A Helpful List of the Average Surfing Lesson Costs

For a beginner surfer, taking surfing lessons can speed up the learning process, increase the fun level and help you meet like minded people.

I often get asked, “How much does it cost to take a surfing lesson?”

I did a bunch of research, calculated average costs and summarized the information below.

The cost of a surfing lesson can vary significantly depending on the length of time, location, group size and type of lesson you chose to take. The average cost of a group surfing lesson in the United States and Canada is approximately $60-$80 per lesson.

If you want to take a surfing lesson it is helpful to know the different options and approximate costs so you can make an informed decision.

Keep reading to check out the table below to review A Helpful List of the Average Surfing Lesson Costs.

Average Surfing Lesson Costs

To create the table below, I completed an exhaustive online search of over 100 surf shops and surf schools in the United States and Canada.

I used the information to calculate the average surfing lesson cost for each State and Province located on the East, West and South Coast.

All costs in the table below are “all in” costs which include a lesson, surfboard and wetsuit if required.

Keep in mind that the costs below are an average cost and some prices may vary significantly so you may want to phone a few surf shops and surf schools to determine the actual price in your area.

LocationAverage Group Surf Lesson CostAverage Family Surf Lesson CostAverage One-on-one Surf Lesson Cost
British Columbia, Canada$88$390$180
Nova Scotia, Canada$72$280$95
New Hampshire$58$240$65
Rhode Island$53$225$80
New York$85$356$120
New Jersey$68$280$95
North Carolina$67$265$85
South Carolina$45$185$65

*All Costs are quoted in USD for the United States and CAD for Canada. *Average Family Surf Lesson Costs are based on 4 participants.

What Are the Costs of Different Surfing Lessons?

As you can see in the table above, the costs will vary based on what type of lesson you chose to take.

The most common types of lessons offered in the United States and Canada include group lessons, family lessons and one-on-one lessons.

Group Surfing Lessons

Group lessons are the most common and often the cheapest type of surfing lesson.

Group lessons are typically the most affordable because the instructor to student ratio is the highest of all the lesson options and the costs are spread out among the participants.

At most beginner surf beaches, you will see several group lessons occurring at the same time.

You can tell each different group apart by a defining characteristic, like coloured wetsuits or jerseys so the instructors can keep track of all the participants.

As well, group lessons are also very popular because they are fun!

Because all the participants are at a similar ability level, most people will be unlocking their potential at the same time. Go catch a wave for the first time, it can be a life changing experience!

Small Group or Family Lessons

Family lessons, which are also called small group lessons, are a great way for your friends or family to experience surfing together in a small group format.

This type of lesson is usually more expensive than group lessons because the instructor to student ratio is lower and the lesson will be entirely focused on the needs of your small group.

If your family group is new to the sport, an instructor will have extra time to focus on skill development. If your group has already taken a few lessons, the instructor may be able to adjust their teaching to provide tips and tricks that will help take you to the next level.

One-on-one Lessons

One-on-one lessons are usually the most expensive surfing lesson because you will have one instructor focused on your needs.

One-on-one lessons are a great option for people that are more comfortable with focused instruction or prefer to learn without the distraction of other people.

This type of lesson format isn’t just for beginners. Intermediate and advanced surfers may hire instructors or coaches to help work on skill development or a particular trick they are trying to master.

How Long Will a Surf Lesson Take?

Most group surf lessons will last approximately 1-2 hours. Typically, lessons that are around 1 hour in duration are cheaper, while lessons that are 2+ hours in duration are more expensive.

Longer lessons don’t necessarily translate to more time in the water because they usually factor in time for group organization, travel time to the beach, unloading surfboards, a safety orientation and dry land practice.

If you want to know more about the different lessons offered, feel free to ask the surf shop or surf school about what is taught at each lesson. That way you can make sure that the lesson is right for you.

It is helpful to think about lessons as a great way to increase your knowledge but don’t worry too much about lesson length because most beginner surfers will be pretty tired after 1-2 hours in the ocean.

How Does Location Impact the Cost of a Surf Lesson?

The location of the surf shop or surf school may impact the cost of a surf lesson based on the distance from the surf beach.

If the surf shop is located across the road from the beach, you will typically pay less because transportation costs are low. You can just walk across the road and the lesson will begin.

If the surf shop or surf school is located several miles (or kilometers) from the beach, you will typically pay more because of higher transportation costs.

The lesson duration will typically be longer because the instructors will have to transport surfboards and organize rides for the group.

Where I live on Vancouver Island, all the surf shops are located in town and the best beginner surf beaches are located a short drive away. Surf shops and surf schools will typically transport the gear and participants are required to organize their own transportation to and from the beach.

Although some surf school have buses to transport participants, it isn’t that common so make sure to ask about transportation when you are booking your lesson.

Helpful Questions to Ask about Transportation?

  • Where will we be surfing?
  • How far away is the beach located?
  • Do I need to provide my own transportation?
  • Do they have bathroom facilities at the beach?

If you want to learn more about the surf beaches in Western Canada, feel free to click on the link to be redirected to my post titled, 8 Best Surf Beaches Near Tofino: With Helpful Maps & Photos

In Conclusion:

I always recommend that beginner surfers take 1-2 surfing lessons to start because it will help elevate your skills to a new level and it is a fun experience.

If you are curious about whether surfing lessons are worth the investment, click on the link to be redirected to my post titled, 11 Important Reasons Why Surfing Lessons Are Worth It.

Go surfing, have fun, repeat!


I am the person behind Surfers Footprint. Thank you for taking the time to read through the post! If you want to know more about our story, scroll down and click on ABOUT SURFERS FOOTPRINT at the bottom of the HomePage.

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