Situated west of downtown Los Angeles, the Californian coastal city of Santa Monica is one of the world’s most popular surfing destinations.
Nestled among 75 miles of idyllic Los Angeles County coastline, the city is renowned for its world-class surfing conditions that help draw huge numbers of visitors throughout the year. Unsurprisingly, there are a wide selection of surf schools operating out of the area, catering to surfers of all ages and abilities. If you’re coming to Santa Monica and would like to test yourself on its legendary surf breaks – or dip your feet into surfing for the very first time – we’ve picked out 5 of the best lessons to book onto.
Group Surfing Lesson
Learn to surf with professional instructors during this 2-hour group lesson at Venice Beach. After meeting your guide at the famous beach, you’ll start by getting kitted out with your wetsuits and surfboards, before heading down to the sand with your group of up to 6 people. On the sand, you’ll be taught how to pop up on the board and how to stay safe out on the water. After that, you’ll spend about 40 minutes with an instructor in the ocean getting to grips with the basics. The remaining time of the class will be yours to practice your skills and have fun in the water. From $69 per person.
Private Surf Lesson for Beginners
If you’re a complete surfing novice, then it’s important to find a surf school that understands the anxieties that come with surfing for the very first time. Step forward Badass Surf School, a renowned local company that offers surf lessons for everyone from complete beginners through to seasoned enthusiasts. This 2-hour private lesson is perfect for novices, teaching you how to read and wide waves, and instilling in pupils a knowledge of the ocean that is integral to becoming a real surfer. They are also the only surf school in the area that custom-makes their boards, right here in California. From $330 per person.
Private Surfing Lesson
For another private lesson option, this 2-hour class is either for solo surfers or two partners wanting to learn together. During the session, you’ll be taught by a professional certified instructor who will go the extra mile to make you more comfortable both on the board and in the water. First, you’ll get outfitted with a wet suit and surfboard before heading down to the beach, where you’ll discover how to pop up on the board, ending the land lesson with the most important part – safety. After that, you can spend the remaining time with the instructor in the ocean. From $99 per person.
Surf Lesson Kapowui
For a slightly shorter lesson, these 1.5-hour classes are a popular choice – particularly with families. Taking place on the border of Venice and Santa Monica, where the sandy bottom is safe and ideal for beginner lessons, you’ll spend the class learning about board design and dynamics, ocean safety, surf etiquette, pop-up technique, body form, and California surf culture, before putting your theory into practice on the ocean waves, with the final hour of the tour being spent in the water surfing with your instructor. From $142 per person.
Malibu Beach Surf Tour in a Vintage VW Van
Enjoy a truly unique Californian experience as you hop into a vintage VW campervan and head up north towards Malibu on this action-packed 6-hour adventure. Discover the picturesque Malibu shoreline with its remote areas while travelling by road in your quirky transport, soak up the breath-taking views from the cliffs, relax on one of the beautiful sandy beaches, and then join a fun-filled surfing lesson run by professional instructors. Also included is a picnic lunch of meat and vegetarian hot dogs, plus snacks and drinks throughout the day. From $349 per person.