The 4 Best Surf Schools in Wellington

One step at a time
One step at a time | © Robert Young / Flickr
Photo of Joe Coates
24 June 2018

Wellington is a place of divine restaurants, eclectic little bars, interesting galleries and all sorts of other diversions. It’s also not a bad place to go surfing either. If you fancy giving surfing a go whilst you’re there, check out our top four surf school picks.

Epic Surf School

Epic is Wellington’s premier mobile surf school, based out of Otaki Beach. The great thing about this school being mobile is that, especially for people travelling or backpackers, they will come and collect you from your accommodation before taking you to whichever break has the best swell at that time. Primary locations include Lyall Bay, Otaki Beach, Titahi Bay or Castle Point. To give you that added sense of security, all the instructors at Epic are also trained, qualified lifeguards so, in the unlikely event of someone getting into a sticky situation, the whole group is in the best possible hands. All lessons include a wet-suit and surfboard, so the fact that you get picked up and dropped off make these guys, perhaps, the most convenient way to learn how to surf if you don’t have your own transport.

The pre-surf chat | © fotologic / Flickr

Real Surf

Map View
That feeling when you catch your first wave... | © Rick McCharles / Flickr
All the instructors at Real Surf have their NZ Surf Coaches Qualification lifesaving and first-aid skills, which gives you extra peace of mind when you’re out on the water and trying to get your head around a new sport or new technique. They are based in Lyall Bay, which is home to a couple of Wellington’s best and most convenient breaks. This not only means that to get there is a matter of 20 minutes or so on the bus from the centre of the city, but once you’re done, you’re near the famous Maranui Cafe, which serves some of the best brunch food in Wellington. Real Surf make sure that when you go out it’s with the best instructors and in the most helpful conditions. They are also open all year round, so don’t let a bit of winter weather put you off taking up a great new sport!

Wellington Surf Lessons

Wellington Surf Lessons is a small school run by a group of professional surf instructors who provide fun and enjoyable lessons for both beginner and advanced level students. Any day that the surf is up is a day that prospective students can sign up with Wellington Surf Lessons to head out and learn how to improve their surf game. With the packages deal on offer at WSL you will not only get to surf some awesome waves but you can sign up to receive a tour of the beautiful Wellington coast line, a visit to the Wellington Seal Colony, secret views and after surf social event / barbecue. As with most of the companies in NZ you are able to pick between group of private lessons, although private will cost you a little bit more.

Amateur and intermediate surfers are most welcome at WSL | © Mike Baird / Flickr

The Salt Shack Surf School

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And off!
When you're learning you have to take the rough with the smooth | © Mike Baird / Flickr
Jay and Holly Quinn are world class surfers and qualified Surfing New Zealand coaches. During the 2000s they dominated the national and international surf scene, so if you’re looking to be shown the ropes by some proper pros then look no further than this duo. While they aren’t based in Wellington city, it’s an easy 45-minute or so drive up the coast to the Waikanae, where The Salt Shack is based. With their passion for surfing, combined with their elite knowledge of the sport and professional skills, the two Quinn siblings are the perfect people to instruct those new to the sport. Definitely worth a visit if you fancy learning the sport whilst simultaneously getting out of Wellington city and seeing a bit of the country you might not have visited before.

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