Includes: body boarding, long boarding, short boarding, water, sea, Outdoors, Adventurous, Sports, Water

Activity time:
1 meeting


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Ride the waves

Learning to catch waves - or even stand up on a surf board - is a challenge the girls in your unit will be proud to conquer. And once they do, they'll experience the thrill of exploring the ocean through surfing.


Surfing involves using purpose-made boards to ride waves in the sea.

To take girls surfing, you will need to find a reputable local activity provider with a qualified instructor.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

You can verify the quality of a provider by checking it has one of the following endorsements: AALA, Adventuremark or LotC Quality Badge for Adventure. These endorsements are not applicable in Northern Ireland, where you should ask your local Outdoor Activities Adviser to recommend an approved provider.

See safety regulations below for more information on water safety.

You will need to find a Surf England-registered coach holding one of the following recognised surf coaching and water safety qualifications:

To do surfing, girls must be able to:

  • swim 50 metres
  • keep afloat for five minutes in the clothes normally worn for the activity.

Girls may fulfil these rules wearing a buoyancy aid or life jacket when either is required for the activity.

If a girl has a medical condition that will affect her ability to swim, ensure that you inform the instructor and make provision to allow her to participate safely.

The Leader must:

  • make sure that safety rules and alarm signals have been explained to the girls, and the need for instructions to be obeyed immediately
  • make sure the required buoyancy aids/life jackets are used
  • follow water safety guidelines and ensure that the responsible adult helpers are familiar with them.

Water should be inspected for signs of visible pollution, for example rubbish, blue green algae or chemicals.

Make sure girls and parents are aware of the dangers and symptoms of Weil's disease and what action to take if infection is suspected. On the day of the activity participants should be advised to cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters to help prevent infection.

See our guidance on water activities.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed
The ratio for surfing and swimming in open-water is one adult to every five girls, with a minimum of two adults for all sections.


  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities