If you have an affinity for the beach and want to immerse yourself in the whole beach experience, there is no better sport to get into than surfing. It’s exhilarating, relaxing, and a lot of fun. There are many surf camps worldwide and some genuinely awesome ones in the US.
Surf camps are a fast-growing industry that caters to anyone who is keen to learn to surf. From travel surf camps, adult learn-to-surf, and beginner’s schools, surf camps provide anyone with a desire to surf with the best opportunity to learn quickly.
Surf camps are one of the best ways to learn to surf. They are well organized and allow for continued practice under the guidance of trained and skilled instructors. The benefits are many, so let’s look at how and why surf camps are so helpful and go into everything you need to know about surf camps.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Discovering the World of Surf Camps for Beginners
As impressive as surfing may look to a beginner, paddling out into the ocean and standing on a board is frightening. Enter the surf camp. Surf camps provide one of the best possible ways to learn to surf.
Surf camps are also excellent options to keep the kids busy and valuable for helping them learn if they don’t know how to surf.
Reputable surf camps provide everything you or your kids may need to learn to surf. Let’s peek at the benefits you can reap from attending a surf camp.
Benefits Of Beginner Surf Camps
To start, surf camps allow beginners to learn within a safe and secure environment with constant supervision and guidance. Many camps include lodging and meals, making it a lot easier for the learning process as all you are required to focus on is surfing.
A considerable benefit of a beginner surf camp is that instructors can guide you on proper technique, which may take years to get right if you’re trying surfing on your own.
As beginner surf camps are made for learning to surf, another top benefit is that all gear will be provided for, and any further requirements will be made clear before the camp commences.
A beginner surf camp is a great way to relax, learn something new and make new friends. Being within a group of like-minded people with the same skill level as you will mean that you all start from scratch and progress at a similar pace.
Learning to surf at a beginner camp will also help you push yourself further, and with two to three sessions a day, your chances of coming out of the surf camp and being able to command the basics of surfing are very high.
Many beginner surf camps cater to youngsters aged 5 to 17. Surf camps can last half a day to over a week and are well worth the money. It’s an excellent way to keep kids busy during the vacation, where they will get outdoor exposure, a good workout, and have a ton of fun.
Surf camps can also be a more budget and stress-friendly option. Surf camps are one-stop shops, with almost all costs included in the price. With everything included, you don’t have to do the math of adding everything up.
What To Expect?
The first thing you can expect from surf camp is to have a great time. You won’t be standing on the first day, and many camps may have you starting in a pool as you get used to your board and practice techniques. Whether you opt for a luxury camp or a budget one, you will have a ball.
It’s an excellent way to build confidence without the hassle of breaking waves. Within a day or two, you will move to the beach and learn how to navigate waves and balance. There is enough free time to spend on relaxation, so it’s the perfect way to mesh learning and vacation.
Top Surf Camps for Beginners
As a beginner, everything will be new and unknown, so what do you need to look for when choosing a surf camp? This is what we are on the lookout for when selecting a surf camp.
- Good reviews, check reviews, and if you know of past attendees, talk to them.
- The equipment included is much easier and kinder on the budget if the camp provides all your gear.
- At most, there are five people per instructor. The more people there are, the less one-on-one time you will get, and you will need the instructor to spend some time with you to get things right.
When looking for beginner surf camps, if you would prefer to learn in the US, many options are available. Hawaii, California, South Carolina, and New Jersey have several surf camp options.
- Pacific Coast Surf Camp caters to ages 7 to 17 years, based in Bolinas, California.
- Sunrise Surf Academy caters for ages 5 to 16 years, based in Venice Beach and Pacific Palisades.
- Sunset Suzy caters to ages a minimum of 6 years, based in Oahu Hawaii
- Swell Surf Camps cater to adults located in the Dominican Republic.
- Surfivor Surf Camp caters to adults in Emoriz, Portugal.
- LaPoint Surf Camp for adults in Ahangama, Sri Lanka.
Best Surf Camps for Solo Travelers
Surfing camps have many significant advantages for solo travelers. Not only is your surfing gear provided for you, but so is your entertainment. If you’re a solo traveler who wants to learn to surf, or even if you already surf but want to improve and be surrounded by similar people joining a surf camp is a great way to spend your vacation.
As a solo traveler, as much as it’s great to see the world on your own, it’s always fun to be exposed to new people and forge new friendships. A surf camp provides immediate company; as it’s surfing, you can be sure there will be like minds. Surf camps also offer added security and safety for those traveling alone as you automatically become part of a group.
Here are our top surf camp recommendations for solo travelers.
- Pelan Pelan, Bali
- Shaka Surf, Morocco
- LaPoint, Sri Lanka
California’s Top Beginner Surf Camps
California offers some good beginner surf camps, and the easy part is that you don’t leave the country to get to them. The best surf camp options in California are:
- The CaliCamp, these guys are fantastic. Everything is covered. You can stay from 4 days up to a month, and you get to learn and get taken to all the top California surf spots and soak in the California beach lifestyle. The experience is fantastic.
- Endless Summer Surf Camp is an all-inclusive camp that even provides personalized video footage for better learning results. They also have a camp in Costa Rica for when you feel more ready to venture further afoot in search of waves.
Best Surf Camps for Beginner Adults
Although it may be more challenging to learn as an adult, one of the advantages is being able to tailor your experience around what you want. If you are looking for a social trip, you can book a group experience; if you wish to enjoy private lessons, you can opt for that.
If you’re starting, then the best surf camp for a beginner as an adult are as follows:
- LaPoint keeps cropping up for a reason: they are brilliant at what they do, and for beginner adults, they offer an authentic beach life experience and proper surf instruction.
- Surf Maroc offers various packages that include beginner coaching. Based in Morocco, they have three sites on the Moroccan coastline and ladies-only packages.
One Month Surf Camps: A Comprehensive Learning Experience
For those who are determined to learn to surf, I recommend a one-month surf camp. Yes, these do exist, and they are fantastic! You get to spend an entire month honing your skills, learning, and living the beach life: it’s a dream.
If you have enough time and budget is not an issue, there is nothing I recommend more; it’s an experience that is more than just surfing. It will re-energize you and have you appreciating the world a lot more.
Here are the best long-term surf camps.
- Mojo Surf Academy, located in Bali, the stay lasts up to 27 days.
- Surf Paradise Morocco, located in Taghazout, lasts two weeks to 3 months.
- LaPoint, located worldwide (Costa Rica, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Norway, Spain), multi-length stays.
Is 30 Too Late to Learn How to Surf?
One of the most fantastic things about surfing is that anyone can learn to surf. While fitness may play a role, it’s something that one can develop, and if you put in the work and practice, surfing will come in no time.
Surfing is a lovely way to get in some exercise and relax. Surfing has no age barrier and is a non-impact sport, so joints have minimal stress.
Some may assume that advanced age will preclude learning to surf successfully. They may even suggest that your joints can’t cope.
I first started surfing in my thirties. It took some trying, and after attending a local surf camp, it was a lot easier. With the instructor’s help, it just clicked. I even managed to talk my sixty-year-old mother into giving it a go with the use of a surf school in Sri Lanka, and she managed to get up to a crouch on her board within the first lesson surf session.
Kima Surf Camps: A Premier Surfing Experience
Firstly, Bali is one of the most famous surf destinations on the planet and adds a top-class offering. Kima surf camps are a top surf camp outfit in Bali. Their experience is sublime. In addition to surfing, their camps also offer yoga, free diving, scuba diving, cooking classes, trips up volcanoes, and into the Balinese heartland.
Kima offers a fully curated experience at the top of the surf camp chain. Their accommodations are spectacular and vary from shared dorms to private luxury rooms and villas, plus they offer several locations in Bali.
As Kima does it all and provides its clients with the best possible instruction at perfectly picked locations, they are one of the best outfits for beginner surfers. There are workout areas and pools, and the beach is within easy walking distance. It’s perfect for learning and relaxing in one shot.
Where Is the Best Place to Surf for Beginners?
Finding a good beach for a beginner is easy, provided you know what it is, you should look for. Stay away from overcrowded beaches, swimmers can get in the way, and it also puts a lot of pressure on you to not wipe out if you think you have an audience.
Find somewhere quieter and with a gradual shore break with no reef or rocks you end up washed on. You should also choose somewhere with smaller waves.
There are many good beginner surf spots around the globe, but we recommend these for the best overall experience.
- California has several good beginner surf spots like Mission Beach, Zuma Beach, Malibu, and Huntingdon Beach.
- Mexico has good beaches like Playa del Carmen, Sayulita, and Acapulquito Beach in Los Cabos.
- In Hawaii, we recommend beaches like ‘Lemon Drops’ in Poipu, Pu’ena Point in Oahu, and ‘Thousand Peaks’ in Maui.
Best Surf Camps for Intermediate Surfers
As you have more practice and confidence, you will eventually move up to larger waves and more technical surf conditions as you move into more intermediate surfing skills. Not to worry, there are still many surf camps out there.
Most surf camps cater to the entire spectrum of skills, from beginner to advanced. Many surf camps provide surf guides who will show you all the best surf spots and share the top tips for catching the best waves in the area.
When you make your booking, all you need to do is let the chosen camp know what you want to achieve, and the surf camp will do what it can to assist you in making your surf experience possible.
As most surf camps cater to intermediate surf skills, you can pick any of the camps listed and be safe to know you’ll be well looked after. When in doubt LaPoint once again provides one of the best all-around surf camp experiences with camps worldwide.
Surf Camps In The Caribbean: Sun, Sand, And Surf
Just the word Caribbean is an immediate recommendation. The Caribbean is paradise on earth and offers some good surf camps with an incredible Caribbean vibe. There are several top-class surf camps in the Caribbean.
- Surf Camp is based in the British Virgin Islands and offers a surfing experience for all skill levels, there are magnificent white sand beaches and crystal-clear blue waters, and it’s breathtaking.
- Cabarete Surf Camp, set in the Dominican Republic, caters to all abilities and has kite surfing on offer in case you feel like changing things up a bit.
- Jamnesia Surf Camp is found in Jamaica, and if you’re looking for solid surfing and lots of local cultures, this is a perfect fit.
How Long Does It Take a Beginner to Learn to Surf?
The big question is, does it take a long time to learn to surf? There is no set-out time limit for learning. Some people may be standing on the first day, and others may take months. There is no wrong time to learn to surf. Like any other skill, the time it may take to learn to surf will depend on several factors.
Factors That Influence How Long It Takes to Learn to Surf
You will need to swim, and it helps to be relatively active and fit. It’s about repetition and learning, so a day or two of surf camps will be less likely to succeed than a camp that lasts at least a week or more.
Another factor will be how many instructors there are. Unless you’re paying for one-on-one instruction, you should have at most three to five people per instructor. The more one-on-one time you get, the faster you will learn.
Ultimately, how long it takes to surf will depend on your ability, and don’t be hard on yourself if it takes a while. Every surfer who may look advanced will tell you that they, too, are still learning. That’s the beauty of surfing. It’s a lifelong lesson, and there are no shortcuts.
The best way to surf is to embrace the experience and enjoy yourself.
Embarking on Your Surf Camp Adventure
Finding the best surf camp is easy; what’s going to be more difficult is picking which one you want to choose. Use your surfing education to help you travel and experience the world’s many surf camps.
G’day, my name is Rach Taylor and I’m the proud Founder of Surf Hungry. I am a former Australian Olympic athlete and Australian representative surf sports athlete. I’ve worked in the surf industry and lived at many of Australia’s best surf spots, sparking a life-long love of the ocean and a passion for surf sports which also rubbed off on my two young sons! I am also lucky to spend a lot of ocean-time in my favorite second home, Indonesia. In addition to SurfHungry I have founded several other websites in my areas of passion, namely coffee and rock climbing, and am also a regular rowing content contributor.