If you take up surfing as an adult, you may never ride waves as tall or as fierce as “Jaws” on Oahu. But don’t be discouraged: there are plenty small, smooth waves around the world. Add a long board and a patient teacher, and your vacation could become epic fun.


Tower23, a boutique hotel in San Diego, has just launched a “Hang 23” surf camp for this September. They’ve brought in Isreal “Izzy” Paskowitz, part of the surfing family made famous in the documentary “Surfwise.” Learn not only how to surf, but become immersed in the cool vibe of surf culture with Izzy and his crew.


Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, HA. is widely considered one of the best learning breaks in the world. Beginners will be in good company here and this is where surfing began. The Modern Honolulu arranges surf lessons for guests with seasoned pros.

East Coast:

Sea Island in Georgia has warm waves and patient surf instructors. And if surf isn’t great, you can always Stand-Up Paddle Board through salt marshes.

Old World Surf:

You can go easy on the sunscreen in England’s best learner beaches. Remember, overcast often means smoother waves. At Watergate Bay in Cornwall, The Watergate Bay Hotel has an “Extreme Academy” surf school and offers group and private lessons.

Luxury Surf:

In Costa Rica, the recently opened Andaz Peninsula Papagayo has put together a surf package that includes professional photos of your learning experience, and post-surf picnics with chilled wine and beer.
[divider]Guest Contributor[/divider]
maria finnMaria Finn lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, CA. Her most recent book is “The Whole Fish: How Adventurous Eating of Seafood Will Make You Healthier, Sexier and Help Save the Ocean.” (TED Books). She’s currently completing a novel, “Sea Legs & Fish Nets” based on her experiences working on an all-female fishing boat. Visit her website at www.mariafinn.com.