Faster and smarter in the app... Download now

Surfing for beginners

Surfing is a fantastic sport and form of exercise. It can also be learnt across the world from the Gold Coast in Australia all the way to Ocean Beach in California. Wherever you choose to go first, taking out a travel insurance policy before you actually take part in this aquatic activity will help cover you against any accidental surfing mishaps.

After you've selected what type of policy suits you (either Single or Annual), you can then tailor your cover to include extra sports cover for all of your adventurous surfing needs!

We offer insurance cover for a huge number of sports, including surfing – just select Activities Cover Level 1 alongside your standard policy.

How long does it take to learn to surf?

The first thing you'll learn is lying down and balancing on a surfboard, which can take anywhere between half an hour and three hours, depending on your natural ability. Learning to surf, in general, takes a few lessons to get the basics but up to a couple of years to become a good surfer. Those who only learn on the weekend are said to learn slower than newbies who own a surfboard and get out in the ocean regularly.

Where is the best place to learn surfing abroad as a beginner?

Bali's recent popularity means that more and more people are learning to surf there. Kuta Beach is becoming increasingly popular thanks to one of the area's most reputable schools being owned by former World Masters champion Cheyne Horan.

Of course, no list would be complete without Australia getting a mention, and Byron Bay has waves that are perfect for beginners if you're not quite ready to join the crowds at Bondi Beach.

Hawaii is also a surfer's paradise and Oahu's North Shore is home to Pipeline – one of the world's most powerful waves. Kelea Surf Spa has a far more slow-paced learning experience, and lessons can also be found on Laniakea Beach.

Where can you learn to surf in Europe?

Biarritz in France is consistently listed as the best place for beginner surfers in the summer months when the Atlantic's waves are much mellower. Arrifana, Portugal is home to the Algarve surf camp that make the most of the local waves which are gentle but big enough to help beginners get a feel of the waves and get some experience under their belt.

Surfing in Lanzarote should always begin with Famara. The waves here are not only gentle enough for beginners, but you have a spacious 6km of beach to work your way down – so there's enough room to learn in peace.


Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is sold and administered by Holiday Extras Cover Limited who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under registration number 828848.

Holiday Extras™ is a Trading Name of Holiday Extras Cover Limited

Holiday Extras Travel Insurance is provided by Taurus Insurance Services, an insurance intermediary licenced and authorised in Gibraltar by the Financial Services Commission under Permission Number 5566 and authorised to passport general insurance intermediary services into the UK and registered with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK under registration number 444830.

The insurance is underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE. Great Lakes Insurance SE is a German insurance company with its headquarters at Königinstrasse 107, 80802 Munich. UK Branch office: 10 Fenchurch Avenue, London, EC3M 5BN, company number SE000083. Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, is authorised and regulated by Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht. Deemed authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number: 769884. Subject to regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and limited regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details of the Temporary Permissions Regime, which allows EEA-based firms to operate in the UK for a limited period while seeking full authorisation, are available on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website.