Choosing a surf school can be difficult for budding surfers, who might be asking themselves what the best option is and what criteria should guide their selection. Here, Carcavelos Surf School talks you through some of the points to bear in mind before you start catching waves.
Important points to note when choosing your surf school:
- The surf school should be certified by the Portuguese Tourism Organisation, Turismo de Portugal, as a Maritime Tourism Operator. Follow this link to check for schools in the municipality of Cascais: List of surf schools in Cascais. In order to be included in this list, schools must be insured (personal accident and liability cover) for this specific activity, covering minimum guaranteed amounts.
- The school should also be a member of the Portuguese Surfing Federation (FPS). To qualify for membership, instructors must have completed surf instructor training with the FPS. Click here for the list of schools that are members: School membership list for 2016
- Find out about the qualifications and sports background of the instructors. They should have completed FPS training, have some academic background in the field (Sports Sciences) and, preferably, have experience as a competitive surfer or athlete.
Schools that have facilities on the beach and linked to a beach concession will also have the following advantages:
- Safe keeping for students’ belongings
- Sun shade area as part of their beach concession
- Direct access to the sea for activities
- Access to a life guard post
- Shower area
We’d also point out that schools with a fixed presence on the beach and who have an open door policy are easier targets for inspections by bodies like ASAE (The Portuguese Economic and Food Safety Authority) or the Maritime Police, which means they have to be well-organised and keep all their paperwork up to date.