FAQ Surf Teams
How to join
We are now using MindBody scheduling for Surf Teams! Enroll on the Surf Teams page of our site. You can sign-in to your practices from the Surf Teams page or you can download the Mindbody App for your mobile phone. MindBody allows you to sign up for multiple and re-occuring practices at one time!
For your initial account set up through MindBody, please register from a computer (not the mobile app). *If you have more than 1 child on surf team, please create a seprate account for each, including email (login) and password. Once you have created your account and purchased your membership you can use the mobile app (download below) to sign-in to practices. If you need HELP with MindBody, please click HERE.
Parent School Team Managers
Please go to the school specific page on the "Surf Team" tab drop down menu to find contact info for parent team managers.
Is there a cost?
Yes. For 2018/19, see dues/payments options below for the school year (or click here). Team uniforms are a school specific and rash guards are mandatory and can be purchased for $25.00. Families may choose to purchase multiple rashguards. All surfers must pay their dues and wear their rashguards. There are no scholarships available at this time.
$1,500- $375 quarterly (4 payments every 3 months)
$1,400 - $700 semester (2 payments)
$1,300 year (1 time payment in full)
NEW for this year: 1 Semester membership (1 time payment of $800)
When to join
Sign-ups can happen from the start of the school year until September 15, 2018. Payments must be made prior to your first practice.
What if my child has never surfed?
We can teach him/her! The groms are divided into three skill levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and each grouping is coached based on their abilities. Know that in a larger group setting, such as their surf team, their learning curve is going to be slower than if they took a few private lessons to complement their group experience. They will know the joys of surfing in a very controlled environment when we have a larger ratio–they will get 1/7th the one-on-one time they would get if they do a private lesson.
Do the kids compete?
Yes! The kids who wish to can compete in four (4) regular season surf contests hosted by Surf Academy between all area public schools with teams. The once-a-month contests begin November 2018 and end May 2019. All ISPE earners must compete in all surf contests to satisfy SMMUSD requirements.
What are the requirements to join the team?
Pay dues (or initiate payment plan) by September 15, 2018
Sign the WAIVER for Surf Academy found on the "Download Forms" page as a pdf.
The first day of practice is an ocean swim test, a sand run, and a paddle. Children are divided into three groups based on their athletic ability and then divided again by their surfing abilities. Students may ‘pass out’ of this ocean skills test by doing at least one week of Summer Surf Team. See the calendar for dates!
There is also a mandatory swim test in a pool. Students may ‘pass out’ of this test with a Junior Lifeguards certificate, proof of membership on a swim team or water polo team, and/or scouts badge. You can find the form here.
All students are asked to attend two practices a week, but they are not penalized for only making one (or none, as the case may be in some weeks). Students who earn ISPE credit are required to spend a mandatory 200 minutes a week at surf practice.
How many practices a week are there?
There are 9 scheduled practices a week and each child’s dues pay for TWO (2) practices to attend a week (70 practices are included in the membership). The "1 semester only" membership is for half a school year and includes 35 practices. You will be able to purchase packages of more practices if they use up the 70 by attending more than 2 per week. CLICK HERE to see the complete schedule on MindBody. Students who wish to earn ISPE credit MUST attend an afternoon practice, and they have option to either attend the other afternoon practice OR their weekday dawn patrol session. No one earns ISPE credit for Saturday practice. **Afternoon practices change by 30 minutes after daylight savings in Spring.**
What if my child wants to surf more than the allotted practices?
If you want more instruction for your grom:
Come to more than 2 practices a week! You can do this by signing into any other surf practice offered. If you run out of practices, you may purchase more individual and packages of practices when you run out. They will be available through MindBody later in the season.
Do we have to sign up for the whole year?
For those of you who want PE credit, this is a year long pass or fail class, so yes, you are required to come to 2 practices per week.
During the school year Surf Team is a commitment for several reasons:
Our program is designed to be progressive. For that reason, we don't allow sign ups during the season. Throughout the season we expect to see many changes in your child's physical abilities and their mental and physical fortitude. Surfing is not just a set of skills, but many different skill sets that must be applied according to continually varying surf/weather conditions. That's why this program is so amazing, we will be surfing through seasons! There are MANY ups and downs in surfing and it takes years of dedication to become a competent surfer physically and mentally!
In addition to you and your child's commitment, we are a service based business that cares about our (and your) coaches and staff. This job is in a sense a commitment to our coaches and from them to you as well, and we want nothing but the best! Your dues are paying for your coaches and at a 1:10 ratio that is our biggest expense of Surf Team.
In terms of value, if you are not getting independent pe credit and think dedication might fizzle out when it gets cold and dark, or during times when school gets rough, you can come to more than 2 practices per week when the weather is great (in the early and late season) and still use most if not all of your sessions. If you run out of sessions, you can purchase more later in the season.
What can my child expect to learn?
Children can expect to learn basic ocean safety skills (how to identify wave sizes and rip currents), ocean swim skills (how to move with the sea), board handling skills, and surfing skills. We help kids improve their skills from wherever they are starting their surfing journey. All students move through beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill cards. These cards are available for parent viewing upon request.
What are the instructor to student ratios on the beach and in the water?
Surf Academy coaches to groms (kids who surf) is 1:5 or better. The land ratio is 1:10. There are times when we have coaches covering land and water and students are moving through stations, getting technical feedback, and/or being video'd.
Can my child earn Independent P.E. credit for surfing?
Yes they can. You must fill out the school forms for your child, get their signature, get Head Coach Marion Clark’s information, and turn the forms into the appropriate administrators at your child’s school. Each school has their own rules for when to turn in the forms, so be sure to talk to the people at your school about deadlines. PE surfers MUST attend two of the M-F practices ONLY. No PE credit is given for Saturday practice. Ideally, those groms earning PE credit come to the two afternoon practices so they can earn more than the 200 minutes that are a minimum requirement for ISPE.
How come they have to run, stretch, and do sit ups and push ups?
Everything we do at surf practice is designed to help children be more comfortable, confident, and strong in their bodies. Running, paddling, sit ups, push ups, and stretching are all components of surfing. We practice all of these things to get stronger and be more well-rounded athletes.
Does Surf Academy supply the equipment?
Surf Academy does have wetsuits and surfboards available for rent at each practice. Wetsuits are $10/practice and boards are $10/practice. If you want to rent equipment for your child, Head Coach Marion needs to know at least 24 hours in advance to have it ready and available. She will not bring extra equipment to practices if she is not asked for it by parents. Please call, 424.903.9500 or email, to make requests.
Where is the best place to get a board and wetsuit?
Surf Academy enjoys “family” discounts at Becker Surfboards in Hermosa Beach (say you’re a Surf Academy peep!) Dive N' Surf has an amazing selection of equipmemt to choose from. You can also check Craigslist for used surf equipment. Every team manager will organize an order for Bodyglove wetsuits and surf team members enjoy deep discounts on top of the line suits.
How do I know what size wetsuit my child needs?
Kids sizes typically match their age (for example, a 12 year old wears a size 12). This is not always the case, however, and most wetsuit brands you can look up online and cross-check your child’s height/weight with the brand size chart to pick the best fit. Each team is doing a wetsuit order with BodyGlove within the first month of practice. Please talk to your team manager about getting on the list for a wetsuit at wholesale cost.
How do I know what is the right board for my child?
In the beginning, the rule is generally, “the bigger the board, the faster a child will learn.” Surf Academy recommends foam boards in the 7’0” – 9’8” range depending on height/weight of the child. The coaches working closely with your child in practice can give good advice about sizing as your child becomes more proficient in the water. We are doing a board order with INT softboards. You can get a high end foam board or a hybrid board (foam top, fiberglass bottom) for 20-30% above wholesale. If you are interested in this option, please check the site and then email Marion with your requests.
Should my child’s board have a leash?
How long should it be? It depends. For beginners, Surf Academy’s philosophy is NO LEASH while they are learning on a foam board. This ensures that the coaches can be hands-on with our help for your grom. If your grom is using a fiberglass or epoxy board, then a leash is MUST. Real fins and harder boards hurt a lot when they get away from their owner and hit someone. The leash ensures the board will stay in relatively close proximity to the owner. The downside to a leash is that Surf Academy coaches and other volunteers cannot do hands-on work with your grom because of safety concerns. Leashes have a tendency to coil around ankles/legs/waists/necks and cause much harm to the person who gets snagged. Another pitfall of leash use is that students using leashes are less mindful of keeping their board close to them. We want our groms to learn good boardhandling skills, and this means how to terminate a wave properly and how to wipeout properly — keep your board close! When a leash is involved, students are more apt to let their board go flying or simply jump off at the end of a wave–both bad habits! Newbies learn discernment faster when a leash is taken out of their surfing equation.
What are the dangers of surfing?
All sorts of things! Wipeouts, ego bruising, salty eyes, sandy noses and ears, sting ray stings (especially when the water is warm and the waves are mellow), getting hit by surfboards, getting tripped up by leashes…Surfing is considered an extreme sport and we are in the ocean, which means we are level with all the creatures living in the sea. The thing about these perceived dangers are that they are also what makes surfing so delightfully different from all other past-times!
How are the children protected from those dangers?
Surf Academy coaching staff teaches students how to handle themselves and their surfboards in the ocean. We go over safety protocols (how to point the board in relationship to a wave, how to wipe out safely, how to exit a wave, how to hang on to equipment, etc) before each surf session and remind all through practice. Kids don’t remember everything they are told the first time, and we are like broken records when it comes to safety of self and others in the water.
Am I allowed to stay and watch practice?
Yes you are! We do ask that parents who are not volunteering their surf knowledge in the water stay on shore and remain a safe distance from their children. We have learned over the years that children behave differently when their parents aren’t around. We don’t want any of the groms to get confused about who is “in charge” at surf practice–the parents or the coaches? We don’t want you to miss your child’s first wave triumphs and epic wipeouts; we do however, ask that you back up the coaches by deferring to their good judgment in the water. When you come to the beach, please set up BACK from the line of trashcans that run from lifeguard tower to lifeguard tower. This way, we have lots of space for sand lessons/workouts and the kids don’t feel like they are on stage. Surfing can be pretty tough on the mind sometimes, and we want as much space for growth as possible!
What happens when the weather is unsavory?
Practice is cancelled in the case of: High Surf Advisories, Heavy Rain (rain advisories), Heavy Winds, Thunderstorms, and Sewage Spills. If practice falls within 72 hours of a heavy rain, there is no water practice and only land practice. Homework assignments will be given if we have to cancel a practice and it isn't easy for the kids to make it up in their own time.
All team members are encouraged to compete and have the option to enter Surf Academy sponsored "Ohana Nalu" contests throughout the surf season!
Middle Schoolers are competing together in longboard and shortboard events. Heats are split by gender; and boys and girls have an equal number of spots available across grade levels. High Schoolers are offered an equal number of spots across gender for both long and shortboard divisions. Any middle and high school student is welcome to enter the Ohana Nalu surf series, regardless of team membership.
Samohi also competes in the South Bay Scholastic Surfing Association with other schools from across Southern California. These events are hosted during the week and students are excused from school to participate. High School Athletes are chosen to represent their school for competition based on points earned at practice in three categories: Attitude, Ability, and Attendance. Surf Academy strives to turn out surfers who epitomize the qualities put forth in The Surfer Code. Students who exhibit high quality sportsmanship at practice, showing talent and hard work on a consistent basis. Students must have good attendance at all regularly scheduled practices and team bonding events. Only surfers who exemplify ‘The Stoke,’ exhibit the highest ethics, in and out of the water, and make themselves a fixture at all practices and team events are asked to compete for their school.
All team members must wear a brightly colored team rashguard to every practice. These identifying rashguards help County Lifeguards, parents, and Coaches keep track of surfers in the water. No rashguard, no water entry, no exceptions. Rashguards can be purchased for $25 each.
You are commiting to the membership package/contract you signed up for. Surf team dues are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Team dues cover two(2) 90 minute-120 minute practices per week for a total of 35 or 70 practices (depending on your membership) during the season and allow for the possibility of make-up days the following week should there be illness, family emergencies, or weather related misses/cancellations. Sign-ins prior to practices are at least 24-hour in advance and are a MUST for the school year–as we base our coach:student ratio on sign-ups. If your child is signed in for a practice and they “no show” without notice or do not cancel through their MindBody account more than 8 hours before the practice, they will be marked "late cancel" and the session will be forfeit.
Practice Times, Locations & Parking
PAUL REVERE practices meet at Tower 24 on Tuesdays. Parking is at South Lot 4, 2030 Ocean Ave.–long term parking entrance is at Ocean and Bicknell, long term and short term parking is at Hollister and Ocean. Long term parking is $8/day or a Santa Monica issued beach pass and Short term parking is $2/2-hours. Beach passes are allowed at these lots (they can be purchased at the SM Business Office at 1717 4th Street) or you can choose to pay for parking via the kiosks. There is no charge for simply picking up and dropping off your children.
SAMOHI, JAMS, LINCOLN, and Crossroads weekly practices meet at Towers 22 and 24, respectively. Parking is at South Lot 4, 2030 Ocean Ave.–long term parking entrance is at Ocean and Bicknell, long term and short term parking is at Hollister and Ocean. Long term parking is $8/day or a Santa Monica issued beach pass and Short term parking is $2/2-hours.
ALL MIDDLE SCHOOLS practices on Saturdays at Tower 24. There is both long and short term parking available.
ALL HIGH SCHOOLS practice on Saturdays at Dog Beach in Huntington.
Carpooling can be set up among families needing to share rides and get equipment to practices. This is something done within your respective child’s team and not arranged by Surf Academy.