Surf Lesson

Surf Lessons with waves in Toronto, ON, Canada

Only students who have taken a Flat Water Intro to Surf or a surf lesson with waves with us before will be eligible to participate in a surf lesson with waves. Our regular Flat Water Intro to Surf programming will be offered again from June 1st to August 31st in 2024.  
Please sign up for the surf school mailing list for updates.


Learn to surf on the Great Lakes! You’ll be in safe hands with our ISA-certified surf instructors with a wealth of experience with teaching and many more surfing. 

Surf Lessons with waves Toronto, ON, Canada. Learn to surf on the Great Lakes

Conditions are checked daily. With potential lessons on the forecast, an email will be sent out to the list of students who have taken a Flat Water Intro to Surf Clinic or a Surf Lesson with Waves with us before within a few days of the projected lesson. A follow up confirmation will be sent to all the evening before the lesson. We’ll meet you at the beach, with all equipment provided all you have to do is bring your stoke. The entire experience lasts approximately 2 hours and includes:

  • Surfboard and wetsuit rentals
  • Dry land lesson covering safety, surf conditions and correct technique.
  • In water coaching, adapting and developing from the dry land lesson.
Please visit our FAQ page for more information about surfing on the Greats and our surf school.

SKILL LEVELS: Beginner, and intermediate surfers
PREREQUISITE: All beginner surfers taking a surf lesson with waves with us must take a Flat Water Intro to Surf clinic before. Intermediate surfers who wish to skip this requirement will be asked to supply photographic/video documentation of surfing experience to fulfill all requisites in our White Fin Skill Level in our classification system. (see information below). Our coaches will assess your photographs and will make a decision.








    *Weather dependent. We reserve the right to cancel or change the class if we feel that the safety of our participants is at risk. Pricing does not include HST.
    Our surf lessons with waves happen from Hamilton to Cobourg on Lake Ontario for the GTA, and from Port Stanley to Port Colborne on Lake Erie for the Simcoe/Niagara Region.

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    Surf Lessons with waves Toronto, ON, Canada. Learn to surf on the Great Lakes


    Getting Skunked

    Whether you are travelling Southern Africa in search for the longest wave, Central America for the perfect beach break or hoping for the ever elusive barrel of your life in Hawaii, you are always hoping the waves perform. For those who have travelled looking for waves, you know too well that a bit of luck comes into play wherever you are.

    The Great Lakes are no different. With years of experience in forecasting waves, our success rates are pretty high. However, there are still the occasional day when we get skunked. Furthermore, determining the right conditions to perform a lesson on the lakes is extremely challenging, forcing us to having to adapt according to the conditions we find. In the unlikely event that a surf lesson isn’t possible due to wave conditions, then a ‘Flat Water Intro to Surf’ clinic will be provided. This lesson will take you through a theory and dry land lesson that begins like any surf lesson, from safety and conditions, the differences from ocean to lake and a detailed instruction proper surfing techniques. This includes paddling techniques, turtle rolling, popping-up, correct stance and more. And yes, we will get out on the water and put this to practice, with our instructors right by your side helping you perfect these skills. With this option you will be charged the $65 + HST (cost of a Flat Water Intro to Surf class and wetsuit rentals), and the remaining balance refunded to your account.

    For questions please contact us at

    Surf Lessons with waves Toronto, ON, Canada. Learn to surf on the Great Lakes


    White Fin Surf Level Surf the Greats
    • Knowing all parts of the board;
    • Demonstrating board control and properly entering and exiting the water;
    • Practicing board control in whitewater (i.e. paddling, turning, catching waves, accelerating and decelerating speed prone and standing);
    • Shallow water dismounting from prone and from standing;
    • Traversing left and right in the white water;
    • Straight takeoffs;
    • Having the awareness and basic understanding of what to do when you encounter a rip current;
    • Independently catching broken waves;
    • Understanding currents and being aware of your positioning (setting landmarks);
    • Having basic whitewater etiquette for when it’s your turn, avoiding bumping into people, staying out of people’s way and safely catching waves.


    Blue Fin Level Surf the Greats
    • Paddling through broken waves;
    • Being comfortable in the water, out of your depth, and in the impact zone;
    • Demonstrating surf etiquette when catching unbroken waves;
    • Unbroken wave selection (ie. Identifying lefts, rights, and closeouts)
    • Surfing both forehand and backhand on unbroken waves;
    • Trimming and carving left and right on unbroken waves;
    • Pressing up on the board to get through white water, and performing turtle roll/duck dive;
    • Generating speed and slowing down;
    • Staying calm after wipeouts when underwater or when a large set is approaching;
    • Performing angled take offs and bottom turns;
    • Starting to perform cutbacks;
    • Grabbing rail on steeper takeoff;
    • Getting out of dangerous situations by yourself.


    STG Purple Fin Classification System
    • Linking turns;
    • Comfortable surfing overhead conditions and heavier waves;
    • Fully competent at reading a set and predicting where and when it will break;
    • Great understanding of wave selection, knowing which direction the wave is breaking, the turn that is required and when to generate speed or to stall;
    • Performing the following:
      • Popping up at the top of the wave before making the drop
      • Snaps
      • Floaters and completing into next turn or to finish off the wave;
      • Closeout turns;
      • Grab rail turns;
      • Roundhouse cutbacks;
      • Getting the board above the lip;
      • Hang 5;
      • Reverse entry;
      • Cross step turns;
    • Being comfortable at surfing over shallow reef or rocks;
    • Getting out of dangerous situations by yourself;
    • Being able to read when others are in dangerous situations and how to rescue them when it is required;
    • Having enough knowledge and experience to teach someone how to surf and to coach other surfers.


    Black Fin Surf Level Surf the Greats
    • Competing in amateur or professional level surf competitions;
    • Big wave surfing;
    • Vertical surfing;
    • Completion of a variety of aerials and progressive surfing maneuvers;
    • Barrel riding;
    • Lay backs;
    • Fin releases;
    • Coaching amateur and professional athletes for competitions. 

    Terms & Conditions


    The health and safety of our community members and staff is of the utmost importance to us at all times. In light of growing concerns regarding the spread of the COVID-19 virus, we want to assure you that we have been closely monitoring updates from The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as they relate to COVID-19 and implementing appropriate additional health and safety recommendations as necessary.

    What we’re doing:

    • Reducing the number of customers at the shop and in our clinics at any given time
    • Removing indoor seating at the shop until further notice
    • Wearing face masks when interacting with customers and other employees
    • Increasing the frequency of our shop deep cleans
    • Continuing with our regular sanitation of surfaces
    • Disinfecting all surfaces, door handles, rental equipment and shared areas regularly with Benefect—a hospital grade, non-toxic disinfectant
    • Quarantining products and equipment that have been tried on or used by customers for a period of 48 hours prior to putting it back into circulation
    • Adding sanitizing stations for all to use throughout our spaces
    • Educating our staff and community members on best hygiene practices

    What we’re asking of you:

    • Use your own equipment for clinics and and workshops whenever possible
    • Wear a face mask when coming into the shop or while attending our clinics
    • Stay at home if you are feeling ill and unwell
    • Washing your hands with soap for at least 30 seconds or using our hand sanitizer frequently
    • Minimize person-to-person contact
    • Cough into a tissue, your shirt, or the crease of your elbow
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth 


    You can cancel your class online or through our app up to 24 hours before class start time to avoid losing the class. We do not accept email or phone cancellations. If you have not canceled your class, you will receive an email the following day to advise you that you have been late canceled.


    Our late cancel policies are based on student feedback to help create a more fluid and relaxing sign in. If we hold a spot for you and you don’t show up it means that someone else could not get into the class and this is frustrating for people who have made the time to show up. 

    NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS are given for classes missed. 

    We cannot make individual exceptions. You have until 24 hours before class starts to add yourself in or remove yourself based on your schedule, so you can always wait until you know you can definitely make it to save your spot!


    All sales are final and not eligible for a refund unless Surf the Greats cannot meet its commitment to deliver a class. You have up to 24 hours to cancel or reschedule a class, and your account will be credited. Credits are non-transferable and may be used toward other workshops or products in-store and online. Cash refunds can only be issued if Surf the Greats cannot meet its commitment to deliver a class. NO REFUNDS OR CREDITS are given for classes missed. 


    Our goal is to create a space for as many students as possible in every single class we offer, without overcrowding the class or letting space go to waste unnecessarily. In order to do that for each of you, we have a few guidelines in place:


    All spaces are available to book online up to 14 days in advance and pre-registration is required to guarantee a spot in your favourite classes. Pre-registration is available through our MindBody online app. 


    Even when a class appears full, you may, and should, add yourself to the waitlist. When a cancellation is made, the first name on the wait list gets automatically added to the class, and you receive an automatic email and/or text message at the time. Once you get added to the class from the waitlist you become responsible for attending or canceling.


    If you are not signed in at the desk or at the beach within 10 min before class starts and there are students hoping and waiting for a spot in class, we open the available spots in class to those who are on the waitlist, and your reservation might thus be forfeited. We also start our classes on time and will not accept any late entry to classes.


    Surf the Greats has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination based on age, gender, sexuality, mental or physical disability, body type, race, religion or political belief.