Learn to Surf

Teaching someone to surf is simple. Lay the student on a board, give it a shove towards the beach and yell, “Get up!” Any bozo, it would seem, can be a surf instructor.

If it’s that easy, if anyone can teach you to surf, what makes us any different? Why choose us over all the others? The answer is as simple as…well, as simple as teaching someone to surf. I’m going to explain what sets us apart, and when I’m finished I think you’ll agree that our school is the best choice.

Many people think that being a good surfer is the primary factor in being able to teach it, which is completely false. Possessing skill on a surfboard, while far from the most important ingredient of being a good teacher, is helpful. As a former East Coast pro champ, I’ve got that covered. Still, there’s a reason Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods aren’t coaches.

Teaching isn’t about knowledge of a topic so much as the ability to convey that knowledge. You can’t just say, “Watch me,” and expect a student to learn. Having earned a Masters Degree in Education and spending the last eight years teaching middle school, I know something about conveying knowledge. The fact that I’ve authored two surfing books – one of them, The Kook’s Guide to Surfing, explains every facet of the sport – is evidence that I can get my point across. Furthermore, over the last three decades I’ve personally taught thousands of people to surf.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, to teach someone to do something you should care about people and about the thing you’re teaching. Through the years I’ve volunteered to instruct children with autism, people with spinal cord injuries, and foster children. I started Wave Warriors Surf Camp for injured soldiers, and I provide free camps for local underprivileged students. If someone cares more about giving back to the community through surfing, I’d love to meet them.

While I am not personally shoving students into waves as much as I once was, I remain heavily involved in selecting my instructors based on my values, and providing them with all the necessary tools to succeed. I’m still on the beach every day, still ensuring that all of my students receive the best possible education.

Whether you decide to learn to surf with us or with someone else, we’re confident you’ll have the time of your life. And we’re thrilled you’ve decided to take part in what we consider the greatest sport on earth. And just think, pretty soon you’ll be qualified to be a surf instructor too.

New option for 2017 : OBX Overnight Camps

*THINGS TO KNOW

-Campers should have some surfing experience and be able to catch their own waves
-Daily activities to include: surfing, SUPing, cross-training, and exploring the coastline, as well as educational visits from various surf industry professionals (athletes, surfboard shapers, shop owners, journalists, and surf forecasters).
-Photo packages available

Welcome to our new Blog!

We’re going to be posting random excerpts from Jason’s book The Kook’s Guide to Surfing, as well as other cool stuff. With the weather getting warmer, and people flocking to the lineup, we thought we’d start with a post about dropping in on other surfers. Hope you enjoy it, and please share it with your friends, especially those who like to drop in on you.

Chapter 3 – Etiquette

Don’t Drop In”

At some surf spots, five surfers riding together on a single wave is the norm. With far more people in the water then there are waves to be ridden, some mayhem is inevitable. However, at anywhere other than the most crowded of breaks, the general rule of thumb is “One man, one wave.” (This rule is deceiving, because if the wave has a peak and peels off to the left and right, two surfers can ride without getting in each other’s way.

If you recall from “Now What?” in Chapter Two, one of the earliest objectives in surfing is to ride down-the-line, or parallel to the beach as opposed to straight towards it. When two surfers ride in the same direction on a wave, it becomes the responsibility of the surfer in front to yield to the surfer in back. A “drop in,” the most blatant violation of the surfing code, occurs when the surfer in front ignores this rule. Also known as “cutting off,” “burning,” or “snaking,” this infringement of etiquette shows the utmost lack of respect. The surfer in back, so long as he is not behind the breaking part of the wave, has “inside position” and should be allowed to ride the wave unbothered.

There are exceptions. One surfer may have inside position, but also be sitting closer to shore. The surfer who is father outside has the right of way even if he is in front of the other surfer.
Dropping in, aside from being rude, places both surfers at a heightened risk of injury. If one of the riders falls, his unmanned surfboard poses an immediate danger to the other. Surfers can be a territorial and loyal bunch, and if you are seen dropping in on someone, you may be in for more than you bargained. At the least, the offending surfer is asking to be dropped in upon on the next wave. In some cases, a drop-in will earn a verbal or even physical retaliation. Snake someone at a localized spot, and the intrusion could result in the punching out of either your fins or your teeth.

Accidents will happen. You will, even if you are careful, eventually drop in on someone. Usually, a sincere apology will diffuse any potential situation. Communication helps avoid most run-ins.
Every time you see a wave that you want to catch, even before you take the first stroke, look around and make sure another surfer is not in a better position to catch it. There may already be someone riding the wave, so look down the line to see if the coast is clear. Skilled surfers are often able to navigate across waves that others consider closeouts, so never assume the other surfer is too far back to make a section. When in doubt, pull out. There will always be another wave.