The 10 Best Surfing Lessons & Surfing Schools In Malibu - Green Iguana Surf Camp

The 10 Best Surfing Lessons & Surfing Schools In Malibu

Malibu is an iconic location for surfing. So many TV shows and movies have used the location to show off the gem, which is the California coastline. That’s because some of the most famous surfers started off in this very spot.

Names like Bob Simmons, Johnny Fain, Miki Dora, Joe Quigg, and so many more have touched these ocean shores and found something amazing there. 

Even the iconic “hot dog” wave was first pioneered on Malibu’s beaches in the 1930s.

Learning to surf on Malibu’s shores means being able to reach for the same highs that previous stars found!

1. Poseidon Surf School

Poseidon’s Aim

Poseidon Surf School aims to create an experience that you will treasure forever. 

Located in the forever sunny Malibu, the school is open all year round, and they have excellent, talented, and experienced instructors to guide you into becoming a surfing master.

Poseidon prides itself on being the “coolest” surf shop in Santa Monica and encourages you to buy a coffee and drink in the vibes before taking the plunge into surfing waters.

Private Surf Lesson

Poseidon’s Surf School’s surf lessons are available to parties sized from 1 – 4. In each class, you get taught the basics of surfing to gain confidence in your skills.

The end focus is to make sure you are safe, have good technique and appropriate surfboard etiquette, and have fun! Ideally, you should be able to surf all by yourself after their crash course.

Specifically, you will learn how to paddle, how to position yourself, how to “pop up” onto the board, and how to take on a wave.

Your lesson includes private instructors, a surfboard and wetsuit, free coffee or cold drink from their super cool shop, and storage for your valuables while you are out in the sea.

2. Malibu Surf Coach

Private Lessons

Regardless of your age and swimming ability, you can learn to surf with Malibu Surf Coach. Everything you need is included in the lessons, like surfboards and wetsuits, so all you need to do is bring yourself along.

Each surf instructor has passed a lifeguard and surfing instructor certification, so you know you are in the right hands!

The private lessons are not meant to be larger than 5 people, but you include more for the extra cost of an additional instructor.

Stand Up Boards And Tour

Stand Up Paddle Boards, also known as SUP, is a wonderful way to explore the beautiful Malibu shoreline. All of Malibu’s beaches are sublime, and taking a lesson to paddleboard around the area means you will be able to experience a tour like no other.

Advanced Coaching

If you are looking to bring your surfing to the next level, Malibu Surf Coach can offer lessons to expand your current skills and help you reach competing-level abilities.

This coaching program doesn’t come with equipment, as you are already expected to be an avid surfer.

3. Malibu Makos

Surf Classes For Children

Most surf classes are aimed at children, and Malibu Makos is no different. Their summertime lessons on the beach and in the ocean are perfect for people ages 8 – 17.

The lessons run from Monday to Friday, but they cost a large amount of money compared to Malibu’s other surf schools. This money goes towards having a prime location of Zuma Beach and all of your equipment being provided for you.

Surf Lessons For Adults

Malibu Makos’ adult classes are available all year round! Sometimes it can be super hard to find courses that will accept adults, as most surf locations around the country think that every adult learned as a child. Malibu Makos reaching out to holidaymakers and locals alike means that anyone can learn to surf!

These lessons are also located in Zuma Beach, and all of your equipment will be provided for you.

Private Events

Sometimes, a team-building exercise is all you need to bring a workforce together or reconnect to long-distance friends. Malibu Makos’ offers a wonderful private event on a spectacular private beach, where tents, tables, and equipment are provided, and experienced instructors will teach you!

4. Heaven On Earth Stand Up Paddle & Surfing School

Christan Surf School

If you follow the Christan faith and want a surfing school to keep these ideas in their teaching as you learn to surf, then Heaven on Earth is the place for you.

The first thing you will see on their website is the psalm 146:6 quote “Who Made Heaven And Earth, The Sea And All That Is In Them, Who Keeps Faith Forever.”

This opening tells you everything you need to know about Heaven on Earth’s faith.

Mermaid Mondays

On Mondays, Heaven on Earth hires a mermaid to swim the ocean and engage the children in treasure hunts. The day is filled with fun beach games, tide pool adventures, and sand play!

It is the perfect day out for youngsters, and even the adults will enjoy the fantastic experience.

Surfing Lessons

Even though Heaven on Earth has a large range, their main focus is on surfing, and when joining the camp, the group will be brought back to the surfing school each day. 

They will teach you how to paddle, balance on the board, and stand to ride away while ensuring your kids’ safety.

5. Always Summer Surf School

Surf Lessons

Always Summer Surf School offers a range of surfing experiences, including Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP), group lessons, and private lessons. They are set up to encourage new surfers to catch a wave and to help advanced surfers process their skill level and learn advanced techniques!

Before the lesson, you can ask the school to show you hidden gems and guided tours so you can get a real look at Southern California surfing culture. If there is a tricky spot you want to master, you can ask Always Summer Surf School to customize their training program to help you in those areas!

The Team

Always Summer Surf School has two head coaches, Matthew Markman and Anthony Petro.

Mathew Markmen grew up around beaches and so spent as much time as possible enjoying the amazing wave opportunities that came his way. If you want to learn to surf in challenging locations, we suggest asking for him to teach you!

Anthony Petro is a heart and soul Southern Californian. He was born and raised in the area and had been surfing for decades. For a long period of time, he lived in Hawai’i, where he perfected his skills as a waterman.

6. Malibu Surf Shack

The Aim

Malibu Surf Shack is more of a shopping stall than a surfing school. They sell some fantastic hoodies and stand-out bucket hats, all of which capture the soul of surfing.

Of course, they do teach people to surf, but that seems to have become a secondary aim in their expansion. We only say this because navigating their website can feel like you have fallen down a fashion rabbit hole. 

The Team

We don’t want to discourage you because Malibu Surf Shack is an amazing surfing school once you manage to surf through the sales pitch. The team is filled with experienced surfers with CRP and First Aid certificates, so you can feel confident that your children are in safe hands. 

The Classes

Surf Shack classes, of course, include surfing, but they also have some great additional activities too.

These are sea glass hunting, baseball, tide pool searching, Inukshuk, flag football, sandcastle building, tug of war, water bucket relay, limbo, and beach bowling!

These activities center around beach safety, technique and fun in surfing, beach etiquette, and environmental kindness. 

The Age Group

Malibu Surf Shack has a small age group demographic. They are “Littles” (ages 8 – 9), “Tweens” (ages 10 – 12), and “Teens” (ages 13 – 17).

7. SoCal Surf & SUP

Older Adults Welcome

SoCal Surf & SUP has instructors all over the country, from Malibu to Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

One of their biggest selling points is their massive range is age differences among their students. In their own words, SoCal Surf & SUP say, “whether you or your family member is 8 or 80”, which means that no matter your age, as long as you can hold on to a board, you can get a lesson with SoCal Surf & SUP.

Surf Lessons

If you ask for local recommendations to learn surfing, SoCal is a name that will pop up time and time again. 

They teach you how to surf a longboard which is perfect for beginners as they are the easiest to balance on. Along with learning how to surf, SoCal will also teach you how to look after your surfboard and what the best equipment is.

Paddle Board Lessons

Paddleboarding is the calm version of surfboarding, where you find a settled part of the ocean and maneuver through the water at a glacial speed.

If you take lessons with SoCal, they will teach you the safety techniques to keep you on the board, how to stand on the board without tipping over, how to keep a proper standing form for optimal movement, and how to maneuver through the ocean water.

8. Dawn Patrol Surf

Family Run Business

Dawn Patrol Surf is a business run by two brothers who love the ocean and love to surf. Their mission is to introduce the massive and cultural history of surfing to Malibu and across Los Angeles. They hope to bring new and experienced surfers together to provide a solid foundation for the surfing community, just like we used to have!

About The Brothers

The brothers are called Lucas Adee and Jake Adee.

Lucas used to work on Wall Street but only lasted a couple of months before realizing that that kind of life wasn’t for him. Surfing had always been his passion. He started when he was 10 years old. Now he teaches others how to surf and even makes his own boards!

Jake grew up almost living on the beaches of Malibu because he loved to surf so much. He has surfed around the world, including Hawaii, Europe, and Central America. His experience in different seas means he can help with any waves!

Surfing Classes

Dawn Patrol has 7 different types of classes ranging from private sessions for 1 – 6 people, beginner lessons where you can join in a community and learn to surf at the same time, and intermediate lessons where you can learn to take on larger challenges.

9. Surf Coach LA

Surf Etiquette

Surf Coach LA wants to make sure that everyone knows how to act appropriately to the sea and to the other surfers in the ocean. They will teach you how to spread out on the beach and be considerate of other surfers.

Board Knowledge

Controlling your board is an important part of keeping afloat and not hurting anyone. Surf Coach will teach you how to keep yourself in contact with the board and also will teach you which board is suitable for which occasion.

Ocean Safety

When you’ve learned how to keep others safe, you’ll be taught how to keep yourself safe. For example, you will learn how to be aware of your surroundings, so you don’t end up on another surfer’s path.

Theory Lessons

Along with the classic surfing lessons, you will receive theory lessons too. These will include swell forecasting, so you know what the day’s surf will be like, duck diving, turtle rolling, and board agility.

Video Analysis

If you want to get even better at surfing, Surf Coach LA can assist you with a video analysis of your wave. You can analyze what you are doing well and what needs improvements to get yourself to the next surfing level.

10. Lipsmack Surf

The Mission

Our last surfing school has a mission to keep everyone safe in the water and to make surfing a friendly experience. They especially take an interest in spreading love through surfing and hope to create a welcoming environment for the LGBTQ+ community. 


You can have one-on-one sessions, kids sessions, or you can opt for their prized sessions – the couple surf class.

The couple’s surf class is perfect for friends, dates, and partners. Are you thinking about asking The Question? Lipsmack Surf would be the best way to surprise your partner.

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