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Surfing is back, baby! Wave riding is no longer the preserve of surf bums and cool kids from California. Surfing is having a moment, and it’s time to grab your board and head to the beach.

It might not be the simplest skill to master, but surfing is a wonderfully rewarding sport. It is hard to argue with an activity that lets you watch the sun rise on the beach, and spend days soaking up the sun while enjoying the peace and calm of the ocean waves. It is good for the soul, and pretty brilliant for strength, conditioning, overall fitness, and nailing that beach bod!

Sadly surfing is not just something you can pick up on a whim – learning to surf does take a little time and effort – but luckily even the most basic surf trip is a fun-filled adventure.

Specially developed surf escapes and surf camps are the best ways to learn. You’ll get one-on-one coaching with expert surfers, with all the kit you need to get started, plus you’ll probably make a few friends for life along the way. 

So if you are planning on cruising from California this summer and want to fit in a few stunning breaks before you go, here are a few of the best surfing escapes for beginners to get you into great shape to hang ten with the best of them!

Weligama, Sri Lanka

This gorgeous little slice of paradise is the perfect spot to get started on your surf journey, and a pretty lovely place to vacation full stop. Weligama translates as ‘sandy beach’, and that’s exactly what you get – a mile and a half of beautiful golden sand, with gentle waves and not too much wind. There’s an excellent all-inclusive surf retreat with a surf school, and the conditions (for beginners, anyway) are perfect all year round. 

Bundoran, Ireland

Ireland’s wild Atlantic coastline is rugged, dramatic, and windswept, and might not seem to be the best spot for newbie surfers at first glance. But Tullan Strand near the small town of Bundoran in Donegal offers wonderful conditions for beginner surfers, as well as one of the best surf schools on the Emerald Isle in Surfworld Bundoran. It is also a great base from which to explore the stunning scenery of Donegal, including the breathtaking Loch Eske.

Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the best, most famous, and most popular surf destinations in the world, and it offers stunning opportunities for novices and gnarled veterans alike. With warm seas, calm waves, and long, sandy beaches, it is a seriously enjoyable place to chill out and relax while learning the ropes, and the surf camps at Santa Teresa and nearby Nosara are absolutely superb. 

Byron Bay, Australia

No one loves surfing, and surf culture, quite as much as the Australians do, which makes heading Down Under to learn to surf a no-brainer. Byron Bay is one of the most beautiful spots in New South Wales (if not in the entire country), and offers jaw-droppingly beautiful beaches, relaxed breaks, and an excellent surf-focused nightlife to give you something to do after a hard day out on the waves. Both The Pass and Wategos Beach are excellent for beginners, not too challenging, but with enough excitement to keep everyone interested!

San Diego, California

Finally, closer to home, why not try out the joys of the Pacific Coast in South California, at one of San Diego’s awesome surf camps? There are great schools up and down the coast, but Encinitas offers the best combo of easy waves and expert instructors at the Surfhouse. You’ll be an O.G. before you know it!