7 Best Surf Lessons in Tamarindo

If you want to learn the basics of surfing or enhance your surfing skills in Tamarindo,. In that case, some of the best surfing lessons in Tamarindo include Surf Lessons in Tamarindo offered by La Muda Surf School, BEST Surf Lessons in Tamarindo, 5 Star Surf Lessons in Tamarindo provided by SALT, and Surfing Lessons in Tamarindo offered by Tidal Wave Surf Academy.

My husband has been passionate about surfing since his teenage years, but I’ve never been much of a surfer. Typically, when we’re at the beach, he’s in the ocean riding waves while I relax on the shore, soaking up the sun. However, during our holiday in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, last year, I decided to surprise my husband by taking surfing lessons for his birthday. Recognizing Tamarindo’s status as one of the world’s top surfing destinations, I researched and consulted several other tourists in Tamarindo to discover the best surf lessons available in the area.

Key Takeaways

  • Surf Lesson in Tamarindo: If you don’t stand up, you get your money back! La Muda Surf School is the best overall.
  • Beginner Surf Lessons in Tamarindo: Shared or private by the native’s way is the best for beginners.
  • If you are on a budget, a private surf lesson with local professionals at Tamarindo Beach by Sea Native Surf Co. is the best option.
  • Saltee offers the best surf lessons in Tamarindo for all skill levels. Surfing and golf are best for all skill levels but they are also some of the most expensive.

In the remainder of this article, I will discuss the best surf lessons in Tamarindo, their price range, and the surfing experience each offers.

 La Muda Surf School: Best Overall

Location: Pico Bistro Tamarindo, Tamarindo Main Road, Guanacaste Santa Cruz, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

Cost: $52

Age: 4-80 years

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

This private surf lesson caters to all skill levels, offering comprehensive instruction both in and out of the water. They even promise a free second lesson if you’re unsuccessful after your first lesson. 

The lessons take place behind Cafe Pico Bistro in Tamarindo, near the lifeguard tower, and provide boards for your convenience. Throughout the lesson, you’ll learn safety basics, how to stand up and catch waves, 

I took these surf lessons, which lasted around 1.5 hours. I appreciated the surfboard and rash guard that were provided. 

Despite the lesson being slightly shorter at an hour and a half as opposed to the 2 hours advertised, the instructors’ personalized instruction, professionalism, and care made it an enjoyable experience.

At $52 per person, it’s considered excellent value and perfect for beginners and kids.

What I liked:

  • The personalized attention and tips from local pros were valuable to me.
  • The location behind Cafe Pico Bistro, as well as the provision of boards, made the experience convenient.

What I didn’t like:

  • I was slightly disappointed that the lesson lasted only 1.5 hours instead of the expected 2 hours.

Surf Functionality, Surf Skate, and Video Analysis

Location: 75W4+XV, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

Club 33 Surf Shop

Cost: $65

Age: 3–99 years

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

Google map

This academy in Tamarindo is one of the first surfing lessons in the area. They are certified surf instructors, and they provide access to surfboards, leashes, rash guards, water, and lockers for storing your belongings.

Despite being my second choice, the instructor’s expertise left me thoroughly impressed. The instructor clearly explained before hitting the water and provided excellent guidance and advice throughout the session, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience. For anyone looking to surf in Tamarindo, I highly recommend lessons here; the experience was amazing.

Even an older couple in their 60s participated in my group, and the instructor took the time to assist them. They were able to successfully get up and surf, which speaks volumes about the quality of instruction provided.

Additionally, this surf lesson caters to all levels, as even my husband, an experienced surfer, gained valuable tips and tricks for improving his technique in the waves.

What I liked:

  • The expert guidance and clear explanations provided by the instructor were invaluable.
  • Feeling safe and having a lot of fun throughout the lesson was fantastic.
  • I admired the inclusivity of accommodating older participants and ensuring they could surf successfully.
  • It is suitable for surfers of all skill levels.

What I didn’t like:

  • I didn’t have any negative experiences here.

5 Star Surf Lessons in Tamarindo with SALT (Surf As Life Therapy surf school)

Location: 8536+94J Tamarindo, 8536+94J Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, Costa Rica. The Tamarindo Beach Parking Lot is located at the north end of the beach, next to El Vaquero restaurant.

Cost: $56

Age: 4–99 years

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

Google map

Surf as Life Therapy Surf School welcomes surfers of all skill levels. The instructors tailor lessons to your needs and experience level, whether you’re brand new or intermediate, ensuring improvement. With a small surfer-to-instructor ratio, you’ll receive quality instruction and have better chances of catching waves. For safety, children aged 7 and under get private lessons with their instructor.

The surf school is located at the north end of the beach at the Tamarindo Beach Parking Lot, next to El Vaquero restaurant. During the lesson, you’ll have access to a surfboard and a rashguard to ensure your comfort and safety. Lessons last for two hours, starting with a 20-minute pre-surf lesson covering ocean safety, basic surf technique, etiquette, and mindset.

While I didn’t take this surfing lesson, I talked with a family member who recently participated in this surfing class, and they couldn’t praise it enough. The family members ranged in age from 11 to 49, and none had any surfing experience. According to them, the instructors were positive, exceptionally knowledgeable, and professional. They appreciated how the instructors pushed those who were ready to advance while catering to those who were mastering the basics.

You’ll receive amazing feedback from the instructor with new information and techniques. Even with no surfing experience, you can stand and ride waves before the lesson concludes. 

What I liked:

  • I appreciated the personalized lessons tailored to my specific needs and experience level.
  • The small surfer-to-instructor ratio provided quality instruction. 
  • The positive and professional demeanor of the instructors makes the experience enjoyable.
  • It is suitable for surfers of all skill levels.

What I didn’t like:

  • So far, none.

Saltee Surf And Golf

Location: Tamarindo Diria, C. Central, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

Cost: $70

Age: 3-71 years

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

If you are looking to get surfing lessons from native surfers in Tamarindo, then this is the lesson for you. You can find them at the Tamarindo Diria Hotel. They offer lessons suitable for all ages and skill levels, catering to both beginners and more advanced surfers. 

Their instructors provide personalized attention, helping beginners stand up on their boards from the first lesson. You get access to both group and private lessons, which are available. 

I had the opportunity to take a day of surfing lessons with them, and it was an amazing experience. The atmosphere was fun and upbeat, and it was evident that the instructors were passionate about teaching and sharing the joy of surfing. Despite other surfers’ varying skill levels in the group, our instructor met each of us at our level, tailoring the lessons accordingly. 

They helped us improve our skills and boosted our confidence, enabling us to surf independently by the end of the week. The instructor provided valuable tips, feedback, and guidance on surfing etiquette, helping us truly embody the surfer lifestyle. Learning from such a knowledgeable and inspiring instructor was a pleasure, and I would definitely consider booking with them again on my next trip to improve my surfing skills.

The only downside was that their rates were slightly higher than other options, which influenced my decision to take only a single class with them.

What I liked:

  • It was great that lessons were available for all ages and abilities, ensuring inclusivity.
  • The small class sizes and use of the latest equipment made for a safe and enjoyable experience.
  • The instructor’s ability to tailor lessons to my skill level and provide useful tips and feedback was invaluable.

What I didn’t like:

  • The slightly higher pricing compared to other options was a downside.

Tidal Wave Surf Academy

Location: Tidal Wave Surf Academy | Surf Lessons Tamarindo Costa Rica, Tamarindo South, Alameda 11, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

Cost: $65 per adult.

Age: 5-80 years

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

This surf lesson teaches you various aspects of surfing, including positioning and riding waves, efficient paddling, board control, and basic wave-catching techniques. South Tamarindo Beach, near the Coast Hotel Alameda 11, is where the lessons take place.

During our trip, a tourist friend of mine took this surf lesson and praised the instructor for being helpful, informative, and fun to be around in the water. The lesson begins on the shore, where you learn surf terminology and proper form before heading into the ocean. The instructor demonstrates knowledge of the landscape, highlighting areas to avoid for safety.

The lesson lasts 2 hours and provides a thorough workout. When you reach the shore, a vendor offers you fresh fruit cups and sells fresh coconut milk.

Although this lesson is more expensive than others, it offers a small group size of only 5 participants per group. This allows for a more personalized learning experience. I opted for less expensive options to try out multiple surf lessons.

What I liked:

  • The friendly and informative instructor made the lesson enjoyable and engaging.
  • The instructor’s knowledge of the landscape and ability to ensure safety by pointing out hazardous areas are impressive.
  • The smaller learning group allows instructors to attend to all participants effectively.

What I didn’t like:

  • The cost is higher compared to other surf lessons.

 Native’s Way: Best for Beginners

Native’s Way Costa Rica: Tours and Transfers is located 200 meters south of Diria, Guanacaste Province, Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Cost: $55

Age: 4–99 years 

Duration: 2 hours.

Contact: +1855 275 5071

Google map

If you’re a beginner surfer on a budget, this surf lesson is perfect. They offer a 3-day mini-surf camp that you can opt for.

You’ll find them at Native’s Way Costa Rica—Tours and Transfers, 200 meters south of Diria in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. The lesson focuses on essential techniques such as paddling, popping up, board position, stance, safety, etiquette, and reading waves. Upon meeting your instructor, you’ll receive a rashguard and surfboard. After practicing popping up on land, you’ll learn to paddle out into the waves, with your instructor coaching you through standing up on the board.

While the lesson was good, the group of about 12 people felt overcrowded. Despite being one of the cheapest options available, the large group size was a drawback. However, the instructor worked hard to swiftly get everyone into the water. After a thorough but quick onshore lesson, the instructor took the group to a less crowded spot in Tamarindo to practice. Despite a few initial struggles, everyone in the group managed to stand up on the board and had some success over the 2-hour lesson. 

Another downside was the presence of two instructors due to the crowd, which sometimes led to confusing instructions with differing approaches.

What I liked:

  • I appreciated the lesson’s affordability, which made it accessible to beginners on a budget.
  • The comprehensive focus on essential techniques was beneficial.

What I didn’t like:

  • The overcrowded group detracted from the quality of individual attention and instruction.
  • The presence of two instructors can sometimes lead to confusing instructions with different approaches.

Sea native surf Co.: Best for budget

Location: Pico Bistro Tamarindo, Tamarindo Main Road, Guanacaste Santa Cruz, Provincia de Guanacaste, Tamarindo, 50309, Costa Rica

Cost: $50

Age: 3–7 years

Duration: 2 hours. 

Contact: +1855 275 5071

This surf lesson provides you with instructors who are all locals with extensive knowledge of the surf. 

You can find them at the Pico Bistro. They are located next to Pico, in front of the lifeguard tower.

Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience, they tailor the lesson to your skill level and goals. After your lesson, enjoy a complimentary glass of fresh coconut water.

I took this surfing lesson, and upon arrival at the surf spot, our instructors will help me select the perfect board and rash guard. You’ll then receive a brief but informative theory lesson on land, covering safety and how to get up on the board. 

The surf lessons are brief but informative, and the staff is attentive, correcting every mistake. Plus, the price is reasonable, making it worth trying, especially for beginners.

They even provide board storage during breaks and arrange additional activities for your group, such as zip-lining, lunch at a local restaurant, and a jet ski tour. This surf lesson is great for beginners, although it can be quite crowded.

What I liked:

  • I enjoyed the authentic Costa Rican surf experience with local instructors.
  • The location near Pico Bistro and the available parking were both convenient.
  • The complimentary, fresh coconut water after the lesson was a nice touch.
  • The reasonable pricing made it accessible for beginners.

What I didn’t like:

  • I found the crowd during lessons a bit overwhelming.

Wrapping Up

Tamarindo offers a variety of surf lessons catering to different skill levels and preferences. When selecting a surf lesson, take into account factors such as instructor expertise, class size, equipment provided, location convenience, and overall value for your skill level and budget. If you have questions or have something to add, do so in the comments section. I hope you find this guide helpful. 

5/5 - (1 vote)


Born in California, Michelle traveled extensively through the USA and Europe before moving to South Florida during the pandemic. Her career in Marketing has taken her all across the world. Her favorite country is France but she'll never turn down a beach vacation!

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