There are few water sports that require intense determination and hours spent practicing that surfing does. Not only do you need to have the technique, but you also have to deal with the unpredictability of the ocean, so it only makes sense that you should want to get all the help you can.
If you’re planning on visiting Florida and want to spend some time working on your surfing skills while you’re there, you’re making a great choice.
Florida is a surfer’s paradise and is home to popular surfing destinations including Palm Beach’s legendary Reef Road, which is one of the best places to visit if you’re looking to get those huge waves.
So, to help you prepare for your trip to the Sunshine State, we’ve been on a journey to discover the best surf camps to hang ten – and the results are in. Below, you’ll find a summary of each one, as well as some additional travel advice to make your vacation as easy as can be.
10 Best Surf Camps
1. Ron Jon Surf School
Nothing quite says Florida like Ron Jon’s Surf School. Located in the heart of Cocoa Beach, Ron Jon’s Surf School offers lessons and seasonal camps that can be enjoyed by surfers of all ages and skill levels.
What’s more, every single one of Ron Jon’s instructors is CPR/BLS certified and each has years of experience in both surfing and navigating safely within the ocean, and will help you to work on your personal surfing development while ensuring that you have plenty of fun and stay safe in the water.
Cocoa beach is also a great spot for surfing and is known for good breaks, high waves, and minimal crowds.
2. Saltwater Cowgirls Surf Camp
If you’re looking for a surf school that will be able to accommodate little ones while still allowing you to have your fair share of wrangling waves, then the Saltwater Cowgirls Surf Camp is definitely worth checking out!
Offering everything from one-on-one’s, adrenaline-filled group sessions, all the way to an all-female surf camp, the Saltwater Cowgirls Surf Camp welcomes shredders of all ages!
3. Surf Guys Surf Camp
Whether you’re on the search for a summer surf camp to make your summer break the best one yet, or you just want to try out surfing for the first time during your vacation, then another great option to consider is the Surf Guys Surf Camp!
With over 24 years of teaching experience, this surf camp is situated in Cocoa Beach, a legendary location that’s perfect for beginners, longboarders, and surfers looking to develop their surfing skills while also having some fun.
4. Aloha Surfing School
Situated in the quiet and laid-back Jupiter Beach, which is nestled right in the heart of Florida’s east coast, Aloha Surfing is a surf school that offers lessons, surf camp, as well as rentals. Offering a fun and safe way to learn how to surf, Aloha prides itself on its team of instructors, relaxed teaching approach, and friendly environment.
If you’re already experienced in surfing and simply want to brush up on your skills, we recommend visiting this surf camp during a low tide for the best surfing experience!
5. Surfari Surf School
Feel like surfing at the world’s most famous beach? If you answered yes to that, then you might want to consider stopping by the Surfari Surf School during your visit.
Located in the heart of Daytona Beach, the Surfari Surf School is a must for any avid surfer and offers lessons, rentals, and camps. Not only that, but Daytona Beach is a frequented area for surfing enthusiasts due to the famous Main Street Pier break – so you’ll be in good company!
6. Flagler Board Surf Shop and School
If you’re an experienced surfer that’s looking for the freedom to cut up the waves, then you won’t be disappointed stopping by the Flagler Board Surf Shack.
This long-standing surf shop offers lessons and rentals to experienced surfers and will provide you with the opportunity to develop your skills while also being able to enjoy stunning ocean views and minimal crowds!
7. St. Augustine Surf School
St.Augustine Surf School is located in America’s oldest city, St.Augustine – so it should come as no surprise that it is also one of the most frequented surf locations in the USA!
The surf scene here is friendly and welcoming, and St.Augustine Surf School is no different. Offering lessons and surf camps throughout the year, this school will help you to become a better surfer while making sure that you feel relaxed and confident while surfing.
Plus, if you need a rental, the school will even deliver your surfboards to your hotel room! It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re going to be in the area.
8. Gnarly Charley’s Surf Series
Situated on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Gnarly Charley’s Surf Series offers just about everything to fulfill your surfing needs.
New Smyrna Beach offers uncrowded water filled with major breaks and consistent waves that will allow you to perform the most daring tricks to your heart’s content – so this is the perfect spot for you if you’re already experienced in surfing and want to push your skillset to the next level.
On the flip side, for the not-so-experienced surfer, Gnarly Charley also offers private and group lessons designed for families and friends to have fun and try their hand at surfing.
Oh, and did we mention that you’ll have almost 13 miles of white sandy beach to enjoy? For all your summer holiday and surfing needs – look no further than Gnarly Charley’s.
9. Pure Life Surf School
If you’re currently planning a family vacation to Florida and are looking to incorporate surfing into your itinerary, then a great surfing camp to check out is the Pure Life Surf School. This surfing school is perfect for the whole family and offers lessons located in Daytona Beach, Florida, from the ages of 7 and upwards.
Offering plenty of choices to suit your vacation, Pure Life offers packages that can span over a few days or individual lessons that can be taught in either 1.5 hour or 2-hour blocks. Pure Life’s instructors are also able to teach surfers at every level, from advanced surfers to those who have no ocean knowledge at all!
10. Sebastian Inlet Surf and Sport School
Situated in Sebastian Inlet Beach, this surf camp will allow you to experience some of the most dynamic, man-made waves in the world.
Way back in the late sixties, engineers extended the small jetties to help keep the channel open for boats, and just so happened to create the best sandbar in Florida! This sandbar is otherwise known as Monster Hole and can hold an impressive 10 feet of surf.
If you’re an experienced or advanced surfer, then this beach will be a match made in heaven for you, especially if you’re looking to cut up some waves and try out some of your favorite trick shots. The Sebastian Inlet Surf and Sport store sell some of the best surf gear on the market, as well as lessons, too.
Meal Price Range
Florida is one of the most versatile places that you can visit when it comes to food. From fast-food chains such as Mcdonalds, all the way to fine dining restaurants such as Olive Garden, the cuisine options are never-ending, which also means that you have more options when it comes to budgeting.
Not only that, but seeing as you’re planning on surfing, you’re likely going to be spending long hours at the beach. To help save money, you could hit up a local Walmart and Target and even make a picnic that will last you the day.
If you’ve never been to the States before, then as a general rule of them you will need to tip around 20% of your meal to your server. Though this optional, it’s seen as a common courtesy and is something that you should factor into your food budget.
If you’re traveling with more than one person or in a group, then a common way that groups like to accommodate this while vacationing is by splitting the tip bill each way.
Depending on the surf school that you’re attending and how frequently you plan on surfing for the duration of your visit, then the prices of equipment rental are likely going to vary. For the most part, most surf schools will include the rental price in the overall price of a lesson or surf camp package, though some may charge you separately.
To give you an idea of rental prices, the average price to rent a surfboard for a day is usually around 60 dollars, while half a day is usually around 40 dollars.
If you’re an experienced surfer and want the freedom of taking a surfboard to different locations during your vacation, then you can also choose to rent a surfboard for a longer period of time, (such as one week) which is usually around 200 dollars.
Prepaid SIM Cards
If you’re already living in the states and are simply planning a summer trip to Florida, then you won’t need to worry about international service fees.
However, if you’re not from the states, then you’ll need to make sure that you’ve alerted your cell phone provider that you’re planning to travel, and they’ll be able to advise you on a package that will allow you to stay connected without encountering any unwanted fees.
Alternatively, there is also the option of purchasing a SIM card for your time in Florida.If you’re interested in doing this, then it’s very important that you arrange for your prepaid SIM prior to traveling, as the main service providers do not offer tourist sim cards in the stores, and they’re only available to buy online.
For a two-week vacation, you’ll be looking at spending at least 20 dollars on one.
Getting around in Florida using public transportation is generally very affordable, with standard, single-ride fares starting at around $2.00. Most bus and coach companies also offer all-day and monthly passes, which can be paid in a bulk sum and often work out cheaper for those who are planning on using public transportation for the duration of their stay.
If you’re planning to rent out a car, then it’s important to set aside money to pay for your gas. On average, regular gas in the state of Florida costs around $2.968, while premium gas costs around $3.615.
Types of Risks
Florida is generally considered to be a safe place to visit, especially all of the main spots and tourist areas. It is recommended that you always remain aware of your surroundings and use your common sense when exploring new areas, especially if you’re by yourself.
If you do witness anything suspicious or are in need of help, then it is always best to dial 911 to get the assistance of the police.
How to Prepare for Your Surf Trip
If you’re a foreign national, then you’ll need to make sure that you have a visitor visa while entering Florida. These are super easy to obtain and can often be done online.
Language and Currency
English is the official language of the Sunshine State, and the currency is the US dollar. Prior to traveling, you’ll be able to transfer your money into dollars by visiting your local currency exchange.
Checking Surf Forecast
Prior to surfing each day, you’ll need to make sure that you check the surf forecast for your safety and maximum enjoyment. Though you’ll be able to make a judgment simply by looking at the conditions of the water, we strongly recommend that you google the surf forecast each day for a detailed and accurate report.
Just like with any other type of vacation, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve purchased travel insurance, as this will cover important things such as medical expenses (in the event of an accident), cover for any accidentally lost goods, and more.
In addition to that, all standard travel insurance covers surfing as an activity, although we do recommend double-checking prior to purchasing.