Foundation Surf Training; A Driving Test For The Ocean

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Our brand new Foundation Surf Training (FST) is for everyone. If you dream of travelling the world and surfing in remote surf spots, or just getting up early and surfing before the lifeguards set up on the beach, then this course is a great investment. Foundation Surf Training is for anyone who wants to improve their performance, safety and confidence in the ocean.

FST is recommended for surfers and bodyboards of all abilities, but is especially useful for people who haven’t had much experience in the ocean or surfzone, it will kickstart your learning and give you positive momentum to continue on your surfing journey. For those who’ve surfed before it’s a pressure free way to get some constructive water time, refresh your surf skills and learn from top instructors.

  • Foundation Surf Training (FST) has come about based on feedback from our OAIA students
  • It will build your water confidence if you’re inexperienced in the ocean, or in need of a refresher
  • It’s a supportive introduction to the surfing and lifeguarding modules, the 2 most challenging elements of the course
  • You’ll gain a base level of surf theory and ocean awareness in daily classroom sessions
  • Your surfing will progress through focused coaching and personal goal setting
  • You’ll learn about the different lifeguard qualifications, and get a headstart in your training 
  • FST is full of practical skills and knowledge you’ll use every time you go in the ocean
  • Foundation Surf Training includes 5 days of ocean & classroom training


We are offering Foundation Surf Training as a bolt-on for OAIA students, and also as a stand alone learning tool. If you’ve signed up to the OAIA but don’t have much surfing experience, or perhaps you’d like to start the lifeguard course on the front foot, feeling confident in your abilities, then FST can really help. Or if you’d like some coaching to secure your swim time, or to boost your general water confidence, then FST is the leveller you need to join the course feeling self-assured and positive.

There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared or being caught on the back foot, so if you’re someone who is new to surfing, or perhaps could do with a refresher, then the Foundation Surf Training will help prepare you. You’ll gain the required  surf skills to start the course level with your peers, and have forward momentum and confidence so that you’re able to maximise your progression under the tutelage of Alan Stokes.

Lifeguarding and surf rescue expertise are the most vital skills to have if you work in the ocean, yet many people show up to the OAIA knowing very little about what it takes to get a National Vocational Beach Lifeguard (NVBLQ) or Surf Coach Safety (SCS) qualifications. The lifeguarding assessment will evaluate your fitness, swimming ability and surf skills, and put your physical, mental and emotional resilience to the test. There is a lot to learn, and a wide range of skills to perform during the assessment; the consensus amongst our graduates is that the Lifeguard week is the most challenging element of our courses. Foundation Surf Training  will take the stress out of lifeguarding week by giving you an introduction to surf lifesaving, and help you prepare for your actual lifeguard assessment week which will come a few weeks later on.

The surfing  and lifeguarding modules are intense, with lots of ground to cover. For some students with little or no previous surfing or lifeguarding experience, the steep learning curve required is overwhelming. This foundation course is designed to give you a mental and physical headstart, providing both the knowledge that you’ll need and a training plan to develop the required practical skills. You’ll spend a lot of time in the surf zone which will help you familiarise with the environment, and give you an insight to what the OAIA is like.

The Foundation Surf Training is not just for prospective OAIA students. It’s for anyone over the age of 16 who wants to build confidence and remain safe in the ocean.


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