Where To Train To Become A Surf Instructor – South Africa, Morocco or Australia?
surf instructor training courses gap year travel

When it comes to turning the ocean into your office and your passion into a career becoming a surf instructor is definitely one of the best jobs out there if you love sun, sea, sand and surf!

Here at Epic Gap Year the bulk of our team are stoked on surfing and because of that we’ve hand sourced some incredible surf instructor training courses at some of our favourite spots on the planet – South Africa, Morocco and Australia.

But with 3 incredible destinations to choose from and 5 experience options which destination best suits you and what you want to get out of it?

Well we thought we’d share a run down on the pros, cons and best bits to help you choose the perfect fit for your journey…


South Africa

We’ll be pretty up front about this – South Africa is easily our favourite destination on the list for your surf coach training!

surf instructor training course lifeguard south africaSo what makes it so great?!

First up the structure of the South Africa Surf Instructor Course is an incredible roadtrip across some of the best surf spots in South Africa, including the world famous Jeffreys Bay. In all you’ll take in up to 10 spots over 10-13 weeks and with some of South Africas top surfers teaching you (including reigning 4 time South Africa female Champ Nikita) your surfing is going to improve heaps! Even if you’ve barely surfed before you can get stuck in!

For us though the best part of the South Africa trips is that it’s an all rounder. Sure surfing is the key focus throughout but there’s heaps of extras included – like getting stuck into community projects, hiking up Table Mountain, conquering the worlds highest bungee and even a safari. You even have a few options to really get the most of your trip too and you can bolt on a 3 week surf adventure in Mozambique to form an epic 13 week surf trip!

We’ve said it before but we’ll say it again – it’s as much an epic adventure as it is a surf trip!

Pros; Suitable for all levels of surfer, heaps of inclusions, world class surf coaches, amazing roadtrip format, get involved in community projects, variety of incredible surf breaks, add on a Mozam road trip, great exchange rate, can upgrade from surf adventure to instructor exam at any point.

Cons; Long haul flight to Cape Town, hard to decide between 10 and 13 weeks!



Some of our team have run a surf instructor training course in Morocco and we really enjoyed it out  there, it’s one of the most surf rich coastlines we’ve ever travelled.

surf instructor training morocco taghzout isa level 1For those with little or no surf experience the full 10 week training course is based in the sleepy surf town of Taghazout where Saharan winds keep the temperature up and the Atlantic Ocean keeps the swell pumping! Within a 10 minute drive either side of your surf camp base there’s heaps of spots – from beach breaks to points and even reefs – including the famous Anchor Point. So as you improve you have a better scope of surf spots to tackle.

As with the South Africa course there’s some community projects which come as part of the trip, although you are primarily based in the Taghazout Camp.

For those who are already experienced surfers the 10 weeks is still a great option, but if you’re short of time you can also jump on the 2 week fast track programme if your skill level is already up to scratch. You’ll have a week of enjoying Morocco to start with and the final week includes all your instructor examinations and training.

Pros; Suitable for all levels of surfer, incredible amount of surf breaks, interesting and beautiful local culture, heaps of good Moroccan food, 10 week training or 2 week fast track, cheap flight from the UK, surf camp based right on the beach – walking distance to the waves, great exchange rate

Cons; Single base, not heaps to do if the surfs flat



Australia has a solid place in our heart and for many travellers it’s a great starting point for any adventure or a great spot to explore for an extended period of time. For surfers it’s one of the big bucket list destinations, so it’s the perfect place to train to get into the surf industry!

surf instructor course australia ozOur surf instructor course in Australia is based in New South Wales and you’ll have surf pretty much slap on your doorstep! You’ll soon find yourself in the true Aussie lifestyle – surf, eat, sleep, repeat! The surf camp you’re based at is a big destination for many backpackers too so you’ll make haps of new buddies during your stay.

With coaches on hand you’ll get feedback throughout your trip and over nearly 12 weeks you’ll take your surf skills to the next level and it’ll all culminate in your instructor course, setting you up perfectly to look for work at the many surf schools that call this vast coastline home.

If you can’t fit in the full course or want to simply improve your surfing the 4 and 8 week surf improper experiences are a great alternative too.

Pros; Fits in perfectly with any Australia travels, beach front surf camp, downtime to explore more of Oz, great wa to meet heaps of travellers

Cons; Long haul flight to Australia, single base, not a great exchange rate


So there you have it – a quick an easy run down of our 3 surf instructor training destinations – now all you have to decided is which takes your fancy!

As always if you have any questions feel free to chuck us an email anytime!

See you in the lineup!


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Deanna R. Jones
December 16, 2014
I used to love to go surfing when I lived in California. I enjoyed teaching my little cousins how to surf. It would be really nice to go back and get a job as a surfing instructor. http://www.costa-rica-surf-adventures.com/inter_surf_coaching.html

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