How Much Do Surfing Lessons Cost?

Surfing is a difficult sport to learn, but it is very rewarding. You are wondering how much surfing lessons cost and how many sessions you will need to become competent in your new sport of choice. We've researched the cost of surfing lessons so you can decide whether it is worth the cash or a waste of your hard-earned money.

The cost of surfing lessons ranges from $50 to $150 per two-hour lesson. There are several factors that influence the cost:

  • Location - California, Florida, North Carolina, Hawaii, or Costa Rica
  • Length of class - 1 hour to 2.5 hours in length
  • Number of people - group lesson or private lesson
  • Number of classes purchased - single class or multiple classes
  • Instructor - private instructor or surf school instructor

Now that you know the price, you are probably wondering how many lessons you will need to take. You want to know if the money spent on surf lessons is worth it. You might also wonder what the best age to begin surfing is and whether it is too soon for your child to learn or too late for you to learn. We will answer all of those questions, so please keep reading to get the info.

A young female taking surfing lessons, How Much Do Surfing Lessons Cost?

How Much Do Surfing Lessons Cost?


Surf lesson prices are most expensive in California and Hawaii at about $150 per two-hour private session. East cost lessons in Florida and North Carolina are closer to $100 for a private lesson. You can find private two-hour lessons under $100 if you travel abroad, such as Costa Rica. You can experience one hour private lessons for as low as $50 or $60 abroad.

Length Of Class

The standard surf class is usually two-hours. There are many instructors and surf schools that will offer classes as short as one hour. The rate per hour of instruction ranges from $40 to $80, depending on the other factors. If you can withstand a two-hour session, that will be a better investment for your time and help you learn how to surf faster.

Number Of Students

Depending on the school or tutor, you will have to bring your own friends to get a group rate or reduced price per student. Surf schools may offer the group option if they consistently have people booking group classes.

Number Of Classes

You can receive a reduced rate per class by purchasing a package of surfing lessons upfront. Packages are typically three to ten classes, depending on the tutor or school. The discount is usually about 10% to 20% cheaper per class when purchased in a package.


There are surf schools or surf shops that offer lessons. There are also freelance instructors or tutors you can hire for a lesson. It is more difficult for freelance instructors to find clients, so they will likely offer cheaper classes than surf schools. Most of this kind of business is handled by word of mouth, so you should get out and talk to some other surfers to find local freelance instructors.

Estimated Cost Of Two-Hour Lesson By Location

  • West Coast USA (California) - $150 private lesson or $90 for a group lesson
  • Florida - $100 to $120 private lesson or $70 to $80 for a group lesson
  • North Carolina - $100 to $120 private lesson or $80 to $100 for a group lesson
  • Hawaii - $150 private lesson or $100 for a group lesson
  • Costa Rica - $90 to $100 private lesson or $40 to $60 for a group lesson

What To Expect From First Surfing Lesson

Young men and woman listening to their mentor about surfing lessons

The first surfing lesson will start by practicing in the sand. Your instructor will guide you through the motion and the best way to position your body on the board. You will practice with a longboard, because that is the best size for beginners. After some time spent on the beach, you will do some stretches and head out into the water.

Most of your effort will be spent on paddling the board. You will spend time waiting for waves. You will fall into the water and likely get water up your nose, at least once! It is all part of the learning process.

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Standing on the surfboard is also a difficult part of learning to surf. Professionals can pull themselves up from a prone position to standing in one fluid motion. It may be easier for beginners to use their knees as a transition step to a standing position. It is not the smoothest way to ride the wave, but it may be the easiest way to keep your balance as a beginning surfer.

How Many Lessons Does It Take To Learn To Surf?

A woman practicing stance on a surfboard on the shores

Learning to surf is a lifelong pursuit because there is always more to learn or improve. In order to define what learning to surf means, we will say that riding one wave independently is the metric you are looking for. People who are healthy and fit may be able to learn how to surf with just one lesson. The average number of lessons it takes to learn how to surf is three lessons. It may take more lessons or fewer lessons, depending on your health, fitness, and determination.

Are Surf Lessons Worth It?

Anybody has the ability to learn how to surf without taking lessons. Taking lessons can save you money, effort, and frustration. When you get started surfing, you may not wish to buy a surfboard. Rentals can be expensive, but you will learn how to surf more quickly with the help of an instructor. They will teach the proper form and how to figure out which wave to ride. The knowledge and guidance you receive from an instructor is worth the money to limit frustration and speed up the learning process.

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What Is The Best Age To Start Surfing?

Surfing is for all ages, which also means learning how to surf. Children can begin learning to surf as early as two years old, and older people can learn how to surf during retirement. The best age might be around 10 years old if a child is confident in the water and interested in learning.

Youngsters have the balance and motor skills to learn the sport and have fun. If you are getting your child started in surfing, make sure they are confident and interested. For more information, check out this post "At What Age Can You Start Surfing? [And At What Age Should You Stop?]"

What Is The Hardest Part Of Surfing?

The hardest part of learning to surf is standing up on the board and doing it at the right time. It requires some strength to pull yourself to a standing position on the board and will be easier for someone who is already fit. Once you are able to perform the motion of standing up on the board, then the most difficult thing to master is timing and positioning. Where you position yourself on the board and how each wave moves varies. It takes practice and experience to learn how to navigate the waves while knowing when to jump on your board.

For more information about the difficulty of learning to surf, check out this post "Is Surfing Easy or Hard to Learn? [Here Are the 6 Steps to Take]"

How Can You Improve At Surfing?

The first step is making sure you have the best equipment for your size and weight. This will make all the difference when it comes to improving your surfing skills. You may also take up a fitness routine that will improve your strength and balance. Squats, leg exercises, yoga, and pilates can really help you improve your flexibility and strength, which will improve your surfing skills. For more information about strength and pilates, check out "Is Pilates Considered Strength/Resistance Training?"

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Can You Surf Every Day?

You can surf every day, but it may not be the best choice for you. Surfing can be demanding on your body and mind, so you need to give your body what it needs. People who are experienced at surfing and in good physical shape might be able to surf every day without consequence. A beginner surfer or someone who is not in optimal physical shape might feel sore after a day or two of surfing. If you continue to surf multiple days while your body is sore, you are increasing your chances of an injury or prolonged soreness. Always listen to your body and don't push it to extremes when your body needs a chance to rest.

In Closing

A surfing lesson costs from $40 to $150 depending on the class's length, the number of people in the session, and the location. The low end of the price range will get you a one-hour session in Costa Rica. Destinations in the United States will charge more, and many schools only offer two-hour classes. The average beginner can learn to ride waves within three lessons. You can improve your strength and balance through exercise and yoga stretches. This will also improve your stamina, so you can spend more time out in the water.

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