Ultimate Surf Instructor Course and Adventure

13 weeks South Africa Self Catered

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  • 16 Jan - 16 Apr 2020
Info Pack Book now with £95 Deposit


The crème de la crème of Ticket to Ride's offering

Riders on our 13 Week Surf Instructor Course really get to have their cake and eat it to, by enjoying everything the 10 Week Surf Instructor Course offers and more, with the final three week surfari leg in the enigmatic Southeast African country of Mozambique. A firm favourite with past Riders, the final leg of the journey will see you setting off in a 4*4 for palm trees, tropical clear waters, delicious food, sand-bottom point breaks and adventures galore. 

Gain essential ocean and surfing knowledge on this Ticket to Ride course by visiting a surfboard factory, hearing presentations on swell charts and talks on how surfboards work. You'll also get involved with helping underprivileged people learn to surf, go bungee jumping or indulge in a little wine tasting. 

What to Expect

It’s easy to plateau with surfing but with experienced instructors coaching you both in and out of the water, your surfing skills are set to go sky high on this Ticket to Ride trip. Complete beginners are well catered for and are normal on this trip, but we cater for everyone and you can expect coaching from South Africa's most highly regarded surf coaches including SA National team coaches. Small 5:1 maximum student to instructor ratios. Learning on the right equipment under close observation from your trip leaders who are with you 24/7. Lots of additional information out of the water to help take your surfing to a new level, including a surfboard and swell talk to ensure you understand your equipment and can be on the best swell. 

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
  • Wine tasting at the famous Klein Constantia
  • A tour of a surfboard factory
  • The chance to ride the Flow Rider
  • Safari game drive
  • An ocean safari


Each project underlines Ticket to Ride’s commitment to leaving a positive impact on the host country, whilst also giving you the chance to do your bit for the local community. Ticket to Ride Community Projects include:

  • Waves 4 Change Surf Therapy project
  • Teaching Kids in a Township school
  • Helping with localised environmental projects
  • Helping out at a township recycling initiative

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


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


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.

The Lifesaving Course

Designed specifically for surf coaches and run in Durban, it covers everything from first aid, spinal board rescue and board rescue. There is also a timed swim where you're required to swim 400m in a pool in under 9 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


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.

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.

Please book your outbound flight to Cape Town International Airport on the start date of the course and your return flight from Durban Airport on the end date of the course (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!

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.

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.

Situated just north of South Africa, Mozambique feels like a totally different world to South Africa. It is much more 'African' if you will, more remote, yet still comfortable enough. It's a surf trip where 4*4's are a necessity! It is also tropical, with coconut trees everywhere and lukewarm water - a mini paradise.

Most foreign citizens require a 30 day visa for entry to Mozambique, costing around £50. You will need to purchase this when in Durban and your Trip Leader will be there to guide you through the process.

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.

Unfortunately not, you don't get a new 90-day visa from travelling into neighbouring countries as too many people were doing this just for the extention. However, you will get a short 1 - 7 day visa unitil your flight leaves.

Yes you can, just contact us for a quote to upgrade to a twin, double, or double en-suite. 


I had a wicked time and even extended my trip by adding on three weeks in Mozambique. The staff are all awesome! Ticket to Ride have a great team and the people we met along the way were all amazing as well. Loved the surf, loved the stops and will miss it for sure!

Tia Seymour

I was totally bored of working a normal 9-5 office job in cold, wet England, so I decided to have a look at learning some new skills while traveling. Ticket to Ride seemed to provide me with my dream trip, so I signed up straight away. Traveling a beautiful wave filled country like South Africa has been insane. It didn’t just live up to my expectations, it smashed them to pieces. I made friends with some of the best people (and a few animals) I've ever met. 

Along the way, I learnt a lot about the crazy world and myself. This trip has genuinely changed me and given me two new qualifications I never really thought I’d ever have! The guys and girls I’ve met and those who work for Ticket to Ride are beyond incredible and I hope they’re proud of the ‘lekker’ work they’re doing. Thank you!

Ryan Webb

The level of coaching was world-class and my surfing improved a huge amount. Thanks!


The team, trip and course genuinely ticks all the right boxes for me. A dream come true.


JBay is such an awesome place. We stayed right on the beach, so we’d just wake up and go for a surf at sunrise, hang out with a few dolphins, head back to the hostel, knock back a few cheeky drinks and then have another surf in the afternoon.

Etienne, our surf coach was amazing! He knew exactly what you needed to do to improve and I found myself standing up on waves that I thought would always be out of my reach.

I definitely want to go back one day, perhaps take on the super tubes with the pro surfers! It was an epic trip and one that I will never forget!

Lauren Barlow

The best decision I ever made! A truly amazing experience and now I have a job as a surf instructor in Cornwall.

Alex Douglas

After working three jobs for five months, I can honestly say that ten weeks with Ticket to Ride in South Africa was the best way to spend my hard earned money. Starting the trip as a complete beginner was daunting at first but I can't recommend it highly enough now. The trip has it all and I've enjoyed everything from catching the wave of my life at The Bluff (with Ryan Ribbink close by) to getting to know South Africans in the townships and at the backpackers. 

Each location had its memories and two stand out examples would be Jeffreys Bay for its partying scene and Coffee Bay for its insane morning surfs. I not only overcame my fear of heights on this trip by jumping from the world's tallest bungee jump, but also learnt valuable life saving lessons as part of the first aid course. While the instructor element of the trip saw us really come together as a group, as we practiced giving each other surf lessons and helped each other through surfing two lefts and two rights. 

I've only been back a week and already feel deprived of surfing. I can't wait to get back in the water as a newly qualified instructor! I can't thank Ticket to Ride enough, especially the Trip Leaders, as it really was a once in a lifetime experience. The best ten weeks of my life.

Phoebe Tomlinson

The surf was great, food was great and everyone was super friendly. I've definitely come back with a different perspective on South Africa and on Africa as a whole, and if you have the chance to go to Mozam as well, don't hesitate - go for it! I caught this one wave, it was like 100 metres long, and it sounds ridiculously cheesy but that was when I thought, I'm a surfer now!

Ronan Collins

I had barely surfed before joining the trip and I can honestly say that I'm now hooked. You can't really describe the feeling of surfing, once you're riding the face - it's unbelievable. It's what gets people hooked and I'm sure you will be if you join the trip too. The trip exceeded all my expectations and even though it may seem like a big decision to head out here by yourself, once you arrive and meet the group, they'll be like your family from day one. Definitely worth doing!

Charlie Darby

I'd done minimal surfing before doing the trip and it's actually incredible how fast you progress by surfing every day, visiting different surf spots and waves. It's been hard work but I've enjoyed it immensely. I've loved being in South Africa and while I was a little concerned about safety before coming out here, I can honestly say I never felt unsafe at any point. All the locals were really friends and everywhere we stayed, we were made to feel very welcome.

The Mozambique leg was completely different to the South Africa part, and I'm so glad I decided to do as it definitely enhanced the trip. It had a raw feel to it and a much more adventurous vibe as you're going around in a 4x4s, checking out new surf spots and waves for the final three weeks. 

If you're umming and ahhing over whether or not to book on, then don't - just go for it! The experiences you'll have and the friendships you'll make will be just priceless.

Ben Howarth

Ticket to Ride is the ultimate experience for everyone who loves surfing, nature and adventures! I've had an incredible time in a stunning country, and enjoyed every single trip stop along the beautiful coastine of South Africa.

Jana Keller

I was a little worried about money before I came on the course - you never really know for sure if it's going to be worth it. I had the best time of my life, met some amazing people, did some pretty incredible things and now I can surf. (Still working on it.) No videos or pictures will ever do it justice, you just gotta experience it!

Sam Bass

Ticket to Ride and the Ultimate 13 Week Surf Instructor and Adventure Course in South Africa and Mozambique was a life changing experience. I met tons of great people, made life-long friends and my surfing improved drastically!

I am now back in South Africa working at a surf house thanks to the Trip Leaders and the rest of the Ticket to Ride team!

Matt Gilham

This is a great program for anyone who wants to do some traveling and improve their surfing at the same time. Everyone in the group went home with some pretty kickass stories!

Graham Morgan

This was my first big trip after leaving school, recommended to me by my brother who had done it 5 years earlier and said it was one of the best trips he's done. He was not wrong, these 10 weeks were absolutely awesome. From all of the surfing to climbing table mountain, bungee jumping and skydiving the trip had something for everyone and these were some of the best experiences I've ever had. Our trip leaders Luke and Jarred made it so easy for us and gave us some amazing coaching that got us from beginners to instructors. And had the best group of people to travel with. Would recommend it to anyone!

Susie Young

I had the best 13 weeks of my life by miles. The easy going vibe and the fun people pull the whole trip together into a completely unforgettable trip!

Henry Newman

Great value for money!

Thecla Todd-Randall

I came to South Africa uncertain of myself and where I was headed. I left South Africa no more certain of my destination, but far surer of myself. Excellent people. Excellent places.

Alex Wall

The TTR 10-week instructor course is a great way of discovering beautiful South Africa, take our surf to a higher level and become a certified Surf instructor as a bonus. The TTR team is so motivated and professional and make sure everybody is enjoying and progressing. South Africa is a lovely country, rich in great surf spots and natural beauty. This is an amazing trip that I would recommend to everyone.


If you’re looking for a pretty life changing adventure I’d say this would be it! South Africa was nothing short of absolutely incredible and I’ve made memories I’ll treasure. The combination of organisation by TTR plus bringing together people from all over the world is a pretty winning combination.

Ellie Traxler

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