If your little beach bum has been attempting to ride the waves that are really your sofa cushions, it may be time to give him a real surf experience. Surf Diva, a surfing school that welcomes kids as young as five years old, is an iconic part of the San Diego surf scene. While your sofa will get a break, the skills your little gremmie learns will last much longer than a 15-minute thrill ride. Here’s what you need to know before you dive in.
Grab Your Boards
Founded in 1996, Surf Diva is one of the biggest and most well respected surf schools in the world. Their expert instructors work with surfers of all levels and ages, though the youngest little surfers must be at least age 5 and able to swim 10-15 yards in a pool.
To start the lesson, Surf Diva expert instructors will take the kiddos (and adults alike) out on the beach with some shore education. There, your little surfers will learn to respect the beach and wildlife all while in the water (read: doing the stingray shuffle). Then, the instructors will jump into the surf basics: paddling, board positioning and popping up to standing. After perfecting the techniques on land, it’s time to hit the water.
Surf’s Up! (Where It’s At)
Surf Diva teaches their lessons at La Jolla Shores Beach, the widely agreed “Best San Diego Beach to Learn Surfing.” The Shores are known for their mellow waves and the soft, sandy bottoms that keeps little toes happy. If your young ones need any further enticing to get out there, this beach is also known for its wildlife sightings. On calm days, dolphins, stingrays and seals share the waters with surfers.
The beauty of La Jolla Shores beach are the waves. Surf Diva will take the kids to a tame, mellow and shallow area and keep your little surfers within their comfort zone. When your little dude or dudette rides his or her first wave, it just might become the best day of your little one’s life.
Insider’s Tip: Parking can be tricky in the area, especially on weekends. Your best bet is to park near the shop to start as there is a 90-min limit. Go in, sign your documents, pay and get your wetsuits (thankfully, boards will be down at the beach waiting for you) before driving down to the beach. There you can park without a restricted time limit. Because you and your kiddos will be having the time of your life, the last thing you want to worry about is having to move your car in 90 minutes.
Catch a Wave! (When to Surf)
As we know, what passes as winter here in San Diego is quite tropical compared to the rest of the country. Even though the air may be a bit cooler, surfing is a year-round sport. Equip your kiddos with a wetsuit and they will barely know it’s winter. Surf Diva will rent you one for $5. Rent it without hesitation – this is a vital component for happy surfing kids.
The best bet to launch your little surfers is a private one-on-one lesson. A one-on-one instructor to kid ratio is the best way to ensure ample riding and devoted attention. This investment is for a fun skill and a lifetime of fun. But Surf Diva doesn’t stop there. They offer a regular group lesson for kids ages 5-13 called Kids Party Wave on Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 – 3 p.m. for $65. They also run after school surfing programs, camps and much more.surfdiva.com Hours: Sun. – Thurs., 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Fri. – Sat., 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Have you taken your kiddos surfing? Tell us about the experience in the comments below!
— Kathleen Berkson
Photos provided by Surf Diva