Best Surf Schools In The U.S.

Best Surf Schools in the U.S.

The reasons to take up surfing are endless – it's a great full-body workout; it teaches you patience; you get to travel to unique places; you reconnect with nature, soaking up the sun and getting lots of vitamin D. Surfing has evolved from a Polynesian fishing technique to a hugely popular leisure activity and professional sport. There is an entire subculture with its own language, fashion and lifestyle.

1. Paskowitz Surf Camp

Paskowitz Surf Camp in San Diego, California is the longest running surf camp in the country. They also offer special one-on-one lessons for children on the Autism spectrum during their Isaiah's Autism Family Camp. The school has eight training sessions, between two and six days, scheduled through August 12. All of the reviews on Yelp have 5 stars. "Captain Russell is not only informative and safe, but he really knows how to show his guest a great time!" one person wrote.

2. Billabong Surf Schools

Billabong offers about 20 different camps all over the country, from New Jersey to Hawaii. The teaching sessions are designed for everyone, regardless of level, who wants to surf and enjoy what the beach life has to offer. Instructors present surfing as a lifestyle stressing on safety, ocean science, environmental awareness, surf etiquette and cultural heritage.

3. Nancy Emerson School of Surfing

The first surfing institution in the Hawaiian Islands, the Nancy Emerson School of Surfing has been teaching and coaching people of all ages to surf since 1973. Paying individual attention to each student is very important. There is a maximum of four surfers per instructor. All of them coach with a keen eye on subtle aspects of form and style, developing a proper foundation and providing the tools and techniques to help improve experienced surfers' skills.

4. Corey’s Wave

Whether you want individual lessons or to be part of a group, in an exotic location or at the local beach, Corey Waves has a lot to offer. You can even take lessons in stand-up paddleboarding as well. Instructors and life guards accommodate any kind of event or party, such as birthdays, bridal parties, or corporate events. There is a Kids' Surf Academy, a semi-private group lesson, where children get more time in learning different techniques, trying different styles, and learning about ocean safety.

5. SurfnSoul

SurfnSoul in Waikiki and Kauai offers beginner-friendly and advanced level week-long courses. Hanalei Bay is the preferred spot for beginners, but the instructors take students to lesser-known nearby breaks, depending on weather conditions. Their philosophy is that learning to surf is a lot about learning to understand the ocean and how to work with it instead of against it. Thus, their lesson plans are designed to build confidence in you. Yoga classes are also available. The school's home includes ocean views, outdoor showers, and snorkels. 

6. Richard Schmidt Surf School

Richard Schmidt School of Surfing, Santa Cruz's original surf school since 1978, is on top of the list of Best Surf Lessons in the region on Yelp. "Had lots of fun. The instructors were terrific. I was upright on my first try! I will definitely return," one person wrote, and most reviews say similar things. The school offers year-round surf and stand up paddleboard (SUP) lessons, classes and marine tours for all ages, levels and physical/cognitive abilities. They also offer week-long overnight Santa Cruz summer surf camps and Costa Rica winter surf and yoga retreats.

7. Skudin Surf

Skudin Surf, New York's premier surfing school, offers kids lessons, adult camps, individual and semi-private training sessions and packages. You also have the option to book a unique event with them to have fun on your next group activity outing, whether it's with coworkers, friends or family, all ages and abilities. They provide all the equipment and accessories needed. Their locations are Long Beach and Atlantic Beach on Long Island and Rockaway Beach in Queens.

8. Hawaiian Surf School

Ken Bradshaw's Hawaiian Surf School is located on the island of Oahu's North Shore. It offers private and group surfing lessons catering to all levels of surfing experience. "Bearing the name of the Texas born, now world renowned professional Big Wave Surfer who came to Hawaii in 1969, the surf school is recognized in the industry for its founder and his contributions to the development of professional surfing and big wave tow surfing safety."

9. Tony Silvagni Surf School

The Tony Silvagni Surf School is located in Carolina Beach, just minutes from Wilmington and Wrightsville, on the southern North Caroline coastline. Instructors offer surf camps, SUP lessons, board rentals, and private, advanced, group sessions. They organize surf parties and as well as "yoga and surf sessions," kayak tours, and SUP Yoga to challenge you with breathing exercises, lengthening postures, sun salutations flow and guided meditation.

10. Pacific Surf School

With more than 40,000 students taught since its establishment in 1997, Pacific Surf School is on the fast track to getting the world surfing. The school was also honored with San Diego's best general interest and recreational school in the readers' poll by the San Diego Union Tribune. Its sister school, Surfer Girls, was awarded, coolest surf camp in 2007 by the Travel Channel. Pacific Surf School is offering year-round surfing lessons, private clinics, corporate and group surf lessons for people of all ages and abilities.

11. Surf Diva

Surf Diva offers a wide variety of camps – ladies only, teens only, just for kids, girls only, corporate events, surf photography, birthday parties and SUP. They also have co-ed weekend and week-long clinics as the perfect introduction to wave riding and the surfing lifestyle for couples, friends and  families. This is one of their most popular programs. "Nothing short of magical!" one person wrote.

12. Cannon Beach Surf

Cannon Beach Surf has been teaching people to surf for more than 15 years. All of their instructors are professionally trained and lessons are offered year-round. They have done group lessons of up to 18 people for company, family outings, and college groups. They also offer a pre-surf yoga lesson to help loosen stiff muscles, stretch the body, settle the mind, and get you ready to ride the breaks. 

13. Cocoa Beach Surf Camp

Surf Lessons are offered daily in Cocoa Beach and 5-day camps are offered during the summer. However,  if you have three or more people wanting to learn, you can establish a surf camp any time of the year. You will learn how to paddle and stand up on a board, how to catch and ride waves, how to read the waves and how to stay safe.

14. Heritage Surf

Heritage Surf and Sport is South Jersey's premiere surf, skate and apparel retail destination, founded in 1962 by East Coast Hall of Famer and renowned surfboard shaper Dan Heritage. All three locations – in Sea Isle, Ocean City and Margate – offer private and groups lessons. Ocean City has week-long camps, and Margate serves kids camps and private parties.

15. New Hampshire Surf

Anything you can imagine that goes with surfing, you can find at New Hampshire Surf – SUP, lessons, rentals, ladies surf night, adult surf night, kids parties, corporate events, bridal parties, equipment and boards. They have two locations – at Rye Beach and Downtown Portsmouth. "Best selection of frames in the area, great prices. The employees were very helpful and their sales approach was totally about finding me the perfect frames, not making the sale," one review says.