May 27th, 2024

No more searching around the web for answers. We’ve collected all of your questions about our surfing lessons and answered them here




Do you offer surf lessons?

Yes, we run daily lessons all year round. During winter there’s only 1 lesson a day, and then 2 through warmer months (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).

Types of lessons and prices?

Mixed group lessons are for everyone over 13 years old and able to swim. The cost is $99 + tax per person. The class ratio is 5 students per instructor. 

Private lessons allow for a wider age range (5+) and people who can’t swim, so they are suitable for families with young kids or anyone who needs a more 1-on-1 approach. The price for 1 person is $199 + tax, and then every additional person is $79 + tax. The class ratio is 5 students per instructor as well. If you are looking to book a private lesson for more than 5 people, please call us to inquire about availability!

What does the lesson look like?

We call it a 3-hour experience from check-in to check-out. 

  • The check-in always starts at our shop located at Hotel Zed. Here you will get into your wetsuit and all other necessary neoprene accessories. Once you’re suited up, you will drive yourself to the beach.
  • At the beach, we start the lesson on sand, where we do a warm up, talk about safety and hazards, and teach you basic surfing skills and techniques (maneuvering the surfboard, positioning to catch a wave, pop-up technique). 
  • Now it’s time to practice what you’ve learned. You’ll spend about 1.5 hours in the water with the instructor helping out and giving you necessary tips to help you succeed. 
  • At the end of the lesson you get changed in the parking lot, and hand the wetsuits to the instructors.

Are your lessons beginner friendly?

Yes! Our lessons are intended for people who have never surfed before, have only surfed a few times, or are new in the area and want to learn all about surfing in Tofino.  

I can’t swim, can I still take a surf lesson?

Definitely! You will require a private lesson to make sure you have the attention that you need from the instructor. We will always stay in waist-deep water. 

Do you offer advanced surfing lessons?

Our instructors continue working on their surfing techniques and can help you improve your surfing skills as well. For an advanced lesson, it is required to book a private lesson, since all of our group lessons are meant for beginners. 

When you make the booking, we also request information of your skill level and what you would like to work on. That way our instructor can better prepare for the lesson. A video of your surfing would help as well. 

Where do we meet for the lesson?

Our surfing lessons start at the Swell shop – Hotel Zed location, where you get suited up before heading to the beach.

Is it possible to take lessons and surf without having your own vehicle?

It depends! Our surfing instructor decides which beach to go to on the morning of the lesson. It is always one of the three closest beaches: North Chesterman, South Chesterman, or Cox Bay. North Chesterman is only a 7 minute walking distance, but the other two are a bit further away and do require some sort of transport. 

We also have a good selection of Beach Cruisers, so if you have no other options, you can always rent a bike. 

North Chesterman: 2 min drive, 3 min bike, 9 min walk

South Chesterman: 3 min drive, 5 min bike, 17 min walk

Cox Bay: 4 min drive, 10 min bike ride, 43 min walk

Where can I leave my possessions?

You can bring everything with you to the beach in a backpack or leave your things in the car. The instructor will bring a dry bag to the beach where you can store smaller things like phone, wallet, or car keys. 

Where do we do surf lessons?

Our surfing lessons, group and private, are held at one of the three closest beaches: North Chesterman, South Chesterman, and Cox Bay

Should I take a lesson or can I just rent a board myself?

You can just rent a surfboard even if you have never surfed before. However, taking a lesson will help you learn faster, and inform you about all the local hazards and safety in the water. 

Can I wear my glasses/sunglasses paddle boarding or surfing?

We don’t recommend wearing glasses for the surfing lesson. Wearing contact lenses is a better option. However, you can wear glasses/sunglasses during the land portion.

Can I keep my surf gear after the lesson?

Only if you rent it at the shop prior to the lesson.



If we haven’t answered your question, feel free to call us at 1 (250) 725 0337 or send us an email to tofinosup@gmail.com.

Lara & the Swell Team