Learn to Surf in Sydney

How can anyone be in Australia and not try their hands at surfing? We are a continent country that is surrounded by water and we love being in the water all the time. With many amazing surf beaches, it is a perfect place to surf (no surprises there!).

Beach Sydney

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What is surfing?

Surfing is an outdoor and adventurous water sport which involves the act of riding waves, using a board, in an upright or prone position. Usually, the waves needed for surfing are found in the ocean but sometimes they can also be found in rivers or lakes.

Scuba diving and snorkeling are other two outdoor water activities that you will enjoy if you love the ocean. Refer the section of scuba diving and snorkeling for the places in Australia.

Even though the exact origin of surfing is not known, it is believed that surfing was first enjoyed by Polynesians in Tahiti and Hawaii. Surfing was initially known as wave sliding.

Equipment required for surfing

Surfing does not require too many equipment. It just needs a very basic (even though not a cheap) equipment.

  • Surf board – Surfing is an act of riding the waves on a board. So the number one equipment required for surfing is a surf board. A surf board is a light weighted but strong plank of board to support a person while riding the waves. Initially known as papa he’e nalu in Hawaiian language, it was invented in Hawaii. The size and the quality of surf board determines the cost of the surf board.
  • Wet suit – Even though this is not a mandatory equipment, wet suit is required for Australian waters as it can get really cold. And it also protects the skin from sun burns, jelly fishes and blue bottoms.

Also, do not forget to protect your exposed skin with the best sunscreen while surfing. It is one of the essential things to apply as it protects the skin from any damages caused by the sun.

Learn to Surf Sydney
The surf board

Where to learn to surf in Sydney?

Sydney is a coastal city and Sydneysiders (mostly) love to spend their warm days in the ocean. And hence there are plenty of surf schools in the city that are very good at teaching people to surf. These schools have access to private beaches and the lessons are conducted at these beaches so it does not disrupt the experienced surfers.

I took my lessons from Waves Surf school. The surf school is based out of Bondi in Sydney. They were really brilliant and the lessons and the day was a lot of fun. The day was even better because of my instructors Deano and one more guy (I don’t remember his name unfortunately), who were amazing. Deano is funny and he was such a good instructor. And the other guy was brilliant who helped me in facing my fear against the huge waves. Yes, I was scared of the waves and it was mostly because of the incident that happened when I visited Figure 8 pool a few years ago.

Surfing in Sydney
A smile after the whole day of surfing.

Best surfing beaches in Sydney

Sydney has been blessed with such amazing coastline and there are many beaches that are really cool and best for surfing.

If you are a beginner, then definitely venture out for surfing only with the surf schools.

  • Bondi beach – The Bondi beach is only for the experienced surfers and is the perfect beach to get high waves.

Bondi beach also has a famous walk, Bondi to Coogee coastal walk.

  • Manly beach – Manly beach was the first place where World’s first surfing contest was conducted, in the year 1964.

As Sydney is a coastal city, Manly to Spit Bridge coastal walk or vice versa is also a famous walk among the locals.

  • Maroubra beach – Maroubra beach is Australia’s first national surfing reserve and is very famous among the surfers as the waves are consistent.
  • North Cronulla beach – Said to be the birthplace of modern surfing, the Cronulla beach is a great spot for surfers.
  • Long Reef beach – The Long Reef beach is very popular during the winter season as it has the best surfs because of an exposed reef break.

Manly to Mona Vale beach via Long Reef is also a popular coastal walk in Sydney.

  • Palm beach – Palm beach has beautiful and consistent waves that surfers can ride and it makes it popular throughout the year.

Once done with surfing, take a detour to go see the Barrenjoey lighthouse while visiting Palm beach.

Closing Notes

It was a lot of fun, an entire day of facing the waves, some of them taller than me. I was bruised and pushed and hit by my own board a couple of times (okay, a lot more than a couple of times). But I was so happy, I gave it a chance. I will ensure I take more surf lessons so I can understand if this sport is for me or not.

Have you tried surfing? Do you love it? Let me know in the comments below.

If you are looking for tours and trips? Then definitely check out Viator.

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10 thoughts on “Learn to Surf in Sydney”

  1. We sure loved to watch the surfers when we visited Australia. We spent hours just watching the waves and surfers at Bondi Beach. I am certainly not planning to take a surf lesson. But great that you did the first lesson. And understand it may take several lessons to learn if this is right for you.

  2. Hahaha, people may ask the same question about me: ‘How can you be in Southern California and not try your hands at surfing?’ Well, I’ve lived close to many gorgeous beaches for over 30 years and yet never wanted to surf. We have great spots here too, but surfing wasn’t my cup of tea. Nonetheless, I enjoy looking and some of these daredevils proving their skills. Australia seems to have gorgeous beaches would enjoy visiting, even though I don’t surf. Very informational post!

  3. I love to watch surfers and so envious of their skills. I’ve never tried it, but your tips are helpful if I was ever to get the chance.

  4. Learn to surf in Sydney must be a perfect adventure. I haven’t tried this sport yet, but I love to observe and photograph surfers struggling with the waves. It is an extremely spectacular sport. It’s great to know that are so many surfing beaches in Sydney. I would like to visit Manly Beach, where was World’s first surfing contest in 1964.

  5. Learning how to surf is part of my bucket list. I can’t wait to get started.

    It would be nice to surf in Sydney one day. Will make sure to finally learn how to surf before we travel back in Australia so I can try surfing there.

  6. I totally did not know that Australia gave birth to surfing contests. I bet there are a few famous surf destinations (in the US particularly) that are jealous of that! I also didn’t know it was originally called wave sliding. But what I DID know is that I love to watch surfers surfing. If I find a Seniors Surf School, I’m all in! Fun article!

  7. I’m yet to learn how to surf and haven’t done that once in life so far. Many a times I’ve been tempted looking at the crashing waves and cute surf board rentals. But I’m yet to do. Thanks for the tip about wetsuit. Didn’t know about the other uses of wet-suit apart from you know, being waterproof.

  8. Wow! It was so great to know about the history of surfing. I will perhaps not try surfing anytime soon, as I scared of water. But the tips you shared are surely useful. Maybe if I can overcome my fear of water, I will try surfing!


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