Nurturing Surf Talent

Fine tuning surfing skills and ensuring appropriate fitness for the sport to drive performance to a new level, is the aim of the High Performance Surf Centre at Cromer.

COVERED. went to have a look at the facility and the programs designed to enhance surfing on the Northern Beaches.

Training surf talent at a range of levels from promising Groms to surfers competing at an international level, is what the High Performance Surf Centre (HPSC) is set up to do.

Director Matthew Grainger, owner of Manly Surf School, grew up surfing on the peninsula with his brothers. He started teaching surf lessons when he was just a teenager, later going on to run the surf school for Warringah Council before taking over the business as his own.

Manly Surf School, runs lessons at Manly, Long Reef, Collaroy and Palm Beach, as well as stand up paddle boarding at Narrabeen Lakes.

The HPSC is, for some, an extension of the school with some kids progressing from beginner to elite level.  

“We have some of the best athletes in NSW and Australia and also some up and coming boys and girls,” explains Matt.

“Nathan Hedge started with us when he was 11-years-old. Now he’s on the world tour in the top 10. Cooper Chapman is another. I was training Cooper when he was 15 and now at 22-years-old he’s 20th in the world. 

“We have got a good stable of pro surfers training at the centre but we cover all levels. You can start with us as a beginner surfer and go all the way through.”

Other regulars at the centre include Harley Ross Webster, from Curl Curl, second on the World Pro Junior Tour, plus other top teenage talents like Sandon Whittaker and Macy Callaghan.

HPSC is specifically equipped with apparatus to build and complement surfing strengths and skills. Kitted out with a half pipe and foam pit as well as rings and an Olympic trampoline, it promises to be fun as well as hard work.

Surf balance boards imported from the US can help simulate wave riding as well build balance and strengthen core muscles. “We were helping train a lot of kids and adults but they were also going away and getting trained the wrong way for the sport so that’s why we came up with creating this gym,” says Matt.

He surfs ever day and his kids Tas, aged 15, and Bella, 13, are also keen surfers while wife Kirsty is what Matt calls a ‘fair weather surfer’. He says the surf school and centre only close Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. 

The HPSC runs programs, all-day holiday clinics with a mix of gym and surfing and is open to adults for gym training in the evening. It is also ideal for kids and adults who just want to improve their skills and get greater enjoyment from their surfing but have no interest in competing. 

Matt also organises surf camps at home and overseas.
For more details or to book in, visit

Manly Surf School + High Performance Surf Centre // (02) 9932 7000 //