Sri Lanka Surf Instructor Course & Adventure

5 weeks Sri Lanka Catered

Download Info Pack
  • 05 Oct - 10 Nov 2019
Info Pack
Contact Book Now!
Book now with £95 Deposit


We've combined the 4-week tour with the 1-week ISA Surf Instructor Course, to create our ultimate Sri Lanka adventure!

For surfers looking to start a career in surf coaching, and looking to qualify somewhere tropical, then this is the course for you! The qualifications included are the ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor award and the ILS Water Safety award, which combined together enables you to work as an instructor around the world. But before your course kicks off, we spend 4-weeks exploring the South-East, South-West and Hill Country regions of the 'Pearl of the Indian Ocean'.

What to Expect

If you are joining the October Tour you will spend the first week in Arugam Bay on the East Coast of Sri Lanka. Here we are based right on the beach. Expect daily surf guiding and coaching, with sunrise yoga and sunset surfs. After this we hit the road and head West to Ahangama, where we will base ourselves for two weeks. With a coastline of waves to explore, from Weligama to Galle, daily surf coaching, guiding and yoga, you'll be surf-fit in time for your course in a couple of weeks. The final week before your course, is spent exploring the 'hill country' region, visiting Ella, Kandy and climbing the famous Adam's Peak before heading back to Ahangama to complete your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor course. This really is the full Sri Lankan experience, while gaining internationally recognised qualifications.

Your Course Presenter, Dean Gough: 

Dean is a B.S.A. Level 4 & Trainer Assessor, SLSA Lifeguard & Trainer Assessor Dean has been teaching surfing for the past 20 years and used to be a competitive surfer. 


Arugam Bay | 1 Week: Here we have comfortable shared accommodation right by the beach, with private rooms available.

Ahangama | 2 Weeks: During our stay in Ahangama, we have comfortable shared accommodation with private rooms available, please speak to your trip advisor for more information. Expect incredible feasts, easy dawn surfs and lots to explore.

Hill Country | 1 Week: Between Ella and Kandy we will be staying in a mixture of homestays and B&Bs in shared rooms.

Ahangama | 1 Week - Instructor Course: Your accommodation will be in a comfortable quad, triple, twin or double room, with the surf training centre a short tuk tuk ride away. Directly opposite the hotel is our favourite wave in the area... 

With your airport transfers, accommodation and meals organised, you can fully focus on your course.


  • Airport transfers (arrival / departure date only - see FAQs for details)
  • Accommodation twin, triple or quad rooms. 
  • Breakfast and 5 dinners per week in Ahangama
  • Breakfast and lunch in Arugam
  • Breakfast only in the Hill Country
  • Breakfast and 5 dinners during the instructor course
  • Daily surf coaching (min. 2 hrs per day)
  • Surf equipment hire for duration
  • Video analysis (av. 2 per week)
  • Yoga classes (min. 5 per week - excluding Instructor Course week)
  • Private transfer to Arugam Bay in an air conditioned minibus
  • Kumana National Park tour
  • Pottuvil Lagoon Tour
  • Ayurvedic full body massage 
  • Temple of the Tooth visit
  • Botanical Garden visit 
  • Adams Peak climb 
  • Leaving dinner
  • ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Course (2.5 days)
  • ILS Water Safety Course (2.5 days)
  • All training, course material and membership fees

Yoga Our Sri Lankan Surf Camps include an average of five yoga classes per week, led by our experienced yoga teacher. Yoga is the perfect way to stretch out and unwind after a surf, while the flexibility and core strength developed through yoga is also hugely beneficial to your overall surfing performance.

Video Analysis This is a tried and tested technique that helps you to improve your surfing. We take lots of photos throughout your trip to help you improve and they also make for inspiring memory joggers when you're back home.

Kumana National Park We will spend a morning at Yala East National park where you'll get the chance to see elephants, leopards and a whole host of wildlife in their natural environment.

Pottuvil Lagoon Tour: Led by our local guides, we paddle on traditional crafted catamarans from the main land to a secluded beach inhabited by local fisherman. Expect to see an abundance of wildlife such as elephants, eagles, water buffalo, crocodiles and more.

Nightlife A couple of nights a week, you'll head out with the crew for an evening of local food and potentially a boogy!

Waterfalls Once in the Hill Country we will take it easy in Ella, visiting waterfalls, walking up mini Adam's Peak and going on a tour of one of the local tea factories.

Massage One Ayurvedic Full Body Massage is included. This is an ancient traditional method of massage and will be very needed after three weeks of relentless surfing.

Temple of the Tooth In Kandy we will visit the famous Temple of the Tooth - the cream of the crop when it comes to temples in Sri Lanka.

Botanical Gardens We will also visit the beautiful Botanical Gardens, where monkeys swing freely in the trees and some of the countries most colourful flowers and trees grow.

Adams Peak Climbing Adam's Peak is our crescendo. Adam's Peak or Sri Pada is an important pilgrimage site and we will join other pilgrims as they walk the 5,500 steps up to the top of the mountain! The goal is to be on top of the mountain at sunrise, when the distinctive shape of the mountain casts a triangular shadow on the surrounding plain and can be seen to move quickly downward as the sun rises. 



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

  • Welcome to Sri Lanka | 6th Oct 2018 1 Day

    Upon arrival you will be greeted at the airport by your Trip Leader and other riders, before travelling by private transfer for 8 hours to the surf camp in Arugam Bay. It's a long way but the scenery is beautiful, we'll take good care of you! Once we get to the camp you will be introduced to the whole team and given time to settle in before we tuck in to dinner and drinks 'Sri Lanka style'.

  • Arugam Bay | East Coast 7 Days

    Arugam Bay is one of the most chilled out places on earth, you’ll settle in just fine... Improve your surfing day in, day out and reap the physical and mental benefits of practicing yoga. Make the most of your surfing down time by discovering Sri Lanka's flavourful food, welcoming people and timeless ruins. Arugam Bay is home to one of the best right-hand pointbreaks, an incredible place to kick off your Sri Lankan adventure! 

  • Travel West to Ahangama 14 Days

    Stock up on rotis for the seven hour journey through the most beautiful parts of the country and glimpse incredible jungle scenery! The journey itself is an adventure and without fail we’ve spotted elephants casually doing their thing on the side of the road every time. We're heading for Ahangama, where we will based in our Surf Camp, beachside to an (almost) private wave! For two weeks expect daily surf coaching and exploring, yoga classes, extra excurisions and some unforgetable feasts.

  • Explore the Hill Country 7 Days

    This week we're travelling in-land to explore the incredible 'Hill Country', including Ella, Kandy and Adams Peak, visiting tea plantations, monesteries, temples, climbing the famous 5,000ft Sri Pada pilgrimage and receiving a much needed traditional ayurvedic massage. On the final night, we will still be aching from climbing all 5,500 steps at Adam's Peak, so a big Sri Lankan curry will be much needed, followed by a couple of cold Lion Beers. In the morning we head South, back to Ahangama for the Instructor Course.

  • 4th November - Settle back into Ahangama 1 Day

    Today we will be welcome other riders for the 1 Week Surf Instructor Course. While we head to Colombo to pick up the candidates, take the opportunity to relax and get ready for your course kicking off tomorrow!

  • ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Course (2.5 days) 2 Days

    Wake up and meet the group for breakfast, before hitting the classroom (beach!) with Tim Jones and his team to undertake your 2.5-day ISA training course. Tim wil take you through all the learning modules and assessments, breaking for lunch back at the surf camp. The training day will round up in the late afternoon, then you can chill at the camp (we always have an amazing feast for dinner), check out the local scene, or head to Mirissa for an evening out!

  • ILS Water Safety Course (2.5 days) 3 Days

    Straight after your ISA training, your Water Safety training will kick off for 2.5-days. This will be a mixture of theory and practical, learning the essential life saving skills required to work as a surf instructor.

  • Free day! 1 Day

    The course is over and you can catch your breath! This is a good chance to ask any final questions to the training team, and get all your work signed off. With the day to spare, this is the perfect time to unwind and get some waves. We will be sure to have a final feast for the whole crew!

  • Departure Day | 11th November 2018 0 Day

    After an epic 5-weeks exploring Sri Lanka, it's time to get out there and start coaching! For those heading back to the airport, we will arrange your transfers, and for those travelling on around Sri Lanka we will give you all our advise and recommendations for where to surf next.


In order to work as a surf instructor, you require both an ISA Surf Instructor qualification, as well as an International Life Saving Water Safety Award. We have combined the ISA Level 1 course with the ILS Water Safety Course in order to create a 5-day course that will allow you to work around the world as a surf instructor.

In order to take this course, you must have the skill level and fitness level required to gain the qualification during the course week. 

Prior to attending a course, participants must have completed a timed swim of 200m completed in less than 5 minutes in a pool no shorter than 25m.

ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Course: The International Surfing Association (ISA) Level 1 is the most internationally recognized Surfing Instructor award. This award is the foundation of your future surf teaching so we approach each module of the course in a way that motivates and inspires you to be the best.

  • Module 1: The role of the coach
  • Module 2: The safety of the surfer in your care
  • Module 3: The equipment for the beginner surfer
  • Module 4: Coaching methods
  • Module 5: Skill development
  • Module 6:Program planning

This qualification is internationally recognised and allows you to teach surf lessons anywhere in the world. This section of the course takes 2.5 days to complete.

Once you have completed (and passed) the course you must gain 20-hours surf coach shadowing experience, before you can deliver surf lessons single-handedly. We can help you to find these hours in Sri Lanka after the course, or offer hours at our school in Cornwall (Mar-Oct), or you can book hours elsewhere.

To complete this course you need to be able to paddle out back, duck dive when required. You must be able to read the water and paddle into waves, catching unbroken green waves consistently and performing basic maneuvers, trimming both left and right. We are lucky in Sri Lanka to have good small to average wave conditions to carry out the surfing assessment. Most surfing tests last ½ to ¾ of an hour depending on conditions. To reassure you this test it’s pretty basic, but don’t forget those you coach will be watching you demonstrate and you are their role model. This video shows you what level of surfer you must be to complete the course.

ILS Water Safety Course: The International Lifesaving Federation (ILS) is the world authority for Life Saving this course is devised to perfectly fit the surfing instructor’s needs.

In the ISA / ILS Water Safety Course we deal with the incidents, conditions, and techniques you will normally come across when teaching and coaching. The course format has an open discussion and dialog between trainers and candidates, with practical hands-on learning. 

  • Module 1: Basic surf safety awareness
  • Module 2: Hazards
  • Module 3: Basic ocean safety and awareness
  • Module 4: Instructors duty of care
  • Module 5: Basic First Aid
  • Module 6: Basic immediate emergency care and CPR
  • Module 7: Board rescue
  • Module 8: Signals

All your course material will be provided to you on arrival in Sri Lanka, you're not required to bring any other kit apart from your surfboard. This section of the course takes 2.5 days to complete.


Course Video


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.

Flights need to be booked into Colombo International airport, which is also known as Bandaranaike and Katunayake airport. There are direct flights with Sri Lankan Airlines from London Heathrow to Colombo airport. The team will be there to greet you and take you to our transfer. 

The first stop on the trip is Arugam Bay. The jounrey is around 8 hours East. It's a long way but it's worth it, and the views will keep you entertained!

YES! As the transfer from Colombo airport to Arugam Bay on the East Coast is around 8 hours, you will need to arrive by midday on the first day of your trip (6th October). However, on your departure day (3rd November) you can fly at any time and we will get you to the airport in time.

We send out more specific trip information and arrival instructions once you have secured your place, but essentially a trip leader will be there to greet you in the Arrivals hall at Colombo airport.

In Arugam Bay (1 week) your breakfast and lunch is included (so budget for evening meals). In Ahangama (2 weeks) your breakfast and lunch is all included, as well as 5 evening meals per week (so budget 2 evening meals) and in the Hill Country (1 week) your breakfast only is included (so budget for lunch and dinners). It's always good to have some spare cash for snacks on the road and evening beers as well!

A meal in Sri Lanka can range from as little as £1 for a simple rice or curry, while a fresh tuna steak and a large Lion beer will set you back about £5. You can get two rotis and a milo for 100RS (50p) and rice and curry for 200RS (£1).

Everyone traveling to Sri Lanka must have Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) for entering in to Sri Lanka. Visit more information.

Before you leave for Sri Lanka, please go and see either your local GP or travel surgery and explain where you are going, so that you can be vaccinated accordingly. It is important to do this is good time and we would suggest sorting this 3 or 4 weeks before you leave. For more information, please check out the following websites:

Fit for Travel - and The World Health Organisation –

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for Sri Lanka. However, the following vaccinations are recommended: Typhoid (monovalent), Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies. The health risks in Sri Lanka are different to those encountered in Europe and North America. Watch out for bowel diseases such as diarrhoea and amoebic dysentery, vector borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, and a variety of fungal infections. Sri Lanka’s physicians are very experienced in dealing with locally occurring diseases.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check

None! Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise where wetsuits aren't required. We provide rash vests to offer some protection from the sun - just don’t forget your swim wear and plenty of sun cream! You're required to bring your own surfboard for the course. We can help arrange hire if required.

In order to jump straight into the Surf Instructor course, you need the essential surf skills and fitness levels to gain the qualification.

Prior to attending a course, participants must have completed a timed swim of 200m completed in less than 5 minutes in a pool no shorter than 25m in order to prove your water fitness is strong enough.

For your surfing, you must be able to paddle out back and duck dive when needed, pop-up consistently on green waves and perform basic maneuvers, turning both left and right.

Your first year's ISA (International Surfing Association) Membership is included in the course fee. You must ensure you pay your membership annually (directly to ISA via their website) in order to hold a valid qualification and membership with ISA. If you miss this deadline, you may be required to take the course again.

After you pass the course, you have the qualification for 2 years. After this time you will need to take a 'refresher' course. This is shorter and cheaper than the full course and is designed to refresh your skills and update you on new methods and techniques. After this, you're required to take a Refresher course every 2-years. Should you miss any of these deadlines then you will be requied to take the full course again.

They are widely recognised and respected, allowing you to work all around the world as long as both your ISA and Lifesaving qualifications are in date.

After your course you are required to gain 20 hours surf coach shadowing experience with a surf school. We can help arrange these hours in Sri Lanka immediately after your course week, or you're welcome to arrange this yourself somewhere else.


Fun waves and the friendliest people - simply the best surf trip ever.

Will Jessup

This was one of the best vacations of my life! Surfed a lot, met amazing people and there was a great atmosphere at the surf camp. Beautiful beach right in front of you and the surf camp is situated in a very authentic and local area. Max, Angie and Lee were amazing, ready to meet everybody's needs and create a friendly, chilled out and sparkling vibe.

Elena De Besi

I had a great time in beautiful Sri Lanka, surfing in clear blue warm water and making new friends, shame it was all over too quickly!

Pat Porter

Sri Lanka is beautiful with blue green sea, unspoilt beaches and perfect waves. Two weeks of paradise with amazing people, eating fantastic food and drinking arrack. Partying from sunset to sunrise...The surfing was pretty sick too. Thank you!

Siobahn Hill

Sri Lanka - friendly and beautiful with the funnest waves! Great place to explore and build up confidence in the water

Mari O'Connor

My TTRide trip to Sri Lanka was just insane! The country is absolutely incredible, all of the people I met were super fun and friendly and my surfing ability has come on so much. I can't wait for my next TTRide adventure!

Ellen Rudge

Fantastic trip and a great atmosphere throughout the entire time. I’ve met so many great people on this trip, with whom I hope to stay in touch and reconnect in the future. I was lucky enough to be put in a single room, which was a bonus and made a huge difference to the overall experience. Great vibes at Sion Surf camp, amazing time and great staff there; their BBQs are legendary by now. Everything was well organised before the trip and during the entire stay, and Max and Josh made sure everything went smooth, were very responsive to anything we have raised with them, or whenever we have asked any questions and also well connected with our group. It was quite intense first two weeks, packed with yoga, surf, and more surf, but in a good sense. I loved that we could see our videos and photos from each day trip and see our progress and receive feedback. I have never had that before in any of my surf trips (even organised ones) and it really makes a huge difference to improve, if you can see yourself and get a feedback on your surfing. Also Olly and Rodger our local surf instructors were very nice and wanted to ensure we had fun and catching waves, even when the swell was small. I can say the same about Fasal from Arugambay, who gave us very useful tips before each session. It was definitely one of my best surf trips, I somehow magically managed to progress to much shorter board, I thought it would take me another two years to ride! It was a great holiday, one of the best.

Irena Miroforidu

Sri Lanka, a stunning country to learn to surf in! Perfect for beginners, and intermediates, and made all the more special by a great coaching team of Josh David and Max! Don’t think about it! DO IT!!


The best way to sum up TTR trips is 'good vibes'. From the surf instructors, yoga, camp staff and the weird and wonderful people you meet on the trip, the good vibes are always flowing. Couldn't recommend a TTR trip more if you want to improve your surf, practice yoga, explore a stunning new country and drink local beers with awesome like-minded people along the way.


Loved the trip, first surfing experience abroad to remember. Can't speak highly enough of Josh as an instructor and general organiser of daily activities as well as David and the Sion instructors. Will definitely be back to sri lanka


Tailor make

your trip

Your Details
Trip information
Further information
*Required fields

Protected by