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Frequently Asked Questions

Where will we be surfing? Our Surf Lesson will take place in the Northland, Matakana & Mount Maunganui regions, typically we hold surf lessons on Northland's Tutukaka Coast, Mount Maunganui or Matakana's Tawharanui Regional Park. O'Neill Surf Academy NZ are privialge to be the only surf school with a concession.


How big are the groups? Group sizes vary depending on the level of ability and booking on that day. Typically, tuition is provided along the industry guideline of a maximum ratio of 1:10. Here at O'Neill Surf Academy NZ you'll find our group sizes smaller than the industry standard at 1:8 ratio. For 1-1 and Private Small Group Lessons it will just be you and your Surf Coach.


Will I get a wetsuit? Yes, we’ll provide you with an O’Neill wetsuit on the day and have all shapes and sizes. You’re welcome to bring your own wetsuit..


Will I get a surfboard? Yes of course. We use Vision Softboards ranging from 6ft to 9ft for our beginners and intermediates. The Visions perform being soft, durable, safe and fun. We have a selection of hard boards for experienced surfers.


Can I bring my own surfboard and wetsuit? If you have your own surfboard or wetsuit that you'd like to bring along please feel free to do so.


Can I keep hold of my equipment after my lesson to practice? We also have a great hire facility where after your lesson your instructor can find you the right equipment you need to head out and practice and make some progression. Hire is available for a few hours.


Are there any age limits? The minimum age we accept for children learning to surf is 6 years. We cannot accept children younger than this. There is no upper age limit.


Do I need to be able to swim? It's ideal if you can swim 50 metres. If you are a non-swimmer or have limited swimming ability then please inform us upon booking so we can make additional arrangements to ensure you are looked after and we have sufficient coaching cover. Lessons are typically held in waist deep water, which make the activity safe and fun regardless of your swimming ability.


What is the Water Temperature in Northland, Matakana & Mount Maunganui? Summer 18 – 22 degrees. Winter 15 – 18 degrees. Our O'Neill wetsuits will keep you nice and toasty.


Are there sharks in New Zealand? There are many types of sharks in New Zealand like the rest of the world. The chances of encountering a dangerous shark are very rare, then the chances of being attacked are extremely slim as humans are not their natural prey. We may see the occasional dolphin which is very exciting. Our surf coaches will be close by throughout the whole lesson.


What if it Rains? We can surf in just about all weather conditions including rain, we’ll be getting wet anyway so why not enjoy one of the few all weather sports.


Do you cancel Surf Lessons? It’s very rare that we cancel a lesson. We only cancel if there is insufficient surf or extreme weather conditions such as a cyclone or tsunami warning. Being mobile allows us to surf beaches suitable to the conditions. In the event cancellation we will reschedule the lesson, if this is inconvenient we will give you a surf voucher valid for 1 year.


How do I pay for a lesson? We have a several options for payment. You can pay by Credit Card, Internet Banking or Cash. To book by Credit Card simply click on a ‘Book Now’ option, this will click through to ‘Book It’ a secure payment gateway for payment. Alternatively give us a call/email to organise other payment options.


What happens during the surf lesson?

We offer different types of coaching during your lesson, but typically we’ll:

  -  Meet at the agreed beach location 10 minutes prior to the lesson

  -  Sign Surf Enrolment Form

  -  Receive Wetsuit & Surfboard

  -  Hit the beach (15-20minute beach lesson)

  -  Intro to surf safety / Equipment analysis /Wave catching / Standing techniques / Surf posture.

  -  Hit the sea to put it into practice and catch lots of waves.

  -  De-brief on what you have learned.


Kids Only Holiday Surf Programme


How old does my Child have to be to attend the Kids Only Holiday Surf Programmes?

The Holiday Surf Programmes are for children aged 6 - 17 years. For insurance purposes we cannot accommodate children under 6 years of age. We have a minimum size wetsuit for our kids only surf school so if you child is a particularly small 6 year old please tell a member of staff when booking. We reserve the right to refuse booking of any child who we believe to be under 6 years of age.


Does my child need to be able to swim?

We require all of our students to have a basic swimming ability. If you child is a non-swimmer or not confident in the water then please discuss this with a member of staff before booking your surfing course commences.


Does my child need to wear a lifejacket?

Lifejackets are not necessary for our water based activities. Children are provided with a wetsuit and surfboard (both of which act as flotation aids). All our children's lessons are conducted in under waist deep water with coaches who are qualified surf lifesavers.


Can we leave the children with you for the day? 

A Parent/Guardian MUST remain within the beach vicinity at all times during your child's surf lesson. We ask that you are available help them into their wetsuits, and are available 10 minutes before the end of the lesson to help your child change.




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O'Neill Surf Academy 

Contact Information

Surf Packages

O'Neill Surf Academy NZ

66 Te Maika Road, Ngunguru, NZ


p  09 434 3843

m 027 7344877

e  surf@oneillsurfacademy.co.nz

w  www.oneillsurfacademy.co.nz

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