Photo Credit: MarcovdzLearning to surf can be made a whole lot easier with the assistance of a pro and direction from those who have already mastered the waves. Surf schools are offered around the world at a variety of levels and accreditation and a fun way to get your feet wet over the summer months. There are no universal standards for classes, so make sure you do your homework to ensure the school of your choosing is well versed in both technique and water safety. Plus, it just may be an excuse to visit one of these exotic locales.

Pro Surf School Bali

Voted “Best Surf School in Bali” for three consecutive years by Magic Wave Surf Community Magazine, Pro Surf School offers comprehensive surf camps for beginners, intermediate and advanced, as well as trips around Bali. Located at Half Way Kuta Beach, their beginner lessons guarantee you get up on the board or the next one’s free. They also offer week long surf schools limited to 20 participants to give the feel of a small community.

Safari Surf School - Costa Rica

The only school to be included in National Geographic’s “Best Outfitters on Earth,” Safari Surf School scored a 96.7 in client experiences. Started by two chill beach bums from Hawaii, your day includes awakening to howler monkeys, freshly brewed Costa Rican coffee, oceanography 101 and ocean awareness. They also offer women’s only adventures, surf fitness and therapy.

Learn to Surf Noosa - Australia

Located in Noosa Heads Queensland, former World Pro-Am Surfing Champion Merrick Davis provides you all the skills you need to “Stand with Style” from day one. Noosa is one of the top four locations for best all-time longboard wave making the location an ideal spot to learn. The warm water and friendly faces of Australia should also help build confidence in the water.

Baleal Surf Camp - Peniche, Portugal

Baleal is a family-run surf camp on Portugal’s “silver coast”, the area is considered ideal for both novice and expert surfers and offers a wide variety of waves - sand, reef, left, right, hollow, mellow - all within a few minutes of each other. Home to more than 80 surfboards, test a range of shapes and styles to find your perfect fit.

Giant’s Foot Surf - Nicaragua

With all-inclusive homemade meals and unlimited beverages, Giant’s Foot surf camp is more like a family run by a bunch of ex-pats than a group of global strangers. Located on Playa Gigante, Southern Nicaragua is still perhaps the only place in the world where virtually year-round off-shore winds and a wide swell window combine to produce consistently good waves in the spring, summer, and fall.