12 Tips When Choosing a Surf Camp

If you're looking to choose a surf camp for your next summer adventure there are many factors to consider! 

Choosing a surf camp can be overwhelming with so much choice on offer! We have listed 12 tips to choosing a surf camp to help walk you through your decision on where to spend your holiday!

What Is a Surf Camp?

Choosing a surf camp is a pivotal decision for individuals seeking a structured and immersive surfing experience. A surf camp is a specialised program or facility that offers accommodations, equipment rentals, and professional instruction for surfers at various skill levels. These camps play a crucial role in skill development, providing daily lessons and fostering a sense of community among those choosing a surf camp.

How will I know which surf camp to choose?

Choosing a surf camp correctly is crucial for an unforgettable experience. Start by considering the location, look for camps situated near suitable beaches with waves matching your skill level. Investigate the instructors' qualifications and experience, ensuring they are certified and capable of providing safe and effective lessons. 

Explore accommodation options, checking proximity to the surf spot and available amenities. Assess the lesson structure, focusing on whether they cater to different skill levels and if there's a good instructor-to-student ratio.

Finally, read reviews and testimonials to gain insights into the experiences of past participants, helping you make an informed decision when selecting the perfect surf camp for you.

Tips To Choosing a Surf Camp

Surf Camp Location 

Choosing the right location for your surf camp sets the tone for an exciting adventure. Look for camps situated near beaches with waves suitable for your skill level. Consider the climate and weather conditions during your intended visit. A good location ensures not only the availability of appropriate waves but also an enjoyable overall experience. Whether it's the tropical vibes of Bali or the consistent breaks in Costa Rica, the location plays a key role in shaping your surf camp adventure.

Surf Camp Costs 

Understanding the cost of a surf camp is essential for planning your budget when you are choosing a surf camp. Different camps offer various packages, including accommodations, lessons, and equipment rentals. Consider your budget and what each package includes. While some camps may seem more expensive initially, they might include added benefits like premium equipment or additional activities. Additionally, check if there are any hidden costs, such as meals or optional excursions. By carefully evaluating the cost, you can ensure that you choose a surf camp that not only fits your budget but also provides good value for the experience offered.

Accommodation Standards

The quality of accommodation can significantly impact your overall surf camp experience. Research the type of accommodation offered, ranging from shared dorms to private rooms or even beachfront bungalows. Consider amenities like Wi-Fi, communal areas, and kitchen facilities. A comfortable and convenient place to stay enhances your time off the waves, contributing to a well-rounded and enjoyable surf camp adventure.

Equipment Provided or Needed

Understanding the equipment aspect of a surf camp is crucial for preparation. Check if the camp provides rental surfboards and wetsuits or if you need to bring your own. Assess the quality of the equipment offered and inquire about any additional costs for premium gear. Knowing what's provided and what you need to bring ensures you're well-equipped for your lessons and can make informed decisions about your surfing gear.

Surf Camp Reviews

Before making a decision, delve into surf camp reviews to gain insights from the experiences of past participants. Look for feedback on the quality of instruction, the overall atmosphere, and the effectiveness of the lessons. Pay attention to reviews mentioning the supportiveness of instructors and the camaraderie among participants. Honest reviews can provide valuable information, guiding you towards a surf camp that aligns with your expectations and preferences.

Surf Season

Understanding the surf season is crucial for planning your surf camp adventure. Research the optimal times for surfing at your chosen location, considering factors like wave consistency and weather conditions. Different destinations have peak surf seasons, ensuring the best possible experience for surfers. Whether it's the winter swells in Hawaii or the summer breaks in Portugal, aligning your visit with the ideal surf season enhances your chances of catching the perfect waves.

Weather and Climate

Consider the local weather and climate when choosing a surf camp. Check the average temperatures, rainfall, and wind conditions during your planned visit. Understanding the climate helps you pack appropriately and prepares you for the overall atmosphere during your stay. Some surf destinations may have consistent sunshine, while others might experience occasional rain. Being aware of the weather conditions ensures a comfortable and enjoyable surf camp experience.

Surf Camp Instructors

The expertise of surf camp instructors is a key factor in your learning experience. Ensure that the instructors are certified and experienced in teaching surfing. Research their backgrounds, qualifications, and reviews from previous participants. A knowledgeable and supportive instructor can make a significant difference in your progress and overall enjoyment during the surf camp.

Surf Camp Skill Level

Assessing the surf camp's suitability for your skill level is vital for a fulfilling experience. Inquire whether the camp caters to beginners, intermediate, or advanced surfers. A well-structured program that aligns with your skill level ensures you receive appropriate instruction and challenges. Whether you're catching your first waves or refining advanced techniques, choosing a surf camp that matches your skill level is essential for a rewarding and personalised learning experience.

Visas & Documents For Select Country

Before embarking on your surf camp journey, thoroughly research the visa and document requirements for the destination country. Check visa regulations, passport validity, and any specific entry requirements. Ensure you have all necessary documents well in advance to avoid any travel complications. Understanding the visa process contributes to a smooth and hassle-free travel experience, allowing you to focus on enjoying your surf camp adventure.

Additional Activities

Explore the variety of additional activities offered by the surf camp to make the most of your time beyond surfing. Many camps organise excursions, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures. Whether it's exploring local markets, hiking scenic trails, or participating in yoga sessions, these activities enhance your overall experience and provide a well-rounded adventure beyond the waves.

Cancellation and Refund Policies

Familiarise yourself with the surf camp's cancellation and refund policies to mitigate any unforeseen circumstances. Understand the terms for cancellations, whether there are penalties, and the timeframe for potential refunds. Knowing the policies in advance allows you to make informed decisions and consider travel insurance if needed. Being aware of the camp's cancellation and refund procedures ensures a transparent and stress-free planning process.

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Lapoint Surf Camp Portugal

Best Surf Camps In The World

Questions To Ask When Choosing a Surf Camp 

  • Q: What are the benefits of surf camps?
  • A: Surf camps offer structured lessons, a supportive community, and a chance to improve surfing skills in beautiful coastal settings.
  • Q: Where and when do you want to travel?
  • A: I'd prefer to travel to a destination with consistent waves and favourable weather conditions, ideally during the surf season.
  • Q: What sort of accommodation do you want to stay in?
  • A: I prefer comfortable accommodation, potentially a mix of private and shared spaces, with amenities such as Wi-Fi and communal areas.
  • Q: Do you need surf lessons or guiding?
  • A: I would like surf lessons to improve my skills and gain confidence in the waves.
  • Q: Do you have your own equipment or need to borrow it?
  • A: I need to borrow surf equipment as I don't have my own.
  • Q: What’s the vibe like? The clientele?
  • A: I'm looking for a laid-back and inclusive vibe, preferably with a diverse clientele of surfers passionate about the ocean.
  • Q: Where is the surf camp located, and what are the surf conditions like?
  • A: I prefer a surf camp located near a beach with suitable waves for my skill level, and I'm interested in learning about local surf conditions.
  • Q: Are the surf instructors certified and experienced, and what safety measures are in place during lessons?
  • A: I want certified and experienced surf instructors who prioritise safety, including proper safety measures during lessons.
  • Q: What type of accommodation is provided, and how close is it to the surf spot?
  • A: I prefer accommodation that is within walking distance to the surf spot for convenience.
  • Q: How are the surf lessons structured, and what is the instructor-to-student ratio?
  • A: I'm interested in well-structured surf lessons with a reasonable instructor-to-student ratio.
  • Q: Are there other activities or excursions included in the package, and can the surf camp provide references or testimonials from past participants?
  • A: I'd like to know if there are additional activities, excursions, and references or testimonials from past participants included in the surf camp package.

What To Pack For Your Surf Camp


  • Swimsuits (multiple)
  • Quick-dry rash guards
  • Board shorts
  • Wetsuit (if not provided by the surf camp)


  • Flip-flops or sandals
  • Reef booties (for rocky beaches)

Sun Protection:

  • Sunscreen (water-resistant)
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Hat or cap

Personal Items:

  • Towel (quick-dry)
  • Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, etc.)
  • Personal medications

Surf Gear:

  • Surfboard (if you have your own)
  • Leash
  • Wax (if using your own board)


  • Lightweight and breathable clothing for downtime
  • Long-sleeved shirts and pants for sun protection


  • Waterproof phone case
  • GoPro or waterproof camera

Travel Essentials:

  • Passport and necessary documents
  • Travel insurance information
  • Backpack or daypack for excursions

Choosing a Surf Camp Essentials:

  • Confirmation documents for the surf camp
  • Emergency contact information
  • Map or directions to the surf camp location

Optional Items:

  • Surf wax comb
  • Portable speaker for a beach vibe
  • Travel-friendly snacks

Remember when choosing a surf camp, it's essential to pack according to the destination's climate and the specific activities offered. Tailoring your packing list to the unique aspects of your chosen surf camp ensures you're well-prepared for a fantastic experience.

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