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Where can I go to experience surfing?

The ideal conditions for learning are small waves that crumble and break softly, as opposed to the steep, fast-peeling waves desired by more experienced surfers. When available, a sandy seabed is generally safer. The Alentejo Coast of Portugal is therefore an ideal location to learn how to surf and why it is such a popular choice with or families every year. That and the fact that the Atlantic breezes make it very attractive for those who like their sun, but without oppressive heat!

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Here our expert (and extremely friendly) guides will guide an activity lasting around four hours or so beginning on the beach to learn some basic skills before taking to the water. The location also provides the ideal spot for resting in between waves too, with gorgeous sandy beaches to chill out on.

Another form of surfing – stand up paddle boarding – is available in one of our most popular destinations in Croatia on the clear emerald waters of the River Gacka. Here you will enjoy a relaxing trip along the grade one river – taking in the gorgeous scenery and enjoying a chance to splash and swim in the water too.

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What you need to know

Surfing requires several skills: Paddling strength, positioning to catch the wave, timing and balance. Paddling out requires strength, but also the mastery of techniques to break through oncoming waves (duck diving and rolling- although these are not required in smaller waves). Take-off positioning requires experience at predicting the wave set and where they will break. The surfer must pop up quickly as soon as the wave starts pushing the board forward.

Preferred positioning on the wave is determined by experience at reading wave features including where the wave is breaking. Balance plays a crucial role in standing on a surfboard. Thus, balance training exercises are a good preparation.

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Practicing with a balance board or swing boarding helps novices master the art.

We know that most families will be fairly new to surfing and that’s why we choose some of the best guides in the business. They will make sure you can master the basic skills and will offer advice and guidance throughout. It’s safe to say that not everyone will be able to stand up on the board straight away, but usually it’s the little ones that master it quickly, so grownups can feel a great deal of pride in watching the children take on the waves.

Get an expert opinion

Family holidays are so important so please get in touch and let our Travel Experts use their firsthand experience to help you make the right decision for your family. We’ve explored our destinations with our own families, we’ve slept in the accommodation, dined in the restaurants, rafted on the rivers, zip wired through the tree tops, played in the snow, marvelled at the Northern Lights… So please contact us if you have any questions.

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