About Surf South West

Surf South West is an award wining business operating two surf schools in North Devon and surf holidays to Portugal and Sri Lanka. Surf South West was the first surf school based on Croyde Beach and the first surf school in the UK to be 'Centre of Excellence' status by Surfing GB. This accolade was awarded in recognition that Surf South West has the highest standards of surfing coaching.  

front of surf school, rude car park, croyde

We are the only surf school operating on two of Devon's best surfing beaches: Croyde Bay and Saunton Sands. Both surf schools are located just steps from the sand and being only 45 minutes from the M5, our North Devon surfing beaches are the closest in the South West to London, the Midlands and the North of England. Our spectacular Atlantic coastline is renowned for excellent surf, bays of golden sand and breathtaking scenery. Both beaches enjoy a famed reputation for the consistency of the surf and a spectacular setting. Many of our customers return to Croyde and Saunton year after year enjoying the area's unrivalled beauty and fantastic surf. Please click here for all the info on our surf lessons.

How We Started

Surf South West was established in 1996 and the surf school was set up by Darren Burrett, an experienced surfer and instructor. Born and raised in Devon, Darren began his surf coaching career in Queensland, teaching Australians to surf. On his return to the UK he set up Surf South West with assistance from The Princes Youth Business Trust and from these small beginnings, Surf South West is now internationally recognised as a provider of surfing courses in the UK and have gone on to run surf courses and holidays in France, Portugal, Lanzarote, Morocco, Costa Rica, South Africa and Sri Lanka. Darren is still at the helm of Surf South West today.

Surf South West has always strived to offer a professional and rewarding experience with the emphasis on ensuring that learning to surf is enjoyable and fun. 

Croyde Bay


We offer 'Learn to Surf' courses for beginners surfing lessons, 'Improvement' courses, 'Expert' coaching for advanced surfing lessons, 'One to One' coaching, 'Girl Only' weekends and 'Longboard' coaching. Our training centre also runs RLSS Beach Lifeguard courses and Surf Instructor courses and candidates from all over Europe have attended these courses to begin a career working on the beach.


Croyde Bay Beach

surf at Croyde bay

Croyde beach is one of the finest beaches in the UK and has been the location of the British Surfing Championships on three occasions. The village of Croyde is a picture postcard location of traditional thatched cottages, surf shops, restaurants and pubs. The village offers a range of accommodation catering for all budgets including a number of campsites, cottages, B&Bs and hotels. Three busy pubs provide good food and entertainment, great places to relax and relive the day.


Saunton, a three mile stretch of sand backed by dunes (awarded Unesco Heritage Biosphere status) is another popular surfing location separated from Croyde by a small headland. The Surfing Europe guide book has this to say about Saunton, 'A great place for beginners and longboarders as the waves peel gently.' A perennial favourite with families it is also a dog-friendly beach.

croyde bay and saunton sands

Other activities and attractions

Horse Riding, Coastal Walking, Cascades Leisure Pool, Golf, Cycling.

Day Trips

The Eden Project, Exmoor, Lundy Island, Dartmoor, Clovelly.