Despite the oft-used proverb, a family really doesn’t have to be a ball and chain keeping you from the waves! Combining a surf trip with a family holiday is an art, but when you get the hang of it, it can lead to some of the best trips you’ll ever make!
When you hear that patter of little feet for the first time you know life will never be the same again – but that’s no excuse to give up your hard-earned surf trips! Many surf destinations are actually ideal for family holidays: you just need to find a place where everyone has something fun to do – whether that’s surfing, building sand castles, or sipping cocktails on the beach while reading the latest Jilly Cooper novel.
Matt Clark from LUEX Travel gives us the run-down on how to stop wasting precious holiday time in swell-less hellholes when you could be surfing your brains out while the entire family has a ball!
The Key Factors of the Perfect Family Surf Trip
There are some key factors you need to consider for a successful family trip, and you need a destination that combines as many of them as possible. These factors fit into three main categories: Your/the Surfer’s needs, Mum’s/the Non-surfer’s needs, and the kids needs.
Surfing Parent’s Needs:
the rest of the family won’t be too happy if you spend the whole time chasing wave
On the face of it, your needs are pretty straightforward: good surf. It’s not quite that simple though, as the rest of the family won’t be too happy if you spend the whole time chasing waves and are never around. You have to make surfing as time-efficient as possible: find a destination with consistent, quality swell so you can plan your sessions ahead (rather than spontaneously dropping everything when the waves start working), and ideally one with several nearby spots with different exposures to choose from, preferably including some wind-protected and tide-independent spots. Stay as close to the break as you can, as the less time you spend travelling, the more you get in the water per session; preferably you want to actually be able to see the waves from your accommodation, so you don’t waste additional time checking conditions. The cherry on the top is warm, tropical water: not only is surfing just in board shorts simply more fun, but changing in/out of wetsuits again cuts into your actual surfing time.
Non-Surfing Parent’s Needs:
Obviously these will depend a lot on what your non-surfing parent likes to do, but we can generalise a bit: romantic resorts with good restaurants, spa facilities, yoga classes, swimming pools and pretty beaches are usually a hit. For the more adventurous, look for a destination with plenty of sporty activities, like horse riding, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. If you can combine all these things with a nice resort or hotel that’s a pleasure to spend time in, in close proximity to the break and children’s’ facilities, you’re onto a winner. Some form of crèche or childcare can be useful too.