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Ocean Confidence Course: Courses


One-to-One, 3 hours, £150 

At Surf Sanctuary, we are uniquely positioned in terms of experience and geography to deliver quality, effective ocean confidence training.

Surf Sanctuary owner Dom Moore has been delivering ocean confidence training since 2012, originally to kitesurfers looking to improve their confidence and performance in surf.

For the past few years, the OCC has expanded to train surfers, paddleboarders, military units, and recreational water users, all seeking to address specific concerns.

We identify your personal and specific suite of concerns and then develop a clear, time-bound plan to overcome them. Our approach mixes psychology and education with practical, controlled immersion into the ocean environment.

Each OCC session is individual to you. We begin by applying our unique Knowledge-Technique-Fitness framework. This helps you reflectively audit your own skills and identify the skills you need to reach your goal.

From this, we define your best areas for development, a.k.a 'low-hanging fruit' that you can work on during your own time. We discuss the importance of scheduling and goal setting for this work.

Next, we examine your internal triggers to find out what sensations and feelings cause you to lose confidence in the sea, e.g., feeling out of breath, heavy arms. Then we look at external triggers which have a similar effect, e.g., steep waves, dark water, crowds.

With your triggers identified, we establish a three-step fear extinguishing plan that you can begin practicing immediately with us. The fear extinguishing plan retrains your brain to look for rewards gained from 'controlled engagement' instead of avoidance.

Once your skills audit, trigger identification, and engagement plan are in place, we get onto the beach and into the ocean for some real-world skill and confidence building. This is where you benefit from Dom's decades of experience in ocean environments all around the globe, in surfing, SUP, kitesurfing, sailing, freediving, foil surfing, coasteering, and rescues.

Sample session: 


  • The anatomy of a wipeout

  • Your own cognitive, physical and neurological surfing / ocean sport values (and how to get them)

  • Identifying triggers and extinguishing fears


  • Understanding and predicting the natural forces that act upon the coastline

  • A practical session in the environment and conditions you wish to train for e.g. surf zone, rip currents. open water, under water...

  • Entry, exit, positioning and movement in the water

  • Self-rescue and recovery techniques and skills ​

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Ocean Confidence Course: Pro Gallery


Do I have to be a surfer to book an OCC? No, the OCC is available to anyone regardless of their experience or ability in the ocean. This training is all about overcoming barriers that are unique to you. So it doesn't matter what your barrier is, or how much experience you do or do not have in the sea. 

Do I need a minimum level of fitness? You need to be medically safe to participate in physical activity. See our T&C's for medical guidance. If you are safe to participate in physical activity, there are no minimum or specific fitness requirements as we design each course to suit you. 

I don't want to be put in a dangerous or scary situation. We don't want to put you in a dangerous or scary situation either. This would have zero benefit to your development. The fundamental truth of the OCC is that we recreate safe, controlled environments where you can safely engage with your triggers at an intensity that suits you. By staged, gradual exposure, your brain retrains itself to look for the reward in being appropriately challenged, rather than avoidance. 

How safe is the OCC training? Very safe. OCC training is similar in risk to a surf lesson. Surfing is statistically safer than long-distance running. You will be in the water with a trained lifeguard in conditions appropriate to your requirements. We want you to experience a feeling of safety in the ocean, this is where confidence comes from. 

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