If you’re headed to the beach this summer, looking to “hang ten” on a long board for the first time, consider taking surfing lessons. We found six places that offer free or discounted lessons.
Instructors who offer the essential fundamentals, including land instruction, wave formation, paddling, positioning, surfing etiquette and water safety are your best bet. You’ll also want to make sure your instructors are professionals and qualified surfers themselves and are CPR and First Aid Certified.
Often, you can find qualified instructors through hotel or summer rental properties that partner with outfitters to offer discounts, packages, and, even in some cases, free lessons. We at Living on the Cheap found a few options where you can learn how to catch your next wave for less.
1) The Outer Banks, North Carolina
OUTFITTER: Duck Village Outfitters
OFFER: 15% discount on lessons, rental equipment and merchandise
As part of an extensive rewards program, visitors to The Outer Banks, a premier beach vacation destination in North Carolina, who rent property with Southern Shores Realty (600+ rental homes), receive a discount on surfing lessons from nearby Duck Village Outfitters. You can also get your surf board and wet suit here at this one-stop shop.
Southern Shores Realty
5 Ocean Blvd.
Southern Shores, NC 27949
1 (800) 334-1000
Duck Village Outfitters (three locations)
Duck Village: (252) 261-7222
Kill Devil Hills: (252) 255-6222
Salvo: (252) 987-1222
2) Carolina Beach, North Carolina
OUTFITTER: Tony Silvagni Surf School
OFFER: $10 discount when you sign up with a friend
At Carolina Beach in North Carolina, sign up with a friend to take surfing lessons from professional surfer Tony Silvagni through his Surf School and pay only $40 per person. Private lessons generally cost $50, so you save ten bucks by going with a friend. You’ll probably have more fun, too, learning together from a champion athlete. Lessons are also available at Fort Fisher and Wrightsville Beach. Equipment rental is available.
Tony Silvagni Surf School (two locations)
308 S. Lake Park Blvd .
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
100 Hamlet Ave.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
3) Pawleys Island, South Carolina
OUTFITTER: Surf the Earth
OFFER: Pre-book a lesson and save 10%
Surf the Earth near Myrtle Beach offers lessons for individuals, groups and camps at four different locations, including Pawleys Island, The Ocean Front Litchfield Inn, Litchfield Beach and Golf Resort, and Debordieu. Prices start at $75 for a two-hour private lesson, including surfboard. Save when you book in advance and when you sign up for a group lesson, which take place twice daily.
Surf the Earth
47 Da Gullah Way
Pawleys Island, SC 29585
4) The Meadowmere Resort, Ogunquit, Maine
OFFER: Save 30% on surfing when you book a package
Reserve the Om & Foam Surf Getaway package and save on the price of a surfing (or standup paddleboard) lesson at The Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, Me. Plus, for every night’s stay at this Environmental Leader Hotel, the property makes a donation to the Surfrider Foundation to protect Ogunquit Beach. Lessons take place on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, depending on availability. Lessons include a yoga warmup beforehand.
The Meadowmere Resort
74 Main St.
Ogunquit, ME 03907
5) Deerfield Beach, Florida
OUTFITTER: Island Water Sports
OFFER: Free lessons on Saturdays
Island Water Sports, an outfitter in Deerfield Beach since 1978, offers free surfing lessons weekly, 7 a.m. to 9 .am. Saturdays, to the first 150 students who register online. If you don’t make the cut-off, paid classes start at 9:30 a.m., with a reduced rate offered. You must sign a waiver to participate. Classes are designed to get beginners up and going in the first session, but you can try as often as needed. Open to ages 5 and up.
Island Water Sports
1985 NE 2nd St.
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
6) Gooch’s Beach, Kennebunk, Maine
OFFER: Free lessons for women
Aquaholics surf shop owner Nanci Boutet offers Mom’s Morning for women ages 21 and up every Tuesday to introduce more women to the sport. She provides the boards and wetsuits, limiting class size to equipment available, up to 20 women at a time for the 1 ½-hour clinic. Sign-ups occur the week prior. Take two classes for free. After that, you have to buy the wetsuit. Call ahead for exact time.
166 Port Rd.
Kennebunk, ME 04043
If you give one of these specials a try, let us know how you did. Also, if you know of any other specials, post them as a comment below.
Photo courtesy of Wilmington & Beaches CVB.