CAREER BREAK SURFING
Anyone can spend 12 weeks getting drunk on a beach, but when the sun tan and hangovers have subsided, you're not left with much. The Surf Instructor Course in Morocco is an exciting way to learn something new, experience a fantastic culture, feel part of a community, and make a difference. Throughout the 12 week course in Taghazout, you will become a fully qualified surf instructor, learn French, teach English in local schools, spend some time with a local berber family and live a stones throw away from the beach in one of the most sociable settings possible! Roof top parties, camp fires, heaps of friends from all over the world... You name it, we've got it.
Once you're a fully qualified surf instructor the world is your oyster. You can work in heaps of locations, in the sun and have an amazing, healthy lifestyle! The days of boring office jobs are over, so whether you're looking for a change of career, a gap year before university or work, or just wanting to have a little break, you can't go wrong with Surf Berbere!
- Surf everyday for 12 weeks and become a fully qualified surf instructor by the end of it.
- Accommodation, food, assessments, equipment rental is all included hassle free!
- Living with the other students in apartments and chilling out at the surf camp about 2 metres from the waves with a constant turn over of guests of all nationalities and backgrounds.
- Learn a language, help the community and have an unforgettable 3 months.
Become a fully qualified ASI surf instructor
Don’t worry if you can’t surf before you start. Our excellent instructors are all ASI qualified and will take you through every step so that you can go from zero to hero in 12 weeks. We run the ASI (Academy of Surfing Instructors) level 1 course in conjunction with the SLS (Surf Lifesavers Qualification). The ASI is the worlds leading surfing accreditation and training organisation. It is a globally recognised qualification which can lead to real paid jobs as a surf instructor all over the world. The SLS qualification is a beach lifeguard qualification specifically designed for surf life saving. Although by itself it may not seem that useful, it’s absolutely vital all surf instructors hold a valid qualification in surf life saving otherwise the ASI will not accredit them. At Surf Berbere we put both qualifications together in a nice hassle free course!
“Competence in the water”
Don’t be fooled by the laid back and chilled out vibe of the sport – surfing isn’t easy and it requires a good level of fitness and body strength. Even those who make it look easy train regularly regardless of conditions by practicing yoga, long distance paddling, and perfecting their techniques in and out of the water.
The ASI course is heavily focused on your competence and confidence in the water. You have to be able to catch green waves, turn left and right, and perform bottom and top turns but this won’t be a problem by the time of the assessments in week 8. What’s more important is that you look comfortable in the water. You’re not out of breath, you can get through the surf and you’re not a danger to others in the water. Our ASI instructors will make sure you get to this level though so don’t worry. As long as you’re willing to put the effort in, our instructors will show you how to be comfortable in harder surf!
Surfing is an extreme sport, often taught to those very young. With the ocean being so powerful and unpredictable at times, it’s only right that time is put aside to make sure all our surf instructors are also trained in surf life saving. The SLS Surf Coach Lifesaver course is designed to establish a standard which creates a level of lifesaving competence for surf coaches. Quite simply, you can’t legally instruct in most countries with out this as your minimum Surf Lifesaving qualification.
There will be a lot of focus on first aid as the level of first aid required is far greater than the majority of first aid courses. There's also a physical aspect to it with various exercises such as open water rescues and body drags. A few of the tasks will include swimming 200metres, rescuing students 150m away on a rescue board, leadership and teamwork skills along with a few hours of classroom study.
For a full run down of what will be required, check out our assessor's website here.
Getting in the teaching hours
Surf Berbere Surf Camp has on average 25 guests through each week with many of them taking lessons with our surf school. After the assessments are completed in week 8, you’ll spend most of the time not being taught, but doing the teaching! The ASI expects 25 hours of teaching before they can sign off on your qualification, however if you complete 40 hours with us, we’ll also give you a reference for your job hunt.
This final 2 or 3 weeks is often the most rewarding for students. You become part of the Surf Berbere team, attending the weekly surf instructor meetings and seeing how surf camps work behind the scenes. So long as you're willing to get involved, it puts you in great sted for getting a job in the future!
Learn French and teach English
Each week our French teacher visits the camp for an extensive (but not too demanding!) French lesson. The lessons are tailored to the group's standard and they happen in our beautiful berber tent at the surf camp overlooking the ocean or on the roof top terrace - it certainly beats any classroom you might have experienced before!
Since Morocco was a French protectorate until 1956 and as a result Morocco is a bi-lingual country with the majority of young people speaking French (the other official language is an Arabic dialect called Darija). Sign posts, newspapers, television shows are often found in French and all the staff at the surf school and surf camp speak French so there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in the language!
See more pics of our French lessons here!
‘Aftas Association’ was co-founded by Surf Berbere a few years back to help out the local schools with books and classroom equipment. During your 12 weeks in Taghazout you’ll work with ‘Aftas’ to teach English at the ‘Taghazout Ecole Superiere’ to children of the age ranges 11-16. To start with you’ll be one of the teaching assistants until you have the confidence to take your own class. Each week you’ll spend the afternoon at the school helping the local children study towards their baccalaureate in English!
You'll also have a chance to work with some of the adults in the community. Many adults are willing to learn international languages, but they didn't have the chance to when growing up. Working together yourselves, Surf Berbere and Aftas can help adults learn valuable language skills to increase their employability andhopefully their standard of living!
Don't worry about not having TEFL or any official teaching qualifications as they're not necessary for this course. All you need is a smart set of cloths, a positive outlook and willingness to teach!
Living at a surf camp
The Surf Berbere surf camp is one of the nicest and most sociable surf camps in the whole European and North African area. The camp itself is situated just 2 metres from the water’s edge (in big swell and high tides you have to time your exit so you don’t get wet!) and we have a beautiful roof terrace that over looks the whole of Taghazout!
An average week at the surf camp involves 25 guests from all over the world coming through for a high end surf holiday, so every single week there is a new pool of people to meet, chill, surf and party with! But don’t worry, the 12 week course guests have their own apartment a stones throw away from the surf camp should you feel like chilling out with your mates, a movie and a glass of wine one night.
Live with a local berber family (optional)
The Berbers are the indigenous people of North Africa. A very friendly group, always willing to accommodate and welcome you into their homes, you’ll spend a weekend in the hills with one of the families that Surf Berbere has grown very fond of and close to over the years. See how a traditional household is run, cook traditional berber food, help out on the farm and experience the simple life for just a weekend (longer if you’d like of course!)
We have an all local team of berber chefs and boy can they cook! All your food is included in the price of the course to make it completely hassle free. Breakfast is served at our beach front café over looking the waves – an absolutely perfect way to start a days surfing. Lunch is usually served at the beach as sandwiches, rice, salad, BBQ etc. Dinners are served on our beautiful roof top terrace overlooking Taghazout at sunset. Big hearty meals for surfers is on the menu with a mix of traditional berber cuisine such as couscous and Tajines on some nights, and big BBQ’s of fish, kebabs and homemade burgers on other nights.
Helping with finding work:
With our large network of contacts in the surf school industry, we can offer assistance in finding a job in all sorts of locations around the world! Previous guests of Surf Berbere Gap Years have found work in Morocco, UK, Norway, Portugal, Costa Rica and most recently the Dominican Republic!
Zero to Hero
Don’t worry if you’ve never surfed before – that’s what this course is for! Zero to hero courses take people who have never surfed before all the way through to instructor level in 12 weeks! Our instructors are excellent and will be there each step of the way.
Getting in the teaching hours
The actual assessments won’t be the last thing you do on this course. Once you’ve passed the assessments, you’ll then join the Surf Berbere team of surf instructors to get the 40 hours of coaching time required to become fully qualified. This is the part of the course that makes you very employable as you’ll have the experience of teaching at a recognised surf school as opposed to having just got your qualifications!
Extra activities in the area
During those rare occasions when Poseidon and Neptune don’t smile upon us and the waves cease to exist we are not left twiddling our thumbs and practicing our Eskimo rolls. We can take you off to Immouzer or as the locals call it - Paradise Valley. There is only one road in the village. The friendly inhabitants and the simple houses make it clear you are well off the beaten track. Chill out in tranquility and seclusion of the waterfalls. Take a plunge in the rock pools, or trek through the forests – something of a rarity in Morocco.
If you need a break from the physical demands of the surf, relax and treat yourself to a four handed massage at the local hammam! Want to get a few gifts for back home? We’ll take you to the Agadir Souks or if you want to see the local countryside a little more jump on a camel. Why not go for a horse ride along the beach at full gallop! We organise quad biking excursions through the dunes of the Massa game park for the petrolheads out there as well. When you arrive at the surf camp, just ask the manager for information on all of these options and we will set you on your way for your action packed surf holiday.
How about a yoga session after a long day's surf? Our professional instructors takes sessions at the luxury apartment complex overlooking Killer Point. The gardens have views that overlook both Anchor Point and Killer Point and the sunset sessions provide the perfect way to stretch down those aching muscles.
We also want you to have a real Moroccan experience. As fantastic as Taghazout is, Morocco is one of the worlds most culturally, socially and geographically diverse countries in the world!
Marrakech – welcome to the mayhem! Marrakech is one of the most exciting cities in the world offering everything from film festivals, grand-prix, fashion weekends and an amazing night life. One of the religious capitals, it’s managing to modernise in a way suited to Morocco’s religion and culture as opposed to modernising through western influence. It’s a remarkable place to wander around and take in the sights, sounds and smells of real Morocco.
We'll be taking you to Marrakech for a couple of nights after your assessments for a well earned rest. Your accommodation and breakfast will be included but please note that meals won't be inluded here. We recommend you take about £10 per day for lunch and dinners in Marrakech.
Essaouira – Essaouira has a rich history and some incredible culture all influenced by the numerous countries that have once occupied this beautiful fortified town. There’s a real fresh and clean feel to Essaouira as you walk around the Medina and the rapparts overlooking the atlantic. Although surfing isn’t great in this town, kit surfing and windsurfing is! It’s also a great place to buy a few souvenirs for home without the hassle of Marrakech.
Again, meals won't be included in this trip so please budget for that.
Immsoune – Taghazout about 30 years ago is what many say about Immsoune. A rustic little fishing village about 90 minutes north of Taghazout with some of the countries best surf and tastiest sea food! There are two main spots – the bay and cathedrals. On it's day the bay is one of the best beginner breaks you’ll ever see. Perfect peeling right hand points offering rides of upto 90 seconds on a good day. Cathedrals is not for the feint hearted; an open north facing beach picking up all the swell that the Atlantic throws at it.
Tifnit – About 30km south of Agadir is the old fishing village of Tifnit you can drive through here without even realising you’ve arrived! Just a few huts and houses litter the ocean front and it’s 4km long beach. It’s also one of the worlds largest sanctuaries of bald ibis!
It's a stunning place to relax and remember why you came to Morocco in the first place - beautiful scenery, great surf and awesome people.
Paradise Valley - We take you off to Immouzer or as the locals call it - Paradise Valley. There is only one road in the village. The friendly inhabitants and the simple houses make it clear you are well off the beaten track. Chill out in tranquility and seclusion of the waterfalls. Take a plunge in the rock pools, or trek through the forests – something of a rarity in Morocco.
Dates and Prices
Below are the dates for the next 3 courses
Sept 2013: 15 Sept - 8th Dec
Jan 2014: 12 Jan - 6th April
Sept 2014: 14th Sept - 7th Dec
The cost of the course is £4500. Booking far enough in advance will entitle you to an earlybird discount.
We require 20% deposit to confirm your place and the remaining balance can be paid in installments upto one month before the course start date.
The course fees include:
- Accommodation for the duration of the course
- Free use of all Surf Berbere kit hire all day every day.
- 3 meals a day when in Taghazout
- Transfers to the spots 6 days a week
- Surf instruction from our ASI coaches 6 days a week (on average 4 hours contact time per day)
- Return Agadir airport transfers.
- Trips to Marrakech and Essaouira.
- Video analysis of your surfing
- Trips to Immsoune and Tifnit
- 2 hours of French classes each week
- Stay with a Berbere family (optional)
- ASI assessment and SLS assessment
- Donation to Aftas Association
- Travel insurance
We recommend bringing £100-£150 per month spending money.