Surf’s up! Immerse yourself in the ocean and learn to shred some waves, while making new friends and getting a great workout. With many Victorians living close to the coastline, surfing is a skill that can stay with you for life and it’s never too late to learn.

While you might think surfing is a skill you can’t master – think again! There’s a whole range of women’s surfing communities ready to welcome you and teach you how to surf.

On this page we look at:

  • How This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Emmie overcame her fear of looking silly surfing and learned to enjoy just being out there
  • Learning to surf with women’s surf lessons
  • Not ready to learn surfing quite yet? Learn paddle boarding and find a local group
  • What This Girl Can – Victoria Ambassador Lisa thinks of ‘bikini bodies’ and who the ocean is for.
  • Find a women’s surfing group near you
  • Can’t get out right now? At-home tips

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Emmie overcame her fear of looking silly surfing and learned to enjoy just being out there

Emmie, 35, loved her water sports, but as she got older a fear of looking silly got in the way. One day, a friend convinced Emmie to give surfing a go and she immediately loved the challenge. It doesn’t matter if she looks ‘silly’ – even if she stands up for only a second, Emmie feels a real sense of accomplishment.

Learning to surf with women’s surf lessons

You might have been a surfer before, had a few surf lessons once or you might be a complete beginner. Wherever you’re at, that’s okay. You can learn to surf or return to it at any age. Here are some steps to get on that board and out in the surf:

  • Surfing Victoria offers some free resources about coaching and surfing lessons for women, and it’s a great place to start to see what’s happening near you.
  • Have a look around online to find surfing lessons and surf groups for women in your area. They’re set up for teaching surfing to beginners, so don’t worry – they’re ready to work with you to show you the ropes.
  • Ask at your local surf shop about women’s surfing classes and programs. They sometimes offer surf lessons themselves, or can refer you somewhere they know.
  • There are a range of women’s surfing groups in Victoria that love to welcome new members. Have a look around online to find some surfing communities that you might like to join, who share your passion for waves – and can help you learn some new surfing tips and tricks too. 

Not ready to learn surfing quite yet? Learn paddle boarding and find a local group

Stand-up paddle boarding is a fun activity on the water that’s low-impact and easy to pick up. It can be a great full-body workout as well, and you can go at your own pace. In fact, most people paddle board just to enjoy the scenery around them!

Paddle boarding, also called ‘sup’, is a water activity where you stand up on a board, specifically made, and use an oar to push yourself forward. It can be as hard or as easy as you like, making it great for all ages.

Coasting SUP (Surfing Victoria’s introductory program SUP program for women) is a great place to get started if stand-up paddle sounds like fun. You’ll get that much needed ‘me time’ outdoors, and can meet people with social paddle boarding groups.

What Lisa thinks of ‘bikini bodies’ and who the ocean is for

At first, Lisa was hesitant to give surfing a go, purely because she thought it was something only men did. “There is a lot of testosterone out in the water, and some days you can really feel it,” she said. “But the ocean belongs to everybody… it doesn’t belong to a particular gender.” These days, Lisa is carving up the waves and loving every second of it.

Find a women’s surfing group near you

  • Visit the websites mentioned on this page: Surfing Victoria or Coasting SUP.
  • Google it! There are plenty of surf schools for women and girls, and women’s social surfing groups out there. Have a look online to see what’s in your local area. Whether you’re surfing at 60 years old or learning to surf at age 40 or even 20, all that matters is enjoying the process and having some fun.
  • Find a Supporter in your neighbourhood: see if there’s a surfing club or local association who has registered online to support This Girl Can – Victoria.
  • Ask other women about their experiences with surfing – chat to your friends, family or colleagues about doing an activity together, or post a question to our Facebook page where there’s a super supportive community of women who can help you out.

Can’t get out right now?

If you’re not able to make it out to the beach to get your surf on, that’s okay. There’s plenty of other ways to get active and keep learning some surfing skills at home.

A great way to learn surfing or practice surfing tips and skills without the water is at home. Surf Better Now offers online coaching, You can find a great range of online videos with techniques to work on at home, so you can keep learning to surf – without the water!

Learn more about This Girl Can – Victoria and how it’s helping women feel good by getting activity in a way that suits them.

You may also want to look at some other sports you can try to get moving in a way that you enjoy. As Tiff says, it’s not always about winning. It’s about how it feels, and giving something new a go!