Surfing Australia Academy
Supporting Australian Athletes to Become the World’s Best Surfers and People
The Surfing Australia Academy is an innovative new 12-month program, combining year-round performance coaching and the highest quality education for surfing athletes in years 7 to 12.
The Academy is available to boys and girls in years 7 to 12 who are currently competing at a regional, state or higher level and aspiring to become a professional surfer.
It’s not about being the best; it’s about being your best and maximising your potential as an athlete, both in and out of the water.
2023 Academy Athletes
Byron Bay, NSW
New Brighton, NSW
Queenscliff Beach, NSW
Prioritising High Quality Education
Surfing Australia is proud to have Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School as our official school-based education partner.
Lindisfarne is a high-quality, independent, Anglican, co-educational grammar school that serves the southern Gold Coast, Tweed Coast and northern New South Wales.
Lindisfarne provides the distinctive identity, relationships, learning and leadership that will support Academy athletes in achieving their surfing potential, without having to compromise their education.
Academy Head Coach: Bede Durbidge
Bede Durbidge is without doubt one of the best coaches in the world with an unmatched love, passion and knowledge of surfing.
With 13 years on the WSL Championship Tour, 11 final appearances, 3 event wins (including a Pipeline Masters), 3 years ranked in the top 5 and a runner up finish to the World Title in 2008, Bede was one of the most successful competitive surfers of
Bede’s coaching experience is equally impressive having spent 4 years as Surfing Australia’s Elite Program Manager, Head Coach of The Irukandji’s Australian Surfing Team and privately coaching some of the best athletes in the world.
Jared de Thierry
Applications for 2024 Academy positions will open on September 1st, 2023 and close on September 22nd, 2023.
Applications can be submitted using the ‘Apply Now’ button below. Please note that you will need letters of reference, copies of recent school report cards and NAPLAN results to finalise your application.
After reviewing all applications, Surfing Australia will contact a select number of applicants to schedule a video call interview. These interviews will determine the final selections for the program.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Academy athletes get selected?
Athlete applications are reviewed by a selection panel made up of Academy coaches and Surfing Australia’s High Performance staff. Successful applicants will demonstrate that they surf at an advanced level, have competitive experience and apply themselves academically.
Do I have to attend Lindisfarne to be in the Academy?
Yes, Academy athletes will be required to attend Lindisfarne on a full-time basis but Surfing Australia will grant a limited number of exemptions for non-Lindisfarne students.
How much are Lindisfarne school fees?
Full details on the Lindisfarne enrolment process and fees can be found on their website.
Are Academy athletes guaranteed a place at Lindisfarne?
No, Lindisfarne is under no obligation to take or retain the enrolment of any Academy athlete and reserves the right to manage enrolments per existing processes and at the discretion of the school’s principal.
Do athletes have to commit to the full 12 months?
Yes, this is a 12-month program and athletes are required to attend 4 x 10-week terms.
When are Academy fees due?
The Academy fee schedule for 2023 is listed below:
- Term 1 fees: $3,000 – due January 27th, 2023
- Term 2 fees: $3,000 – due April 21st, 2023
- Term 3 fees: $3,000 – due July 14th, 2023
- Term 4 fees: $3,000 – due October 7th, 2023
How many athletes are accepted into the Academy?
There are currently 12 places available for the 2023 program but this may increase in 2024.
How are athlete groups selected?
Once the application window has closed, Surfing Australia will review all applications to determine optimal athlete groups. In the event that there are multiple groups, athletes will be grouped based on their age and ability level.
Who will be my coach?
Academy surf coaches include Bede Durbidge, Michael O’Rafferty, and Maddison Phillips. Physical preparation is led by Jared de Thierry.
Who provides transport to and from sessions?
Monday and Wednesday Sessions
Parents are responsible for getting athletes to the beach at 6.30am (NSW time) for surfing sessions between Hastings Point and Coolangatta. Coaches will advise on the selected locations the evening prior to each session.
Surfing Australia provides transport from the beach to Lindisfarne and surfing equipment is stored securely at the HPC.
Parents are responsible for a 4pm drop-off and 5pm pick-up from the HPC.
Lindisfarne provides transport to the HPC at 12.30pm each Thursday and parents can pick up athletes from the HPC at 5pm.
Why are athletes required to have a dedicated Academy board and wetsuit?
This allows athletes to continue catching the bus home at the end of each school day. Academy coaches will transport athlete equipment back for secure storage at the HPC after each session and then bring it to the next session.
Is the Academy recognised as a school subject that goes towards an athletes Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR)?
No, Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School administers all educational components of the Academy program.