Summer Programs

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Updated on April 7, 2024

At Aqua Surf, safety is always our top first priority.  Our team of positive role models teach with healthy values in mind — all the time!  Kindly review our FAQs — they are designed to help answer 99% of your questions, mahalo.


First Time Parents

My child has never surfed... is it safe?

Yes, and SAFETY is our first priority. 

Aqua Surf hires instructors who are not only experienced surfers with a knowledge of ocean safety, but are role models, trained in emergency response procedures, CPR and first aid.  Every Monday, we start in a SURFLE (our surf-circle huddle) to teach surfing and establish rules, along with beach and water safety techniques.  Our staff is trained to teach children of all skill levels in a safe environment, even those with little-to-no ocean experience.  Aqua Surf’s advanced safety protocols ensure the maximum level of safety and fun.

Participants grow confident, develop long-lasting ocean-safety skills, and a love for surfing.

Can we do a trial day?

Most parents want to make sure their kids are in a safe and happy environment.  Aqua Surf offers a 100% refund if kids don’t enjoy our program, but 99% of the time kids absolutely love it.  You may register By the Week or By the Day (along with mornings, afternoons, and full day options).

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

Do children need to know how to swim?

We do prefer that participants are able to swim at least the length of a 25 yard pool, however we love the opportunity to teach younger kids who are not yet strong swimmers or have a lot of experience with the ocean.

When in the ocean, our participants always begin one-on-one with our instructors and are never beyond arm’s reach or in deeper water.  Please simply add a note about swimming ability in your child’s profile when registering.

Our team will group your child/teen with kids of similar age and ability so they have the extra support in the water they need.

Do you provided a shaded area?

Yes, we set up 10 x 10 canopies and beach umbrellas that offer an abundance of shade and a nice break from the beautiful sunshine.  Additionally, we help children/teens apply sunscreen regularly.  Participants are also encouraged to bring a waterproof hat for extra protection.

Pick Up & Drop Off

Where's pick-up, who waits if I'm late?

Upon completing your reservation, you will be emailed directions which include pick-up & drop off information.  We set up a shaded area for pick-up and extended care where one or more of our instructors will wait with your child with sunscreen and water.  If you know you will be running late, please call or text.

What if my child is going to be late?

Please call/text us ASAP if your going to be late.  If you know in advance that you will be late on certain days, please contact us or notify the beach administrator during drop-off.

If I can’t pick up on time, any childcare?

Yes, we offer extended care from 7am-9am & 3pm – 5pm. The rate is $25 per child, per hour.  To purchase/schedule additional childcare:  Schedule Your Extended Care.

Do kids need to be signed in/out daily?

Yes, safety is our number one priority at Aqua Surf.

We require a parent/guardian to check in their participant at drop-off, and check out at pick-up.  We need to know that participants are leaving with a trusted guardian.  If you are having friends or family pick them up, you can input this into the participant profile information with the Manage Your Account.

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.

Do you provide transportation?

Sorry, we don’t offer transportation.

Where are your locations?

View Location Page

Our Santa Monica Beach location is at Lifeguard Tower 28.  The canopies are set up on the beach 100 yards in front of our AQUASURF vehicle which is located at the South end of the parking lot.  (Address: 2701 Barnard Way, Santa Monica, CA).

Our Redondo Beach location is at the bottom of the ramp at the South end of the Torrance Beach parking lot.  We are on the beach near the Perry’s Cafe, just West of the end of Via Riviera.  (Address:  387 Paseo De La Playa, Redondo Beach, CA 90277)

Our Manhattan Beach location in El Porto, near lifeguard Tower 45 by 45th Street.  (Nearby Address:  4499 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266).

Our Will Rogers location is at the South end of the Will Rogers parking lot, at Lifeguard Tower 15.  The nearest entrance from PCH is at Temescal Canyon Rd.  (Address: 15100 Ocean Front Walk, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272)

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.  

General Important Information

What is your student to instructor ratio?

At Aqua Surf, we stand out with our Premier Ratio Initiative, ensuring our students get the individual attention they deserve.  Our expertly trained beach captains dynamically adjust ocean ratios based on surf conditions, safety measures, and the maturity and experience of the group (Learn More).  This approach not only elevates safety but also optimizes one-on-one instruction in the water, thanks to our high number of skilled instructors.

Participants are treated like valued members of our AQUA SURF family — deserving of Healthy Encouragement, Dedicated Attention, and Safe Environments.

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

How do you group participants?

We always strive to maintain a positive “family-style” atmosphere while on the beach.  We organize our participants into “groups” by ability and skill level, which often corresponds to age.  Parents are always able to request that siblings, family, and friends be grouped together.

How do instructors rotate participants?

Younger kids, especially those 5-6 years of age, are provided with a great deal of 1:1 training.  The surf instructors will hold on to their surfboard until they are able to surf on their own.  AQUA SURF never forces participants to surf if they do not feel comfortable (we gently motivate and encourage).

Older and more skilled surfers are given greater freedom and guidance to mature as surfers, being able to practice catching waves on their own after being cleared by their instructor.   Our dynamic and experienced team custom tailors the learning journey to suit the experience level of each individual participant.  We are committed to ensuring a safe, fun, and healthy learning environment for everyone.

Are you accredited?

In the surfing education industry, there is no national authority for accreditation, but we’ve been “sharing the stoke” with surfing since 1997!

At AQUA SURF, safety is our top priority and instructors undergo a three month in-house staff training program (annually).  This rigorous instructor boot camp includes extensive ocean swimming, beach running, ocean lifeguarding, emergency response protocols, customer service workshops, systematic surfing instruction, camp operations and safety training.

Aqua Surf School has been legally permitted to run programming thru a highly competitive RFP government process with Los Angeles County Beaches & Harbors, and the City of Santa Monica.

AQUA SURF are members of the American Camp Association, and have gone thru the summer camp accreditation process.

Reserve Your Dates

Can I hang out with my child?

We love when parents are available to encourage and support their kids and teens as they learn how to surf with us.

However, we recommend allowing them two to three days to acclimate on their own (if possible).

We suggest visiting on Aloha Friday (10:30am – 11:30am) during our weekly self-surf mastery contest where the kids and teens can showcase their skills.

Credits, Scheduling and Managing Reservations

How do I sign up?

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.  If you have any questions, please feel free to call +1 (310) 902-7737 and we are happy to help.

My kid has an activity in the afternoon, can they come in the morning?

Yes, we offer half day sessions where your child can attend camp from 9:00am – 12:00pm or 12:00pm – 3:00pm.

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

Can I just come for a single day?

Yes, your child can still catch waves!  You may register By the Week or By the Day (along with mornings, afternoons, and full day options).

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.  

Are there discounts?

Aqua Surf offers early bird and special promotions to customers on our email list regularly before and after summer. When applicable, discounts will be automatically applied as you add more reservations to your cart during checkout Reserve Your Dates.

If you are interested in applying for a Scholarship or Discount, please see our Scholarships Page for details on how to apply, we’re stoked to help when we can.

Are there sibling discounts?

Yes, our sibling discount can be utilized by everyone when purchasing multiple credits.  When you Create Your Account you can add participants (your kids/teens), purchase credits, and schedule at your convenience.

Can I choose my own days/times, and do they need to be consecutive?

Yes, Log into Your Account Now to create, modify or manage your reservation.

We offer the following options when making reservations:

  • Select Dates = Commit Your Dates & Pay in Full
  • Credits = Purchase credits that you can use now, and later
  • Payment Plans = Select Your Dates & Choose a Payment Plan

Why are single days more expensive than by-the-week options?

We charge more for drop-ins, because they’re more costly to facilitate.  Weekly pricing is for participants who attend consecutively (Mon-Fri).

Rescheduling? Once registered, is it possible to change the week/day of my reservation?

Yes, you may Manage Your Reservation once logged in.  You may reschedule or cancel your reservations within the deadlines permitted for each specific program. For full details, refer to our Policy Page.

When do I need to decide on dates to utilize my credits?

We recommend securing your dates as soon as possible, because we sell out during the summer months.

When you purchase credits (paid in full) they are active for two (2) years on your account.

You may schedule any dates that are not sold out at any time with credits.

Full payment required? Payment plans?

You have three main options when paying for reservations:

Purchase Credits:  This allows you the most scheduling flexibility.  You may purchase several weeks or days, which you can then use for all your participants throughout the summer.  These credits will be in your account for two (2) years.  Schedule some now, schedule some later, easily reschedule at your leisure.

Select Dates & Pay in Full:  This will required you to commit to dates, and pay for them in full.  You can manage/cancel/self-reschedule when using this option.  Thus, if you need to change a date you may do so without any issue (within our cancellation/change window).

Select Dates & Choose a Payment Plan:  The main limitation is that you must complete your payments on your payment plan before you get self-rescheduling flexibility.  Thus, any changes to your schedule will require you contact our office.  Our available payment plans are By-the-Month, Bi-Weekly, or Half-Now/Half-Later.  Additionally, if your payments are not received by the agreed upon deadline (payment plan policy) your spot is no longer guaranteed.

Login Create an Account to make, modify, or manage reservations.

Cancellations and Upgrades

What is your cancellation policy?

This can be viewed on our website by clicking here.

Is there a deadline for reservations?

Most weeks quickly fill up, and often completely book up.  We suggest booking far in advance if you know the dates you want to secure.

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

How far in advance must I decide to us my credits?

We do sell out during popular dates, so we suggest scheduling as soon as you know your dates. Confirming your reservation far in advance also helps our planning for better programming. You may always reschedule if things change per our policy. Credits expire after two years from purchase date.

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

Surfing Program & Day to Day

Will my child be far out in big waves?

If they are a new surfer, then they will start in shallower water, smaller waves and closer to shore. Our team are experts on “reading the ocean” and ocean safety. Participants practice their skills in safe ocean conditions, within their limits, and under the close watch (or arms reach) of our expert staff.

When do they eat lunch?

Lunchtime is between 11:45am-12:45pm.  Participants should bring a healthy lunch and water to fuel their surfing and activities for the day.  More information is provided after you register.

The Santa Monica location has the option for parents/kids to order from a catering menu at drop-off in the morning every day. This can be paid in cash and usually ranges from $12-$20. (Pizza, Burgers, Smoothies, Sandwiches, Etc.)

What is the full day schedule?

The following an example of a Monday schedule.  The day-to-day schedules throughout summer are very diverse.  We put on different themes, learnings and topics throughout the summer.

  • 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.

  • 11:30am:  Break for Lunch. Instructors help apply a second round of sunscreen before the campers eat lunch.

  • 12:30pm:  Resume the fun with beach activities, our favorite camp games, and jump in the water for more swimming and surfing.

  • 2:15pm:  Clean up time. Instructors apply a third round of sunscreen, and everyone pitches in to make sure we leave the beach better than we found it.

  • 2:45pm – 3:15pm:  Pick-up. Campers wait with instructors in our shaded area until their parent or guardians arrive.

You may feel confident, when your kids want to attend the whole summer (most do) they will continue to learn, grow and thrive at Aqua Surf School every single day!

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

What time kids start surfing?

The time participants get into the ocean can vary from day-to-day.

Participants are usually in the water around 10:15am, but daily ocean time is based on the surfing conditions (wave size, tide, wind, weather, and safety considerations), determined by the Location Director.  Please consider that participants do not get straight in the ocean upon arrival.  The on-land activities, programming, and schedules are equally important to the overall experience and helps lay the foundation for a successful ocean session.


How is your program different from others?

We create a safe, fun environment with high quality personalized instruction, and were awarded the “Best Surf School in Southern California”!

Being surfing school pioneers, our summer surf programs offer more specialized education than any other camps/programs we have seen, especially when it comes to safety, quality, and creating skills for life.

Our premier student to instructor ratio, team of professional (expertly trained instructors) positive role models, and highly refined summer surfing programing is all thanks to the support of our local community, parents like you, and several decades of experience.

You can Reserve Your Dates online now.

What is the average number of campers per location?

The number of campers can vary week to week.  Each location is different, but our typical size is 25 – 35 campers. Please feel free to call our office to check the average number of campers for your location.

Does everyone need to fill out the release form?

Yes, a parent or guardian is required to fill out a waiver for all participants. Parents are able to complete this waiver online prior to camp (preferred) or in person during check-in at the beach.

Do you offer referral bonuses?

We greatly appreciate you sharing us with your family, friends, and loved ones.

Currently, we don’t have a public program.  However, we do send out emails a few times a year with different opportunities, so make sure you’re on the list!

If my child’s first language is not English or is visiting internationally?

Yes, your kids are welcome!  At Aqua Surf, we have many kids from around the world who participate in our programs while here in Los Angeles on vacation.  In that spirit, we have several instructors that are fluent in other languages.  Please feel free to contact us to learn more.

My teen is concerned this might be "too babyish"?

We understand this concern for teens.

We host a variety of participants, and our 13-17 year olds have just as much (or more) fun as our younger students.

Group assignments are made based on a combination of age and experience so teens are able to surf and enjoy the beach together.  The variety of activities, flexible schedule, and the attention our experienced instructors provide a chill and fun atmosphere.

For teens ages 13-16yrs old interested in a bigger role, we recommend our Counselor In Training (CIT) Program (limited availability).

Are there any perks for new or return students?

We have opportunities to register early and offer special promotions.  Make sure you are on our email list, and following our social media channels. If you would like to be added to our list, please email us at

Do you throw birthday parties?

Yes, we love hosting aloha beach parties year round! Our team provides an exciting and safe atmosphere for kids to celebrate on the beach and surf in the ocean (while parents relax). Learn more about our Birthday Party options here and please contact us with your dates, party size/details, budget, and the age of participants.

Teen Leadership Program - Counselor in Training (CIT)

What is the CIT program?

The Aqua Surf Counselor in Training (CIT) program helps your teenagers learn how to make a positive impact in a work-style atmosphere, learn work skills, and grow as young adults.  This program is intended to prepare an individual for the responsibility of being a counselor.  To learn all about the program and how to register your teen, click here.

Can we choose any weeks during the summer?

You may choose any available dates online.  Once a week sells out, you will no longer be able to reserve it online.  We are not doing a waitlist for our CIT program, it is on a first-come basis.

What are the hours of CIT camp?

Participants of the CIT program are expected to be at the beach from 8:30am – 3:00pm.

How old does my teen have to be to qualify?

Participants for the CIT program are required to be from 13 to 16years of age.

How well does my teen have to surf to qualify?

Junior CITs need to be able to ride waves.  Senior CITs need to be able to paddle and swim well, as well as time and catch their own waves.

What previous experience does my teenager need?

While experience attending Aqua Surf Summer Programs is very beneficial to the CIT program, it is not a requirement.  For younger CIT participants (age 13 or 14) we do recommend attending the Summer Program first as a participant as this adds to the growth of your teen as they transition into a role with more responsibility.

Can I sign my teen up for a week of the CIT program at a time?

While there is no minimum requirement, we strongly recommend a minimum of 2 consecutive weeks.  More weeks allow for teens to build in rhythm, confidence, experience and ultimately achieve more growth through the Summer.  Learn more and register for the Teen Leadership Program here.

Aqua Surf creates experiences, memories, and skills that your kids will cherish forever!