Surf Schools: learn to surf with a certified surf instructor

Surf schools are a great way of learning how to surf quickly.

Surf lessons are usually taught by instructed and certified surf teachers, in controlled and safe ocean environments.

You should be able to learn to surf in between a week and a month. A good surf school will teach you to ride your first wave, after a five-hour practice.

Take a look at our comprehensive surf school guide.

Learn to Surf in 24 Hours

Surf schools are the best option for those willing to learn how to surf quickly and enjoy the first rides of their lives.

Would it possible to learn how to surf in 24 hours?

Although it is always important to get tips and surf knowledge from a certified surf instructor, the answer is "yes."

Read "The Beginners' Guide to Surfing." Discover how to surf in 24 hours. Also, learn how to duck dive.

How to Choose a Surf School?

Surfing is easy, and if you've decided to pay for surf lessons, then you did well.

It's always better to have a fully trained surf teacher guiding you through the best ways to stand up on a surfboard. Nowadays, learning to surf is easier and faster because there are many surf schools and surf camps, in almost every coastal country.

Nevertheless, pay attention to a few rules, before applying to a local surfing school.

Each has country has its own legislation on safety sporting procedures. Surfing instructors have learned to offer you the best conditions possible.

First of all, ask your local surf school how you will be taught. Some national surfing governing bodies and federations have strict rules for surf schools.

One of the most important surf school rules is the coach/student ratio. Each class of one surf teacher should not have more than eight surfers. Surf schools that charge lessons that do not respect the 1/8 ratio rule are violating the official security procedures.

Beginners should learn the primary skills of surfing: paddling through the break and onto waves, taking off in a wave, trimming across the face of a wave and turning/cutting back forehand and backhand.

Surf coaches should be able to get an absolute beginner - who has never seen a board before - to a surfing level in which the rider has the ability to produce carving turns and cope with re-entries.

Surf lessons: learning to surf is easy | Photo: Shutterstock

Surf School Requirements

The International Surfing Association (ISA) is the world governing body for the sport of surfing, and has published an important document about surf schools.

The "Obligations of a Registered Surf School" document is great to understand the main guidelines.

Surf schools must offer the following conditions:

1. Soft cored surfboards for beginners;
2. Wetsuits;
3. Safety helmets (on request);
4. Water resistant sunscreen;
5. Comprehensive first aid kit;
6. Uniformly colored rash vests for participants;
7. Areas flags or markers (unless prohibited by local authorities);
8. Whistle;
9. Rescue board;
10. Mobile phone;

Official ISA-certified surf schools must renew their registrations, every year.

Get a Beginner Surfboard

Soft surfboard models are longer, wider and heavier, so that beginners can easily take off in the initial waves.

Beginner surfboards have higher buoyancy levels to allow surfing apprentices accessible stand-up training.

The Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam adds durability. Beginner surfboards are quite affordable and can be purchased at around $250.

Discover the best surfboards for beginners.

Beginner Surfboards: you'll be riding waves in less than 24 hours

Open your Surf School

Do you want to start a surf school? Today, anyone can run a surf school, surf clinic or a surf camp.

The first thing that should be taught are the rules of surf etiquette.

Learn how to run your own surf academy.

The Complete List of Official Surf Schools

Official Surf Schools in USA

AC Surf School | Atlantic City
Oregon Surf Adventures | Seaside
JP's Surf Camp | San Clemente
Summer Soul Surf Camp | San Onofre Surf Beach
Santa Barbara Seals Surf School | Leadbetter Beach
Endless Summer Surf Camp | San Onofre State Beach
Soul Surfing School | Laguna Beach
Silver Strand Surf School | Oxnard
Surf Coach USA

Official Surf Schools in Australia

New South Wales

Solitary Islands Surf School | Arrawarra, Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour, Emerald Beach
Central Coast Surf School | Avoca
Coffs Coast Surf School | Coffs Harbour
Coastal Paddle Surf | Mollymook, Narrawallee, Lake Conjola, Ulladulla
Rubbersoul Boardriding Co | Ballina
Broulee Surf School | Broulee
Terry Mcdermott Surf School | Budgewoi
Byron Stand Up Paddle | Byron Bay
Rusty Miller Personalised Surfing Instruction | Byron Bay
Sunrise Surfing Byron Bay | Byron Bay
Surfing Byron Bay | Byron Bay
Mojosurf Australia | Byron Bay, Crescent Head and Sydney
Avoca & Terrigal Learn To Surf | Central Coast
Surf Life Style | Central Coast
Lee Winkler's Surf School | Coffs Harbour
Crescent Head Learn To Surf | Crescent Head
Cronulla Stand Up Paddleboard | Cronulla
Surf Camp Australia | Sydney, Gerroa
Great Lakes Surf School | Forster
Summerland Surf School | Lennox Head and Evans Head
Coastlife Adventures | Merimbula
Pam Burridge Surf School | Mollymook
Trent Munro Surf Academy | Nambucca Valley
Learn To Surf Newcastle | Newcastle
Newcastle Surf School | Newcastle
Surfest Surf School | Newcastle
Beach Bum Australia | Cabarita and Hastings
Saltwater Surf School | Old Bar, Wallabi Point, Saltwater
Port Stephens Surf School | One Mile Beach
Port Macquarie Surf School | Port Macquarie, Nsw
Sunpatch Surf School | Sawtell
Australian Surf Tours | South Coast
Lets Go Surfing | Bondi Beach
Cronulla Surfing Academy | Cronulla
Surfing Cronulla Surf School | Cronulla
Manly Surf School | Manly
Surfing Nsw Elite Surf School | Maroubra
Sydney Safe Surf School | Maroubra
In2surf Surf School | Tweed Coast
Salty Girls Surf School | Tweed Coast
Ulladulla Surf School | Ulladulla
Yamba-Angourie Surf School | Yamba

Western Australia

Surfing Western Australia Surf School | Trigg Beach
Little Seeds Surf School | Albany
Perth Stand Up Paddle School | North Fremantle
Surf School | Scarborough Beach
Big Wave Surfing School | Perth & Mandurah
Due South Surfing | Albany
Broome Surf School | Broome
South Coast Surfing Lessons | Denmark
Twilight School of Surf | Esperance
Midwest Surf School | Geraldton
Josh Palmateer's Surf Academy | Margaret River
Margaret River Surf School | Margaret River
Yallingup Surf School | Yallingup


Go Ride A Wave | Anglesea
Apollo Bay Surf & Kayak | Apollo Bay
Wsup Wards Stand Up Paddle Boarding | Geelong
Great Ocean Road Surf Tours | Great Ocean Road
Offshore Surf School | Inverloch
Surf Shack Surf School | Lakes Entrance
Switchfoot Surf Coaching | Ocean Grove
Surf Sessions | Ocean Grove and Barwon Heads
Island Surf School | Phillip Island
Point Lonsdale Surf School | Point Lonsdale
Port Fairy Surfschool | Port Fairy
Go Surf | Port Fairy
Epic Surf School | Torquay
Torquay Surfing Academy | Torquay
West Coast Surf School | Torquay

South Australia

Kingo's Surf School | Adelaide
Surf Culture Australia | Fleurieu Peninsula
Surfing South Australia Surf School | Glenelg and Southport
South Coast Surf Academy | Middleton
Surf And Sun | Middleton and Moana
Get Salty Surf School | Port Macdonnell
The Sceale Bay Surf School | Streaky Bay
Encounter Water Sports | Victor Harbour
Neptunes Surf Coaching | Yorke Peninsula


Reef 2 Beach Surf School | Agnes Water
Bribie Island Surfschool | Bribie Island
Broadbeach Surf School | Broadbeach
Surfschool Bargara | Bundaberg
Paramount Learn to Surf | Burleigh Heads
Coolum Surfing School | Coolum Beach
JM Stand Up Paddle Company | Gold Coast
Surfing Queensland Coaching Academy | Gold Coast
Go Ride A Wave | Gold Coast
Godfathers of the Ocean Surf School | Gold Coast
Walkin on Water | Coolangatta
Surfing Services Australia | Currumbin Alley
1st Wave Surfschool | Main Beach
Get Wet Surf School | Surfers Paradise
Sunshine State Surfing School | Surfers Paradise
Gold Coast Surf Academy | Kurruwa Surf Club Central Broadbeach
Maroochy Surf School | Marrochydore
North Stradbroke Island Surfschool | North Stradbroke Island
The SurfSense Academy | Peregian Beach
North Caloundra Surf School | Caloundra
Kawana Surfschool | Kawana
Mudjimba Surf School | Mudjimba
Capricorn Coast Learn 2 Surf | Yeppoon


42 South Surf School | Northern Tasmania
Coastrider Surf Academy | Clifton Beach
South Coast Surf School | Hobart

Official Surf Schools in the UK

Bantham Surfing Academy
Big Blue Surf School
Big Green Surf School
Bournemouth Surf School
Coast to Coast
Era Adventure
Errant Surf School
Escape Surf School
Inieka Funcenter Fuerteventura
Lyndon Wake Surf School
Newquay Activity Centre
Outdoor Adventure
Perranporth Surf School
Progress Surf School
Saltburn Surf School
Shore Surf
Smart Surf School
St Georges House
St Ives Surf School
Surf GSD Gower Surfing Development
Surf School Lanzarote
Surf South West
Surf's Up Surf School
Ticket To Ride Surf School
Watergate Bay Surf School
Welsh Surfing Federation School
Woolacombe Surf School

Official Surf Schools in Portugal

3S Surf School | Torres Vedras
7ª Essência |  Linda-A-Velha
Academia de Bodyboard de Faro | Faro
Academia do Mar | Espinho
Academia Lusófona Surf | Lisboa
Action Waves | Ericeira
Adraga Surf School | Penedo
Alfarroba Surf Academy | Lisboa
Algarve Adventure Surf School | Aljezur
Algarve Surf School | Sagres
Aljezur Experiences | Aljezur
Amado Surf School | Carrapateira
Angel's Surf School | Parede
Aroundfreedom | Caniço
Arrifana Surf School & Camp |Arrifana
ASCC Surf Project | Costa da Caparica
Atlantic Riders | Aljezur
Azores Surf Center | Livramento
Azul Absoluto | Carcavelos
Baia de Peniche Bodyboard/Surf School de Silvano Lourenço | Peniche
Barbas Surf Academy | Costa da Caparica
Berber West Coast Surf School | Ericeira
Billy Escola de Surf | Miramar
Blue Ocean Surf School | Ericeira
Board Life Ocean Center | Alcabideche
Boardculture Performance Center | Ericeira
Boogie Chicks | Carcavelos
Calhau Surf School | Funchal
Carcavelos Surf School | Carcavelos
Carvalhal Surf School | Carvalhal
CDAN Surf School | Nazaré
Centro Internacional de Surf | Costa de Caparica
Ding It Surf School | Ericeira
Discovery Surf School | Portimão
Drop in Surfcamp | Lourinhã
Drop Surf Center | Ferrel
Duckdive|Surf School | Vila Nova da Caparica
Epic Surf School | Lisboa
Ericeira Local | Ericeira
Ericeira Surf School | Ericeira
Ericeira Wave School | Magoito
Escola de BB e Surf da Figueira da Foz | Figueira da Foz
Escola de Surf | Casa da Praia | Carcavelos
Escola de Surf Animal | Ovar
Escola de Surf da Madeira | Porto da Cruz
Escola de Surf de Faro | Faro
Escola de Surf e BB da Ass. de Surf de Aveiro | Gafanha da Nazaré
Escola de Surf Grande Onda | Carcavelos
Escola de Surf Koala | Âncora
Escola de Surf Milfontes | Vila Nova de Milfontes
Escola de Surf Na Onda | Ericeira
Escola de Surf Sempre Boa Onda | Vila Franca de Xira
Escola de Surf, Bodyboard, Skimboard e Skate do Surf Clube de Sesimbra | Sesimbra
Escola Happy Day | Póvoa de Varzim
Escola Magikvanilla | Ericeira
Escolinha de Surf e BB do CSS | Figueira da Foz
Essência | Charneca da Caparica
Expêriencia Pura Surf School | Colares
Extra Extra Surf School | Ericeira
Extreme Algarve | Lagos
Figueira Surf Center | Figueira da Foz
Filsurf | Vila Nova de Gaia
Fish Surf School | Gondomar
Fisherman Surf School | Vila Nova de Gaia
Fisica | Torres Vedras
Flow Surf School | Lisboa
Flower Power Surf School | Porto
Foz Camp SurfSchool | Foz do Arelho
Fredy Surf School | Matosinhos
Freeride Sagres | Sagres
FunRide Surf School & Camp | Sagres
Future Surfing School | Portimão
G3 SurfSchool | Peniche
Go Surf Lisboa | Parede
Godzilla Surf's Cool | Matosinhos
Good Surf Good Love Surf Academy by Tralha | Santa Cruz
Gota d'Água Surf School | Caneças
Guincho Surf School | Cascais
GUSU | São Domingos de Rana
H2O In Action Sport School | Marinha Grande
H30 Escola de Surf de Ofir | Braga
International Surf School | Sagres
I Surf Academy | Figueira da Foz
Jah | Praia da Luz
Jungle Surf Safaris Surf School | Lagos
Justlikebb Program & Feel Free Surf School | Carcavelos
Karma Surf Retreat | Alcabideche
Kiber Surf School | Póvoa do Varzim
La Point Surf School | Parede
Lagos Surf Safari | Lagos
Linha de Onda Escola de Bodyboard | Matosinhos
Ludens Bodyboard School | Machico
Lufi Surf School | Costa da Caparica
Madeira Surf Camp & School | Porto da Cruz
Madeira Surfing Life | Ribeira Brava
Mag8 Wave School | Magoito
Malibu Escola de Surf | Vila Nova de Gaia
Miguel Almeida Academia de Surf | Charneca da Caparica
Mission to Surf | Aljezur
Mitiluma Surf School | Leiria
More Than Surfing | Parede
Múltipla Escolha Surf School | Porto
Murillo's Surf & Bodyboard Academy | Marinha Grande
Natura Surf Academy | Almada
Naval Surf School | Funchal
Nazaré Surf School | Nazaré
Neptunos Surf School | Mexilhoeira da Carregação
Nomad Surf Camp Vale Figueiras | Aljezur
Nova Onda | Escola de Bodyboard | Carcavelos
Nova Vaga Surf School | Lisboa
Nuno Silva Surf School | Peniche
Odesurf Holidays | Odeceixe
Onda Abaixo Escola de Surf de Almada | Cova da Piedade
Onda Magna|Escola de Surf | Fão
Onda Pura Escola de Surf | Matosinhos
Oporto Surf Camp | Esmoriz
Peniche Surf School | Peniche
Pig Dog Surf Camp | Sines
Playsurf | Portimão
Pocean Surf Academy | Ericeira
Pontoeste | Escola de Surf e Bodyboard | Estarreja
Portugal Surf Academia | Carcavelos
Portugal Surf Camp | Mafra
Probodyboard | Costa da Caparica
Puremocean | Carcavelos
Puro Surf | Lisboa
Quarteira Surf Project | Quarteira
Quebra Côco | Albufeira
Quiksilver Surf School Praia da Barra | Gafanha da Nazaré
R Star | Aljezur
S S Surf School | Figueira da Foz
S.S.B. Surf Academy | Sesimbra
Sagres Bodyboard School | Sagres
Sagres Natura | Sagres
Samadi Surf School | Costa da Caparica
Search School | Costa da Caparica
Secret Surf School | Gafanha da Boa Hora
Sempre Boa Onda | Vila Franca da Xira
Silver Coast Surf School | Casais do Baleal
Sizandro Surf Center | Torres Vedras
Sol & Fun | Colares
Soulspot | Colares
Surf At Praia das Maças | Colares
Surf Academia Team | Vila Nova de Gaia
Surf Center Porto Escola de Surf | Matosinhos
Surf Concept School | Parede
Surf In S. Pedro | São Pedro do Estoril
Surf School Bodyboard School | Amora
Surf Spirit School | São Pedro do Estoril
Surf Spot Escola de Surf | Almada
Surf Training School | Porto
Surfalgarve | Lagos
Surfaventura | Matosinhos
Surfing Figueira | Figueira da Foz
Surfing Life Club | Matosinhos
Surfjah | Espinho
SurfLab | Alfragide
Surfoz Surf School | Caldas de Rainha
Surf' Aqui | Gafanha da Nazaré
Thai Surf de Vilamoura | Almancil
The Surf Experience | Lagos
Tiago Pires Surf School | Ericeira
Ticket 2 Surf | Silves
Time To Surf | Caparica
Três Ondas Escola de Surf | Mafra
Twins Surf School | Pataias
UP 8 Riding Surf School | Lisboa
Vilamoura Surf Project | Quarteira
Waiting for the Sun | Aljezur
Water Proof Surf School | Rogil
Waves and Lines | São João das Lampas
Wavesensations | Sagres
West Coast Surf School | Carvoeira
YMCA Surf Portugal | Lisboa

Official Surf Schools in France

Tao Magic Gliss | Hossegor
Surf Trip | Hossegor
Natural Surf Lodge | Seignosse
Aloha Ecole de Surf | Seignosse
Messanges Surf School | Messanges

Official Surf Schools in Spain


9 Pies | Cadiz
a-frame | El Palmar
El Palmar Surf School | El Palmar
Kitec Tarifa | Tarifa
NaluSur Aventura y Fitness | Marbella
Offshore | Cadiz
PaddleSurf Marbella SUP Club | Marbella
Surf Training | Cadiz


Cab5 | Oviedo
Las Dunas | Salinas
Escuela de Surf Marejada | Colunga, Caravia and Ribadesella
Escuela de Surf & Surfcamp Xagó | Gozón
Rompiente Norte | Playa de los Quebrantos
Skool Surf Club | Playa España and Xivares
Surf Escuela | Tapia de Casariego
Waikiki | Ribadesella


Aloha SUP School | Ibiza and Formentera
El Niño - Stand Up Surf School | Can Pastilla


Planet Surf Camp | Fuerteventura
Atlantik Surf | Tenerife
Calima Surf | Lanzarote
Costa Noreste Lanzarote Surf and Kitesurf School | Lanzarote
El Tubo Azul | Fuerteventura
Club de Surf Oleaje | Arucas
Escuela Surfing El Socorro | Playa del Socorro
Fitenia Escuela de Surf | Tenerife
Kahuna Surfschool | El Cotillo
Ocean Side | Playa de las Canteras  
O'Neill Surf School | Fuerteventura
Surf Canaries | Arguineguín
Tayurth | Los Cristianos
University Surf School | Las Palmas


Atlantik Surf Cantabria | Ajo
Costa Norte Escuela de Surf | San Vicente de la Barquera
Damos Surf School | Loredo
Escuela Cántabra de Surf | Playa de Somo
Escuela Comillas Aventura H2O | Comillas
Escuela de Surf Buena Onda | San Vicente de la Barquera
Escuela de Surf Los Locos | Suances
Escuela de Surf Pinos Laredo | Laredo
Escuela de Surf Santander | Playa de Canallave
Spain Surf Holidays | Loredo
Special Surf School | Liencres and Playa del Sardinero
Surf Spirit | San Vicente de la Barquera
SurfNSoul | Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera

Escola Catalana de Surf | Barcelona

Comunidad Valenciana

SUP Costa Blanca | Alicante


Hondarribia Paraty SUP Eskola | Hondarribia
La Escuela del Surf Zarautz | Zarautz


Aquanauta | Oleiros
Escola Boa Onda | Ferrol
Escuela de Surf Grosso de Doniños | Doniños
Silfocamps | Malpica de Bergantiños
La Coruña Surfing School | La Coruña
Pantín Surf Camp | Valdoviño
Patos Surf Escola | Patos
Prado Surf Escola | Playa de Patos
Raz Surfcamp | Playa de Razo
Soul Surfing School | Oleiros
Sundance Old Rider | Barreiros
Surf & Rock | Playa de Razo
Surf Galicia Experience | Porto do Son and O Grove
¡Hola!Ola | Playa de Peñarronda and Playa Longara

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