Reef Surf School
I had a half day lesson with Reef Surf School, which I really enjoyed and found quite useful. The group was pretty big, 19 people with 3 instructors. When the tide is high, as it was that day, Great Western Beach is pretty small, which meant that there were a lot of people crowded into a small space of water, making surfing a lot harder. I was quite lucky, as I'd surfed before so they put me and one other girl in the "progressor" group, which meant we didn't have to sit through the introduction to surfing bit and went straight onto mastering the art of standing up! It also meant we had an instructor just for the two of us, we got a lot more attention, praise when we did it right and advice when we were having trouble. It also meant that when the rest of the group were taken out of the water to be talked through the next stage, we could stay in the water and take advantage of the extra space.
However, if it had been my first time surfing and I'd been in the beginner group, I'm not so sure I'd have had such a good experience. Although I did see a few people in that group getting on quite well, I also noticed a few others who were really struggling, and everbody was competing for the attention of the instructors. I did go on a Saturday morning though, it may be that if you were to go for a lesson mid-week then the group may not be as big, and at low-tide there'd be a lot more room in the water for practicing.
Prices for lessons are £25 for a half day, £35 for a full day or £55 for 2 days. All equipment is provided by the surf school and included in the prices mentioned above. All you need to bring is a towel and your swimming gear.