“Time in nature is not leisure time; it’s an essential investment in our children’s health (and also, by the way, in our own).” – Richard Louv, Author Last Child in the Woods
If you’re looking for a fun and positive place for your child for Fall or Winter break, look no further than iSurf School’s surf camp. Through our surf camp your child will acquire strength, friendships, confidence, a love of nature, and a passion for surfing in a supportive environment.
Our camps are convenient and appropriate for all skill levels. Camps run from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and are open for those ages 5 through 17. We pick up and drop off from Chase Palm Park on the Santa Barbara waterfront. On a typical day we start by going over the surf conditions and then decide on the best surf spot. This helps participants learn about the local beach and surf breaks as well as about the ocean and swell conditions. After we reach our destination we talk about the conditions, what we’ll be working on that day and then we get in the water. Lunch happens around 11:30, followed by beach games and more surfing. We leave at around 3:00 pm to reach Chase Palm Park by 4:00 pm for pickup.
Various local beaches serve as basecamp for our sessions. Some of our favorite spots include Santa Claus Lane, Devereux, and Campus Point, to name a few. We choose the breaks based on that day’s conditions and the students’ skill levels.
iSurf School keeps a low instructor to student ratio so that everyone stays safe and is able to get some one-on-one attention. We typically divide the students by skill and desire and they also naturally pair up by age and personality. Our camp instructors have led over 300 days of camp and are extremely adept at connecting with the kids to help them feel safe and engaged.
Our aim is to help your child grow their skills and confidence, regardless of the level of comfort or skill they arrive with. Our instructors have had many students who have initially shown some anxiety around the water. Typically, most of this anxiety is gone by the end of camp. While it is our policy is to strongly encourage the student to come out and catch just one wave to see how they like it, we will never force a child to do something he or she is terrified of doing. If a student is not feeling comfortable in the water that day they are welcome to play beach games, build castles, or play in the beach break. We also offer educational talks about ocean conservation.
It is important for students to have some basic swimming skills; however, we purposefully keep a low student to teacher ratio to make sure everyone is safe. Furthermore, our instructors are CPR and first aid certified. We also have one EMT on staff. Everyone wears wetsuits, which are rather buoyant and help the novice swimmer stay afloat. Students also always wear leashes to keep them connected to their board, which allows it to act as a floatation device.
We supply the boards, leashes, wetsuits, and knowledge. Your child will need to bring a towel, sunscreen, water, a warm change of clothes, and lunch. They should have enough calories to get them through a day of surfing, which will most definitely leave them hungry.
Be prepared for your child to come away with exhaustion, satisfaction, and the pride that comes from learning something new. They will also have obtained the bragging rights to tell their friends at school that they spent their break learning to surf. And that’s something that anyone can be proud of!
If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. To sign up for any of our upcoming camps, please visit the City of Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation website.