Josh Palmateer
Josh Palmateer
Josh Palmateer was a professional surfer on the World Surfing Tour from 1988 – 1994 achieving a ranking of 45 in the world. After leaving the tour in 1994, he returned to Margaret River where he and an associate introduced surf coaching to the area, starting up the first private surf school in Western Australia. In 1995 Josh launched his own Surf Academy under the banner “Josh Palmateer’s Surf Academy” (JPSA).

Josh’s career highlights include:

  • WA State Open Champion (1995, 96, 97 & 98)
  • Margaret River Classic Champion (4 times)
  • 2nd in the Australian Titles (1986)
  • 3rd & 4th in Australian Titles (1984 & 1985)
  • 3rd in the Margaret River Masters
  • 4th in the World Titles (1987)


Our Surf Lessons

JPSA teaches people to surf. Participants can be old or young; beginners or more advanced; local or tourist. They can take part in individual lessons, private group lessons or open group lessons. Lessons can be from 1 – 2 hours long, and all equipment is provided. The first part of the lesson is spent on the beach explaining safety issues and the basics of surfing, before the coach takes the class into the water. The coach then helps the students to catch a wave by steadying the surfboard and pushing the board along with the wave at the correct time until the students learn to do this by themselves.

All JPSA Learn to Surf Courses include:

  • Level 1 Surf Certificate
  • Surf Safety & Awareness
  • Beach Safety
  • Ocean Knowledge
  • Surf Etiquette


Our Equipment

JPSA provides all equipment required for the surf lessons. It is brought to the lesson in one of their custom-made trailers and removed at the end of the day. All equipment is checked for serviceability and updated regularly to reflect JPSA’s high standard of professionalism.

Soft boards: these are specially designed surf boards for beginners made from foam and rubber. This ensures that students don’t hurt themselves or others when they lose control of the boards; and provides extra flotation to help improve beginners surfing skills.

Wetsuits: a range of wetsuits is available from children’s sizes to XXL. All participants wear a wetsuit for warmth but also to provide flotation and sun protection.

Rash vests: all students wear brightly coloured rash vests over their wetsuits to enable them to be quickly and easily identified. Coaches also wear an easily-identifiable Surf Coach rash vest over their wetsuits.

Flags: Two flags are placed in the sand on the beach to identify the safe area chosen for the surf lesson to take place. These are used by coaches and students alike as land markers to ensure they are not drifting into danger, and as an easy to spot location to leave the first aid kit, rescue board and any other equipment required on the beach.

First Aid: an extensive St John’s Ambulance First Aid Kit is maintained by JPSA and is on hand at every lesson.

Our Coaches

Phillipa Tugwood has worked with JPSA for 10 years. She is a successful local surfer who has won the Margaret River Classic 6 times. Her knowledge and understanding of the local surfing conditions make her a valuable asset to JPSA.

Ryan Hardy is a born and bred local champion body boarder who achieved a ranking of number 2 in the World. He has been a valuable addition to the JPSA team over the last 3 years. Ryan has great people skills as well as being a natural waterman.

Matthew Baldock has worked with JPSA for the past 8 years. Born and bred to a local family, Matt has also had proven success in the Australian Surfing world, winning Australian Junior Team Titles on behalf of the MR Senior High School as well as numerous individual competition titles. He is a well-loved and respected member of the local surfing community.

Aaron France has worked with JPSA for the past 10 years. His local knowledge of the ocean, surfing ability and natural manner with people makes him an invaluable part of the coaching team.

Richard Smith has worked with JPSA for the past 3 years. He has a natural teaching ability and is particularly great with school children. He is confident in the ocean in a variety of conditions having lived and surfed in many different parts of the world.

Eva Darcy is a renowned big wave surfer in the South West of WA and has been part of the JPSA coaching team for 6 years. Her contagious enthusiasm for the sport brings a richness to her coaching.

All JPSA coaches hold the following licences and accreditations required to carry out their surf coaching business:

  • Level 1 Surfing Accreditation, Surfing Australia and the Coaching Foundation of Australia
  • Working with Children Check
  • Surf Life Saving Certificate or Bronze Medallion Certificate
  • Provide First Aid Certificate