If you’ve wanted to try surfing but not sure where to start, then having lessons is a great way to go.
The kids had lessons last year with Middleton surf school South Coast Surf Academy and loved it, so this year we went back to do it again, and this time the adults also joined in too.
If you’re new to surfing this is a great way to try it out without investing in expensive gear first. They provide all the equipment you need, with surfboards in all different sizes to suit everyone from young kids to adults, as well as good quality full length wetsuits to suit bodies of all shapes and sizes. The wetsuits are fantastic for keeping you from getting cold in the water for the whole time, as well as giving you complete sun protection (apart from your head).
Our group included children from 7 years to 11 years old, and Adults as young as forty-ish ;-).
The owner operators, husband and wife team, Dan & Meg, are passionate about what they do and are parents too, so they are great with kids. The other instructors are fab too.
During your 2 hour lesson you will learn about ocean awareness and safety, including things like, how to spot a rip and what to do if you get caught in one.
You’ll receive some instruction on the sand and be shown correct techniques on how to handle your surfboard. There will be some practising on the sand before you try it out in the water.
During the lesson, three different techniques for getting up to standing were shown.
Safety is paramount and you will be shown safe ways to get on and off your board in the water.
The ratio we had was 2 instructors to 10 people (1:5) – they are licensed with Surfing Australia and can have a ratio of up to 1:8 but apparently it is rare that they do the maximum ratio. Last year we had a similar number of people and for part of the lesson we had 3 instructors.
Out in the water, the instructors are very attentive and super encouraging. They make sure they go around to each person several times to ensure that everyone gets some personal tips and manages to get standing on their board. They’ll give you a hand to steady your board and give you hands-on help.
Middleton is a great beach for learning to surf as the water is not very deep for quite a distance. The waves are usually a gentle soft rolling swell over smooth sand – perfect for learners. It meant the smallest child – an 8 year old around 120cm tall was able to touch the ground the whole time. Both times we had lessons, the waves were similar (as shown in these pics). We were fortunate on both occasions in late January to have beautiful weather – warm in the sun and not too windy. Even if the weather was cooler, the wetsuits do a great job of keeping you warm.
If you have children who would like you to stay close, or if you are concerned, parents are more than welcome to go into the water to be with their children. You will be supplied with a wetsuit too for no extra charge. We did this the first year when the kids had their very first lesson. Dan and Meg are very accommodating and want everyone to feel safe and comfortable in the water.
The instructors we had both times were fantastic, with both kids and adults. It’s a very positive vibe with plenty of encouragement, “Woohoos” and thumbs up, every time someone gets up on their board.
All the kids didn’t take long to be standing up on their boards many times. They learn to try, try, and try again – that practise and persistence pays off. It’s a great lesson in resilience to get knocked down and get back up again, over and over. Surfing is great exercise and you can be sure to sleep well that night.
The kids are super keen to go back and do it all again.
Middleton is also a great spot to body surf or do some body boarding. Dogs are welcome on the beach and you may even spot dolphins, and whales (at certain times of the year).
We travelled to Middleton during our stay in Normanville (around 50km/approx. 45 minutes drive) – it’s not far if you’re staying at Port Elliot, Victor Harbor or Goolwa, and is even worth a day trip from Adelaide (around 80km/approx. 1 hour and 15 minutes drive).
Bookings are essential. If you have a group of at least 4 people you can get a discount. Lessons are on twice a day during January. They even fit us in at an extra time slot when we decided that morning we would do the lesson.
Mobile: 0414 341 545
What: Middleton Surf Lessons for Families | South Coast Surf Academy | Review
When: All year except during inclement weather
Where: Surfers Parade, Middleton – find them at the second car park – look out for the orange flag
Who: Anyone interested in trying surfing
As per all our Play & Go reviews, this is not a sponsored post and our review is done completely independently without advising the business before or at the time of the review. All photos are by Play & Go.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
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