf School Lanzarote: Surf School Lanzarote is located in Lanzarote, Canary Islands.
  • Jo Moraiz Surf School: Jo Moraiz Surf School is located in Biarritz, France.
  • Zed's Surfing Adventures: Zed's Surfing Adventures is located in Barbados.
  • Tim Jones Surf School: Tim Jones Surf School is located in Sri Lanka.

What is the best age to start taking surf lessons?

The best age to start taking surf lessons is typically between 7 and 12 years old. However, people of all ages can learn to surf.

What are the different types of surf lessons?

There are two main types of surf lessons: private surf lessons and group surf lessons. Private surf lessons are one-on-one lessons with a surf instructor. Group surf lessons are lessons with a group of students and one or more surf instructors.

What is the best type of surf lesson for me?

The best type of surf lesson for you depends on your experience level, budget, and learning style. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with private surf lessons. If you have some experience surfing, you may want to try group surf lessons.

How long does it take to learn to surf?

The amount of time it takes to learn to surf varies from person to person. Some people may be able to learn the basics of surfing in a few lessons, while others may take longer. It is important to be patient and persistent when learning to surf.

What are some tips for learning to surf?

Here are some tips for learning to surf:

  • Start with the basics: Learn how to paddle out, stand up on the board, and catch waves.
  • Practice regularly: The more you practice, the better you will become at surfing.
  • Find a good surf spot: Choose a surf spot that is appropriate for your skill level.
  • Be patient and persistent: Learning to surf takes time and practice. Don't get discouraged if you don't get it right away.

What are some of the benefits of surfing?

Surfing is a great way to get exercise, enjoy the outdoors, and connect with nature. Surfing can also help improve your balance, coordination, and mental focus.

Is surfing a safe sport?

Surfing is a relatively safe sport, but there are some risks involved. These risks include drowning, injury from waves or surfboards, and encounters with marine life.

How can I stay safe while surfing?

You can stay safe while surfing by following these tips:

  • Always surf with a buddy: Never surf alone.
  • Choose a surf spot that is appropriate for your skill level: Don't surf in waves that are too big or powerful for you.
  • Be aware of your surroundings: Pay attention to other surfers, boats, and marine life.
  • Wear a leash: A leash will help keep your surfboard attached to you if you fall off.
  • Learn how to swim: It is important to be able to swim in case you fall off your surfboard.

This article was updated on December 31, 2023

Mike "The Wave Rider" Thompson is the heart and soul behind A Santa Cruz native, he's been surfing since age six and combines his love for the ocean with environmental advocacy. His site offers a rich blend of surf spot guides, gear reviews, and conservation insights. Mike's annual surf retreats and community spirit make him a beloved figure in the global surfing community and a champion for marine preservation.