Frequently asked questions!

Which beach do we go to

We go to Santa Monica Beach just about directly in front of the Annenberg Community Beach House.  We're very happy about getting this location for several reasons:

  • The slope of the beach is ideal for learning to surf.
  • The only people at this location is us, most of the tourists and other surfers crowd together further south. 
  • The City lifeguard resources in this region are directed mostly toward our camp

 What do I bring?

This is always my favorite question and it all depends on who you ask! My Mom always says "Take only what you need!", my sister would say "Of course I need this 60' motorhome with hot tub and satellite TV", my brother says "I got a bar of wax, lets go!" my daughters are 'trained professionals' with thousands of travel adventure hours so they just stare at me and say 'We know what we're doing Dad!" But at Summer of Surf we say...   

When you head out on your surfing adventure don't forget...

A towel, sunscreen, water, your favorite snack(s), lunch (with nothing that needs to be refrigerated), hat, sunglasses?, light jacket/sweatshirt, personal Rx (make sure that information is on your registration form), some money if you want any Zinka products; neon colored nose-coat, sunblock and lip balm ( 

Hot Tip: Zip-Lock brand one-gallon freezer bags are my favorite way to store and protect those valuable items one wants to keep sand and water away from, they ROCK! The 'model' with the 'slide-lock' option works excellent with wet or tired fingers and are a bit easier to manage. Over the years we have tried and tested dozens other makes and models and they really are a top performer!    

What is the best type of sunscreen?

What is the BEST sunscreen…It is the sunscreen you actually apply! Sunscreen doesn’t work if you don’t wear it! We at Summer of Surf are still dreaming about a SPF4000 that you can wear while walking on the surface of the sun, but since that has not been invented yet, we will just have to remember to apply sunscreen regularly.   

The best sunscreen is one that you'll use generously and according to label directions!!!

Now, how about some expert advice …

By Mayo Clinic Staff Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., a dermatologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, offers his guidance.

What are the most important things to know about protecting yourself from the sun?

Use sunscreen. Apply sunscreen generously and reapply regularly. Research supports the benefits of using sunscreen to minimize skin damage from the sun's rays.

What does a broad-spectrum sunscreen do?

There are two types of UV light that can harm your skin — UVA and UVB. A broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum, sunscreen protects you from both. The best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light.

Does the best sunscreen have the highest SPF?

Let's clear some things up. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) refers to the amount of time your skin can be exposed to ultraviolet (UV) B rays. In general, it takes about 25 minutes without sunscreen to start burning, an SPF 15 product will prevent the skin from burning 15 times longer, given you between two and three hours with that application before you start burning." After two to three hours, it's time to reapply.

A sunscreen with an SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of the sun's dangerous rays, but an SPF 30 isn't DOUBLE the protection as many people assume, SPF 30 is just a few points higher and blocks about 96 percent. SPF 45 blocks about 97 percent.

You'll need a sunscreen that's at least SPF 30 and water-resistant. And, you'll need to reapply every couple of hours. A sunscreen spray may be easiest in these scenarios.

What does water-resistant sunscreen do?

The term water resistant means that the SPF is maintained for up to 40 minutes while swimming or sweating. Very water resistant means the SPF is maintained for 80 minutes.

Pro tip: If you have sensitive skin or rather stay away from chemicals, try mineral-based sunscreens that are made with zinc oxide and titanium oxide, which block UV rays.

What if I can't surf?

You can't surf? That is no problem, that's why you called us! We are going to teach you to surf, more importantly, we are going to have FUN while you learn to surf! Remember our favorite quote...

                                                 'The BEST Surfer out there is the one having the most FUN!'

                                                                             -Phil Edwards (The BEST Surfer out there!) 

Don't forget our Instructors are there for you! We want you to have the best time and begin to learn to surf, this is an amazing adventure and Summer of Surf wants you to be part of it!

Can I bring a friend?

Of course! I learned with my two best friends and we are still friends after all these years. The memories you make with your friends surfing will last a lifetime. You plan adventures, you share all the great things that happen 'out there' in the water, you paddle out together, you face challenges together and you share your personal victories with one another. Can you bring a friend! Of course you can! Make sure your friend signs up for the same time(s) you are and get ready to share your surfing adventure!

My Mom/Dad/Sister/Brother/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Dog/Cat wants to come and watch me surf, what do you think? 

That's a tough one, back when I started surfing I had to rely on my Mom to drive me to the beach and help drag my 100-lbs Dewey Weber surfboard to the about embarrassing, my Mom had to get me launched into the water! Don't get me wrong, it was great because I got to go surfing, but, I always secretly hoped my friends would never see my Mom carrying my surfboard to the water's edge! When I look back on it I realized how cool my Mom really was, but Mom had to carry my surfboard!!!! When you go with us you don't have to have anyone carry your board, they are way lighter nowadays, and just think how cool it will be when you have learned to stand up and ride waves and then you can invite Mom/Dad/Sister/Brother/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/Dog/Cat to the beach and show them just what you learned at camp! I think it might be best to keep this experience to yourself and your surfing buddies!

I think I might be kinda...afraid of the ocean...kinda...  

No worries, the ocean can sometimes seem big and a bit scary, but I always remember this quote when I head out into the water...

                       'They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all...'

                                                             Whales Weep Not      

                                                                    -D. H. Lawrence, 1885-1930

The ocean is a fantastic place, it provides us with so much; food, water, waves, unbelievable mammals like the Polar Bear, a 1,000 pound warm-blooded Big Guy that can move at 25mph, or the Walrus with their big whiskers, the Manatee that almost floats through the water as if in outer-space and don't forget the Whales, Dolphins, Sea Otters and all the fish, plants and algae that provide much of the worlds oxygen through photosynthesis, no, the ocean is not cold, dark, nor scary, the ocean is life, and the more you discover about the ocean the more her waters become an old friend.

Transportation...How do I get there?

Some Surfers ride bikes, others skateboards, they catch a ride with friends, or in my case, I asked my Mom; when you go to the beach with Summer of Surf you ride in a 'coach' our rides ROCK! They have comfortable seats, air-conditioning, and most importantly...we have surf movies!!!! When you ride to the beach with us you ride in style and you get to enjoy surf movies, snacks and you are accompanied by our Surf Counselors that will be you on the roundtrip and be there at the beach! All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the adventure!

I don't think my son or daughter will be ok leaving me...(Separation Anxiety)

Separation Anxiety is real, "Mom, I don't want to go...!!!!',  "Don't leave me Mom...Please..." are real statements and they are just as difficult for both parents and kids. Big adventures can create big anxieties, but they also create big growth opportunities. Our low ratios and our attentive Instructors create the opportunity to use these moments as empowering to our young Surfers. After the first success of 'surviving' the day, meeting new friends, spending time in the ocean and relishing in their growth in confidence, those moments create memories and empower our Surfers to look forward to their next day in the ocean. That growth is what Summer of Surf seeks to help facilitate in all our Surfers.

I'm worried about my kid(s) feet getting burned on the sand.

No one likes toasted toes, especially young toasted tootsies, we totally understand, our best solution to protect the bottom of the feet from hot sand, sharp rocks, old parking lots and the like is sandals with an ankle strap design. There is a variety of providers that offer this design, Teva, Chaco, Keen and Merrell are just a few of the companies that have excellent products. These sandals can be purchased at a variety of retail outlets; REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Famous Footwear, Macy’s and a host of other locations. The sandals will deliver years of service and are an excellent value for full-grown feet. For still growing feet there are discount sandals available at a variety of outlets that will give an easy summer or two of service as well. Bottom line, we want to 'Protect The Tootsies!' and sandals do that best and they allow sand to fall out too!

What if it starts raining? The waves get too big? Lightning begins a fabulous lightshow? The wind starts really howling?

Surfing in the rain is one of my favorite things, I'm already wet, so why not? Waves too big, lightening shows, howling wind...Summer of Surf would never put our Surfers at undue risk, if the weather presents us with one of her real shows of power will reschedule your lesson or camp.

What are Summer of Surf ratios?

Summer of Surf maintains at minimum a 4:1 Instructor to new Surfer ratio, we strive to maintain a 3:1 ratio. For first-time Surfers, Surfers dealing with a little bit of anxiety or some special needs we always maintain a 1:1 ratio. Our goal, our mantra is to create the most wonderful experience for our Surfers and always exceed your expectations. Remember too, if you have any questions please call, we all love to talk about our favorite subject...Surfing!