7 Sep 2024 10 Weeks All Levels Split Payment Options Trips from £5495


Combine an epic surfing adventure with serious qualifications. 

This ten week South Africa Road Trip and Surf Instructor Course was a massive part of the initial concept behind Ticket to Ride. We all want the job of our dreams, and becoming a surf instructor could be your dream job! We think this trip is beautifully balanced between being the surfing experience of a lifetime and getting you prepared for your ISA Level 1 Surf Qualification and Surf Lifeguard Qualification.

We make the most of South Africa's world-class waves by offering Riders impeccable surf guiding and surf coaching. Ticket to Ride uses many of South Africa’s best surf coaches, including two national coaches, to make sure that your surfing improves rapidly and in the right direction. In addition, your two Trip Leaders are on hand to guide you both in and out of the water all the way from Cape Town to Durban.

There’s much more to being a qualified surf coach than just surfing, as it requires both ocean knowledge and excellent levels of fitness. Expect to go to a surfboard factory, hear talks on how a surfboard works and listen to swell talks to better understand the charts as you train to become the best surf instructor possible.

As well as this there are many other activities to make sure there is never a dull moment on your trip, from community work helping underprivileged people to surf, to bungee jumping and wine tasting.

What to Expect

Ticket to Ride’s focus is to get your surfing to the next level, and the next, and so on and so forth. One of the most difficult things with surfing is keeping your progression going as it is easy to ‘plateau’. Your coach will use photo and video analysis to improve your technique, as well as help you to reflect on your surfing and set clear goals. Beyond the daily surf lesson you will also receive a talk on surfboards, swell prediction, surfboard production and much more.  

Master the basics

  • Paddling / wave catching
  • Negotiating the lineup to get to the back
  • The “Pop Up”
  • Speed control and trimming
  • Basic turning
  • Surf etiquette

Rapid Progression

  • Linking turns and generating speed
  • Developing style and flow
  • Introduction to different types of breaks
  • Introduction to more advanced surfing
  • Video and photo analysis

Ocean Awareness

  • Swell prediction course
  • Beach and ocean safety
  • Surf fitness

Also included

  • The opportunity to climb Table Mountain
  • Time with the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony
  • The chance to conquer the world’s highest bungee jump
  • A tour of a surfboard factory
  • Safari game drive
  • Help at local community initiatives


What's Included

  • Airport Transfers

  • Surf Camp Accommodation

  • Trip Leaders For Duration

  • Video Surf Analysis

  • All Surf Lessons

  • Surf Guiding To The Best Beaches

  • All Surf Transport

  • Surf Hire

  • Welcome Meal

  • Involvement In Community Projects

  • Photos Of Your Surfing

  • Additional Excursions And Activities

  • Shared Accommodation

  • Optional Food Add On

  • Surf Instructor Course

  • Free WiFi

Trip Timeline

Here you'll find a day by day breakdown of your course.

  • Cape Town

    Spend two weeks settling in and mastering the basics of surfing, or improving your technique, with a set schedule of surf lessons and theory classes on one of South Africa’s most use-friendly waves.

  • Plettenberg Bay

    Enjoy the Garden Route and its empty beaches at their very best.

  • Jeffreys Bay

    Surf world-class waves and get involved in local green initiatives.

  • Cintsa Bay

    Experience the wild coast and lose yourself in Cintsa bay.

  • Coffee Bay

    Discover the joys of rural Africa.

  • Durban

    Enjoy the buzz of South Africa’s ‘Surf City’ and get qualified.

  • Ballito

    Refine your surfing for the future and begin to reflect back on your amazing experiences.


International Surfing Association (ISA) Level 1 Surf Instructor / Coaching qualification

This will be run in Durban and is a two day course run by Surfing South Africa. It has several different components, including beach safety, teaching methods, health and safety, teaching surf lessons and of course, the practical surfing test.

Lifesaving Course 

Designed specifically for surf coaches and run in Durban, it covers everything from first aid, spinal board rescue and board rescue. You will also need to complete a 400 metre swim in a pool in under nine minutes. The whole Ticket to Ride trip prepares and trains you for surf instructor success, so get ready to pass and live the dream. Life's Good. 

Course Video

What past riders say


Got a question about this course? Here's the best place to start. If you don't find your answer here, you can request a callback or get in touch using our contact page.

Yes, we have several great contacts for surf coaching in various parts of the world, and past Riders have left a good reputation as amped and capable coaches.

Generally speaking, people tend to struggle with the timed swim in the lifeguard course and the practical surfing element of the surf coaching course. The lifeguard course requires a timed 9 minute swim in a 400m pool and this is more than achievable, as your coaches are there to guide you throughout the trip to ensure you pass.

Similarly, we believe that everyone has the ability to pass the practical surfing element of the instructor course as long as they keep focused and practice throughout the trip. Our current pass rate is approximately 90 per cent and if you don't pass first time around, you can always retake it down the line.

Book your outbound flight into Cape Town International Airport and your return flight from Durban Airport (also known as King Shaka International Airport).

The surfboard hire is included for the first couple of weeks (i.e. Cape Town). Towards the end of these two week the group goes to Lifestyle Surf Shop and purchase boards (please budget £200-£300 for this). By this point your coaches have seen you surf and can help with the choosing process, to ensure you're on the best board for you.

Surfboards are much cheaper in South Africa, so worth buying out there with the team. If you don't want the board at the end of the trip, you can probably sell it for around the same price you bought it as it's worth more at home. However, most people get quite attached :)

You will get more opportunities to learn about surfboard shaping and order custom surfboards along the trip.

Wetsuits are included in Cape Town as well, but we reccommend bringing your own (3:2mil will be best). Wetsuits are cheaper at home (so the opposite to boards). If you need one then I'd suggest looking on www.surfdome.com. Having your own is far nicer than using a rental as well.

Minimum a week and maximum two weeks, long enough to start to feel at home, but short enough that you'll wish for a few more days at each stop!

No, you can be a total beginner on arrival in Cape Town. Of course you will have to pass the course, but our success rate is extremely high.

Yes, we have several great contacts for surf coaching in various parts of the world, and past Riders have left a good reputation as amped and capable coaches.

The South Africa Rand (ZAR), which is a relatively stable but weak currency means that drinks and eating out will be cheap for most people.

As with anywhere in the world, and worse than some, South Africa has its fair share of crime. That's why you have your Trip Leaders with you, as they know the ins and outs of all the areas we visit to ensure your safety. Once in South Africa it won't even cross your mind.

This of course varies from trip to trip, with the maximum being 25. Saying that we generally have around 15 people including two Trip Leaders, which means you can really get to know each other and don't crowd out the surf spots at the same time!

This also varies from trip to trip, as we have quite a few people who are on their gap years, as well as various people in their twenties and up to their early 30's, who are looking to improve their surfing and travel around South Africa.

For most countries South African immigration will issue you with a holiday visa on arrival. This visa is free of charge and valid for 90 days. If you will be staying longer than 90 days you will need to apply for your visa extension early on in your trip. The 90 day holiday visas are only issued on the grounds that you have proof of return/onward travel out of South Africa. Please do double check with your embassy before departing for South Africa and check out the latest Foreign Travel Advice by going to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Before you leave for South Africa please go and see your local GP, to get the appropriate vaccinations. It is important to do this in good time and we would suggest sorting this at least four weeks before you leave. For more information, please check out the following websites Fit for Travel – www.fitfortravel.nhs.co.uk and The World Health Organisation – www.who.int. If travelling to Mozambique you will need malaria medication.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

Yes you can! Whether it be a twin, double, or double en-suite just contact us for a quote.

Straight from the surf