2 Oct 2021 5 Weeks Mid Level,Shredder Split Payment Options Trips from £3295


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

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. After this we hit the road and head West to our Surf House in 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, Tim Jones | Surf Insight: It's fair to say that given Tim's vast experience in developing and delivering surf instructor courses in Sri Lanka and around the world, you're in the best hands to learn from and gain your qualifications.

Tim has been surfing for over 50 years and coaching surfing for over 35 years.  He has been delivering Surfing Instructor Courses for 26 years having began as a Trainer / Assessor for the British Surfing Association in 1991 and was National Coach for Wales.

What's Included

  • Airport Transfers

  • Breakfast

  • Surf Camp Accommodation

  • Trip Leaders For Duration

  • Yoga Sessions

  • Video Surf Analysis

  • All Surf Lessons

  • Surf Guiding To The Best Beaches

  • All Surf Transport

  • Surf Hire

  • Welcome Meal

  • Photos Of Your Surfing

  • Additional Excursions And Activities

  • Shared Accommodation

  • Surf Instructor Course

  • Free WiFi

Trip Timeline

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

  • Welcome to Sri Lanka

    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! 

  • Arugam Bay | East Coast

    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

    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

    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.

  • Settle back into Ahangama

    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)

    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.

  • Free 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

    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. https://vimeo.com/234507957

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

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.

For those joining us in March, Ahangama is the first stop on the tour. The journey is around 2 hours.

For those joining us in October, the first stop is Arugam Bay. The journey is around 8 hours East. It's a long way but it's worth it.

The journey from Adam's Peak to the airport is around 6 hours, so please bear this in mind when booking your return flight.

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.

Arrival times do depend on whether you are on the October or March Tour, please speak with your travel advisor. The transfer to Arugam Bay is about 8 hours through the tropical hill country.

The transfer to Ahangama (from Colombo) is around 3 hours, so your flight can depart anytime that day and we will run several transfers throughout the day to accommodate everyone.

In Ahangama (2 weeks) your breakfast and 5 evening meals per week are included (so budget 2 evening meals). In Arugam Bay (1 week) your breakfast and lunch is included (so budget for 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 £6. You can get two rotis and a milo for 100RS (50p) and rice and curry for 200RS (£1).

Yes you will need to arrange a visa for this course. You can obtain an electronic 'ETA' Visa by visiting the official website here: www.eta.gov.lk. This will need to be extended at a cost by yourself, we can help arrange this. Or you can consult your embassy to arrange a 3 month tourist visa. This usually entails having an interview in person.

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 - www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and The World Health Organisation – www.who.int.

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 http://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

None! Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise where wetsuits aren't required, 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.

Straight from the surf