Lonely Planet Writer

Discover the countries where you get best bang for your buck when it comes to surfing lessons

If you’re looking to learn how to surf on your next holiday … then these are the countries where you will find the cheapest lessons. A survey by surfholidays.com has revealed that Ecuador is the best value place in the world for affordable lessons with an average price per class of US$22. It was joined in the top three by South Africa ($23) and India ($24) who also offer remarkably good value when learning how to tackle the waves.

Ecuador is best value when it comes to surfing lessons
A professional surfer rides through a perfectly blue barrel. Image by Daniel Goldin/GettyRF

The Surf Lesson Price Index looked at 35 different countries around the world analysing average costs across 1250 different schools. Most expensive in the world by far was Norway with lessons costing an average of $128 followed by the US where a class costs $85.

The research also looked at where American travellers liked to go for surfing holidays, with Costa Rica the most popular choice (22%). Mexico was next up with 18% while Europe followed at 17%, with Portugal the favourite spot for US surfers for travel to the other side of the Atlantic.

Nicky Kelly of surfholidays.com said: “Increasingly, Americans are travelling to Europe to find the best waves. Price or proximity to the waves is not a factor. The availability of cheap air carriers has made it easier for surfers to cross the world, and our technology allows them book lessons and accommodation in advance so all they have to think about is chasing their next wave.”

While Portugal might have been the top location choice for US surfers, it was not the cheapest in Europe for lessons. In fact, Ireland was, where the average lesson costs $37, slightly more affordable than both Spain and the UK, where prices were $39. Other destinations offering excellent value on surf classes were Argentina ($25), the Philippines ($26), Peru ($29), and Jamaica ($31).