When you think of surfing on the West Coast of America, it is almost guaranteed that your head is going to jump straight to California. California offers some of the best beaches in the whole of the USA, and it is famous for its excellent waves, so it is understandable that you would jump here.
However, California isn’t the only State on the West coast, and both Oregon and Washington offer excellent waves too. So, if you are planning a surfing trip, but don’t want to go to the Golden State, then Oregon is a great alternative.
To help you find the perfect surf camp in Oregon and plan your trip, we’ve put together this handy guide to help.
10 Best Surf Camps
In the aptly named city of ‘Seaside’ on the west coast of Oregon, you will find Oregon Surf Adventures. This company operates throughout the summer months, and offers both surf lessons and surf camps for individuals of all ages and abilities. The company offers individual classes which can last anywhere between 1-3 hours.
Additionally, they offer a variety of surf camps, some targeted at children aged between 7-17, and others targeted at adults of all ages. They even have a separate camp specifically for women. These camps include equipment hire, lessons with a professional surfer, and the opportunity to see some of the best beaches that the West Coast has to offer.
Also in the city of ‘Seaside’ you will find North West Women’s Surf Camp. This surf camp is very seasoned, and it has been operating for more than 15 years. As its name suggests, this surf camp is targeted at women who want to learn to surf among other women.
So, if you are a man, you will not be able to learn to surf here. But, if you are a woman who would feel more comfortable in a single gender class, as opposed to a mixed gender class, then this could be the perfect surf camp for you to visit.
With individual lessons, weekend surf camps, and day camps on offer, this is a great choice if you want to surf on the West Coast.
South of the city of ‘Seaside’, you will find the incredibly popular Oregon city of ‘Cannon Beach’. This beach has become a popular place to surf as it has been used a lot in TV shows and movies, including the 1980s classic ‘The Goonies’, and also the more modern film franchise, ‘Twilight’.
So many people choose to visit here to see these film locations. But, that isn’t the only great thing about Cannon Beach, as it is also home to Cannon Beach Surf Lessons. This excellent surf school offers surf camps as well as equipment hire which can then be used on the breathtaking shores of this beautiful city.
Operating on the shoreline between Cannon Beach and Manzanita, you will find North West Surf Lessons. This excellent surf school operates primarily on three beaches, including the Indian Beach in Ecola State Park, Arcadia Beach, and Shorts Sand.
This surf school offers lessons and surf camps for groups of all ages, sizes, and abilities. They have large group classes, small group classes, and even offer one on one teaching. With equipment included in the cost, and the ability to see some of Oregon’s best beaches, it is clear this is a great surf camp to consider.
Within Lincoln County on the West Coast of Oregon, you will find Otter Rock, and within Otter Rock you will find the small surf shop called ‘Pura Vida Surf Shop’.
This surf shop is primarily a shop, but they do also offer a variety of lessons, including both individual and group classes. These classes will run for 2 hours, and will allow you to catch some of the best waves on the West Coast. They are also run by experienced instructors, so even though this is a small company, it is still one of the best.
Another company that is a surf shop which doubles as a surf school is Clean Line Surf. This is another business which is based in the truly beautiful city of ‘Seaside’, so if the other companies in this area didn’t catch your eye, you might want to consider Clean Line Surf.
This business is fairly small with only 2 instructors offering lessons, but both of these instructors are highly experienced and able to teach individuals and groups of all ages and abilities. Additionally, they offer equipment hire if you would rather search alone.
Further south on the coast of Oregon is ‘Lincoln City’ which is home to Safari Town Surf. This company has existed in this area for over 30 years, so they know where the best surf spots are, and are guaranteed to take you there.
If you want to learn excellent technique, then this could be the best place for you as Safari Town Surf not only teaches you how to surf, but they teach you lots of safety practices and techniques too. So, if you want to become a better surfer, then Safari Town Surf might be the best surf camp for you.
In the city of Newport, Oregon, there is Ossie’s Surf Shop and Lessons. This shop is located right alongside the small Agate beach which is scattered with beautiful coves and creeks, and most importantly great waves.
The company offers private and group lessons, and they also offer lots of classes in other water sports, including kayaking. So, if you fancy a trip to somewhere less popular, with a company that you know you can trust, this could be the perfect one for you.
If you want to learn to surf with a company that has reached across more than just one State, then Moment Surf Company could be perfect for you.
This company has bases across all the States that cover the West coast, with their Oregon base being found in Pacific City. They offer individual classes and Youth surf camps during the Summer months, so if you want a perfect summer trip, then this could be the best camp for you.
Finally, we have The Portland Girl Surf Camp, which is a surf camp specifically for young girls and women to learn to surf. So, if you are a man, then this isn’t the place for you. But, if you want to learn to surf among other girls who are passionate about this, then this is probably the best surf camp for you.
This surf camp is based in the city of Portland, and utilizes all the lovely beaches that Oregon has to offer to allow you to learn to surf, and catch some great waves while doing this.
Before you set off on any trip, planning your budget is essential. So, to help you plan your finances for your trip to Oregon, here’s some key information to help.
Meal Price Range
Across the USA, costs of living differ greatly from State to State. In Oregon, you should expect to spend approximately $34 per day on food. A single meal out in a restaurant will probably set you back approximately $14, with breakfast being cheaper than other meals.
The great thing about visiting another area in the USA is that lots of restaurants/fast food chains operate across the whole of the country. So, you will be able to access a lot of the food that you eat at home.
As you can probably already tell, equipment rental is usually included in the costs of booking surf lessons/camp weekends. So, you usually will not have to budget for equipment rental, as this price will be included in your other costs.
If you want to rent equipment separately and hit the waves on your own, you should expect to spend anywhere between $50-100 for a day.
Prepaid Sim Cards
Usually, when you travel, the best way to reduce costs is to buy a prepaid Sim card. However, if you are just traveling to another State in the USA, then you will not need to buy a prepaid Sim card as you will not be charged international roaming. But, if you do want to buy a prepaid Sim card, then you can pick these up in most stores for a minimum of $10.
Portland has excellent public transport, and it is actually rather affordable. Single bus fares in this State start at $2.50 and cover you for 2 and a half hours for all zone riding. With all day fares only costing double this price, but allowing you to travel throughout all the different zones in Oregon.
Gas prices differ from State to State in the USA, and Portland has one of the most expensive gas rates. In this State, you should expect to spend about $3.45 on gas, and $3.40 on diesel. To compare this, in South Carolina, you will spend approximately $2.80 on gas, and $3 on diesel.
Types of Risk
Generally speaking, Oregon is a low risk State. That is to say that it does not pose any risks in terms of crime, including both drug and gun crime. However, there is one type of risk that is very real in Oregon, and that is the risk of wildfires.
Most people will remember the wildfires that struck the West coast. California was one of the areas the hardest hit by these, but Oregon was also damaged.
The effects of these fires are still being felt in Oregon, and there is always the risk of these wildfires occurring again. So, before you make your trip to Oregon, it is worth checking to see if there are any reports of wildfires before you travel.
When surfing, it is also very important to keep an eye out for any markers in the sea notifying you of potential danger zones. This is extremely important if you are surfing on your own, as there will not be an instructor there to warn you of any potential risks.
How to Prepare
But, budgeting isn’t the only thing that you will need to do to prepare for your trip to Oregon. Here’s some more information to help you prepare.
As Oregon is part of the United States of America, you do not need a Visa to enter from anywhere else in the USA. All you need is a valid passport to use as proof of your identity and US citizenship when you enter the State.
When you travel anywhere, it is very important that all of your routine vaccinations are current. These include your MMR vaccine, flu vaccine, polio, Hepatitis B, and DTaP vaccines.
Simply having these vaccinations up to date should be fine for your journey to Oregon, but it is best to speak to your doctor if you plan on traveling to areas off the beaten track.
Language and Currency
Oregon is part of the USA, and so the official language spoken in this State is English. This is widely spoken across the State, and it is used by most natives. However, there are some people who will speak other languages that live in this State. But, the majority of these people will also be able to speak English.
Checking Surf Forecast
We believe that no matter where you are traveling, the best way to check the surf forecast is by visiting a website that does the job for you. In particular, we love surf-forecast.com. To check the surf forecast for Oregon, click here.
Even if you are traveling internally within your home country, it is still best to take out a travel insurance policy. Especially if you are completing any high risk activities, such as surfing. That way, if anything should go wrong while you are on your trip, you know that you are financially protected.
But, before you take out a policy, double-check that they cover surfing, as some policies will exclude this.