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Surfing travel Insurance

Riding the waves this holiday? Life's not always a beach. Here's some fast facts about this popular sport:

  • Contact with a surfboard (either yours or another person’s) is the most common cause of injuries like cuts, scrapes, sprains, dislocations and fractures.
  • Some of the most dangerous surfing spots in the world include Shipstern’s Bluff in Tasmania, Mavericks in California, and Nazare in Portugal.
  • 2018 statistics show that Australia ranks second in the world for shark attacks behind the USA.  
  • Surfers accounted for 50.8% of all shark attacks in 2010.

Keep reading to find out what travel insurance can help you with if you're planning to surf this holiday.

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What do we cover if you're going surfing?

If you find yourself in deep water, we might be able to help:

  • Surfing is automatically covered on all of 1Cover's travel insurance policies. See the PDS for details
  • For most policies (except Domestic policies), we provide medical and hospital assistance, and medical evacuation (if it's deemed necessary)
  • Depending on your policy, you could also be covered for pre-paid activities that you miss out on because you’re unable to travel. See the PDS for details.

what don't We Cover If you're going surfing?

You won’t be covered for anything arising from your surfing if:

  • You’re under the influence of any intoxicating liquor or drugs (except a prescribed drug).
  • You’re part of a competition or surfing professionally. 
  • You don’t follow instructions while learning from a professional instructor. 
  • You surf with a pre-existing medical condition that affects your surfing and you never told us about it
  • You surf more than 10 nautical miles out to sea.


The one place For a surfing holiday

By Award Winning Travel Writer Ben Groundwater

Think about a surf holiday, and which places come to mind? Indonesia is probably one country: islands like Bali, Nias, Nusa Lembongan and Lombok that have been attracting wave-riders for decades. You might think about Hawaii too, with its famous breaks. Maybe you’d consider the Basque country of southern France and northern Spain, or Australia, with well-known beaches like Byron Bay and Noosa, or even the Maldives. Those are all excellent choices.

However, they might not be the best. Because there’s another country that offers excellent surfing, with breaks to suit all styles and abilities. They might not be the biggest in the world, but the waves are clean and the line-ups are short. This country is affordable, with prices to match the famed surf camps of Indonesia. It has amazingly good food to eat in between sessions. It has not just beaches, but mountains and forests, plus big, chaotic cities and charming small towns, national parks filled with rare wildlife, historic monuments, and culture everywhere you look. There are also great people in this destination: friendly, fun people, some of whom surf, some of whom don’t. But it seems like everyone is up for a good time.

The destination? Sri Lanka. If you already know how to surf, Sri Lanka is great. If, however, you don’t know how to surf, it’s even better. This is the perfect place to spend a few weeks learning the basics of this beautiful pastime. The island’s west coast is particularly good for rookies, with plenty of gentle breaks serviced by budget-friendly hostels and hotels set up for surfers, with instructors onsite. The south and east coasts, meanwhile, feature breaks that are perfect for all levels, with plenty of camps set up nearby.

Enjoy the surf, enjoy the food, enjoy the people. You can’t go wrong in Sri Lanka

DISCLAIMER: The views stated are the views of the author only, are written for entertainment purposes, and are not intended as advice in regards to insurance or otherwise.

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Stay safe: Surfing Top tips 

  • Be aware of submerged rocks and boulders

    The water might look clear but there might be obstacles that you don’t know about, and you should watch out for sharp reefs and coral. Ask a more experienced surfer if you’re not sure.

  • Always surf at places patrolled by surf lifeguards

    This is a rule that applies to swimming and it applies to surfing too. It’s important that you check the weather, tides, and wind before you head out to the beach. Most beaches will also inform visitors if it’s safe to swim or go into the water.

  • Learn what a rip is

    Rips have caught many surfers and swimmers off guard. Darker colour, murky brown water, a smoother surface with much smaller waves, waves breaking further out to sea, rippled water when the surrounding water is calm...these are all signs of a rip. Learn more about rips here.

  • Hold on to your surfboard

    If you let your board go rogue, it could easily hit someone behind you. Good surfing manners mean that you should generally avoid paddling out directly behind other surfers.

  • Be Surfing Fit

    Surfing requires a different set of skills compared to other sport. Swimming skills and general confidence in the water are important.

surfing FAQs

  • Will I be covered if i have alcohol while surfing?
  • Your claim will be invalid if you are intoxicated whilst surfing, so you need to take reasonable precautions to ensure that you are not putting yourself at undue risk.

  • Is my hired surfboard covered?
  • 1Cover does not provide cover for rental surf boards. You will need to check with your rental company to see if they provide you cover if something happens to your surfboard. 

  • My doctor has advised I don’t Surf on my holiday. Will I still be covered?
  • We would not be able to provide medical cover for you if you are going against medical advice. 

  • Is the surfboard that I own covered? 
  • Personal belongings are covered by some of our policies. However, your surfboard will not be covered while it’s in use, and maximum limits apply. See the PDS for details. 

  • How much am I covered for if I get hurt while I’m surfing?
  • Provided you are within 10 nautical miles of land, are within the parameters stated in the PDS, and you don’t have a Domestic or Frequent Traveller Domestic policy, then the medical benefit we offer is unlimited. Terms and conditions apply. Please note: we do not cover for Search and Rescue. 

  • What if I need medical assistance after I’ve been surfing? 
  • In an emergency, get yourself to hospital. As soon as it's possible, we advise that you or a member of your travelling party call our medical assistance team who will be able to liaise with you or the hospital.  



Find out More about...

Activities We cover

We cover 100+ activities. Find out all information you need about what’s covered and what’s not before you go adventuring. 

Surfing in canada

Bet you didn't know there was a beautiful archipelago in Canada that you could go surfing. Award winning writer Ben Groundwater tells all.

Medical Questions

Have a pre-existing medical condition that might affect your surfing? Pregnant? Or want to know about repatriation? Find out everything you need to know here.


Still Need Some Help? Contact Us!

If you have any other questions or queries, please visit our Contact Us page. 
If you are experiencing an emergency, please use the details on our Emergency Assistance page.