While we may all have a picture in our heads of the ideal surfer (tanned, athletic), there’s far more to the surfing community than this old stereotype. Surfing is popular with people from all over the world, and at all levels of abilities, and is an energizing new sport to pick up if you want to be more active. Another great thing about surfing is the distance the sport can take you. Whether you want to catch the waves off the North Shore of Oahu or at Bondi Beach in Sydney, surfing can bring you around the globe in search of your next top destination. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to surf—or currently find yourself developing a new interest in the activity—then you’re probably wondering how to go about getting started. To help you begin, we’ve put together a guide to invaluable lessons and popular surfing destinations. Check out one of these surfing hot spots, or make them all part of a quest to become the next great surfing pro!


Hawaii (Oahu, specifically) has long had a reputation as an excellent place to surf, so it’s no surprise than one of the most prestigious international surfing competitions are held here each year – the VTCS series. Who wouldn’t want to rock out on the Banzai Pipeline? If you’re a newbie to the sport, however, start slow. Take a two-hour semi-private surf lesson with Sea & Board Sports Hawaii. This lesson focuses on developing basic skills and practicing surf safety. It’s also designed for two or more people, making it a perfect idea for honeymoons or romantic getaway

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Mexico is all about enjoying the tropical beaches, exploring Mayan ruins, and indulging in good food. It’s also a popular spot for surfing, with the rainy season (May – September) offering the best opportunities for great big waves and fewer crowds. If you’re interested in learning how to surf in Cancun, check out a lesson from 360 Surf School. They’ll introduce you to the subject at a level appropriate for beginners or those a little further along, and give you plenty of time to test the waters yourself.

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No surprise here—Australia is home to the archetypal surfer dude. Bondi Beach is one of the top surfing destinations in the entire world and is host to a wide range of talented and amateur surfers for large parts of the year. Choose a beginner’s lesson with an intimate feel, like this two-hour lesson from Let’s Go Surfing. Everything happens in waist-deep water during lower tides, so it’s ideal for those with very little experience surfing (or even much experience in the water in general).

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San Diego

California is another place known for its surfer culture, perhaps the most significant of its kind in the United States. Head to San Diego’s next-door neighbor La Jolla for some of the gnarliest waves around. Black’s Beach is the best spot in the entire region for surfing, but it’s probably best for intermediate and advanced surfers. Stick to La Jolla Cove for gentler waves, and alternative activities for your kids like paddle-boarding. If you’re looking for lessons for your kids, too, check out Surf Diva Surf School.

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People tend to think of sun-bathing more than surfing when it comes to Florida, but Melbourne Beach’s Sebastian Inlet is the real deal. Located southwest of Orlando, which is itself home to many other delightful summer attractions, Melbourne Beach is home to some serious waves. You can take a lesson from local companies like Surf Guys Surf School or Adventure Surf Lessons and Paddleboarding, both of which offer great options for beginners. Or, head a bit further north to Cocoa Beach for some more choices.

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Los Angeles

Our final recommendation for great places to learn how to surf is Los Angeles. Home to the O.G. Surfer Dude in America, Malibu is one of the most popular beaches for surfers of all abilities. The waves are ideal for riders of all skill levels and experience, with significant variations in tides and weather making for some big differences. There are oodles of surf lessons and surf schools in Malibu, so your first challenge will be in narrowing it down. Some of the most highly recommended are Malibu Surf Coach, Radfish Malibu, and Point Break Surf Company, all of which are ideal for beginners.

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Get Surfing Lessons for Less

Determined to get out there and aspire to catch the highest waves? Spend less on your surfing lessons with Go City. Travel to many of these destinations and save on your surfing lessons with this easy-to-use, electronic pass. You’ll also save on other water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, paddle-boarding, cruises, and much more. Make the most of your summer vacation or surf-getaway with Go City, available in each of these destinations.