When you think about surfing in the USA, the first locations that probably come to mind are the popular surfing hotspots on the West Coast like Malibu, California, or Cannon Beach in Oregon.
People seem to forget just how good the surfing can be on the East Coast too. Maine in particular is a fantastic place to catch some waves. The state is well-known for its powerful waves, breathtaking scenery, and sandy beaches. With the perfect surfing conditions, it would be rude not to if your visiting.
Experienced surf instructors deliver high-quality surfing lessons to beginners and advanced surfers, getting you up on the board or honing your technique. With so many surf schools available though it can be overwhelming to find the right school for you.
That’s where we come in. We have put together a list of the 10 best surfing lessons and schools in Maine. This list will go through what to expect from each school and what it offers you. Whether you are a new surfer giving it a go or an experienced pro looking to master your skills, there is something for everyone.
At the end of this article, you will also find a buyer’s guide providing you with some key things to think about when looking for your lessons.
1. Surf Camp Maine
Diving straight into the list Surf Camp Maine is a dedicated surf school that offers week-long classes. On top of this, they also run private1-1 and group lessons for people of all skill levels.
The surfing instructors have a great knowledge of surfing and aim to get you catching some big waves in no time at all. You can choose the style of lesson that suits you to ensure your learning is maximized.
The week-long surf camp is a fun way to learn whilst also meeting new people
- All ages – Anybody can learn to surf.
- Variety – The school offers a range of lessons and camps.
- Affordable – The lessons here are reasonably priced.
- No theory – Some surf schools offer surfing theory lessons to increase your knowledge. This school doesn’t.
2. Corner’s Surf Co
Corner’s Surf Co offers a unique twist on your typical surfing lesson. Based at Old Orchard Beach Corner’s Surf provide their surfing lessons for free, as long as you rent a board with them.
This is an extremely good deal if you’re looking to learn from highly qualified instructors. Lessons run 7 days a week and included in the daily rental fee are the board, wetsuit, and some awesome photos of your day.
Lessons for beginners will include basic training and movements, with more experienced surfers being able to jump straight into some technique work.
- Free lessons – The lessons are free if you rent your board from the school.
- Experience coaches – The coaches are highly qualified.
- Wetsuit provided – You don’t have to bring your own wetsuit.
- Can’t use your own board – Those who own their own board would still have to rent one if they want to take part.
3. Liquid Dreams Surf Camp
Liquid Dreams Surf offers a huge variety of lessons and camps to meet the needs of any surfer. The passionate team aims to deliver fun and safe lessons that will test your ability and make you a better surfer.
This school runs specific camps for children that take place over the summer holidays. These fun sessions give children the chance to try something new or improve their current skill set.
For adults of all ability private 1-1 lessons and groups sessions are available daily. If you’re looking to learn in a fun and friendly environment, this could be the school for you. Also on offer at Liquid Dreams are lessons specifically for moms and ladies. This gives you the chance to meet more people like you.
- Variety – There are plenty of lessons and camps to choose from.
- Adapted to suit – Each session is adapted to meet the abilities of those taking part.
- Private lessons – This school offers private lessons for surfers that want to learn on their own.
- Not for advanced surfers – This school isn’t aimed at advanced surfers.
4. Maine Surfers Union
This school is arguably the best in Maine. If you are a newbie surfer then definitely consider checking out the Surfers Union. There is something for everyone here. The expert-level surf coaches are experienced in delivering world-class surf lessons no matter what your ability.
Here at the Maine Surfers Union lessons are taught in a relaxed, friendly environment to make you as a surfer feel comfortable and confident at all times. Individual and group lessons are run daily, with a specific ladies’ class also being delivered if that suits you more.
After your lesson, you can check out the funky surf shop where you can buy anything surf-related.
- Expert instructors – This school has only the very best coaches.
- Something for everyone – They will work with beginners and pros of all ages.
- Very popular – They must be doing something right to be such a big hit with visitors.
- No camps – You can only book individual lessons.
5. Aquaholics Surf Shop
Situated in Kennebunkport, Aquaholics run brilliant surf camps and lessons for all levels of surfer. They offer specialized lessons run by experienced instructors to suit the needs and requirements of beginners all the way through to advanced surfers.
The reasonably priced camps can be booked individually or for groups of up to 6 people. This ideal is you are traveling with friends and family who want to stick together.
If you are an experienced surfer you can rest assured that the surf coaches here will help you develop your skills. Novice surfers can expect to be riding a wave after only 1 or 2 lessons.
- Advanced surfing lessons – This school offers specialized lessons for advanced surfers.
- Family bookings – You can book a lesson for just your family.
- Camps – The school provides surf camps so you can continue to learn.
- No weekend camps – There are no surf camps at the weekend.
6. Wheels N Waves
This is the oldest surf school in Maine. They offer a variety of surfing classes and camps to help beginner and intermediate surfers developed their surfing ability.
At Wheel N Waves you can book 1-1 private lessons or take part in group sessions. Thanks to their vast knowledge of surfing in Maine you can guarantee you will catch some big waves. The knowledgeable coaches know exactly where to go to find the surf that is right for you.
Uniquely Wheels N Waves gets its name from the fact they offer bicycle, skateboard, and surf lessons, a bit random you might think, but it could be your next experience after your surfing has finished.
- Private and group lessons – This variety gives you options.
- Reasonable – This school offers affordable lessons.
- 40+ years experience – Hard to find anybody with that much teaching experience.
- Rental charge – Equipment isn’t included in the lesson price, you have to pay extra if you need to borrow it.
7. Arlberg Ski And Surf Shop
It isn’t very often you see skiing and surfing coming together hand and hand, but we do at Arlberg Ski and Surf Shop. Found in Portland and Freeport, Maine Arlberg provides excellent surfing lessons to everyone.
Lessons can be taken in small groups or on a 1-1 basis depending on what you want. For more experienced surfers the surfing school is happy to let you go ahead and take the board. They will then give you some pointers on how to improve and where the best surf is.
Beginner surfers can expect to learn about how to get up on the board before giving it a try.
- Two locations – Having two stores gives you the option to choose where you surf.
- Huge range of equipment available – You can rent almost anything surf-related.
- Beginner lessons – Good beginner lessons for those who have never surfed before.
- No specialized lessons – Experienced surfers won’t learn much here.
- No camps – This school has no surfing camps.
8. Grain Surfboards
Grain Surfboards offer a completely unique surf experience, in fact, they don’t actually offer surf lessons. Instead, they offer surf lovers a unique look into how surfboards are made. This one-of-a-kind experience takes you behind the scenes to look at the intricate process that goes into making every board.
This experience could be perfect for more experienced surfers who want to see how their board is produced. After taking you through the creation process the school takes you to their shop where their homemade boards can be bought.
If your looking for a slightly different experience then this could be a great place to visit.
- Unique – One-off experience.
- Learn a lot – You will learn so much from Grain Surfboards.
- Fun – This is a super fun experience.
- No lessons – You will not surf here.
9. Mocean Surf/Skate
Based on the shores of Old Orchard Beach, Mocean Surf offers a range of lessons. Lessons can be taken alone, with an experienced instructor, or as part of a larger group. For families and friends, private group bookings are also available.
The surf school is happy to cater to any needs you may have and have great experience working with beginner and advanced surfers.
In each lesson, you can expect to learn the basics of how to surf, get up on the board, and mastery of specific maneuvers for the more intermediate surfers out there. The lessons at Mocean run daily and last for one hour. If you don’t have any equipment there’s no need to panic, Mocean has equipment for you to use.
- Private group bookings – Perfect for those traveling with family or friends.
- Daily lessons – You can jump into a lesson at any time.
- Experienced instructors – The instructors provide amazing fun, safe lessons.
- No camps – You can only book 1-hour lessons.
10. Black Point Surf Shop
This is another fantastic surf school that offers surfing lessons that are run by seasoned professionals.
The instructors here are all very knowledgeable which helps them find the best surf for you. Experienced surfers can expect to catch some big waves, whilst beginners will be eased in at some smaller breaks.
Daily lessons are run in small groups and private one-to-one classes in the Scarborough area. The reasonably priced lessons will fit to suit your ability, so there’s no need to panic if you are an unconfident surfer or somebody that requires highly technical sessions.
If you need equipment for your lesson then Black Point has got you covered. You can rent surfboards and wetsuits at a fair price.
- Experienced instructors – They will develop your skills quickly and safely.
- Location – The surf near Black Point is incredible.
- Lessons for everyone – No matter what your ability is, there is a lesson that suits you.
- No camps – This school only offer daily lessons.
Some schools include the surfing equipment in the lesson fee, others don’t and expect you to pay more on top of the lesson cost. If you don’t have your own surfing gear then it is worth thinking about this when looking for a surf school. You don’t want to get stung with added fees after paying for the lesson
Using Your Own Board
Believe it or not, not all surfing schools will let you use your own board. If you are an experienced surfer who owns your own board you seriously need to consider this when booking your lessons. If you are not careful you could book a lesson with a school that won’t let you use your own board.
This ones pretty obvious but you need to think about your surfing ability when booking lessons. If you consider yourself an experienced surfer with one year’s experience, you might then get a surprise when you have booked a lesson with a surf school that only considers experienced surfers to be those with 5 years of experience. Getting this wrong will massively impact your experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Surfing Lessons Worth It?
Yes, surfing lessons are definitely worth it. Learning from an expert instructor is an invaluable experience where you will improve your knowledge and ability to surf. Surf instructors can also point out any faults you are making to improve your performance.
Is Surfing In Maine Good?
Yes, Maine has lots of great locations for surfing. There are breaks that are big and small suiting both beginner and advanced surfers. Some waves reach up to 20 feet in height in some locations.
What Is Considered An Experienced Surfer?
More often than not an experienced surfer is somebody who has had many years surfing. It is fair to say that an individual that has been surfing for 5-7 years is experienced. Surfers can also gain experience by completing surfing courses and qualifications. All of these things make the perfect surfer.
There is a surfing lesson for everybody in Maine. Surfing schools provide lessons suitable for beginners and intermediate surfers. The variety of lessons on offer makes it easy to find the camps or classes that fit in nicely with your schedule.
Now you have this list you can narrow it down to find the lessons that suit your ability level. Learning to surf with a surf school in Maine is an entertaining way to develop your skills and safely learn to surf.