THE 6 BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS
In this article “6 best surf camps for beginners destinations” we are going to explore some of the worlds best surf destinations for beginners.
Before we started Swell in the Caribbean in 2009 we operated a surf travel agency and that face us the chance to visit over 25+ countries to see what the surf conditions were like, so we have a pretty good idea of the different surfing conditions in the various surf destinations listed below.
But first, we need to have a look at what makes a good or best surf destination.
There is no such thing as one destination that ticks all the boxes. For one, someone who is in the early stages of their surf career is looking for a very different type of wave than a seasoned pro.
In this article, we focus on a region that has ideal learn to surf conditions for complete beginners.
We could have included more countries and regions on the list, but we have focussed on what we consider the best destinations.
Next month we will also feature 6 surf destinations for intermediate surfers.
BEST SURF CAMPS FOR BEGINNERS
Between zero and 5 surf sessions in their life.
BEST SURF CAMP DESTINATIONS FOR BEGINNERS LEARNING TO SURF
Where is it located: Largest island In the Caribbean, the North coast faces the Atlantic, the south coast faces the Caribbean.
Getting There: Short direct flight from Miami or 3-hour flight from New York and Toronto. Charter flights from Europe
Focus surf region: The north coast, 20 minutes from Puerto Plata international airport.
LEARN TO SURF IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
What makes it a great surf destination for beginners:
We are biased since this is where we opened Swell in 2009, but we did so for a reason: we wanted a place where we can teach people to surf in a safe way. Playa Encuentro is the ideal spot, it has 350 surfable days in the year, with mellow reform waves on the inside breaking over a flat reef, deep enough to stand in the water (around chest high), easy access to the beach, no dangerous current or sea life. We have taught 5000+ guests over 10 years the sport of surfing.
There is no dangerous sea life present, nor are there dangerous rips or currents present. All this make it one of the best places for a learn to surf camp for beginners.
Best time to go: any time of the year
More info: See this website
- Pretty white sand beaches, lined with palm trees.
- Friendly Caribbean vibes, in and out of the water.
- Close to an international airport
- Warm tropical climate and water
- Midday trade winds mean at times it gets too windy to surf after 13.00
Video of the Dominican Republic
SURFING COSTA RICA
Where is it located: In the middle of Central America. 2 coastlines, the West coast faces the Pacific, the east coast faces the Caribbean
Focus surf region: Pacific region of Guanacaste
What makes Costa Rica a great surf destination for beginners:
We have spent a lot of time in Costa Rica between 2014 and 2017. The waves in Nosara and Tamarindo offer a great playground for people new to the sport of surfing, and there are plenty of surf schools and surf camps in this area of Costa Rica.
Mostly sand bottom beach breaks make learning to surf in Costa Rica safe.
Best time to go: Smaller waves between November and March
- Safe country to visit in Central America
- Plenty of surf camps and surf schools to choose from
- Pretty beaches and wildlife
- The most expensive country to visit in the region, expect North American prices
- Domestic travel from San Jose international airport takes time and money
- BBusy in the surf
VIDEO OF COSTA RICA
Where is it located: Southeast Asia, north-west of Australia, Indonesia consists of 17,500 islands, of which Bali is one of them.
Focus surf region: West coast of Bali, between Seminyak in the north to Uluwatu in the south
What makes Bali one of the best surf destinations for beginners:
Having spent the last 4 years living here and having built our 2nd surf resort here, it’s no surprise that we love Bali and think it’s one of the best surf destinations in the world. It is actually one of the few places where surfers of all levels are happy spending their surf holiday. For beginners, the beaches of Seminyak, Kuta, Bingin and Baby Padang are ideal for someone who has never surfed before.
In 2021 Swell has opened it’s door to a new Swell Bali Surf camp
Best time to go: Any time of the year.
More info: https://www.swellbali.com
- Close to Denpasar international airport
- Great Balinese culture
- Ideal surf conditions
- Warm tropical climate and water
- Kuta region traffic can be a nightmare
- Air travel from Europe and North America is lengthy, although once landed at Bali it is a short trip to the surf beaches.
Video of Bali
Where is it located: Southwest corner of Europe, bordering Spain to the east.
Focus surf region: South Western tip of the Algarve and Alentejo
What makes Portugal one of the best surf destinations for beginners:
A mild climate makes Portugal a great places to visit for about 9 months of the year where the outside air temperature is 20° Celcius (69° Fahrenheit). Lots of open beach breaks mean there are not many days where the surf is too small to learn to surf.
A large variety of surf camps in schools catering for people between 18 and 24 years old.
Most teaching is done by qualified surf instructors
More info: coming soon
- Lots of budget hostel style surf camps in Portugal to choose from
- European culture
- For most of the year, you have to wear a full wetsuit since the water is chilly
- In the summer months of July and August, the beaches get very crowded
Where is it located: SW tip of England.
Focus surf region: Cornwall
What makes Cornwall a great place for learning to surf
Cornwall has some of the most stunning beaches and coves of England ( and even Europe). Being well exposed to the Atlantic ocean means that Cornwall gets plenty of waves. White sandy beaches make it a great place for your first surf lessons.
One of the surf school companies that we can highly recommend is Cornish Wave. Owned and operated by Jorrin, who also worked at Swell for a winter.
Highly professional, knowledgeable and friendly!
More info: Cornish Wave
- Stunning scenery
- Sandy beaches
- Friendly locals
- Expensive destination
- Busy in European summer months
Video of Cornwall
AUSTRALIA, BYRON BAY
Where is it located: Easter tip of Australia
Focus surf region: North coast of NSW
What makes Byron Bay a great place for learning to surf?
Byron Bay has stunning white sandy beaches with a large variety of different surf breaks. There are a good amount of different surf schools to choose from. And if you are between 20 and 30 years old there’s a variety of different hostels/backpackers to choose from. If you want private accommodation, there are some very good hotels.
- Sandy beaches
- variety of different surf spots
- Great beach culture
- Busy year round
Video of Byron bay
We hope you enjoyed our “Best Surf Camps For Beginners” list. Next month we are focussing on surf camp destinations for intermediate and advanced surfers.
If you have any questions about this article and want to join us in the Dominican Republic for a unique surf holiday: do send us a message!