Orange County boasts some of the best beaches in California and throughout the world. You can take advantage of some of the world’s best surfing instruction on this glorious coast for children and adults alike. Learn the tools and surf the very breaks that made local surf icons Corky Carroll, Donavon Frankenreiter and Todd Kline famous.
Newport Surf School
26th St. and Newport Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92663
This school has been turning paddlers into surfers since 1986. At Newport Surf School, you will have fun, receive serious instruction and learn how to surf. Unlike the crowded chaos of a standard beginning surf class, where your kids essentially learn to get cold, bored and run over by overzealous classmates, Newport offers private, personal lessons for surfers of every skill level. Registration is available everyday via telephone from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Salty Grom Surf Camp
21372 Brookhurst St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92649
There are those who are of a mind that being surrounded by a gaggle of soggy grommets is perhaps not the best way to spend the day. This is not so at Salty Grom Surf Camp, where instructors excel at getting kids excited about and proficient in surfing. Maintaining a low “student-to-instructor ratio,” Salty Grom gives kids the attention necessary to effectively and safely learn and love this sport. Private lessons are available.
Banzai Surf School
Pacific Coast Highway and Brookhurst St.
Newport Beach, CA 92646
Touted as one of the most forgiving breaks in the area, Banzai Surf School at PCH and Brookhurst is perfect for young, novice surfers. Open year-round, Banzai wisely provides a premium wetsuit for every student. Lessons may be taken privately, or as part of a group, depending upon your desired intensity and exclusivity. Family owned and run and NSSIA accredited, Banzai’s website says it offers “all the sand you can eat.” If nothing else, Banzai’s got a sense of humor.
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Girl In The Curl Surf Lessons
34116 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite A
Dana Point, CA 92629
Are you tired of your little brother always in your room and in your space? Well, he can’t get you here. Providing quality surf instruction for 26 years, Girl in the Curl surf lessons are, as evidenced, just for girls. Your lessons will include surfboard, wetsuit, safe, professional instruction and the best waves Dana Point has to offer. Baby brothers are welcome to come offer support from the beach and watch as their sisters become better surfers than them. Call for an appointment.
224 5th St.
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Surfriders’ friendly, experienced instructors specialize in first-time beginners, and believe they can have you surfing in one hour. Insured and NSSIA certified, Surfriders Academy promotes safety, self-esteem, a love for the sport, respect and an appreciation for the ocean. Please call and book in advance; lessons are by appointment. The Academy generously supports the Mauli Ola Foundation, which introduces surfing to and touches the lives of children with Cystic Fibrosis, cancer and other health challenges.
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Christopher Schmidt is a freelance writer experiencing and espousing the glory that is Orange County. Driven to travel, drawn to sports, spirits and celebrity, Chris’ work can be found on