Group Surf Trip – Planning to Ripping in 10 steps

by | Aug 16, 2010 | Surf Travel

The most difficult part of planning a surf trip can be getting a group of travelers together on the same page. Finding dates that work and destinations that cater to multiple individuals can be tough. And of course you always have that one bro (or girlfriend) that doesn’t get back to you until the last minute.

First things first, choose a group leader. The fact that you are reading this suggests that you may end up as the group leader, either that or you’re going to arm wrestle someone else for the title. As the group leader, you’ll need to facilitate the following:

1 ) Choose a destination

Choosing a destination can be tough. Elements like Seasons, Weather, accommodations, and availability will all come into play. The best way to handle this is to be prepared, know the people you might be traveling with and spend a few minutes chatting with a Waterways Surf Travel Specialist. We offer some great tools to aid in your initial search, including an interactive Surf Travel Destination Map, and a Global Season and Weather Table to check against the time of year you will be traveling. Take a look at these tools. You might find somewhere you had never even dreamed of traveling to that sounds like a blast! Keep your options open at this point (unless you absolutely must surf Cloudbreak, Teahupoo, or Salina Cruz) and get two or three of your ideal spots together to share with potential travelers.

2 ) Make a list of potential travelers and determine a budget

You’ve narrowed it down to a couple of destinations and you’re ready to score surf, now all you need to know is, who’s coming with you? one way to get a group of people together is to set up an email thread by sending a single email out to whoever you feel is a candidate for scoring waves with you on your trip, or using facebook to get a message thread going. Mentioning a date by which everyone who’s interested in the trip should get back to you by can offer some inspiration for your lazy bro to get off of his butt and reply.

This is also a good time to get the initial question of budget out of the way. Take a look at the Pricing and Packages page for any Waterways Surf Travel destination and get a feel for the cost. It’s a good idea to mention it early on in your discussion with potential travelers to weed out anyone who’s not going to be able to swing it financially.

3 ) Decide best dates and length of stay

Many destinations offer specific dates of travel, which can be handy in choosing when you want to go. Most will offer a package price that is based on a length of stay and extra days can be added to many locations. Keep the notion of 5-10 Surf days and 7 – 13 Travel days in mind.

Check out the Global Season and Weather Table to make sure you’re going to get waves. This is something that chatting with an expert about can get you dialed into in a matter of minutes. Feel free to give us a call.

The best way to handle this with a group is to propose one or two date periods and get everyone’s response. You don’t want to clip anyone based on their schedule, but it will end up being much easier to start with a suggested date than just to ask an open-ended question of when do you want to go? You probably have a time that works best for you, so start there.

There’s a possibility that your dates will coincide with a travel Special, so be sure to check out the specials page, and save a few bucks!

4 ) Confirm with Waterways

Check Availability

You can fill out the Trip Inquiry form and get a super-quick response on your dates and number of travelers, and a Waterways Surf Travel Specialist will make your reservations. If changes need to be made to accommodate for you and your group, we’ll make it happen cap’n.


Once you have your slot arranged for you and your traveling companions, you’ll need to confirm with Waterways with Travel and Passport Details, Travel insurance, and Payment Information.

5 ) Pay

What? Pay? Oh yeah, it’s how we stay in business…. Our rates are the best around and we’ll take care of you.

6 ) Wait

Most likely, you won’t be traveling the same month you book your trip, so there will be some amount of time you’ll have to spend waiting around, dreaming of your upcoming dream days. We recommend a strict regimen of the following to keep you sane:

  • Surf vids & photos – keep the dream alive. Check out other traveler’s photos on Flickr and YouTube.
  • Exersise – stay in shape for your trip. You don’t want to get there and not be able to paddle! Here are some tips on Exersise for surfing.
  • Learn a thing or two – the more you know about local customs the better. If you can speak a few words of the language, you’re more likely to bro out with the locals. Check out the Surf section of your destination here on and get up to date on the spot names, and how to get to them from where you’ll be staying
  • Daily visits to – perv out on the waves you’ll be scoring
  • Sharing – details about your trip on facebook, twitter, emails, carrier pigeon, etc. Make everybody else jealous, and you’ll feel better, we promise.

7 ) Pack

Get your act and your gear together. We recommend refraining from doing this too early in the waiting game, as you can easily forget something in the lag time. Here’s your Surf Travel Packing List. Pack light; a good rule of thumb here is if you can’t decide if you’ll need it or not, you probably won’t. You can leave the super-deluxe 20 lb first aid kit at home. remember, your traveling with Waterways, and we’re going to take care of you.

Check in with your fellow travelers with what you’re planning on bringing, and if there is anything that your group will need that you don’t have, make sure to ask who can. You won’t need 6 iPod Docking Stations, so delegate where necessary.

8 ) Go There!

Make it in time for your flight, and you’re set. A representative from the resort or surf camp you’re traveling to will meet you at the airport. Most likely, you’ll be greeted with warm smiles and cold beverages. Our representatives are outfitted with tough trucks and SUV’s to haul you and your gear to your final destination in comfort and style. Vehicles can accommodate for groups, no problem, but you might have to rock-paper-scissors for the front seat.

Once you arrive at your destination, you’ll drop your gear off in your room, get acquainted with the staff and accommodations, and if you have time, squeeze in a session. If not, take a dip in the pool and tip back a frosty one.

If you have shared accommodations, you’ll need to figure out who’s bunking with who. This one will most likely figure itself out for you, but if there’s any question, bunk up with those who have similar sleep patterns. This way, you don’t end up trying to get rested for the morning’s session while Tony cranks Iron Maiden and double fists Bintangs.

9 ) Surf, Surf, Surf

Guided Surf ToursAfter a quick breakfast every morning, your guides will  take you by boat, truck, or SUV to the best possible break. With years of experience in their areas, these guides will make sure you get firing surf.

Choosing where to surf among a group would be easy if everyone was the same skill level, and same stance. however, this is rarely the case. Deciding on where to surf is something that you and your group should look to your guide to help you decide. Many WaterWays destinations offer multiple guides and vehicles, so your group can split up to score waves that are best suited for half of your group. This way, you can travel with your dad’s friends, but don’t have to surf in longboard-only waves.

Some trips, like yacht charters will allow you to surf pretty much only one spot at a time, everyone included. Here is where some democratic descision-making is in order; If your group is made of of surfers with varying skill levels, board preferences, and stances, alternate the breaks you choose to make sure everyone gets theirs. Session #2 on a mushy left, will keep your goofy-footed novice friend stoked after having spent Session #1 scoring heavy right hand tubes.

Trust in your guides, they will get you into the best waves possible.

10 ) …Eat, Sleep Repeat

Most Waterways destinations include epic meals to satisfy your hunger after a day of surfing your brains out. The meals are generally prepared according to a set menu, so you don’t have to worry about choosing food that everyone will like… because the staff will make gourmet meals that are impossible not to like.

There is usually plenty to do outside of surfing at a WaterWays resort, so if anyone doesn’t feel like surfing, there is almost always snorkeling, fishing, and diving; and some destinations offer jungle tours, nightlife, kite-surfing, wakeboarding, etc. Many resorts are outfitted with swimming pools, game rooms, hammocks, bars, hot tubs, and kayaks to keep you and your group entertained day and night.

In the morning, guess what? Time to surf again. Repeat every day until your arms are jello, your face is burnt, your rashguard is toast, you’re walking like you’ve ridden a horse for days, and everyone in your group has the biggest smile on their faces since since 5th birthdays.