Is it necessary to attend a surf school or camp in order to learn how to surf? The simple answer is “No”. Sometimes it’s impossible to regularly set aside time to practice something new, let alone take a week or two off from work to travel somewhere warm so you can take some surfing lessons. For those who prefer to learn on their own or just can’t make the time, we’ve created a “Learn How To Surf On Your Own” guide. But just as with any other sport or activity, when you are starting out it is helpful to have the guidance and assistance of an experienced instructor to get you started off on the right foot.
Surf School vs. Surf Camp
Most of the time there’s not much of a difference between surf schools and surf camps; in fact, it is common to find that surf schools and surf camps overlap in the services they provide. However, there are potential differences between the two. A ‘surf school’ is just that, a school for learning how to surf where surf instructors will help you develop your surfing skills. Meanwhile a ‘surf camp’ may be dedicated to providing the necessary services for surfers to enjoy a week of surfing, and not focus on providing surfing instruction. Basic services a surf camp typically provides include lodging, meals, surfboard rentals, and perhaps surf tours.
Benefits of Attending a Surf School
Besides giving you an excuse to escape your daily routine, enrolling in a quality surf school provides you with the following benefits:
- Experienced surf instructors who will give you helpful tips and more importantly ensure your safety
- Good way to commit yourself to the activity for a few days
- Appropriate equipment is provided
- Gives you the opportunity to give surfing a solid try before investing in your own equipment
- Makes for a great surf vacation
What To Look for in a Surf School
The most important thing to look for in a surf school or surf camp is that the people running the business, or at least the instructors, are experienced surfers themselves. Other important things to look for are:
- CPR and/or first aid certification
- Location of lessons (are the lessons given at a beginner-friendly beach?)
- School uses beginner surfboards (aka softboards, soft top surfboards, etc)
Whether you enroll in a school for some surf lessons or not, best of luck and hope you get stoked on surfing.