About Salty Girls

Founded in 2007, Salty Girls Surf School has introduced women of all ages to the sport and spirit of surfing in a fun and encouraging environment, while educating people about environmental issues and supporting companies doing their part for the environment. Are you a Salty Girl?

Our Team

Belén Alvarez Kimble

Director / Performance Coach

Owner & Performance Coach of Salty Girls Surf School

Maddison Phillips

Performance Coach / S&C Coach

Hailing from the Sunshine Coast, this little pocket rocket brings all the technical side of shortboard fine-tuning with style and grace. Strength and Conditions coach which focuses on women-specific training


Surf Coach

Frequently Asked Questions

What do the different surf levels mean?

The different surf skill levels describe the proficiency and abilities of surfers at various stages of their surfing journey. These skill levels provide a general indication of a surfer’s competence and the techniques they can perform. Here’s a breakdown of what each surf skill level generally represents:

Beginner: Beginner surfers are typically new to the sport and are in the early stages of learning. They are developing fundamental skills such as board handling skills, paddling, popping up, and riding small, broken waves close to shore. Beginners focus on building balance, coordination, and getting comfortable with the basic mechanics of surfing.

Novice: Novice surfers have progressed beyond the beginner stage and have gained more confidence and experience in the water. They can catch and ride small-to-moderate-sized waves, and paddle out the back unassisted and learning to perform basic turns and confident with board handling skills. Novices continue to refine their skills in wave selection, timing, and developing consistency in their maneuvers.

Intermediate: Intermediate surfers have a solid foundation of surfing skills and experience. They can comfortably ride a variety of wave sizes and types, performing more advanced maneuvers such as bottom turns, cutbacks, and top turns. Intermediate surfers work on generating speed, executing fluid transitions between maneuvers, and improving their wave-reading abilities.

Advanced: Advanced surfers have honed their skills and possess a high level of technical proficiency. They are capable of riding larger waves with increased power and critical sections. Advanced surfers can perform more complex maneuvers such as aerials, floaters, and more aggressive and progressive turns. They have a deep understanding of wave dynamics, can adapt to different conditions, and often compete or aspire to compete at a professional level.

Expert: Expert surfers are the pinnacle of surfing skill and expertise. They have an exceptional level of mastery in all aspects of the sport. Experts are comfortable in challenging and heavy surf, handling critical takeoffs, big drops, and barrel riding. They possess a wide range of advanced maneuvers, including innovative aerial tricks and combinations. Expert surfers often have years of experience, compete at the highest levels, and contribute significantly to the progression of the sport.

It’s important to note that these skill levels are not fixed or universally defined. They serve as general guidelines, and individual progress may vary based on factors such as natural ability, frequency of practice, coaching, and exposure to different surf conditions. Additionally, surf skill levels can be subjective, and there may be variations in terminology and expectations within different surfing communities.

What do the different water confidence levels mean?

Low Water Confidence: At this level, individuals experience anxiety, fear, and discomfort when in or around water. They may have had a negative past experience, lack swimming skills, or have a general fear of the unknown. These individuals may be hesitant to enter the water or feel uneasy even in shallow areas. Building water confidence at this level requires patience, gentle exposure to water, and a supportive environment.

Moderate Water Confidence: At this level, individuals have gained some basic comfort and safety awareness in water environments. They may have taken swimming lessons or received guidance on water safety. These individuals are more willing to enter the water, albeit cautiously, and can manage in calm or controlled water conditions. However, they may still feel uneasy in deeper water, ocean waves, or unfamiliar surroundings. Continued skill development, practice, and gradual exposure to different water conditions can help them progress further.

High Water Confidence: At this level, individuals possess intermediate swimming skills, adaptability to different water conditions, and increased confidence in their abilities. They can navigate through moderate waves, handle ocean currents, and feel comfortable in various water environments. These individuals may engage in water activities such as snorkeling, bodyboarding, or previous surfing experience. They have developed a level of water awareness, can identify potential risks, and take appropriate safety precautions.

Expert Water Confidence: At this level, individuals have reached an expert level of water confidence. They have honed their swimming and surfing skills through years of practice and experience. These individuals are highly competent in handling challenging ocean conditions, big waves, and complex surf maneuvers. They possess an in-depth understanding of the ocean, its dynamics, and are well-versed in water safety practices.

It’s important to note that these confidence levels are not fixed or linear, and individuals may progress or regress across levels depending on their experiences, ongoing practice, and exposure to new water environments. Everyone’s journey to water confidence is unique, and it’s essential to respect individual comfort levels while encouraging a gradual and safe progression towards higher levels of water competence.

Do you still run lessons if it’s raining?

Yes, the only reason we would cancel a session is due to unsafe conditions or lighting at the time of your lesson or clinic.

Do we bring our own Surfboard or Wetsuits?

We provide all the equipment that you will need. You are more than welcome to bring your own wetsuit should you feel more comfortable.

Can I use a Fibreglass surfboard?

The only time we allow people to use a hard fibreglass board is if you are able to show that you have good board handing skills in the water. It’s important that when surfing a fibreglass board that you know how to eskimo roll. If you don’t know how to do this we can teach you this for sure. If you are in a group lesson we provide you with Soft Boards to prevent yourself or anyone else from getting hurt until you are comfortable with the soft board and board handling skill are confident and are ready to progress to a Fibreglass board. Please contact for more information.

Will my instructor be a female?

Yes you will have a female coach for your session

Can I add people to my lesson?

Yes, you can if it’s a private lesson. If you are booked into a group lesson, please contact us so we can make sure that we have the correct instructor-to-student ratio for safety and fun.

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