Company Background


Sydney Surf School Pty Ltd trading as Manly Surf School, Palm Beach Surf School, Long Reef Surf School and Collaroy Surf School story began in 1982 when Matt Grainger went to the Warringah Council Surf School as a ten year old student with his brother Arnie (both had done a little surfing on a foamie with their brother Tim and their Dad). Two years later Matt got a job as a Junior Instructor and continued instructing through school and University and was eventually promoted to Head Instructor when he was 20 years old.

Matt Grainger

After finishing University studying a Degree in Leisure and Tourism at UTS, Matt worked as Recreation Officer for disadvantaged kids at the Royal Far West Childrens Health Scheme for 4 years. During that time Matt still worked for Warringah Council as the Senior Instructor during School holidays. Matt, Tim and Arnie all competed in events in Australia and a few overseas. All brothers have won a NSW title each, Northern Beaches Titles each, numerous Long Reef titles, with Tim winning an Aussie title. The brothers chased surf in Hawaii, Indonesia, Europe and around Australia in between working.

In 1995 Matt decided to start the Manly Surf School at Manly Beach with Aloha Surf, Tim Hanrahan and former world number 5 Rob Bain. Matt and Damien Warr (current big wave ASL/Oakley 2006 winner) taught all the lessons with only a fleet of 15 surfboards.

In 1997 Matt expanded to Palm Beach and also managed the worlds biggest Wavepool in Sunway Lagoon Malaysia. Matt also became Surfing NSW Coaching Director and Sydney surfing Coach for the NSW Institute of Sport Program, teaching Tom Whittacker (ASP Top 10 2007) and Chelsea Georgeson (2006 World Champ).


In 2001 Manly Surf School expanded to Collaroy Beach and Long Reef Beach. The school currently has classes everyday at Manly Beach, Palm Beach, Collaroy and Long Reef with up to 30 staff.

In 2004 Matt trained 20 level 2 Coaches for Surfing Brazil. In 2005 Matt was Head Coach for the Mark Richards High Performance Training Camp for Australia’s Best Juniors.

In 2007 Manly Surf School is still one of the top surf schools in Australia due to it’s high staff training, quality equipment (Rip Curl wetsuits, Softboards Australia and Famous Wax products) and choice of excellent surf for learning.

Manly Surf School Today

The school teaches beginners to elite surfers – currently training Australian Champions and World Title finalists such as Laura Enever and Davey Cathals.

The school prides itself on having instructors that love surfing, that have and still do surf in surfing contests, and have a natural enthusiasm whilst teaching surfing. A high percentage of the instructors are current and ex-professional surfers.

Matt and his team love nothing better than surfing big, perfect waves together at home and overseas. So grab that wetsuit, wax up your board and hit the surf with us.

Happy Surfing!

Surfing Lessons

Adult Group Lesson

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Who is this lesson for?

This lesson focuses on teaching the skills of surfing and how to handle yourself and your surfboard in the ocean.

We have a stack of fun on the way. You can do one lesson or 10 it is up to you as everyone is different. Our instructors are there to help you learn and provide advice on all questions related to surfing. As instructors we love our jobs. We hope that you will love surfing as much as we do Read More

Kids Lessons

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Who is this lesson for?

Kids of all levels of ability, fitness and age.

Matt Grainger, head coach of Manly Surf School, has been working on school holiday programs from 1983, since he was 13 years old. 25 years later he is still doing it and loving every minute of it. Seeing a young kid stand on a board for the first time is a buzz for the instructor as well as the student.

Matt and his team of instructors run 4 day courses for kids every school holidays, even in winter. All kids are provided with the right surfboard, wetsuit and placed in the right age group to get them having the most fun and learning quicker.

Generally the kids are split into age groups from 5 yrs to 8 yrs, 8yrs to 11 yrs, 11yrs to 14yrs and 14yrs to 17yrs. 17yrs and over surf in the adults classes. Friends and siblings aren’t split up if they don’t want to be. We cater for all the students needs. The classes run for 1.5 hours as we find the kids are starting to tire by the end of the lesson. Read More

Private Lesson

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Who is this lesson for?

Keen surfers who are after 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 coaching and training

Our instructors are there to help you learn and provide advice on all questions related to surfing. As instructors we love our jobs. We hope that you will love surfing as much as we do. Read More

Intermediate & Elite Training

Who is this lesson for?

Manly Surf School Elite Training Division has been coaching advanced surfers since 1994.

The High Performance Surf Centre is a Training facility for surfers of all levels who want to improve their surfing, health and fitness. Our team of experienced personal trainers and surf coaches offer surf specific; one on one sessions, group classes and customised programmes to help transform the way you move – and therefor improve you surfing.

When you combine professional surf coaching with surf specific dry land training your surfing progression will skyrocket!

We train all ages and all levels of surfers, from WCT hopefuls to ‘weekend warriors’ recovering from knee injuries. So if you are serious about making the most out of your time in the water then pick up the phone today.

What we offer:

• Personal Training
• Group Circuit Classes
• Skate lessons
Read More

Want a quick checkin

Click on this link to fill out the online indemnity form with your smart phone on arrival for all lessons



Next to Long Reef Beach Kiosk. Look for Manly Surf School truck/van near the Kiosk.

Balmoral Beach South end of Balmoral Beach

Narrabeen Lakes Near Billarong Reserve, look for the playground and the Manly Surf School Van