Black Dog Surf School in Byron Bay Australia has been cranking out spanking new surfers for years. I was fortunate to have my virgin surfing experience with Black Dog, and I couldn’t have been happier with the deal.
How does it work?
You’ll start your day at the school, where you’ll choose your board and suit up. Your group will make your way down to an area of one of the many surfing beaches where you’ll have a little room to learn away from the crowds. The fine instructors will then warm you up with a few yoga moves. They may call them surfing exercises, but Carrie’s no fool and I know a downward facing dog when I see one. On the beach, you’ll determine which leg is dominant (it will be the one in the front while you’re surfing) and learn the proper technique for standing up on the board. Then you’ll hit the water, with instructors and photographer in tow. The instructors give you a little speed boost on the waves while you find your sea legs. Once you’re ready, you’re let loose to catch waves on your own.
Experience the thrill: This is a one day course that runs $60 per person. It includes a two to three hour lesson in which you are taught the basics of surfing.
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Master the White Wash $105: This is a two day course, including two three hour group lessons. It includes the basics from the one day package, then goes on to instruct you in controlling the direction and speed of the board while you’re up and riding.
Out the Back: This $135 course takes it one day further. You receive three days of three hour group lessons from the instructors.
Out the back and beyond: This course, at $200 offers you one three hour lesson per day for five days. You’ll “Buddy up with [the] coaching team as you learn to become a real surfer.
Is it easy?
If you have any experience with a sport that requires balance and a board (like wake boarding, snow boarding or skating), you can probably get by with a day lesson. Once you’ve learned the basics, practice is your best friend. With the excellent instruction I received from Black Dog and a long history of wake boarding, learning to surf was a piece of cake. After your initial lesson, it’s much more economical to rent your gear and go for it.
Black Dog provides you with all of your gear, fruit, sunscreen and drinking water during your lesson.