When you think of Queensland, you think of surfing. Who can resist the incredible beaches and stunning blue seas? On the Sunshine Coast alone there are more than 126 surfing locations along 70km of beautiful white beaches. If you know how to surf, pick up your board, pick a beach, and start paddling! But if you’ve never been on a surfboard and want to give it a try, what better place to learn than on the Sunshine Coast?
There are numerous surfing schools on the Coast so you won’t have any trouble finding one. Schools are located near beaches with calmer waters so you can learn how to stand on a board and ride more manageable waves before you head out to bigger surf.
Noosa, Coolum and Mooloolaba are protected with heavy shore breaks and so have waves which are perfect for beginners.
The initial stages of learning to surf is not only about technique, but also your safety in the water and building confidence. The Coast has a number of excellent surf schools to choose from. But even if you’re a more experienced surfer, there are also classes for you.
Noosa Main Beach is the only north facing beach on the Sunshine Coast and is protected from easterly winds.
Go Ride A Wave surf school offers surf packages for both adults and kids. There are two age groups for kids; one caters for kids aged from 8-17, and the other is for the younger ones aged between 5-12. Lessons are conducted by experienced instructors.
Merricks Learn to Surf school in Noosa also has very experienced instructors. They are fully qualified and accredited with either the Academy of Surfing Instructors and/or Surfing Australia.
Both schools provide beginners equipment including a soft beginner surfboard, leg rope and a wetsuit or rashie. They also offer private lessons.
Typically, in the first lesson instructors will get you in the water and teach you how to stand on a board. You will be taught a basic understanding of the ocean, including surf awareness (identifying rips and currents) and safety tips. They’ll introduce you to the equipment and how to lie on the board and paddle. Then comes the best part; how to catch a wave and stand up and ride it!
As your skills advance, there are also lessons to build on these basics; how to put your feet correctly, how to trim and control the speed of the surfboard, how to cut across a broken wave and to learn about basic surf etiquette. As your skills improve and you gain confidence, you’ll learn how to choose waves, how you can match the speed of a wave (traverse a ‘green’ wave), and how to turn.
Coolum also has a surfing school, and why not? Coolum has a wide flat beach and good-sized waves for beginners.
The Coolum Surfing School offers three levels of classes; beginners, intermediate and advanced. The beginner’s lessons teach you about rips, gutters and sandbanks; safety and surf etiquette; paddling and catching waves, and how to stand up and ride a wave to the beach.
If you want to improve and develop your skills and go to the next level, then you can try the intermediate class. Here you’ll learn about wave selection, more complex manoeuvres, and how to make, use and maintain your speed. You’ll also learn about crowd situations, which is an important skill on Queensland’s busy beaches.
The advanced class is for the more experienced. Here the instructors will help you with strategies for surfing competitions and how to best navigate the waves. They will also teach you about warming up, fitness and nutrition. They even take the extra step of offering you a video playback so you can study your own surfing!
The school specialises in private tuition and have made it affordable to encourage all people, young and old, individuals and families to experience the joys of riding a wave in a stunning part of the world. The Coolum Surfing School motto is “The best surfer is the one having the most amount of fun”.
Mooloolaba and Maroochydore
The Maroochy Surf School has two locations; one at Maroochydore and the other is down the road in Mooloolaba. This school caters for every level; from beginners to the coaching of elite athletes. It is affiliated and aligned with Surfing Queensland and Surfing Australia. They offer both private and group lessons and can cater for up to 100 surfers at a time!
If you are beginner, group classes are great because you will learn and laugh with other people of your own level. If you are intermediate or advanced level, then the private classes may suit you better. You can practice the techniques that you want and you can learn at a faster pace.
But if you like learning with others there are also group classes. Learn with your friends, or make some new ones! These group classes are categorised according to the level of ability rather than age.
Maroochydore and Mooloolaba beaches are quite close to each other, and have plenty of wide open stretches, as well as a few protected places where beginner levels can learn and build confidence. Between these two beaches lies Alexandra Headland which is for the more experienced surfers. These beaches combine to offer people of all levels a chance to learn and strut their stuff!
Caloundra is not as busy as places like Noosa, and there are some very good protected nooks which are great for beginners. There are no classes of 100 people here. The Caloundra Surf School has a policy of having small class sizes, so that you get heaps of individual attention from their instructors to help you learn quicker and better.
They cater for people of all ages and abilities and offer both group and private lessons.
The Sunshine Coast offers great surfing for every age and every level. With its warm blue waters and exquisite white sand, it provides a perfect backdrop for any surfing; from your first lessons to professionals. Come and give surfing a try. Once you start to feel at home on a surfboard, you’ll never look back. There’s no greater feeling in the ocean than taming a wave!