Hone your hang-five skills with our round-up of fantastic family hotels for surfing, from child-friendly surf schools on the coast of Cornwall to the best breaks in the Indian Ocean.
Set on a two-mile stretch of sandy beach, this laid-back hotel’s Extreme Academy is both for rookies looking to discover their inner surfer and seasoned adrenalin junkies seeking new thrills. Book a session in surfing alongside traction skiing, paddle-surfing and several other watersports no-one’s ever heard of. Over-8s can surf and over-12s can try some of the more racy options; parents will need to sign consent forms.
This child-friendly boutique hotel near Essaouira makes beach-side family holidays a doddle, with spacious rooms and kitchen-equipped villas. Surfing, kiteboarding and windsurfing can all be arranged at the Sidi Kaouki surf centre (+212 (0)672 044016), a short walk from the hotel. The club house has all equipment available to rent for novices and experts alike, and a small café serving (of all things) Vietnamese food.
ST MORITZ HOTEL
During school holidays (including half-terms), for swimmers aged 6–14, St Moritz hosts the fantastic Wavehunters Surf Academy (9.45am–12 noon; £25 a day). This local surf outfit tailors activities to the beachside bolthole’s junior guests, taking them surfing, rockpooling or to play by the water. Surf equipment is supplied; all you need to provide is swim kit and towels. Individual lessons can be arranged, too.
Aside from the many family-friendly beaches nearby, the biggest draw for wannabe wave-riders here is the opportunity to learn or improve your surf skills: Memmo partners the Freeride Sagres Surf School, run by a team of experienced pro surfers, and the breaks along this coastline are renowned. Book a course of lessons or just hire boards; there’s a round-trip transfer service, too.
Bali’s well-known for its super surf spots, and only 20 minutes or so down the road from this stylish all-villa resort is the Bali Learn to Surf school (+62 (0)361 761 869), which can get you and your kids up and riding in almost no time at all. Under-12s can join the two-hour grommet class for a taster. If you’re staying for a while, there’s also the opportunity to book a series of three or six classes to really hone their skills.
SIX SENSES LAAMU
Maldives, Indian Ocean
Ready for a bigger challenge? You might think it’s madness to surf in the Maldives when there’s so much snorkelling, diving and dozing to do, but you’re in prime surfing territory: Yin Yang is the Maldives’ most famous break, and it’s just minutes from the remote Six Senses Laamu resort by speedboat. The biggest waves are from June through til September (thank you Mother Nature, for providing something great AND free during the school holidays).