Warm sun, blue water and the feel of the ocean moving under the board, that was my blissful moment of joy the first time I stood up surfing. It was followed pretty closely by falling off and being "worked" by the white water moments later. It is addictive though, and not as painful to learn as other sports (my backside still aches when I think of my first snowboard lesson). As my little dudes are approaching independence in the water, I am hoping to share that amazing experience with them. If your family is not interested in just baking on the beach for a week, consider a family surf vacation.
There are two ways to approach taking a family surf vacation.
1. The surf focused family.
This family wants everyone to come away with a surfing experience that will go down in the history of their family as the best vacation ever.
- Hint #1 - Go to an all inclusive family surf camp. Peaks N' Swells and Chica Surf Adventures are two camps in Costa Rica. Your family arrives at the airport and the camp takes care of the rest. They provide:
- lessons and transportation to different beautiful locations
- all meals (with kid friendly options)
- all snacks
- massages for adults who may have over done it
- zip lining
- horseback riding
- ATV rides
- childcare for kids too young to go along surfing
- HINT #2 - Let the expertise of the camp guide you to the best breaks.
- HINT #3 - Book early. These family friendly camps are not as easy to find but are very popular.
If surfing with your family is on your bucket list then this is the way to go.
2. Families whose priorities include surfing but are not solely focused on it.
These families have a ridiculous number of options to choose from. Some of these destinations include:
- North Carolina
- South Africa
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
Really I could almost name every country with a coastline.
- HINT #1 - Not all resorts are located in good surf areas. It is important to research the quality and suitability of the surf conditions for your family.
- HINT #2 - Look for resorts with surf instructors. ClubMed does this. The Holiday Inn Resort in the Maldives has a highly rated surf program.
- HINT #3 - Independent surf schools are available in many areas for families not as excited by the resort vibe. These schools can be cheaper because it is slightly less convenient but the quality and variety of breaks they take you to can also go up. This is common in more densely populated areas like Hawaii and Australia.
- HINT #4 - Ask very specific questions about how a school or resort handles kids and what are their experience with teaching children. Most surf instruction is still aimed at adults but it is changing.
Your family will get to surf and you can manage all the other fun stuff that you also want to do.