Sri Lanka 10 Week Surf Academy

Max Hepworth-Povey


9 months ago in News

Whether you are looking for an adventurous gap year experience, a struggling surfer wanting to gain the tools to get better, or simply someone at a crossroads in life and unsure of which path to take, the 10-week surf academy in Sri Lanka ticks all the boxes and guarantees you won’t want to leave at the end.

“My main goal when booking the course was to get better at surfing. I chose TTR for the intensive surf program, the coaches and the daily video analysis, which no other programme offered in that way.”

Carina Volland from Germany was fresh out of Uni before joining us and had planned to start working as a UX Designer full time, but after seeing a friend’s pictures from the previous course she knew the 9-5 could wait.

“I went down from a 7’8″ fun board to a 6’4″ shortboard, and surfed different boards with various fin set-ups (single fin, twin fin) and shapes (egg, fish) for the first time in my life. I will never forget the morning when we surfed main point (Arugam Bay) alone with only three people out and empty 30-second peeling right handers, finally making the drop after a couple of  wipeouts and surfing the longest wave of my life all the way to the beach. When I close my eyes I still see that wave in slow-motion.”

She did however struggle to leave the country post graduation:

“I had already booked a flight back home for Christmas and New Years, but I cancelled it and ended up staying for half a year, which was the best decision. We moved into a house in the jungle in a local neighbourhood, which was a very cultural experience and surfed every day. I completed my 20 hours shadowing at Ticket to Ride and volunteered at Seasisters, an initiative to teach Sri Lankan women and girls swimming and surfing to challenge cultural norms and give them a new perspective in life. 

In March, my roommate from the 10-week course and I signed up for a Women’s Open surf competition at Dewata beach, where I placed third in the shortboard category, which would have been unimaginable at the start of the 10-week course.”

Carina has now switched her office space from a desk to a sunny beach, working as a surf coach in Lanzarote, which is a dream come true. 

“How easy was it to get this job? It was super easy. Within three weeks of applying to surf schools I already had three job offers. TTR has a really good reputation.”


Rebekah Kellow, a teacher from Guernsey was the oldest course participant in our Winter 2022 course and felt apprehensive about switching roles to become the student, but after taking a surf lesson at home and being recommended to the course by her coach, she booked her tickets, packed her bags and within a couple of months was landing in Asia for the first time. 

Despite some tears after seeing herself trying to get the pop up nailed, fast forward a few months and she has proudly finished the course with her new found friends and has a new life:

“It’s over half a year since I started the 10 week course and I’m still in Sri Lanka enjoying the waves in Arugam Bay before I go home to work as a surf instructor, literally my dream.”

“I’ve resigned from my teaching job after 31 years, then I head back to Sri Lanka next season with my 26 year old son for more surfing, yoga, meditation and living life to the full. As the TTR tag line says : “life’s good”. 

Being the oldest in the group we asked her how that made her feel and any advice to someone who remembers using landline phones, considering signing up:

“Firstly my course mates became a family and I felt totally included the whole time. I’m expecting invitations to numerous weddings in the coming years. So don’t worry about that sort of stuff. But I advise anyone to train before you arrive, so your body is prepared for it. One of the others described the course as ” a military style camp but fun” so expect to work hard and play hard, but never think that you can’t do it; if you want it that much you will succeed. Oh and be aware that you will not want to leave at the end, so budget to stay on! 


Killian Margoteaum, a wave starved surfer from Belgian, was one of Rebekkah’s course comrades. He decided to quit his corporate job doing IT to find some internal balance and reconnect with surfing in Central America. This brought the surf stoke well and truly into his life and he decided to train to become a surf instructor, but he needed to take the course in a country full of wildlife, which remains close to its cultural roots; cue Sri Lanka.

Like Rebekkah, Killian felt the strong sense of family bonding on the course, saying:

“I made more than friends, I have now a whole new family, and this family made this experience incredible.”

He also stayed in Sri Lanka longer than expected and goes on to say:

“I fell completely in love (with Sri Lanka) and decided to extend my visa for an extra three months. Then I got a job as a surf coach and when my visa expired, headed straight to Denmark in the beautiful area of Hvide Sande where I work as Head Surf Coach.”

He has no regrets about quitting the corporate world and his experience on the Surf Academy confirmed that he wants to spend the rest of his life on this path.

We’ve developed this 10-week course over a few years now and nailed the recipe.  The courses start from £4995 (5-week courses are also available), including airport transfers, accommodation, food, intensive coaching, yoga, guides, transport, involvement in local projects, excursions all over the country and the surf instructor course, providing serious bang for your buck. 

Consider the fact that we can set you up with a job interview at the end, which currently has a 100% success rate, meaning you’ll have actually made your money back after a Summer’s coaching, whilst gaining the wealth from experiencing a priceless adventure and it’s a no brainer for anyone considering it.

Next course 30th September – 9th December, £4,995, 1 space left