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What is a Surf Camp? 6 Tips To Help You Choose The Best Surf Camp For You

Surf camps, also known as surf hotels, are a new trend in the surf travel world. In some of the best surfing locations around the world, there are now many companies that offer surf camps and surfing travel packages to international travellers. No matter if you’re an advanced surfer who wants some improvement tips from pros, or if you’re a complete beginner and want to enter the wild world of surfing, surf camps are the perfect and most exciting solution.

Have you recently come across the term “surf camp” but don’t fully understand what the heck that actually means? You may be wondering — is it a club? Are they only for pro surfers? Are the camps solely meant for surfing? 

The answer to all of these questions is no! But what is a surf camp then?

So, what is a surf camp?

First thing: it’s more than just surfing.

Surf camps are not just hangout clubs for professional surfers, and there is so much more to surf camps than just surfing! Overall, surf camps/surf hotels are essentially steal-of-a-deal packages that include accommodation, food, a community vibe, and surf lessons all in one. These surfing travel packages are unique for each company and location, but overall provide surfers with the same unforgettable experience.

This is the perfect experience for solo travellers or anyone travelling around the world and looking to give surfing a go and meet lots of cool people.

Community Vibes

Staying in a surf camp accommodation is probably the best part of a surf vacation because it brings you closer to other travellers and surfers that are just like you. It’s so easy to make friends from all around the globe, which is something that normal Airbnbs or boring hotels could never bring to the table.

Travellers that go surfing camps are usually open-minded, well-travelled, and enjoy meeting new people, so you are very likely to meet some stoked surfers during your surf holiday.

Besides the amazing community and unmatched laid-back vibes, your stay in a surf camp accommodation will feel pretty similar to a nice hotel, in some cases. We can speak for our own accommodations when we say that. Towels, soaps, linens will all be provided, so no need to worry about packing these miscellaneous items for your next surf trip.

Not only are surf camps the best places to relax and connect with other surfers, but it’s also stress-free planning because you won’t have to worry about other parts of your surf trip, like food or activities. Plus, when you book a surf camp for your vacation, the stress of finding an Airbnb or hotel for the duration of your stay is completely eliminated.

The Boom of Surf Travel

If you’re a fellow surfer, you know that it’s common for intermediate, advanced, and especially professional surfers to book international trips and chase the best waves our earth has to offer. 

Surf travel has become even more accessible and better than ever because of surf camps. 

Not only do surf camps allow you to experience surfing tours and shredding the waves with groups of like-mind people, but there are also other fantastic perks to booking a surf trip at a camp instead of an Airbnb or hotel.

RELATED: 10 Tips For Planning the Perfect Surf Trip

What’s Included in Surf Camp Packages

There are different sorts of packages for surf camps that you will select based on your status, trip duration, and course types. After reading through the type of packages, you will choose from one of the camp packages that best fits your expectations for your surf trip. 

These all-inclusive packages include more than just accommodation, and you will, luckily, not have any other costs to add on top during your trip unless you plan to take day trips or go to restaurants/bars/activities outside of the camp.

The costs are according to entire weeks, so seven full days of accommodation. To get a good idea of what to expect with your surf camp, here is what is usually included when you purchase a surf trip package with Lapoint in Santa Teresa, Costa Rica:

  • 7 nights accommodation 

  • 7 breakfasts 

  • 5 dinners 

  • 6 days with surf equipment 

  • Green Wave Surf Course 5 x 2 hours 

  • Surf theory 

  • Transport to surf lessons

Surf Camps for Intermediate & Advanced Surfers

The courses in surf camps are not only for beginners. If you’re an intermediate or advanced level surfer, surf camps are also fantastic opportunities for improving your skills and getting personalized tips from professional instructors. 

It becomes more of coaching rather than lessons. Generally, the groups are smaller, 3 or 4 people and the waves are more suitable to your level.

How Will Your Days Look While at a Surf Camp

If you decide to book a surf trip vacation, you could expect to take a surf class for a couple of hours each day/morning, depending on the type and length of the package you choose. During the rest of your time outside of the water, you will have the freedom to do whatever you please! 

You can practice the skills you learned during your lessons, explore the local cities flairs, and chill at the surf camp residence. After the surf lessons, many surfers usually meet up together to relax, socialize, and enjoy each other’s company with refreshing food and drinks.

6 Tips on Choosing The Best Surf Camp For You

There are many options out there, and choosing the best surf camp for your surf level and travel goals for you might be overwhelming. First, let us get it out of the way — we are biased. We have welcomed travellers to our many surf camps around the world for over a decade, and the tips we give you might be based on our experience with thousands of surfers throughout the years.

However, who can be more qualified to help you choose a surf camp? Let’s dive into the tips.

#1 - Start With Accommodation Standards

A common misconception is that surf travel needs to be low standards and that you might need to sleep on a couch in someone’s cabin to enjoy the best waves in the world.

Not true.

The first thing you should look at when choosing a surf camp is the standards of accommodation to see if it suits your needs. Surf camps can (and should) be comfortable and provide you with a great stay.

Does the camp have a nice swimming pool to hang out in after an exhausting surf session? How many chill-out areas? Is the camp big or small, and how many people can fit there? Dorms are clean and nice? All of these things contribute to a great surf trip experience.

#2 - See What Other People Are Saying, Especially About The Surf Lessons

It’s hard (if not impossible) to assess if a surf school is good or not beforehand. You can only do that by going there and doing a surf lesson. However, good surf schools will have hundreds of reviews all over the internet. See Google, Yelp, Trip Advisor and other platforms to see what other people are saying about the level of professionalism during the lessons. Instagram can also be a great tool.

You want to aim for the highest level possible. Make sure all surf instructors are ISA certified, which means that are well prepared to instruct you on your surf journey. 

#3 - Location Is Important, But Less Than You Think

When looking for a surf hotel you’ll surely check out where it is located. How far from the beach? Where is the nearest store? Are there any restaurants around? 

These are all valid questions and should be top-of-mind. However, it’s easy to overestimate how important is the location. Once you get close enough to the things that matter, location won’t matter anymore. If you follow the first tip correctly, you will probably spend a lot of time inside the camp with your new exciting friends :) 

#4 - Surf Camps Are Not Just For Party-Seekers and Backpackers

It’s easy to think that surfing camps are only for young backpackers looking for party and madness. That’s wrong, tho. Surf camps are incredibly diverse, and you will probably meet people of all ages and walks of life.

That’s why surf camps are the best, as far as we are concerned!

#5 - Let Go Of Your Preconceptions

You probably have an opinion about the surfing community. You might have an opinion on surf camps and you probably have a certain expectation of who is the type of person you’ll meet. 

Let go of it all.

Surf camps are like a little surprise box where you never really know what you’ll find. Travel, in general, sweeps you off your feet regularly. Just open your mind, be curious and join this amazing community that is so eager to help you have the time of your life!

#6 - Sustainability

As surfers, the ocean is our home. It is important for you to verify that the surf camp you choose has committed to sustainability efforts, reducing its footprint, and helping Mother Earth.

It’s more than just saying “we care” — it must be reflected in actions. 

We at Lapoint have committed to our ocean, beaches and community. They are our playground, our home and our livelihood. We are going to leave them better than we found them. That means that all our employees, friends and guests help out with recycling and taking other actions for the environment. There are beach cleaning and recycling activities every week to ensure our home remains the way it was meant to be.

Don’t miss out on an opportunity to help the planet.

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