Be careful when picking a surf school

Surfing camps and lessons are a worldwide phenomena, which is really amazing when you consider just a few short years ago for the most part they did not exist. Not only were surfing lessons virtually non-existent, surfing’s hierarchy generally frowned upon them.

Not any more. All around the world, surfing legends share what took them years of hard work and dedication to learn. Accurate surfing information that took lifetimes to gather is now being taught at beaches from San Diego to Bondi Beach in Australia, and everywhere else waves are ridden.

With a sea of surfing camps and surfing lessons available, it can be difficult for a parent to knowledgably choose just the right one for their child. It’s safe to say every professional surfing camp should be licensed with CPR-certified surfing instructors. Nevertheless, these minimum requirements do not make every surfing school professional. Professional surfing schools should be taught by knowledgeable, experienced and caring surfers that have dedicated their lives to the sport and art of surfing.

Imagine taking golfing lessons from Tiger Woods or guitar lessons from Carlos Santana. In addition to learning golf from Woods, one might also learn a heck of a lot more, such as how to win or focus in life better. Any guitar teacher can teach chords or scales, in fact this info can be readily attained from a book. Taking guitar lessons from Santana, one might be more apt to learn to play with emotion and feeling that no book can teach. There will always be great advantages to taking lessons from the best of the best - surfing lessons included.

There has never been a better time in history to take surfing lessons from overly qualified professional surfing instructors who know what they’re doing and how to teach it. There are now world-class surfing instructors worldwide. Big-wave legends Cheyne Horan and Ross Clark-Jones both have successful surfing schools in Australia. What an honor to meet these guys, let alone actually take surfing lessons from them.

Titus Kinimaka now runs an extremely successful and popular surfing school on the island of Kauai. Even advanced surfers can benefit from Kinimaka’s vast surfing knowledge and experience in Hawaiian waters. Northern California’s Ritchie Schmidt, truly a surfing master and great individual, teaches surfing year-around in Santa Cruz. Other surfing champions who now teach include Simon Jayham in England, Magoo de la Rosa in Peru and Rico de Sousa in Brazil.

Developed from need, surfing schools are now being copied by greed. Don’t be fooled if you are looking for professional surfing lessons - only take surfing lessons from qualified professional surfing schools. If you are considering taking surfing lessons or having a child participate in a surfing camp, asking the following 10 questions of your prospective school will be helpful in determining just the right surfing school for you or someone you know.

  1. What separates your surfing school from others; what makes your surfing school stand out?
  2. What are your surfing credentials? What makes you bone fied surfing experts qualified to teach surfing and water safety skills?
  3. How long have you been in business?
  4. What are your instructor/student ratios? If surfboards are present, generally a one-to-four ratio is standard amongst the higher-quality surfing programs.
  5. Are your surfing instructors certified by the Association of Professional Surfing Instructors? While it’s safe to say most surfing instructors are CPR- and first aid-certified, they should be APSI certified, as well. If not, what are their credentials to teach surfing?
  6. What surfing levels are taught? After your child learns surfing basics, is the surfing school able to assist in further growth and development?
  7. Are there educational benefits taught in addition to surfing, such as water safety, ocean knowledge and other valuable water skills?
  8. Are there discounts available for additional sibling participants or additional surfing sessions?
  9. Do you have surfing safety tip sheets printed? All professional surfing schools and camps should have a printed surfing safety sheet.
  10. Can I sign up now? Don’t miss the fun and excitement. Surfing camps and lessons fill up quickly so be sure to sign up early. Surfing does a body and mind good. Nothing comes close to the experience and fun of surfing. Aloha.