The Soul of Surfing Revolution. | Artwork by Coco Steigner


We've taken the journey of learning to be a surfer and worked out the kind of surfers we want to be responsible for producing. We're interested in knowing the ocean, the benefits on our well-being, how a surfing life connects to art and culture and how to maximise the opportunities for fun to be had in the waves.


We have created a surf offering that is more aligned with our Soul & Surf soul-surfing ethos and our sustainability goals. Surfing is a journey, and one that never actually ends. We won’t master surfing, but we can learn, improve and develop as a surfer.

With soul.

Rather than just teaching people to stand up on foamies and churning out beginners we teach the "whys" behind surfing. From wave-riding on all kinds of craft (focused for your level - be that beginner, improver, intermediate or beyond) to ocean awareness and activism, to blue health and how the ocean is good for the soul. 

With our Soul of Surfing programme we aim to increase the sense of play (not just success) in the water and give a solid understanding of the soul surfing lifestyle. We firmly believe that surfing is for everyone – and that the old ways of coaching needed a bit of, well, a revolution.  And so this thread is woven through everything we do at all of our locations, whether it's the tropical waters of India and Sri Lanka, the wild, rugged Atlantic of Portugal - or on various pop-ups we run around the world.

So read on for how we approach our lessons, guides, levels and everything in between. 

We believe learning to surf is not linear. It’s a cyclical process.


The Soul of Surfing Revolution

We’ve broken things down into four pillars which both make up the Soul of Surfing programme and contain what are, for us, the essential components of being a soul surfer: ocean knowledge, riding waves, board skills and personal qualities like etiquette, confidence and individual style.

The Four Pillars

Together these pillars help harness a growing awareness, ability and confidence in the water.

1. Ocean Literacy

7 Principles that simplify the ocean processes that have a huge impact on our planet with reading waves - a skill that means surfers become more ocean literate as they progress.

2. Blue Health

“A sense of understanding of the positive effects Blue and Surf spaces have on our physical, emotional and mental health and well being.” Going in the sea is a legitimate self-care practice these days.

3. Soul Surfing

A sub-culture of surfing-as-a-way-of-life encompassing the leftfield, creative, outsider spirit of the surf pioneers. A mix of board-shaping, art, music, film, photography, literature and business. We appreciate the alternative. The avant-garde within the rich tapestry of the surfing narrative.

4. Wave Riding

The intersection of surfer, craft and wave – which happens in a split second. This momentary, affective experience encapsulates the physical practice of surfing. There’s a delicate balance between just enough challenge and not too much tension... and that’s when we enter the flow state.


The Four Pillars that make up Soul Surfing for us.

Steps to becoming a soul surfer

You & your input

As a Soul & Surf guest, take advantage of the information and content we provide on our website as well as onsite.

Surfing self assessment

The first step in moving forward is honestly acknowledging where we are right now. In order for us all to be on the same page, we’ve put together a set of questions which helps determine your current level.

Wave riding

Join the daily surf lessons to put it all together in the ocean.


We’ve created posters for our four pillars and the content you’ll be learning within them, you’ll see them on site – and at the bottom of this page.


We run short, (almost) daily talks on soul of surfing topics, which provide an added element of theory. You’re welcome to join and take the opportunity to talk to coaches and staff members as well as reflect with the other guests.

Keeping On Learning

Surfing is a never-ending journey of learning, and we will continue to learn and progress as teachers and facilitators of surf. We particularly want to support improver and intermediate surfers, as we feel this can be the point where surfers can become frustrated and demotivated.

Values behind the soul of surfing

Now. Soul. Risk. Balance.

These are the values of Soul & Surf across all areas. They help guide us and assist when we need to make difficult decisions. They’re a foundation we always come back to.

Surfing is for all.

The idea that surfing is only for surfers is outdated. And recognising this supports our mission to become more inclusive in our offerings. We want to see future lineups that are gender, racially, ethnically, culturally and body diverse.

Learning to surf is not linear

We are using a “circle of awareness” structure (it’s simpler than it sounds) because the linear model just isn’t working for us anymore. Does anything in life work this way?

Sustainable development goals

We hope that by revolutionising our surf programme we are charting a new path towards surfers being marine citizens and citizen scientists. We are active members of a global, ocean community working toward the ocean sustainability agenda and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Our vision

We hope that our work produces ‘soul surfers’ and helps them progress on their learning journey with support and stoke. We also hope to address wider issues through our programme and by incorporating Ocean Literacy and Blue Health into our surf syllabus, we are working towards our company-wide Sustainable-ish goals.

The two UN Sustainable Development Goals that Soul of Surfing focuses on are:

Provide experiences rooted in goodness.

There are so many positive effects water has on our physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.

Ocean education and activism

We believe that not only will we be teaching people to surf, but we’re teaching them how to be part of the ocean ecosystem, inspiring a commitment to treat it with respect and to join an alliance to help protect our precious global Ocean.

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India, Sri Lanka, Portugal, Peru, Lombok, or elsewhere...our surf ethos remains the same.

Wave Riding. The Soul Surfer Journey

The Soul of Surfing programme delivers skills and techniques with our experienced coaches to set you up as an ‘unconsciously able surfer’ – by which we mean you can surf without thinking about it – across four different levels. The only requirement we have to attend our lesson is to be able to swim.

Once you become an 'integrated surfer' – by integrated we mean you know more than just standing on a board – it’s time to move onto the next level.

Skill Levels

Our lessons break down to four different levels of surfer:

  • The level 1 surfer that is looking to catch their first waves
  • The level 2 surfer that is looking to explore unbroken waves for the first time
  • The level 3 surfer that is looking to improve on their basic manoeuvres
  • ...and the level 4 surfer who has a lot of experience and is looking to put themselves into more challenging waves (or perhaps is finding themselves a little stuck or frustrated)

Download our Wave Riding poster for a detailed overview of the levels and how they relate to each other. 

Our Surf Lessons

Soul & Surf is set up with the intention of helping all surfers to develop. From beginners and improvers to the more advanced, there is a wave to help you develop your surfing and have fun.

Click the Read More to dive deeper into our level 1-4 lessons and how they can benefit you. 

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Level 1 – Becoming a Beginner Surfer

Learning to master the whitewater.

A complete beginner or someone that has surfed a few times but is still catching broken, whitewater, waves.

What will you learn?

  • The absolute basics in a fun, safe and encouraging environment
  • Safety on the beach and in the white water, how to handle your board and how to negotiate your way through breaking waves
  • Understanding of the beach and ocean environment
  • We’ll introduce you to your equipment and explain the basics of a surfboard and what that means to you as a surfer
  • How to catch forgiving waves and how to understand the basics of controlling a surfboard whilst laying on your belly in the prone position
  • The techniques to get to your feet and how to maintain stability and build on consistency
  • Basic manoeuvres in the white water such as speed and control as well as turning right and left on a wave
  • Your enjoyment and improvement will come from your willingness to learn and to fail, to focus on play rather than success, and by letting go and not being afraid to fall

Theory Sessions & Workshops

As part of your level one coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel and maybe in the pool.

  • Currents / rips how to deal with them
  • Different types of waves
  • Swell generation
  • Onshore vs off shore
  • Right vs. left
  • Surf etiquette
  • Terminology and radical surfer talk!

Level 2 – Becoming an Improver Surfer

Introducing unbroken waves.

You’ll be an improver or an early intermediate, someone that has had some lessons, is catching white water waves on a regular basis and can perform basic turns left and right. You will also show that you can surf in a safe manner.

You may have even caught a couple of unbroken waves and are experienced trimming down the wave.

What will you learn?

  • Advanced safety, specific to the spots we surf as well as the waves that you may surf at home
  • We will get specific about your stance, your body position and how it will affect your rides
  • We will work with you to improve your pop-up technique
  • You will improve the efficiency and techniques paddle strokes enabling you to build on your endurance as well as explosiveness
  • You will learn how to negotiate the inside breaking waves and how to paddle out to unbroken waves
  • You will learn the difference between white water waves and unbroken waves and learn where to position yourself and how to catch a wave before it breaks
  • You will understand the difference between forehand and backhand or frontside and backside as well as understanding the basics of trimming along a wave
  • We will use video feedback sessions to help you take your surfing to the next level - looking at and analysing your surfing. Video analysis is the best way to see your surfing, to look at the positives and to see how to correct any mistakes and improve on techniques

Theory Sessions & Workshops

As part of your level two coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool. In them we'll cover:

  • Priority & line ups
  • How to get through waves using a turtle roll
  • The difference between a white water (broken wave) and unbroken wave
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

Level 3 – Becoming an Intermediate Surfer 

Unbroken waves: how to get more and what to do on them.

You will be a high-end intermediate surfer, proficient in the water, able to paddle through waves unassisted and able to negotiate your way around a line up. You will be able to catch head-high waves and can trim left and right on a variety of different waves.

What will you learn?

  • We will search for the best waves of the day and work with you to understand new, more challenging surf spots
  • We’ll help you work out where your stoke is… long boards, short boards, mid lengths?
  • We will help you to maximise your wave count and learn how to find the fastest trimming line as well as what type of manoeuvres to perform and when
  • We will work with you through video analysis sessions to help improve techniques, body positions, position on the wave, bottom turns, top turns, carving turns, cutbacks and floaters

Theory Sessions & Workshops

As part of your level three coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool. Expect to cover:

  • Improving and speeding up your pop-up to make more critical drops
  • Duck diving
  • ‘Spot X’ - the best place on any given wave for a surfer to take off
  • Critical line-up etiquette
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

Level 4 – Becoming an Advanced Surfer

Maximising wave usage, craft and the surfers potential. Tuition for traditional long boarders, progressive short boarders or adaptable soul surfers.

Our level 4 lessons are aimed at the surfer who has a lot of surfing experience but may be a little stuck or frustrated. This is a surfer who is able to perform in a variety of conditions including some very challenging or less than perfect waves. You should be comfortable surfing a variety of different beach breaks, river mouths, points and reef breaks. The level 4 surfer will be able to do more than just trim along a wave, you’ll be able to control your speed staying in the pocket when needed and speeding through section if required, linking turns and manoeuvres.

What will you learn?

  • We will search the coast for the best waves of the day and work with you to understand the most challenging surf spots for the day's conditions
  • We want to take you out of your surfing comfort zone to break down and work on specific manoeuvres
  • Using video analysis, we will work with you to break down each wave, seeing where speed can be managed, manoeuvres linked and turns executed in more critical parts of the wave
  • We will work with you in taking this new knowledge from the video feedback sessions and applying it to your next surf
  • We will look at the functionality and style within your surfing. It’s one thing to be able to do a cut back but to make it look good is a different matter!
  • Our aim with you is to push your surf and open up new possibilities - giving you the tools you need to continue your progression

Theory sessions

As part of your level 4 coaching we will run theory sessions on location at the beach, in the hotel as well as in the pool. We'll cover:

  • Improving and speeding up your pop-up to make more critical drops
  • Duck diving
  • ‘Spot X’ the best place on any given wave for a surfer to take off.
  • Wave forecasting
  • Surfboards and different forms of surfing

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A new approach to teaching surf? Read more about our Soul of Surfing Revolution.

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Our Four Pillars - The Posters