How to Pick the Right Surf School

Surf schools are the best way to get out into the water and take your first steps into the surfing world. Whether you’re a complete novice or looking to improve your skills, choosing the right surf school is crucial to your success, enjoyment, and above all, safety. With so many options available, it’s essential to do your research and make an informed decision. We’ll guide you through the process of selecting the perfect surf school to kickstart your surfing journey.

Decide What You Want

Before you start searching for a surf school, consider your goals. Are you a complete beginner looking for introductory lessons? Or are you an intermediate surfer seeking to refine your skills and catch bigger waves? Knowing your goals will help you narrow down your options and find a school that can cater to your specific needs.


Check the School’s Reputation

One of the best ways to assess a surf school is by checking its reputation. Look for online reviews, ask for recommendations from fellow surfers, and read testimonials on the school’s website. A reputable surf school will have positive feedback and a history of satisfied students.


Instructor Qualifications

The quality of instruction is critical when choosing a surf school. Instructors should be experienced surfers themselves and hold relevant certifications, such as lifeguard qualifications and CPR training. Don’t hesitate to ask about the instructors’ backgrounds and their teaching experience.


Safety Measures

Safety should be a top priority at any surf school. Inquire about the safety protocols and measures in place, including the use of appropriate equipment, first aid training, and student-to-instructor ratios. Ensure that the surf school has a plan for handling emergencies in the water.



Enquire about what kind of equipment is provided and what, if anything, you’ll need to bring yourself. While most schools provide everything you’ll need for your day out in the water, it’s worth double-checking to make sure there are no miscommunications.


Lesson Structure and Curriculum

Understanding the surf school’s lesson structure and curriculum is essential. Ask about the duration of lessons, the student-to-instructor ratio, and what topics are covered. A well-structured program should include not only practical surf lessons but also safety and ocean awareness training.


Location and Conditions

Consider the surf school’s location in relation to your accommodation and the surf conditions in the area. Some schools are situated in prime surf destinations with consistent waves, while others may be better suited for beginners with calmer waters. Make sure the location aligns with your preferences and skill level.

Jamie O'Brien Surf Experience in Waikiki.
Cost and Value

Compare the pricing of different surf schools, but remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Look for schools that offer value for your money, which includes quality instruction, uncrowded waves, safety, and equipment. 


Choosing the right surf school is a crucial step in your surfing journey. By considering your goals, checking the school’s reputation, assessing instructor qualifications, prioritizing safety, and evaluating equipment and facilities, you can make an informed decision that sets you up for success in the water. Remember that a good surf school not only teaches you how to catch waves but also instills a deep appreciation for the ocean and its beauty. So, do your research, ask questions, and embark on your surfing adventure with confidence.