The Area’s Best Surfing Lessons

Hang 10 for a tip-top body

Illustration by Justin Renninger

Let’s face it. Most surfers are hot. And they don’t get that way from being in a stuffy gym mid-summer. They’re out there riding waves, cutting through water, and enjoying every minute of being outdoors. “Surfing is an incredible sport to be a part of,” says Tom Forkin, director and owner of AC Surf School in Atlantic City. “You use your core and your upper and lower body. We’ve had 68-year-old people that we get in the water and up on the boards. You’re never too old do it. There is a zen element, a fluid medium of being out on the water with the dolphins—anyone can do it.”

Lucky for us, the Jersey Shore is one of the safest and easiest places to learn how ride those waves. Book a lesson through any of the great surf schools below to hang your way to a tip-top body. — additional research by Jillian Skrocki

Long Beach Island

LBI Surfing Lessons
New to 2010, this unique surf school offers high-definition surf cams to catch all of your surfing action and show your friends and family. Guaranteeing a minimum of 20 waves caught, LBI Surf caters from beginner to advanced levels, providing lessons 7 days a week, with soft-top surfboards and wetsuits included. 31st Street, Ship Bottom, 609-494-7873; Small group, $40-45; semi-private, $55; private, $75.

Farias Surf & Sport
At Farias, a typical lesson involves 15 minutes of beach instruction and an hour and a half of water instruction with a local standout, instructor Dave Werner. Soft-top surfboard and wetsuit provided. Package deals offered for multiple lessons. 28th Street and Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom, 609-494-7368; Taylor and Bay Avenue, Beach Haven, 609 492-0200; 5th Street and Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, 609 494-8616. Group, $40; Private, $60.

Long Beach Township

Brighton Beach Surf Shop
One of the oldest continuously run surf schools on the East Coast, Brighton Beach Surf Shop offers lessons daily from April-November. In an hour and 15-minute lesson, these instructors share their love for the sport with you. Surfboard and wetsuit included. 8511 Long Beach Boulevard, Long Beach Township, 609-492-0342; 620 Long Beach Boulevard, Ship Bottom, 609 494-1040. Semi-Private: $45; Private: $65; Special needs: $100.

Beach Haven

Island Surf
With a “surf is good for the soul” motto, these instructors will get you in the water and having fun in no time. No need to call or stop in—you can make your reservations online. 1301 Long Beach Boulevard, North Beach Haven, 609-492-3070. $55 per hour per person; group lessons available.

Island Surf and Sail
Whether you are young or young at heart, all people interested in learning how to catch a wave are welcome here. Plan on visiting this shop in the late afternoon, as the one-and-a-half-hour classes are scheduled around low tide. 3304 Long Beach Boulevard, Beach Haven, 609-494-5553. $100 per person, 4-person group max.

The Jersey Cape

AC Surfing Club
Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced, AC Surfing Club has more than 35 years of experience to help you. The Club’s program gives you the tools and wave knowledge to help you reach your goals, whether it is to make it to the pros or simply a better level of fitness and fun on the weekends. All students are provided with soft-top surfboards and wetsuits, along with a free A.C. surf club t-shirt. Raleigh Avenue, Atlantic City, 732-286-2163. $40-$50 for 3 hours group lessons; $100 ($20 off if you print this blog post and bring it in!), 2.5 hours private.


Stacy’s Surf Camp
The instructors at Stacy’s emphasize laughing at yourself, overcoming fears, persistence and patience in a non-competitive, enthusiastic, safe environment. Weekly surf camps running until August 25 are available in addition to daily lessons. Soft-top surfboards and wetsuits provided. Pembroke Avenue Beach, Margate, 609-335-9891. Semi-private: $50 per hour per person; private: $65 per hour.

Ocean City

7th Street Surf Shop
In a two-hour lesson, the experts at 7th Street will teach you all the basics: safety, technique, surf etiquette, and more. Weekly surf camps are running until August 21st, in addition to daily lessons. All lessons take place on 7th Street Beach, wetsuit and soft-top surfboard included. Stop in or call now–lessons fill up fast at this Ocean City hot spot. 720 Asbury Avenue, Ocean City, 609-398-7070; 654 Boardwalk, Ocean City, 609 391-1700. Group lessons, $35 per person; Private and Semi-Private lesson also available.

Heritage Surf Shop
Heritage instructors like nothing more than to see their students’ first successful ride on a wave. Make your experience more enjoyable and surf with a friend or sibling at our group lessons and cheer each other on as you drop into wave after wave. Soft-top surfboards and wetsuits included.3700 Landis Avenue, Sea Isle City, 609 263-3033; 744 West Avenue, Ocean City, 609-398-6390; 9223 Ventnor Avenue, Margate, 609 823-3331. Group lessons start at $20 per person; Private lessons start at $65.


Avalon Surf School
Whether you’re a beginner who wants to try surfing for the first time or an experienced wave-shredder who wants to advance to the next level, one on one will give you that personalized, high quality attention you deserve. All lessons take place on 20th Street Beach, surfboard and wetsuit provided. 2249 Dune Drive, Avalon, 610-952-1185. $50 per hour; $30 per half-hour.

Harbor Outfitters
Harbor Outfitters provides instruction to enthusiastic surfers of all skill levels interested in learning the fundamentals and skills of becoming a promising surfer. Call to make an appointment and reserve your spot for a fun and friendly surfing lesson. Surfboards and wetsuits provided. 354 96th Street, Stone Harbor, 609-368-5501; 625 Asbury Avenue, Ocean City, 609-938-0175; 5006 Landis Avenue, Sea Isle City, 609-263-0805. $40 per hour per person.

The Wildwoods

Ocean Outfitters Surf Camp
Led by surfing veteran and expert Jeff Walden, Ocean Outfitters is one of the most experienced, advanced, fun and educational surf instruction programs on the East Coast. Soft-top surfboard and wetsuits included. Deaf and special needs instruction available. 6101 New Jersey Avenue, Wildwood Crest, 609-729-7400. Group: $38; Threesome: $43 per; Semi-Private: $45; Private: $48.