Surf with Kids in Mossel Bay: Surfing with Kids

Company : Good Hope Volunteers
Location : Mossel Bay, South Africa
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 750 to 3000+ € Euro

This programme teaches surfing to underprivileged youth from a rural area. Surfing keeps them out of trouble and away from drugs by giving them support and a chance to develop. 

The Surfing with Kids project was founded in 2010 in Mossel Bay, South Africa. Volunteers learn to surf and at the same time teach kids to surf; assist with beach games, yoga, and swimming lessons; and help with after-school homework. The project’s mission statement is: "The empowerment and social development of youths living in rural and marginalised communities through surfing."

The surfing programme is based at Diaz Beach in Mossel Bay. The programme has been offering free surfing lessons to marginalised youths since November 2010. Children are introduced to surfing as a healthy way of having fun. As the children grow within the programme, they are encouraged to progress - to paddle deeper and surf bigger waves.

Empowerment comes as a result of commitment, dedication and learning new skills. Through the medium of surfing, the project’s team teaches the value of learning to do difficult things and enjoying the results of commitment and dedication. Social development comes as a result of developing self-awareness. Surfing is not ordinarily practised in marginalised communities around South Africa. By learning to do something they've never done before in an environment they've never encountered before, children develop a new awareness, forming new ideas about themselves, their abilities and their lives.

This project also incorporates a variety of other ocean-related activities, besides surfing, aimed at empowering marginalised children. They encourage healthy interaction between volunteers and children through a variety of fun activities, like swimming and doing fitness exercises. If the weather and/or oceanic conditions aren’t favourable for surfing, volunteers will engage with the children in surfing, oceanic and/or environmental educational workshops.

You volunteer from Tuesday to Saturday. Sundays and Mondays are reserved for resting, sight-seeing and extra activities. 

You teach basic ocean skills and introduce young children to surfing. Your work days are divided into two parts: the first part of the day consists of volunteer surfing sessions and/or maintenance work; the second part is spent working in the kids’ surfing programme.

At the kids’ surfing programme, volunteers assist with the following: 

  • physically assisting the youngest children in the ocean, helping them to surf small waves in the shallows;
  • playing beach games designed to develop the children’s physical abilities and build confidence for surfing;
  • assist with general supervision on the beach;
  • packing & unpacking of surf equipment before and after surf sessions.

During volunteer surfing sessions, you learn how to surf. The surf instructors will teach you all the practical skills necessary to surf and to assist the children in the kids’ surfing programme. You are taught the mechanics of wave riding, swell, wind, tide, wave formation, currents and all other aspects of surfing. You are required to develop your own surfing skills as far as possible in order to assist the kids’ surf programme. You are also instructed on how to supervise and assist the children when working in the surfing programme.

If conditions do not favour surfing during kids’ surfing programme time slots, you will assist with the organisation of other beach games designed to develop the children’s strength, fitness and ocean awareness. Alternatively, you and the surf instructors will use the surf centre at Diaz Beach for hosting other educational activities, such as homework assistance or the screening of films. If conditions do not favour surfing during volunteer surfing time slots, you assist with the repair and maintenance of the surfing equipment, working on surfboard repairs or doing general maintenance work at the surf centre.

Start Dates

All year round from mid-January to mid-December.

Costs / Benefits

A once in a life-time experience.


You need to be able to swim. You must have a love for children and be able to teach subjects in a fun and interactive way. It is important that you are able to use your imagination to keep children focussed and engaged.

Booking / Enquiry

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