Top 5 Best Places to Learn to Surf in The World

What are the best places to learn to surf in the world?

What are the top 5 best places to learn to surf in the world? We see this question on Google a lot, and although we know that many people have answered this already, we feel compelled to add our own thoughts on this topic. This list comes from our own personal experiences and includes a few places you might have not thought of. While we did include some common items like taking Hawaii surf lessons or surf lessons in San Diego, we have also included some destinations you might not even know exist.


Lombok, Indonesia

I don’t normally tell people what to do directly, I try and guide them to making their own decision. But, in this case, it’s hard for me to hold back. I often see, search terms such as, “where to learn to surf in Bali” or “learn to surf in Bali,” but a little-known island just next to Bali by the name of Lombok is the best place to learn to surf on the planet. I know what you’re thinking; that’s a huge claim. Who are you to make such a claim? But…hear me out. 

Lombok, Indonesia boasts some of the most beginner-friendly surf breaks in the entire world. Most of these mechanically perfect waves are found in a little bay called Gerupuk Bay. Here you will find 6 different surf spots that work all year round, these surf spots offer a variety of different attributes all suited to beginners. 

Gerupuk Bay

Each break has a massive channel next to the breaking wave, which makes it very easy to paddle out to the line-up and take regular breaks without getting in the way of other surfers. In addition, all surf spots in the bay boast soft spilling waves when conditions are small and slightly more challenging conditions when the swell is around. 

All the waves in Gerupuk Bay are reef breaks, protected by cascading cliffs that make up the bay. When the swell is small, there is always somewhere to surf. Additionally, when the swell is relatively big if one surf spot becomes hard to handle, other surf spots in the bay start breaking and still offer small rolling waves, perfect for learning to surf. 

Lombok, Indonesia is actually where the Independent Surfer is based. Although we are an online business, we also offer in-person coaching and are looking to set up our first physical location in Lombok, specifically working outside of Gerupuk Bay, so keep an eye out for that.

We also recommend grabbing a scooter with a surfboard rack and exploring around the island to scope out some new spots. If you’re not into driving a scooter on your own, you could also rent  car with a driver for the day, but just remember to bring your own surfboard car roof racks or surfboard tie down straps.

Cornwall, United Kingdom

The best place to learn to surf in the UK

The best place to learn to surf in the UK is without a doubt the Cornish Coast, specifically Fristal Beach, Newquay as the area boasts the only pristine beach with lifeguards and surf schools operating all year round. With large sandy beaches and direct access to untapped Atlantic Ocean swells, there is more than enough entertainment for beginner to intermediate surfers. 

As a beginner, beach breaks are a tricky environment to improve as a beginner surfer. The best attribute a beach break offers is ample space for you to learn without being bothered by other people. Trickiness also means that if you can learn to surf at a beach break, you can learn to surf just about anywhere. Knowing how to surf beach breaks is a great skill to have and Fristal beach is a friendly beach break that offers a friendly learning environment. 

After doing extensive research, we have found Cornish Wave to be the most proclaimed surf school in the area. We are all about teaching people to surf the right way at the Independent Surfer and we can say with confidence that Cornish Wave Surf School is doing things right! I mean just check out this comment from one of their recent clients. They don’t only offer surf lessons, they have a variety of adventure packages to choose from. 

Beginner Surf Safety
Cornish Wave Surf School

San Diego, California

 The best place to learn to surf in mainland America

Mainland America’s crown jewel of surf destinations. San Diego is considered the best climate in the world and “the most fun place to live in the United States.” Therefore, it’s no wonder the beaches of San Diego host pristine conditions to learn to surf in. The best place to place to take surf lessons in San Diego is La Jolla Shores, which boasts perfect 2 to 4-foot South Swells throughout the summer months, which translates to small gentle waves regarded as the best surf in San Diego, perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. 

We took our time to research multiple surf schools in the area and we found the best surf school in San Diego is Pacific Surf School. They have over 1000 five-star reviews and have been in operation for over 20 years. Pacific Surf School operates all year round, has very competitive prices, and is easy to locate along Mission Boulevard.

If you’re up for your own adventuring, we recommend renting a car or pickup truck and driving along the coast here to find the best conditions each day, just remember to bring your tailgate rack. Finally, San Diego is also the perfect place to rent a bike with a bike rack and ride down to the beach like a local.

Muizenberg, South Africa

The best place to learn to surf in Africa

The best place to learn to surf in South Africa is Muizenberg, located in Cape Town, which is an area synonymous with frigid waters. Muizenberg is located in the heart of False Bay, protected from the harsh Atlantic Ocean. The surf spot is the most famous surf spot for beginner surfers in Africa. 

As it is protected by the Atlantic Ocean, the surf spot is relatively warm in comparison to surrounding surf spots. Additionally, Muizenberg beach is also well protected within False Bay and receives swell all year round. Finally, the beach has small rolling white water waves, perfect for beginner surfers looking to try surfing for the first time.

Honolulu, Hawaii

The most widely agreed upon best place to learn to surf

As we discuss in great depth in our beginner surf course, Hawaii is where modern-day surfing began. Honolulu, Hawaii, more specifically Waikiki is the best place to take surf lessons in Hawaii. Waikiki offers small waves in winter and bigger waves in summer, with most surf spots sheltered enough for beginner surfers. This means that as a beginner surfer, Waikiki has perfect-sized waves for you to learn to surf all year round. 

The best surf school to book your Hawaii surf lessons with is Ty Gurney Surf School. They have almost 100 reviews on google with an average score of 4.9 out of 5 stars. Ty Gurney Surf School offers in-depth surf lessons, guaranteed to get you standing in your first surf session with them. 

Where do you think the best place to learn to surf around the world is? Let us know in the comments section below. 



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