Coast to Coast Surf School

2024 is a special year for us, as it marks our 20th Anniversary since Coast to Coast Surf School was established in Dunbar. It seems like yesterday when we had our first lesson at Belhaven!

The surf school now operates annually on Scotland’s West, North and East coastlines.

At the route of all our lessons, courses and tours, is that we genuinely care that our customers have the best time possible. Whether it’s wearing super warm wetsuits or getting that extra bit of help to stand its really important to us.

At the centre of our company we have four main aims 

  • Continue to promote and create a positive and inclusive watersports community! With a growing surfing and multi-watersports community a smile in the water goes a long way! We create this positive way of thinking with all our staff and it feeds through our lessons and tours into the wider community. We also host relaxed surf and paddleboarding competitions to bring our community together. 
  • Create a centre of excellence in surf sports from first time beginner to national team athlete. We want to give our young surfers the best opportunity to become great watermen/ women whether they are surfers, bodyboarders, longboarders,  bodysurfers, paddle boarders, kitesurfer or kayakers. But more than that to become great ambassadors for our area, helping to set a positive vibe, be encouraging to all, protect our coast and provide an element of safety for others in the water. We are well on the way to this with the current generation of high performance Dunbar and North Berwick juniors of 12-17yr olds we coach with the Belhaven Surf Club doing well in national competitions and setting a good tone locally
  • Provide quality education in Safety in the sea and understand the importance of  protecting our environment. With more people with less experience entering the sea there is more danger and it’s important to educate the new. We offer safety advice both in the centre and in classes and we have both the RNLI and local lifesaving organisations offering more detailed courses annually at the centre. We also have a stunning coastline that can be enjoyed and respected, protected and nurtured by all. Again education within classes and experience in nature helps and again at the centre we have partner organisations such as Wilder Outdoor Education that take this environmental message one step further. 
  • Explore Scotlands wonderful coastline in as low impact way as possible. We are genuinely really lucky to live in a country with so much coastline and so few people. It’s really important to protect what we have for future generations and if possible be respectful to the areas we visit. We operate both a physical no trace and digital no trace policy on our travels and have done for close to two decades.

Customers, Community & Sustainability

are central at Coast to Coast Surf School

As a family run business, we have grown organically with a philosophy where staff and customers are central. Most of our customers come from recommendations.

We recognise knowledge is key in our staff and we run safety and lesson based training right down to our youngest junior assistants. Concentrating on developing talented young staff over years has helped us keep high quality knowledge in-house. As our young staff as they mature become excellent instructors and have also gained so many positive life skills and confidence to working and learning with our senior staff. Trust and investment in youth is really important and rewarding and has created a very positive family vibe in our team. 

Many of our staff continue to compete in surf and paddleboarding competitions. In 2023 success by Clover won the national universities title in 2023 and 2nd in women National ladies shortboarding. Sam represented Scotland at the Europeans in Portugal in longboarding in 2023. And two of our assistants Ansel and Charlie represented Scotland in Brazil at World Junior surfing level having won or placed highly at national junior level.

Josh still holds our staffs greatest honour, with a senior European Bodyboard finalist position placing 4th in 2019 (the first ever Scottish surfer to make a European final).  

Community and the environment are central to our vision for the next decade.

The creation with local enthusiastic parents of the Belhaven Surf Club high performance junior team has helped this ladder of performance further and we already has a few national champions and junior series winners! The surf club is now a central part in the local community too and is growing with a really nice community vibe.

We built the Belhaven Surf Centre in 2019 and we are lucky enough to have been supported by so many good people in the community and although unfortunate timing with the pandemic meant it shut for two years, it is now really flourishing – starting to really show its potential as quite a unique community surf building, with inclusive surfing, surf lifesaving, outdoor education, safety training, community meetings, yoga, performance surfing and watersports all under one roof Belhaven Surf Centre 

We’ve done our first carbon footprint draft of Coast to Coast Surf School – putting in place strategies to work towards net zero. Its not easy but we are glad we have made a start and each year we are making positive steps such as supporting local tree planting, buying in samples for natural rubber stock wetsuits or helping to get solar panels on the surf centre. See our sustainability page to learn more.

Meet the Team

at Coast to Coast Surf School

Sam

Hey! I'm Sam. I've run Coast to Coast Surf School since 2004. I am a trained Beach Lifeguard, ASI level 3 Surf and Paddleboard Instructor . In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, free surfing, climbing and adventure sports. I've been in and out of the Scottish National Surf team for most of my life, being in the top 3 top Scottish longboarders for the last decade.

Josh

Aloha! I’m a senior instructor at C2C Surf School. I’ve been enjoying surf sports since I was a young child on holiday in Cornwall and I’ve been surfing and exploring in Scotland since my teenage years. Over the years I have competed in, long board, short board, SUP and bodyboard with my best result making the Euro Finals for the Scotland team in Bodyboard. For the last few winters I have been migrating like a bird to Spain where I run Coast to Coast Spain!

Clover

Hey, I'm Clover. I'm 21 years old and when I'm not surfing I spend my time studying Fine art at university. I got into surfing at age 5, spending my younger years learning to surf at Coast to Coast. I was lucky enough to be selected for a local surf squad at 12 which then led me to spend the last 8 years competing in National Surf Competitions.

Malcolm

Hey I’m Malcolm! I’m an instructor in Surfing and Coasteering. I actually learnt how to surf on our Junior courses. I’ve worked here since I was 14 so I really have grown up around C2C! I’m now finishing my undergraduate degree at Glasgow University. In my time in Glasgow I’ve been Captain of the University surf club as well as this I won the Scottish Universities surf championships.

Chris

Age is no barrier – that’s my philosophy on life. Young at heart if not in body (any more). I qualified as an instructor in 2021 but volunteering with Coast to Coast for many years and surfing since 1984. Favourite part of the job is seeing beginners stand up for the first time and shout for joy. I also enjoy working with our talented squad of junior surfers. They keep me motivated.

Ebon

Hi, I'm Ebon! I have been surfing since I was about ten and I love it. I compete in surfing competitions all over Scotland. Last summer I competed in the Eurosurf junior surfing championships with the Scottish team. I am a member of the Belhaven Surf Club here at C2C. At Coast To Coast, I help teach lessons and make sure the surf centre is all organised and tidy, I love getting great waves for a surf lesson and taking Coasteer sessions.

Carol

Hey Carol here. I meet and greet all the customers at the weekend and book you all in to your lessons and hires. I love chatting to the customers , hearing their stories and how far they have travelled.Baking is my passion and if I turn up on a Saturday without any it’s a sad crew for the rest of the day . I loved body boarding when I lived in Cornwall many years ago but am happy Paddleboarding the calm waters of the estuary in front of the surf school now.

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie and I started surfing in April 2021. I began my journey into surfing with a 4 day Junior holiday surf camp at Coast to Coast. Once I'd completed the camp I was invited to join the surf development squad and it was there I found my new passion in life. I met a great bunch of people that I have become really good friends with. Fun Fact : Before I started my 4 day surf camp with C2C I was scared of the sea.

Quinten

Hello my name is Quinten. I got the surfing bug during a Coast to Coast surf tour on the Isle Barra. Shortly after, I started working with Coast to Coast as an assistant in 2021 and I've been a qualified instructor since 2023. I love the sea, meeting new surfers and enjoy developing my surf knowledge and skills, which in turn helped me win the U18s Lowlands Longboarding competition in 2023. My favorite animal is a Mantis shrimp, I'll let you know why when I see you in the water!

Lachlan

Hi, I’m Lachlan. I have been surfing for around 5 years now and really enjoy being in the water. I have surfed all around Scotland and the UK and hope to surf elsewhere in the future. I am a beach lifeguard and ISA Level 1 instructor and love introducing people to surfing and other water sports.

Peter

Hello my name is Peter, I also go by the name speedy Pete This nickname has been given while I have been running along the beach with some of my best surfing friends. There's very little I enjoy more than surfing with a good mate. I learned to surf at c2c so it always feels fitting that now I'm an instructor there along with a few friends from school who I always looked up too surfing and those who taught me there as a kid.

Ansel

Hi, I'm Ansel. My brother surfed and then I copied him and bought my own surfboard and wetsuit and started surfing all the time. I have surfed a little bit since I was 7 but didn't start going regularly until shortly before the Belhaven surf development squad, I was about 11 then.

Meet the team

Sam

Hey! I'm Sam. I've run Coast to Coast Surf School since 2004. I am a trained Beach Lifeguard, ASI level 2 Surf and Paddleboard Instructor and Scottish National junior Surf coach as of 2023. In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, free surfing, climbing and adventure sports. I've been in and out of the Scottish National Surf team for most of my life, being in the top 3 top Scottish longboarders for the last decade.

Josh

Aloha! My name’s Josh I’m a senior instructor at C2C Surf School. I’ve been enjoying surf sports since I was a young child on holiday in Cornwall and I’ve been surfing and exploring in Scotland since my teenage years. Over the years I have competed in, long board, short board, SUP and bodyboard with my best result making the Euro Finals for the Scotland team in Bodyboard in 2015(?) For the last few winters I have been migrating like a bird to Spain where I run Coast to Coast Spain! Surfing has opened up so many doors to see amazing places, meet great people and learn new skills on the way. I hope that you’ll find the same stoke that I’ve had over the years. See you on the beach!

Clover

Hey, I'm Clover. I'm 20 years old and when I'm not surfing I spend my time studying Fine art at university. I got into surfing at age 5, spending my younger years learning to surf at Coast to Coast. I was lucky enough to be selected for a local surf squad at 12 which then led me to spend the last 8 years competing in National Surf Competitions. I'm now an ASI trained surf instructor and Beach lifeguard and spend my summer months teaching at C2C meeting lots of lovely people.

Malcolm

Hey I’m Malcolm! I’m an instructor in Surfing and Coasteering at the surfschool, I actually learnt how to surf in the Junior courses that we offer, and I’ve worked here since I was 14 so I really have grown up around C2C! I’m now finishing my undergraduate degree at Glasgow University, in my time in Glasgow I’ve been Captain of the University surf club as well as this I won the Scottish Universities surf championships, as well as this I’ve picked up a passion for hiking and climbing, which keep me busy when there's no waves. I look forward to meeting you when you come to the sea with us!

Chris

Age is no barrier – that’s my philosophy on life. Young at heart if not in body (any more). I qualified as an instructor in 2021 but volunteering with Coast to Coast for many years and surfing since 1984. Favourite part of the job is seeing beginners stand up for the first time and shout for joy. I also enjoy working with our talented squad of junior surfers. They keep me motvated. In my youth I enjoyed success as an endurance runner, competing in the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada over 10,000m. I was also Royal Navy helicopter aircrew for 17 years which was an amazing experience.

Ebon

Hi, I'm Ebon, Im 16 years old (turning 17 this July) and I live in Dunbar. I have been surfing since I was about ten and I love it. I compete in surfing competitions all over Scotland and last summer I competed in the Eurosurf junior surfing championships with the Scottish team. I am a member of the Belhaven Surf Club here at C2C and I always enjoy our training sessions. At Coast To Coast, I help teach lessons and make sure the surf centre is all organised and tidy, I love getting great waves for a surf lesson and taking Coasteer sessions. I play Guitar and Piano with a little bit of bass and I love music! I'm always happy to give you a hand or answer any questions you might have about surfing!

FAQs

Standard lessons last for two hours. This is from the lesson start time to finish time in the water. Please allow roughly 15-30mins extra for the walk back and changing.

Most classes are groups, with ratios of one instructor to 8 pupils. More advanced surf and paddleboard classes can be smaller number. For classes with younger participants we normally provide assistants to compliment the instructors. We can offer weekday private classes and these will appear on our website when we have availability.

Please bring a towel, swim costume and sun protection. Furthermore, tt can also be useful also to bring £1 coins for the surf centre hot showers and the beach car park. There are local places to eat within 5-15 minutes walk. There is also a food van that sells coffee, cakes and toasties at certain times of the year in the beach car park. 

We provide excellent wetsuits and accessories appropriate to conditions. As a result, you will be warm and comfortable throughout the year. All surfboards, skateboards, paddleboards and bodyboards are also included in the cost of lesson. And safety equipment is provided for coasteering and skateboarding classes.

The biggest comment we get is “I can’t believe how warm I am!” We set Coast to Coast up with the intention that our customers would wear suits we as staff would want to use. Quality, warm new 5mm wetsuits. This investment has meant very happy customers for almost two decades. In all but the most extreme days, we run classes. Even in snow at the start of seasons. The wetsuits and accessories are amazing. We rotate our stock with all our current stock suits in their first season, so they are very warm! It also means we have an excellent second hand rail for keen customers looking to surf independently

We start lessons in general at 7 years old and juniors must be able to swim 50m unaided.

We have no upper limit and as long as you are fit and flexible enough to participate we welcome you! We’ve had first timers well into their 70’s!

You can find level guides for SUP and Surf under the corresponding tabs on our website.

We are happy for you to give your spot to a friend or a family member – just let us know before so we can change the information on our system. A full refund is offered if someone tests positive or needs to self-isolate. Other cases are assessed on the individual basis.

Best is to book online. You will fill in all the details yourself which you will find easier and less time consuming and also have your own log in. In case you struggle, there is a technical problem or you need to place a special order, please give us a call or send us an email.

Yes we have good public transport links in Dunbar.

Train : Dunbar is on the London to Edinburgh route and trains take approx 25 minutes from Edinburgh. It is then 20 minutes walk to the surf centre through dunbar or 5 minutes by taxi. 

Bus : There are regular buses from Edinburgh that take approx 1 hour but stop at Belhaven and its 5 mins walk to the centre.

Bike : Dunbar has a growing cycling network and it is now possible to use cycle paths in a range of directions from neighbouring towns.

The Shore Road beach car park is just across the road from the surf centre. There are 100’s of spaces but it can get busy on summer surf days. Please bring some coins or a card as the current charge is £2.50. For really big vehicles, the last turning into shore road and the turnings into the beach car park are very tight. Therefore, we advise parking on the main road and walking the last 150m. There is no electric charging in the car park however, Dunbar has multiple public charging points all within 10-15mins walk from the beach.

You may leave your car keys in our office during your session.

We recommend checking surf forecast Surfline. Type in Belhaven Bay. Usually, 1-2ft+ is a good indication there will be waves. You can also check out our surf forecast here.

For all lessons and hires we require all participants to be able to swim a minimum of 50 metres unaided.

We hire the equipment only to customers who previously had a lesson – not necessarily with us!

We do have a general locker available in the centre for customer use and all valuables can be left in the office.

We have a team of experienced instructors who have current surf lifesaving qualifications and surf and play in our waters regularly. All of our activities are regularly risk assessed to ensure customer safety. We also are assessed by AALA every two years.

We ask all participants to declare any injuries or health conditions. If you have anything you feel could hamper or provide difficulties in standard activity participation – please double check with our office and instructor team before booking.

It is advised that you not to take part if pregnant. We understand many pregnant women have taken part in sport successfully but due to the potential to fall or for a board to hit the body in our main three sports, we prefer to be cautious and will welcome you back with open arms when you have brought your new arrival into the world!

The vast majority of classes are ran in a range of conditions including rain, sun, wind etc. We notify customers if their class is likely to be cancelled. If it is due to weather conditions we offer a refund or reschedule or the chance to join a different activity on the day if we have space.

All classes on the east coast meet at the 

Belhaven Surf Centre 

36 Back Road (on Shore Road)
Belhaven, Dunbar
East Lothian
EH42 1NX

There are two big campsites in Dunbar, the Belhaven Campsite and the Dunbar Caravan and Camping campsite, we have a wide range of self-catering and AirBnB options, We also have 5 hotels. You can search via visiteastlothian.org

Yes we have the Brig and Barell pub 5-10 minutes walk from the surf centre providing quality pub food, we also have the Winterfield golf course restaurant providing a range of breakfast and lunch options plus dining. Dunbar high street also has a wide range of dining options and is within 5-10 drive from the centre.

Find your surf level

Surf coaching can help you improve quickly but it’s important to start at the right level.

We have 4 stages of development: beginner, improver, intermediate and advanced.

The way we teach, where and what we offer varies depending on your level.

Beginner

Ideal for?

  • Those new to the sport of surfing
  • Those who have surfed before but struggle to catch or stand in white water waves

Aims: To have fun surfing safely while developing your technique and knowledge – becoming a white water warrior!

Availability: Daily lessons subject to waves.

Beginner +

Ideal for?

  • Those with experience of surfing white water.
  • Those who can stand up on a surf board

Aims: To have fun surfing safely while developing control, learning speed and turning techniques.

Availability: Daily lessons subject to waves.

Improver

Ideal for? 

  • Those who can catch waves and stand with good posture consistently and in control in white water
  • Those who are surfing unbroken waves but are struggling to catch unbroken waves, trim along or control speed.

Aims: To catch more unbroken waves and surf with control while developing your technique and knowledge. Become a green wave glider!

Availability: Weekly lessons subject to waves.

Intermediate

Ideal for?

  • Those that can surf with control along both big and small unbroken waves.
  • For those that wish to improve their technique on unbroken waves.

Aims: To improve how you surf an unbroken wave going higher, lower, further and deeper. Develop better body dynamics on the board.

Availability: Bespoke surf & surf skate lessons with a senior instructor. Development courses and tours.