Surfing breaks and holidays have exploded in popularity over the last few years, and that includes for the family market. Kids learning to surf need to be able to swim 50 metres in open water and should generally be a minimum of 6 years old, although you will probably need to accompany them in the water until they are 8. All reputable surf instructors will also be trained lifeguards.
Many family surfing holidays offer other activities – perhaps yoga or Pilates, horse-riding, quad-biking, kite-surfing, mountainboarding, diving and more.
Tops Tips for Family Surfing Holidays
• Make sure your instructor has the necessary qualifications – in the UK, the national governing body is the British Surfing Association. Spain, France, Portugal, Morocco and Australia have their own national governing bodies.
• Take at least one lesson from a qualified surf coarch and school, to cover the basics – walking out in the waves, paddling for waves, jumping to your feet, staying on and wiping out. You should also cover safety issues including recognising lifeguard flag systems.
• The best way to get surfing is to book lessons every day for a week, after which you should be able to confidentally head out on your own.
• From March until November, think northern Spain, Portugal, France and the UK, especially Devon and Cornwall. From September to March, head for Morocco, Barbados and Lanzarote.
• With kids of different ages, some of whom aren't old enough to surf, look out for family-friendly hotels offering surfing lessons plus childcare for younger kids, such as the Bedruthan Hotel & Spa.
See our feature on a surfing break in Cornwall with kids.