High Performance Academy

Supporting Australian Athletes to Become the World’s Best Surfers and People

The Surfing Australia High Performance 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.

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
his generation

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.

Academy Coaches

James Wood

Michael O’Rafferty

Maddison Phillips

Jared de Thierry

Academy Applications

All applications must be submitted online via the link below prior to November 11th, 2022.

Applications must be accompanied by letters of reference, copies of recent school report cards, NAPLAN results and a written submission.

Once the application window has closed, Surfing Australia will advise on the total number of academy athletes and grouping of ages and ability levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

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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 24 places available which will then be broken down into smaller groups once all applications have been finalised.

How are athlete groups selected?

Once the application window has closed, Surfing Australia will review all applications to determine optimal athlete groups. Athletes will be grouped based on their age and ability level.

Who will be my coach?

Coaches will be allocated to athlete groups once the application window has closed. Academy coaches include Bede Durbidge, James Wood, Michael O’Rafferty, Maddison Phillips and Jared de Thierry.

Who provides transport to and from 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 selected location the evening prior to each session.

Surfing Australia provides transport from the beach to Lindisfarne and surfing equipment is stored securely at the HPC – athletes are required to have a dedicated Academy surfboard & wetsuit.

Parents are responsible for a 4pm drop-off and 5pm pick-up from the HPC for Monday and Tuesday training sessions.

Lindisfarne provide 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.

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