6 Best Places in the World to Learn to Surf

6 Best Places in the World to Learn to Surf

There's no time like the present!

By Charyn Pfeuffer

Zip up your wetsuit and grab your board! From the beaches of Costa Rica to the huge swells in Los Cabos, these spots promise killer surf conditions, excellent instruction, and luxe amenities. Whoever said surfing was for slackers and bums was dead wrong. 

1. Pacific Sands Beach Resort, Tofino, British Columbia

For front row access to Cox Bay (its sandy bottom and consistent swells is a thing of surfers' dreams), book a posh tri-level Beach House at Pacific Sands Beach Resort. Fully kitted with a gourmet kitchen, oceanfront views, and a sunken hot tub and fireplace in the master bedroom, it’s a surf retreat on steroids. Bring your own gear and catch the first waves of the morning. Or book a lesson (or two) with Surf Sister. Founded in 1999, Surf Sister works hard to promote women in surfing, in Tofino and beyond. They set up a surf shack at Pacific Sans last summer that has been a smashing success at teaching guests of all ages the ins and outs of surfing. Plus, they also rent equipment. 

2. Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort's, Los Cabos, Mexico

If you want to try your hand at Los Cabos’ famed breaks, check out Las Ventanas al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort’s “Surf in Paradise” experience. Guests start the day with a Jeep ride up the East Cape, a serene stretch of beaches along the Sea of Cortez. Next up: Kelly Slater wannabes experience Nine Palms, Shipwrecks, and La Fortuna — three of the most magnificent breaks in the region — alongside an expert surfing instructor. If you want to capture the moment (pics or it didn’t happen!), a pro photographer is on hand. Post-lesson, participants savor a well-deserved picnic lunch amidst the palm trees, prepped by the resort’s chef. 

3. Lumeria Maui, Maui, Hawaii

Guests staying at the 24-room Lumeria Maui can indulge in transformative wellness and learning experiences, including surfing lessons. Nearby on the north shore, skilled surfers can brave famous big wave surfing spot Pe’ahi. Or, first timers can take lessons at far less intimidating beaches such as Kaanapali, Lahaina, and Kihei. Stand-up paddle boarding and windsurfing are also both available. (And ICYMI, Maui is the world's best island!)

4. Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

East coast surfing amateurs and enthusiasts check into Cape Cod's award-winning property Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn for its nearby surf experiences. The inn is defined by its “live like a local” attitude, and guests get a taste of that when they book a surf lesson with Sacred Surf School on the Outer Cape. There, surfers are treated to well-formed waves and one of the best surf experiences on the east coast. Yankee Magazine honored Sacred Surf School for “Best Surf Lessons in New England” last year. 

5. Maalifushi by COMO, Maldives

Recently, Maalifushi by COMO started offering surf programs with luxury surf company Tropicsurf. The resort has a resident Tropicsurf guide who works with guests of all abilities. Students start out in the lagoon, learning the basics, such as balance and how waves work. More advanced surfers can go out with a guide to take on some of the toughest breaks in the Maldives. Rental gear is available, as well as boat transportation to some favorite nearby spots, like the famous “Farms” breaks on the resort’s Southwest side.

6. Surf Simply, Costa Rica

Far less crowded than Hawaii, the shores of Costa Rica offer plenty of swells and breaks for surf enthusiasts. For those just starting out, Surf Simply’s weeklong “Learn to Surf” package is a great way to get your feet wet. In-water instruction, surf theory, and video feedback will have you surfing Noasara’s consistent breaks in no time. More advanced surfers may want to consider the “Surf Pro” package. It’s a favorite of Wall Street and Silicon-valley types in search of a top-notch surfing experience. 

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