As surfing’s popularity increases, so does the number of surf camps around the world. If you enjoy surfing but don’t live near your ideal waves, or you would like to explore new surf spots, why not spend a day or two where the surfing’s good and where the change of scenery will make your stay memorable?
In planning your surf camp trip, there are a number of things to take into consideration:
Time and place
What places will have the best waves suited to your ability? Do you have the prowess to ride barrels in Indo, or are you a beginner seeking friendlier waters to learn in? Research the seasons and wave conditions of your target locale.
Decide as well how far from home you are prepared to travel, how much of a change in culture you can take, and what your budget can handle. Consider the cost of accommodation, food, etc. in a place, together with the cost of getting there.
Live in luxury, or rough it?
Depending on where you stay, surf camps offer a variety of accommodations, so more likely than not, you won’t actually be camping. Some offer dorm rooms, which can be fun if shared with friends or if you’re traveling alone and keen to meet new people. If you can afford it, a single room can give you the peace of solitude when you need it. A few surf camps do feature camping, where you can be close to nature while sleeping in tent-enclosed comfort. And yet others offer access to swimming pools, internet, and various activities other than surfing.
Bring your own equipment?
Surf camps are generally well-equipped with boards, wetsuits, etc. that you can rent or borrow. It saves you the hassle of lugging along your own bulky equipment and risking loss or damage. It also lets beginners try surfing without the expense of buying their own gear. If you’re an experienced surfer, however, you may want to check their selection beforehand to make sure it’s up to your skill level and won’t cramp your style.
Need a teacher?
Surf camps usually have instructors, so whether you’re in need of the basics or could use a refresher, there should be someone you can pay to guide you. Group lessons are commonly offered, but if you’re wanting to hone a particular area of your surfing, look for a camp that features one-on-one instruction as well. If you search around, you’ll find that some camps even specialize in teaching for specific skill levels, age groups or genders.
Consider the vibe
Some surfers enjoy a party scene with lots of people. Others are looking for a peaceful retreat away from crowds, with perhaps a select group of companions. Some want a posh, modern feel to their surfing getaway; others are seeking to escape city life and reconnect with nature.
Think about the kind of clientele the surf camp normally hosts. Are they family types? Young singles? What countries are they from? Do the people there speak your language?
The internet is a great way to get a feel for your prospective surf camp before you get there. Check out reviews. Look for media on Instagram, YouTube or Facebook. Get ideas from people who have been there, or seek the help of a well-informed travel agent.
Some surf camp experience videos: