Why choose NWWSC?

Why choose NW Women’s Surf Camps for your next surfing adventure?

_MG_8133With so many surf camps and retreats offered around the planet, what should you consider in finding the one that is just right for you? Let’s help you in the process by sharing with you the highlights and value we offer in our unique camp and retreat opportunities. We hope to see you for your next surfing adventure!

Learn about the Ever Changing Ocean Environment with Director Lexie Hallahan on NW Women’s Surf Camp’s YouTube channel video here. 

  1. What’s the advantage of choosing a camp or retreat that is offered just to women versus a mixed men and women camp option? What’s the advantage in learning from an all women surf coached team? Learning with women who share your passion to surf is a really empowering “sistership” experience. You have a common denominator. In our busy women’s lives, it’s rare for most of us to create the time and space to connect with our girlfriends, old and new ones, very often. Our camps provide this space to deepen your existing friendships by joining one of them with your BFF or by offering yourself the chance to make new surfing sisters. For those of you who’d love to share surfing or bodyboarding with your husband, partner or boyfriend, we offer fun event opportunities in our popular Coed Group Surf Lessons, Coed Bodyboard Clinics and Parents and Kids Surf Camps. 
  2. What is NWWSC’s teaching method? When you learn surfing on your own, with no real instructions to get started with, it’s definitely trial and error…with an underscore of error. All of our surf coaches learned surfing this way, organically. We didn’t have the teaching methods offered like there is today. The years of experience we spent figuring out how to surf and excel in it is combined in our camps for you. Our proven 19 year NWWSC methodology of teaching and coaching surfing is shared in every camp and lesson. It’s a highly successful and comprehensive approach. Why not receive the essential knowledge, skills and techniques when you’re starting to surf so you can also excel and in much less time, with a lot less frustration and perhaps even safer. We begin each camp with a thorough and comprehensive on-beach teaching of how to survey the conditions for your surfing level and how to use the 6 forecast ingredients to create the “recipe for a perfect wave” at that beach location. We follow this with the 12 essential skills taught in layers of understanding on the beach with your surfboards. Once the group has a confident grasp of these skills, then we enter the water to challenge their newly learned skills in the waves. Our surf coaches are exceptional at fine tuning student’s “pop ups”, their surf stance and position, their paddling technique and their ability to read waves. With these methods combined, you’re bound for success in your surfing future!
  3. How long has NW Women’s Surf Camps and Retreats been teaching surfing? We started teaching surfing in the spring of 2005 and are celebrating 19 years this summer.  We’ve taught 1800+ students over the years to surf. With each season, we strive to keep “raising the bar” with the quality of our program, our teaching methods, water opportunities and our overall excellence.
  4. What beaches do you hold the camps and retreats at? What type of surf break are the camps held at?  The camps, clinics and lessons we hold on the Oregon Coast are taught on several sandbar breaks from Seaside to Manzanita. As surfers and surf coaches, we’re always on the lookout for a perfect sandbar setting up along that stretch of coastline that we could bring a camp to or surf. More times than not though, we’ll end up teaching the day’s camp at a gem of a beach called Short Sands within Oswald West State Park, Oregon’s 5th Marine Reserve called Cape Falcon, where prevailing summer wind and swell conditions make it optimal for teaching. Our second sandbar break we teach at is near the Seaside Cove area, on the inside break.
  5. What swimming level do I need to have before joining a camp or retreat?  Having advanced beginner swimming skills is essential. You need to be able to swim to shore and/or tread water for a few minutes, in the case your leash was to rip off your ankle or break and you were separated from your surfboard. Usually this would be similar to swimming two to three lengths of an Olympic pool and being able to tread water in the deep end. You want to be in relatively good physical condition to start surfing. We don’t recommend joining a NWWSC camp, clinic or lesson, if you’re pregnant, have major health concerns, are injured or taking medications that could negatively affect your swimming ability. FYI- swimming is a great cross trainer for surfing.
  6. What types of surfboards are used during the camps and lessons? Is the wetsuit and surfboard equipment included in the camps, clinics and lessons? NWWSC uses Surftech Soft tops, Hot Curl Soft tops, Froth softops and other soft top brand longboards and eggboards in our camps. We also have a few epoxy bottomed longboards as well.  All wetsuits, parts, surfboards and their board transportation are included in the cost of the camp. For our group, private lessons and bodyboard clinics, students will need to get set up with equipment prior to their session at our rental partner, Cleanline Surf Shops, in Seaside and Cannon Beach. A special full day discounted surf package rental price is given to all our lesson and clinic students.
  7. Does NWWSC carry insurance? Yes, we cover each and every student with accidental insurance along with our company’s liability coverage. Personal medical insurance information must be provided to NWWSC Director prior to participating in a lesson, camp, or clinic.  But most importantly, we have in place a strong safety net for each camp. We have experienced and skilled surf coaches. (See more about them and their training at Our Crew webpage.) We teach with soft top boards and provide GATH surf helmets for our student’s safety. We always have a rescue surfboard and first aid kit available on the beach, in case of an emergency. We instruct all students on how to get out of a rip current (riptide) and how to signal for help. All students are taught and drilled on the “cover up” to protect their face and heads from surfboard impact. In fact, I’ve been told a number of times by fellow surfers that they can always tell who our past students are because they remember when they’ve wiped out to “cover up”.
  8. What’s the student to teacher ratio during a camp, lesson or clinic? We always use a 4:1 student to teacher ratio or less in our lessons, clinics and camps. For younger children in our Little Kid’s Coed Group Surf Lessons, we drop the ratio to 3:1. The exception are very young children whose parents and I decide on a 1:1 ratio being best for them. It’s common along the North Coast to see other surf instructors and surf schools taking up to 8 or more students out with only one instructor. This simply isn’t safe in the ocean and waves. If there is an emergency (or two), one instructor can’t respond appropriately to the student’s needs with this large of a student to teacher ratio.
  9. Is surfing etiquette taught in NWWSC camps, lessons and clinics? Yes, after you’re successful and confident in the 12 essential skills and you’re ready to paddle out through the white water, we’ll review the surf etiquette that will serve you at your particular surfing level. Etiquette is more than just who has the right of way on a wave; it’s really about bringing your respect, common sense, alertness and positive attitude into the water. Also please remember to respect the locals!

We look forward to sharing our passion for surfing with you soon!”