19 Mar 2022 10 Weeks All Levels Split Payment Options Trips from £4995


Combine an epic Sri Lankan surfing adventure with a serious qualification.

This 10 week surf instructor course and adventure through Sri Lanka is aimed at anyone who wants to become a surf instructor, experienced or not, whilst experiencing the beautiful island of Sri Lanka.

We will teach you the fundamentals of surfing, traveling from the East to West Coast of Sri Lanka, through the beautiful Hill Country, whilst getting you ready for your ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Award and Surf Lifeguard Qualification, which combined together enables you to work as an instructor around the world.

What to Expect

You’ll start things off on the East Coast at the world-famous Arugam Bay, embarking on your surfing journey riding the reeling, sand-bottom point breaks, learning the fundamentals, enjoying some of the longest waves of your life, whilst exploring the natural beauty of the surrounding area by visiting the national park, lagoon tour etc.

You will spend the next section of the trip at the Ticket to Ride Surf House in Ahangama, on the South West Coast, focussing on imroving your surfing under the wings of a team of qualified and seriously experienced surf instructors led by ex-world tour surfer Nikita Robb as your head coach.

Halfway through the course, you slow down a little and head down the coast to surf and chill in hiriketya, followed by a week long tour of the beautiful Hill Country, stopping in Ella, Kandy and 'Adam's Peak'.

Once you’re back at the Surf House the surf training goes up a gear with daily coaching and feedback to prepare you for your ISA Level 1 Exam in week 9.

After hopefully passing your instructor exams, the Ticket to Ride team will set you up interviews at the Ticket to Ride Surf School and Wavehunters Surf School in Cornwall, where you can start living the dream with the beach as your office! N.B. The itinerary will change depending on which course you book. If it's the October course you will start on the East Coast of Arugam Bay and make your way to the South West Coast, if it's the March course you start on the South West Coast and head East. This is due to the changing of the seasons. The inclusions of both courses remain the same.

What's Included

  • Airport Transfers

  • Breakfast

  • Surf Camp Accommodation

  • Trip Leaders For Duration

  • Yoga Sessions

  • Video Surf Analysis

  • All Surf Lessons

  • All Surf Transport

  • Surf Hire

  • Additional Excursions And Activities

  • Weekly Coaching

  • Surf Instructor Course

Trip Timeline

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

  • Arugam Bay

    Week one will be spent on the East Coast at the world famous Arugam Bay, one of the most chilled out places on earth, embarking on your surfing journey riding the reeling, sand-bottom point breaks, learning the fundamentals of surfing and enjoying some of the longest waves of your life.

  • Surf, Surf, Surf!

    For the next 4.5 weeks you will be based in our legendary Surf House in Ahangama, a stone’s throw from the ocean, surrounded by palm trees, with an array of epic surf spots right on our doorstep. Our base for the rest of the course.

    With daily surf coaching, photo and video analysis, theory classes and guided surfs complimented by surf specific yoga, you’ll quickly progress and be able to take advantage of the wide array of surf spots dotted along the Sri Lankan coastline.

  • South Coast Surf & Chill

    We pack up the tuk tuks and head to the left hand point break of Hiriketya and neighbouring spots on the South East coast, for a few days of  relaxing waves and mellow vibes.

  • Hill Country Tour

    This week is about relaxion physically and mentally, before your surf instructor course starts. We travel in-land from Hiriketya 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 to get stuck into training for the instructor course.

  • Surf Training

    Once you’re back at the Surf House the surf training kick up a notch and you’ll be progressing your surfing even further, whilst preparing you for your ISA Level 1 Exam and Lifeguard Course in week 9.

  • ISA Level 1 Surf Instructor Course (2.5 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)

    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.

  • Celebration!


    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!

  • Departures :(

    After an epic 10 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 advice and recommendations for where to surf next.

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.

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 £7. Your breakfast is included daily and evening meals are whilst we are based at the Surf House and lunch is included at Arugam Bay, so you don't have to worry too much about budgeting for your food. 

To pass the Surf Instructor course, you need the essential surf skills and fitness levels to gain the qualification. You must complete a timed swim of 200m completed in less than 5 minutes 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.

We will work on all of this through the course.

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

Travelers who have completed the recommended doses of COVID-19 vaccination and arriving after 2 weeks of completion of vaccination will be considered as fully vaccinated travelers. Any vaccination type accepted by the country of origin is acceptable. 

A fully vaccinated traveller must book a 24 hours stay at a Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotel until the on-arrival PCR test is performed.

Upon a negative result from this test on arrival (Day 1) PCR test report, vaccinated travelers can leave the hotel and the respective Safe & Secure L1 Hotel doctor will issue a “Discharge Document” upon verifying the status of vaccination and PCR test results.

If you are unvaccinated you must spend stay at a Certified Safe & Secure L1 hotel/s for the first 15 days of the visit and undergo an on-arrival PCR test, followed by a 2nd PCR (Exit PCR) on Day 14.

So essentially it is easy to enter if you are fully vaccinated, and expensive and long if you are not.

All information on Level 1 Safe and Secure Hotels can be found here: https://www.srilanka.travel/helloagain/

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

Of course! The vast majority of people on any of our trips come alone, as it is a great way to meet people and do the holiday you want. 

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.

Early starts and early finishes ;)

  • 6am - Coffee
  • 6:15 am - Surf Lesson
  • 9am - Breakfast
  • 10am - Analysis and Theory
  • 11am - Surf Yoga
  • Midday - Break
  • 3pm - Guided Surf Session
  • 5pm - Happy Hour
  • 7pm - Dinner
  • 10pm - Bar closed / music off

Straight from the surf