FAQ

Santa Monica Surf School was established in 2006. We are the only Surf School in Los Angeles certified by the international Surfing Association. We specialize in private surf lessons, team building activities, and corporate wellness events. Our instructors have experience teaching people of all ages and abilities. Since 2006 we’ve been helping people achieve their surfing goals. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower people to a greater sense of awareness and knowledge through surfing. Santa Monica Surf School’s instructor are NARS (National Aquatic Rescue Standard) certified to ensure your safety in the water.

My child has never surfed before, is it safe and can you teach him or her?

Safety is our first priority.  It’s especially important for young people to learn surfing and water safety skills in a protected environment.  Santa Monica Surf School hires instructors who are experienced surfers with a knowledge of ocean safety, in addition to being trained in CPR, first aid, and emergency response procedures.  Every Monday, we go over surfing and camp rules, along with beach and water safety techniques. Our staff is trained to teach children of all skill levels, even those with little-to-no ocean experience.  Santa Monica Surf School advanced safety protocols ensure the maximum level of safety and fun. By using this approach, campers grow confident and parents become comfortable with this new experience, as our students develop long-lasting ocean-safety skills and a love for surfing.

Can we do a trial day of camp?

Most parents want to make sure their kids are in a safe and happy environment.  Santa Monica Surf School offers a 100% refund if kids don’t enjoy the camp, but 99% of the time kids absolutely love it.

Do children need to know how to swim?

We often get younger kids who are not strong swimmers or do not have a lot of experience with the ocean.  Please simply add a note about this in the “Comments” section when registering, and our team will give them the extra support in the water they need.  We prefer that campers are able to swim at least the length of a 25 yard pool.

Where do the kids wait during camp pick-up, who waits with them, and if I'm late?

Upon completing your reservation, you will be emailed directions.  This includes pick-up and drop off information. We set up a shaded area for pick-up and extended care.  One or more instructors will wait with your child in a shaded area with sunscreen and water available.

What if my child is going to be late to surf camp?

Please call/text us A.S.A.P. if your child is going to be late to camp.  If you know in advance that you will be late on certain days, please email info@santamonicasurfschool.com or notify the beach administrator during drop-off and we will notate our camp rosters.

Do campers need to be signed in and out?

Yes, safety is our number one priority at Santa Monica Surf School.  We require a parent/guardian to sign their camper in at drop-off, and out at pick-up.  What is your  to know that campers are leaving with a trusted guardian. If you are having friends or family pick them up we require ample notice in writing and that you notify our beach manager.  If your teen has their own transportation arranged, we require signed consent before allowing them to leave our care on their own. Therefore, please provide us with written permission (with a signature) before advising your kids/teens to walk or Uber home.

How are campers divided?

We maintain a positive “family-style” atmosphere.  Our surfing sessions are organized by ability and skill level, which often corresponds to age.

Are you accredited?

We are the only surf school in Los Angeles accredited by the ISA program. Through this program our instructors have gone through a series of tests involving swimming, beach running, ocean lifeguarding, emergency response protocols, customer service workshops, systematic surfing instruction, camp operations and safety training.

What is your student to instruction Ratio?

Santa Monica prides itself on having the best student to instructor ratio, a remarkable 3:1 (three students to one instructor), so we can give students the attention that they deserve. 

How do the surf instructors rotate between the children?

The surf instructors will hold on to their surfboard until they are able to surf on their own.  Older and more skilled surfers are given greater freedom and guidance to mature as surfers. Santa Monica Surf School never forces kids to surf if they do not feel comfortable (we gently motivate and encourage).  Our dynamic team custom tailors the camp to suit the experience level of each individual camper. We are committed to ensuring a safe, fun, and healthy learning environment for everyone.

What is your rescheduling policy?

We normally ask for at least 24 hours notice, but can offer a make up day/s if we get notice 2-3 hours before we close (the day before your camp reservation).  Our office officially closes at 5:00pm (but we often stay until 6:00pm). This helps us schedule our staff to maintain our excellent student to instructor ratio.

When do the campers eat lunch?

  Lunchtime is usually between 11am. The campers may either bring their own lunch or bring $15 cash to order lunch.  At drop off in the morning, the student or parent can order lunch (healthy and organic choices are available). Instructors submit lunch orders and deliver them to campers on the beach. 

What does the camp day consist of?
  • 8:45am – 9:15am: Sign-in
  • 9:15am – 9:30am: After signing in, we play name games to break the ice. This encourages building bonds between campers and staff.
  • 9:30am – 9:55am: Time for our “surfle”, our surf-circle huddle, where we discuss water safety rules for the day, practice reading the ocean conditions, and answer any questions. Instructors also help apply sunscreen during this time.
  • 9:55am: We start our land lesson, where the kids are taught step-by-step what will happen in the water, on the beach. More advanced surfers can skip this and enter into the water with an instructor, however, each land lesson focuses on building and developing new surf skills.
  • 10:00am: Surf’s up! We’re in the water and surfing.
  • 11:00am: Break for Lunch. Instructors help apply a second round of sunscreen before the campers eat lunch.
  • 11:30pm: Resume the fun with beach activities, our favorite camp games, and jump in the water for more swimming and surfing.
  • 12:30pm: Cleam up and Pick-up. Campers wait with instructors in our shaded area until their parent or guardians arrive.
How is your program different from other summer camps?

Our programs differ from other camps, because we create a safe and fun environment with high quality personalized instruction.  For this reason, we were awarded the “Best Surf School in Southern California”! You may find more information on our company page.  If you need additional information please feel free to contact us with any questions.

Does everyone need to fill out the release form?

Yes, the cities which issue our beach permits require a parent or guardian to fill out a wavier for participants.

Is there a referral bonus if I get other kids to attend camp with my child?

If you are able to recruit additional participants to enroll we will gladly credit your account $50 per new customer that registers for a full week session, or $25 for half week session.  Email us their contact info, and we’ll credit your account once they sign up.