15 Reasons Why You Should Book Your Surf Trip With A Reputable Brand

If your Instagram feed is anything like ours, it’s full of incredible female surfers, pumping waves and a whole heap of targeted ads for surf lessons, retreats and holidays.

But, how can you tell what’s really behind all the Instagram shine? What sets a great surf camp apart, and what should you look for before you book?


Women + Waves is a Pioneer of the Female Surf Camp Industry


Women + Waves is proud to be a female-focused business, with a proven track record of running the best international surf camps out there. We’re not just ‘in’ the industry, we’re totally invested in it. Among the original pioneers of the female surf camp industry, we continue to develop and improve, constantly expanding our reach, adding new courses, activities and trip destinations. 

Here are 15 reasons why our Women + Waves camps are the best surf trips:

1. We are an Owner Operated Business (which means we care a lot)

Our 2 founders, Rachel Murphy and Rob Barber, share a passion for international surf travel and have been on the ground to set up every camp in person; they’ve stayed in every hotel, eaten at all the restaurants and sussed out all the best waves. They can’t get enough of it and still act as trip leaders whenever they can, Rachel for the W+W gals and Rob for the ladies and gents at our sister company Bodyboard Holidays – it’s one of the perks of being the boss! We are the furthest thing you can get from a faceless holiday company. Book with us and you’ll get to know us, and we’ll get to know you!

2. We have 15+ years of experience running international surf camps

Rachel is the creative spark and visionary behind Women + Waves, she’s a Cornish surfer and bodyboarder who’s been working as an instructor since she was 16. Rachel learnt from the ground up in the luxury surf travel industry and put this all into practice when she founded Women + Waves in 2017.

Rob has been around the globe a few times over the years. As a past European and British Bodyboarding Champion Rob has worked his way around some of the most exotic locations in the world competing in bodyboarding’s biggest events.

Our sister company Bodyboard Holidays has been running surf camps in these destinations for over 15 years, so we work closely with the locals, understand the culture, and know all the best waves; this helps ensure that our guests experience the best that each destination has to offer.

3. We find the best ‘bucket list’ destinations

Our aim is to deliver the surf trip of a lifetime, so we don’t follow the market, we lead it. Our trips are different and special, they break the mould, raise the roof and blow your mind. Discovering our surf camp locations is all part of the fun; we assume nothing and insist on sussing it all out first-hand. We have tried and tested the waves of course, but even if you took surfing off the table, you’d be spoiled for choice with all the other incredible activities at your fingertips. From jungle hikes, swimming underneath magical waterfalls, snorkelling amongst manta rays, sunset paddleboarding, surf-inspired yoga sessions, cultural excursions and temple tours, there will never be a dull moment.

4. Timing is everything

In terms of scheduling, we do our research thoroughly by collecting a huge amount of data, and analysing previous forecasts and weather patterns. Nothing in the natural world is guaranteed, but we want to offer you the best possible chance of riding the waves of your life.

5. We have a team of wonder women

Alongside Rachel who loves to attend as many camps as she can, we’re stoked to have a phenomenal team of international trip leaders, Courtenay, Maya, Fred, Jodie, Chelsea and Nette. These ladies are super experienced, uber qualified, and will be your all-around best gal pals on the trip. Our trip leaders have incredible attention to detail and will sweat the small stuff to ensure the trip runs perfectly; so you can just concentrate on surfing your socks off. Our Trip Leaders run daily surf theory workshops and video analysis sessions, as well as teach surf skating, host dinners and arrange snorkel tours, jungle treks and all sorts of shenanigans…

6. Daily 1 to 1 review with your Women + Waves Trip Leader

We’re 100% invested in you, your surfing and your enjoyment of the trip. Every day you’ll have a 1 to 1 review with your trip leader to see how she can help you maximise your time at camp; she could give you extra coaching on your surf technique, help you plan a snorkel trip or give some additional surf skating tips.

7. We work with local surf legends in every destination

In addition to your epic Trip Leader, we partner with pillars of the local surf community; local surfers and qualified instructors who’ve grown up riding these waves, know all the local secrets and are excited to give you the backstage VIP experience. With the likes of Jodie in Barbados and Rendy in Nusa Lembongan, it’s these long-term, solid connections to the local community that make our camps so distinctive and successful. You won’t feel like a tourist on the outside looking in, and you won’t get ripped off or fobbed off; you’ll get the inside track to the best waves, restaurants and sundowner spots that only the locals know. Prepare to be immersed in culture and treated like a local from start to finish.

8. Small group with unbeatable ratios

Our camps offer an intimate, personalised and quality experience, an environment where you’ll be seen as an individual on land and coached as an individual in the ocean. We make an effort to build relationships with each of our guests, and we pride ourselves on tailoring our coaching to match your ability and preferred learning style. We usually cap our camps at around 10 guests, so it’s very much a family vibe where close bonds are forged. In terms of ratios in the water, the industry standard is 1 instructor to 8 students (1:8), but on our trips, it’s usually a maximum of 1:4, and at times, like in El Salvador often 1:2. This means you’ll get more waves, more time with your instructor, more personalised coaching, more constructive feedback on your progression and more opportunities to transform your surfing.

9. Our photography package is best in class

Photography is a big part of what we do. It’s a coaching tool and we will be collecting footage of you from land, sea and sometimes from the air; we have all angles covered! Every day we’ll run post-surf video analysis sessions; it’s humbling, but watching yourself in action is hands down the fastest way to progress. You’ll also get to take home an awesome photo and video package of your surf sessions, so that’s an awesome bonus too.

10. Daily surf theory workshops

We’ll cover everything from ocean safety and building confidence in the waves to tips on bodysurfing, breathing techniques and surf etiquette. We’ll also ensure you get comfortable surf forecasting, increase your knowledge on equipment (the right board for you and building a quiver), learn to duck dive and turtle roll, and so much more…

11. We are fully Insured

We are fully insured surf camp providers, giving you the peace of mind you need for stress-free travel. We recommend you also take out your own individual travel insurance, however, please be assured that all of our activities are risk-assessed and insured.

12. The Safety Stuff

We have safety protocols that we follow during the camp and carry out a dynamic risk assessment daily. Our local partners also have operating procedures and emergency action plans for any eventuality. Our team completes emergency scenario training, and we are constantly reviewing and improving our processes.  We do all that we reasonably can to ensure our guests are safe in transit to and from the airport, in the water and at the accommodation.

13. Surf Skate workshops

Learn this super fun sport which is taking the surf community by storm (all kit is supplied). Surf skating is an invaluable tool to develop the dynamic body movements you require during surfing. It helps you improve your balance, generate speed and navigate through turns. Our instructors will deliver a series of drills that enable you to practise toe and heel control, opening your shoulders and using your arms to draw clean lines through your turns. These workshops will increase your time spent on a board simulating these manoeuvres, which in turn, will increase your balance, strengthen your muscle memory and increase your rate of progression on a surfboard.

14. Eat like a queen

Enjoying the delicious local cuisine is a big part of any trip overseas, so don’t worry we’ve factored in time for feasting. We’ve tried and tested all the local restaurants and will guide you to our favourite spots. From street food to fine dining, our destinations have it all. Kick back and relax with your gal pals, relive the waves and the wipeouts, and build a connection with a phenomenal group of like-minded women.

15. Join our tribe of saltwater women

Our network of wonderful surfing women is a fellowship unlike any other. Our ladies come from all locations, backgrounds and age brackets, and amongst them, you’ll find like-minded passion, common ground and beautiful female support. We’re sponsored by Rip Curl and have partnered with H&M on a clothing collaboration, so everyone knows we’ve got the best merch. But most importantly, beneath the glossy exterior, we’re a female collective of substance, we’ve got high standards and a distinct vision and we surf from the soul.

If you’d like to join us on an upcoming surf camp, then you can check our availability here!

Ask the audience. Want to find out what our recent surf gals thought of their camps? Read our reviews, we have 108 Tripadvisor reviews and 137 Google reviews that are all 5 stars.

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