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Your vacation is fast approaching, and you’ve seen a few ads for surf camps pop up on your feed. It sounds pretty good–great waves, new friends, beautiful beaches. However, you’re not sure if its worth it. And with this doubt, you’re starting to consider a hotel accommodation and renting your own board just to be safe.
Before you decide, here’s what to expect from a surf camp and how to tell whether or not it’s right for you.
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Culture and Vibe
Most surf camps have a certain atmosphere in them you can’t find in a hostel or hotel. The moment you step in a surf camp, you’ll immediately sense a different kind of feel. No, it’s not about cannabis, but a pack of open-minded people from all corners of the globe. Most surf camps have several common areas, and cater to being social. If you are a solo traveler, it could be awkward at first, but with the immersive experience surf camps are known for, you will slowly grow out of your shell. This is a great way to meet new friends where some of them, if not most, are stoked surfers.
A surf camp is not a surf camp if there is no coach to help you improve your skills. Regardless if you are a newbie or a veteran surfer, there’s always something to learn from a surf coach.
While surf coaching is a common feature in surf camps, we recommend to look for a facility that fits your skill level. If you’re a newbie, look for surf camps that cater to newbie surfers. There’s a lot of entry level surf camps in Peru, Bali, and Fuerteventura in the northern coast of Africa. If you’re an experienced surfer, you might want a fine-tuned surf coach who won’t throw you into the water alongside a dozen foamies.
Surfing classes usually start after breakfast. The beachfront is your classroom and your coach will teach you tips and different techniques appropriate to your skill level. After a short lecture and demo, you will hit the water and apply what you have learned, of course with the close supervision of your coach.
After classes, you are free to go. However, relaxation in the surf camp facilities and chatting with fellow surfers is the usual fad after class. Surfers don’t tend to stay up too late as everyone wants to make it out early the next morning.
Surf camps are often more than just surfing. While surfing is the main agenda of your vacation, there are other activities typically offered. A common practice in surf camps is the combination of surf and yoga. Some facilities have pools and Jacuzzis that you can dip in, while others offer a guided tour in nearby nature reserves and ecoparks.
Drinking and partying are are also often a given (but this is less common on the wellness focused camps). Just imagine having a bonfire at the beach while holding a cold beer under a starry night. And you might notice surfers getting more confident (and ridiculous) when it comes to surf slang after a few drinks.
Surfers are known for being environmentally conscious and that’s not a coincidence. We as surfers have been protecting the environment simply for the reason that it is our playground. If we litter or use products that damage the environment, it destroys the very place we love to play.
This is the reason why surf camps are also often environmentally friendly. Some camps use organic soaps in their bathroom or use organic surf wax for the boards. Using environment friendly products and doing sustainable practices is not just about a surfers mindset, but it’s a way to say that we care for the environment. Most surf camps cater to this mindful consumption of goods and services, often using solar panels, serving plant-based meals, and donating towards local clean-up campaigns.
The most awaited part, price. Surf camps usually offer all-in packages that includes food, accommodation and virtually everything we just mentioned above, like gear rental. Depending on the package, prices vary from camp to camp. However, with the money you’re spending in exchange for a good night’s sleep, delicious meals, surf coaches, and meeting fellow buddies, you might find a surf camp to be better value than purchasing everything a la carte.