Paddle Boarder

Contact Whitby Surf School

Please email us at

Alternatively come and find us on the beach at Whitby!

Please see below for our FAQ's and Refund/Cancellation Policy


Do I need to book?

We think it’s a good idea to book as there is no guarantee that we will be able to fit you in if you leave it to the last minute, especially in the height of summer lessons can be fully booked and so the earlier you book the better. This also makes it a lot easier for us to organise equipment and instructors who work to strict ratios to ensure every lesson is safe and informative to everyone involved.

Do lessons include the equipment?

Yes, all equipment is included in lessons and stand up paddleboard safaris at Whitby Surf School. We have a wide range to ensure there is something suitable to everyone. You are welcome to bring your own equipment, however this does not affect the cost. After the lesson is finished we ask that you return the equipment, but hire is available for a small charge if you want to continue the fun afterwards.

What do I need to bring?

How many lessons do you recommend?

For beginners we recommend at least 2 or 3 lessons to start you off, this should get you to grips with the basics. 4 to 6 lessons should see you mastering the basics and wanting to go out on your own to practice your skills, however everyone is different and the amount of lessons can be dependent on a number of factors such as fitness, surf conditions, your budget, time and commitment levels. We will tailor make every lesson to suit each persons needs and get you riding the waves faster.

Should I arrive early for the lesson?

Yes. It is best to arrive at least 10 minutes early for a lesson so we can organise wetsuits. It is best to arrive wearing your swimming costume under your clothes so it is quicker to get changed. 

Are the Instructors qualified?

Our instructors are qualified with a minimum International Surfing Association (ISA) Level 1 Surf Coaching Accreditation, all the instuctors are also qualified Beach Lifeguards and hold First Aid certifications. This is an integral part to gaining full Surf Coach status. Whitby Surf School’s team of instructors are handpicked and have a great knowledge of the sea and our local coast which is a very important part of learning to surf.

How old do I need to be?

We take children from 8 years and over. There is no upper age limit. All under 18’s must have their booking/ indemnity forms signed by a parent/ guardian before they can take part in a lesson.

Do I need to be able to swim?

Yes! We do stipulate that all participants must be able to swim 25 metres (a length of a pool). This is a basic requirement for obvious safety reasons. All customers must complete a lesson enrolment / declaration, stating that they can swim this distance. (Parents/ guardians to sign for under 18’s).You will be declined if you cannot swim the required distance.

What if I have a medical issue, can I still take part?

All customers must complete the course booking/ indemnity form prior to the session. This gives us information on medical info etc; it is not disclosed to any 3rd party. Please contact us in advance if you have any concerns about your health.

What happens if the surf is too big, dangerous or too small / flat?

We have a few options. If the surf is too big and the conditions dangerous and we cannot run a lesson then you will be given 3 options.

We will contact you by email and/or by phone to let you know about a cancellation. We aim to give 12-24 hours notice if a lesson has to be cancelled due to bad weather, but sometimes this isn't always possible due to weather changing quickly. 

Isn't the North Sea really cold?

This depends on the time of the year, however we have great quality wetsuits, boots, hoods and gloves to keep you toasty and warm whatever the sea temperature!

How do I book?

You can book online or send an enquiry email to We will check for availability and then at the first opportunity get back to you. we aim to answer all enquiries within 24 hours. Some bookings especially large groups will require full payment 14 days before arrival. After booking, a booking confirmation will be emailed or posted with all the information you require. Booking online allows you to choose your preferred date and time, as well as choosing packages. Full payment is required at time of booking, when booking online.

Do you have a phone number? 

No. We have taken the decision to not have a phone number. This is due to limited phone signal available at the surf school and due to how busy the surf school can be. Please use our contact form to make an enquiry or visit us at the surf school when we are open.

Why is it taking so long for an email reply?

We are a popular surf school so we get many emails per day. We do our best to reply back the same day but this isn't always possible. If you haven't had a reply after 5 days please email again. Some emails do end up in the spam folder but we do our best to spot these. 

Do you have a Child Protection Policy?

Yes. We have a formal written policy in place and the staff are all trained and aware of issues when teaching children. All of our instructors are DSB checked. Please contact us if you require further information

What are your teaching ratios for lessons?

We operate according to ISA / Surfing GB surf coach and school guidelines:

Our ratios will always take into account group ability, group experience, age, surf conditions & tide. Certain times of the year, for example weekends in August, can get very busy, but we will always try to keep our ratios as low as possible

Refund & Cancellation Policy

I need to cancel my lesson, what refund will i get?

We encourage everyone to try change the date of their lessons instead of cancelling, however we know this isn't possible for everyone. If you need to cancel, we ask that you give us as much notice as possible via email (
If you do require a refund, it will depend on how much notice we are given. All cancellations must be sent via email and will be effective on the date which they are received by Whitby Surf School.

Cancellation charges are payable as follows:

20% booking deposit is non-refundable (see below).

• Notify us over 22 days before lesson date – 80% of full Surf lesson balance refunded. For example a lesson for £35 booked will receive a refund of £28. 
• Between 7 - 21 days before lesson date – 50% of full balance refunded. For Example a lesson booked for £35 will receive a refund of £17.50
• Less than 1 week before lesson date – No balance will be refunded, this is due to the fact that your booking has been held for you and an instructor booked in. Your cancellation is unlikely to be filled, so we have to reserve that payment to cover the cost.

We suggest you contact your Insurance Policy if you have had to cancel your lesson. We are happy to provide proof of cancellation if needed.

I need to change the date of my lesson...

No problem, as long as we are given enough time (minimum two weeks) and we have space to change the date of your surfing lesson, then we will at no cost change your surfing course or lesson to suit you. There is no charge for first time changes, but after this there is a £10 administration fee per change.

What if Whitby Surf School has to cancel or rearrange my lesson?

It is rare that we have to cancel or rearrange a lesson, but if we have to do so, it will be for a good reason.

It is important to remember that surfing is very much dependent upon the weather and surf conditions. In the event that the lesson can not go ahead to due lack of surf or dangerous conditions, an alternative date or option will be offered.

All cancellations will be notified by email either the day before or approximately 1-2 hours before the lesson. We try to give as much notice as possible but sometimes the weather can unexpectedly change overnight.

As a small business, we are charged to take bookings, so it is essential that you are open to re-booking an alternative date. If you do not intend to return to Whitby and insist on a refund, this will be less our 20 per cent booking fee. See above for refunds. 

No compensation will be paid where the change or cancellation is due to Force Majeure. Force Majeure means unforeseeable and unusual circumstances beyond our control at Whitby Surf School, the consequences of which could not have been avoided even if all due care had been exercised. Such circumstances or events include (but are not limited to) war or threat of war, riot, civil strife, closure or congestion of airports, terrorist activity, natural or nuclear disaster industrial dispute, and unavoidable technical problems with transport, fire and adverse weather conditions.

Why do you charge a booking fee?

Our booking fee is included within our price, is to cover the payment processing (using a secure third party, Stripe) and to cover our administration costs which keep Whitby Surf School running. That’s it. You will not be refunded the booking fee which is 20 per cent of the payment made should you wish to cancel your booking please see the above for refunds.


We operate April to September each year. Vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, for example a voucher bought in September 2022 will be valid until September 2023. Vouchers will not be extended/refunded. You must use your voucher before the expiration date, for example the booking must take place before the voucher expires. To book a lesson with a voucher, please email us with the dates you would like a lesson, you must bring your voucher to the lesson otherwise we will be unable to run the lesson.

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