At Aqua Surf, safety is our first priority! Our team of expert instructors teach with important values in mind and aim to be positive role models. Students of all ages have a fun and lasting experience learning with Aqua Surf. It is normal to have a lot of wonderful questions and we wish to provide families with an abundance of information so they feel comfortable in choosing our one-of-a-kind summer camp. Please find the detailed list of FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) below. Feel free to contact us if you have more questions, or just wish to chat.

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First Time Camp Parents

My child has never surfed before. Is it safe, and can you teach him/her?

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 camp in a SURFLE (our surf-circle huddle) to teach surfing and camp 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. By using this approach, and the support of our 3:1 ratio, campers grow confident and develop long-lasting ocean-safety skills and a love for surfing.

Can we do a trial day of camp?

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 the camp, but 99% of the time kids absolutely love it. We recommend our By The Week camp option, however we do have By The Day Credits available for single day reservations.

Do children need to know how to swim?

We do prefer that campers 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 campers 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 camper with kids of similar age and ability so they have the extra support in the water they need.

Do you provided a shaded area during summer camp?

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 campers apply sunscreen regularly. Campers are also encouraged to bring a waterproof hat for extra protection.

Camp Pick Up & Drop Off

Where do the kids wait during camp pick-up, who waits with them, and 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 to surf camp?

Please call/text us A.S.A.P. if your child is going to be late to camp. If you know in advance that you will be late on certain days, please email info@aquasurf.com or notify the beach administrator during drop-off and we will notate our camp rosters.

I can’t pick up my child right at 3pm, can he/she stay a little later?

Yes, we offer extended care from 3:00pm – 6:00pm. The rate is $20 per child, per hour.

Do campers (kids and teens) need to be signed in/out every day?

Yes, safety is our number one priority at Aqua Surf.  We require a parent/guardian to check in their camper at drop-off, and check out at pick-up.  We need to know that campers are leaving with a trusted guardian.  If you are having friends or family pick them up, you can input this into the camper profile information with the Manage Your Camp portal.

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 to and from camp?

We currently do not offer transportation. Please feel free to email info@aquasurf.com and inform us of the location you need transportation from. We may be able to offer transportation suggestions or connect your family with another commuting family.

Where is camp held?

You may view our camp locations by clicking here.

  • Our Santa Monica Beach camp is at Lifeguard Tower 28. The camp canopies are set up on the beach 100 yards in front of our AQUASURF vehicle which is located in the all day parking lot Five South (5s) across the street from the Ocean View Park (2701 Barnard Way, Santa Monica, CA).
  • Our Redondo Beach camp is at Lifeguard Tower DM (Del Mar) on the sand below the street Vista Del Mar. This is close to Miramar Park near the border of Redondo and Torrance (201 Paseo De La Playa, Redondo Beach, CA, 90277).
  • Our Manhattan Beach camp in El Porto, near the lifeguard tower by 45th Street. We are near the address (4499 The Strand, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266).

General Important Information

What is your student to instructor ratio?

Aqua Surf prides itself on having the best student to instructor ratio, a remarkable 3:1 (three students to one instructor), so we can give students the attention that they deserve. Our beach captain modifies water and beach ratios depending on surf conditions, safety, maturity, and experience of the group (click here to read more). By having the most instructors, our sessions are the most safe and campers are able to access maximum one-on-one instruction in the water.

How are campers divided?

We always strive to maintain a positive “family-style” atmosphere while on the beach. We organize our campers into “pods” by ability and skill level, which often corresponds to age. That being said, parents are always able to request that siblings and friends remain grouped together to surf together.

How do the surf instructors rotate between the children?

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.  AquaSurf never forces kids 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 camp to suit the experience level of each individual camper.  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” 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.

In addition to our extensive staff training program, our school is fully permitted with LA County Beaches and Harbors and the City of Santa Monica.

How old does my child need to be to sign up for camp?

Aqua Surf provides safe, fun and educational camps for ages 5-9 yrs, 10-12 yrs and 13-17 yrs.  Instructors personalize sessions based on the individual needs of each camper and offer instruction ranging from “first-time surfer” to high performance coaching for young surfers looking to elevate their surfing to the next level.

On a rare occasion our general manager may approve four year olds on a case-by-case basis, but children under five usually require additional care. We often recommend they take private surf lessons instead (until they are old enough to join).

Can I hang out with my child at camp?

The Aqua Surf team loves when parents are available to encourage and support their kids as they learn how to surf with us. However, we suggest 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 campers can showcase their skills.

Credits, Scheduling and Managing Reservations

How do I sign up for summer camp?

You can sign up through our website by visiting our Reserve Your Camp page. Here you can buy credits, either By the Week or By the Day, for Full Day or Half Day options.

Once you have purchased your credits, you can then easily access, reserve and manage your reservations on our Manage Your Camp page. Here you will add your children’s profiles and provide all necessary information including age, emergency contacts, allergies, necessary medical information, and any other important notes for our staff. Credits can be used to reserve camp dates at any AquaSurf camp location and never expire.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call +1 (310) 902-7737 and we are happy to help you get set up.

My child already has an activity in the afternoon, can she/he just come to camp 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. Half Day Credits are priced at $89 By the Day or $339 By the Week.

What if we can’t commit to a full week, what are our options? Can I just come for a single day?

Yes, your child can still catch waves! We offer single day credit options for Full Day and Half Day options. These credit may be purchased one at a time, or in bulk for a discount. You can redeem your credits at your convenience by reserving your desired dates with the Manage Your Camp option on our website (read more about surf camps).

Are there discounts if I sign up for multiple weeks and/or for family and friends?

Aqua Surf offers early bird and special promotions to customers on our email list regularly before and after summer. Full Week and Single Day Credits are discounted when purchased in multiples (a larger % discount is applied with the more you Credit you purchase). Discounts will be automatically applied during checkout.

For example, a Full Week / Full Day Credit cost is $539, but to purchase two Full Week / Full Day Credits is $999.

Are there sibling discounts?

Yes, our sibling discount can be utilized by purchasing Full Week or Single Day Credits in multiples, the same as mentioned above. When you Manage Your Camp you can create multiple children’s profiles and allocate your camp credits between children at your convenience. This is to provide parents with maximum flexibility.

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

Yes, by utilizing our Manage Your Camp you are able to select, cancel and change your reservation dates. We offer a range of credit options for Full Week and Single Day reservations, this is to do our best to accommodate people’s varied schedules. Full Week reservations must be used consecutively (Monday – Friday) while Single Day credits can be used to reserve dates at your convenience for Summer or Spring Break camp.

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

Our Full Week Credits are consecutive (must be used Monday through Friday), while Single Day Credits may be used for any camp day. Credits never expire, and you can use them for future camps. The versatility of the Single Day Credits generates added expenses for us, so we charge a little more to cover these costs.

Can we use the Single Day Credits to attend camp one or two days a week?

Yes, they are designed to be flexible for your convenience.

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

Yes, by logging into and utilizing the Manage Your Camp page, you are able to cancel and reschedule your reservation up to 72hrs in advance. To change or cancel a reservation within 72hrs please contact our office by phone and/or email and refer to our Policy Page.

How far in advance must I decide on dates to utilize my camp credits?

Credits never expire and can be utilized at all of our locations for Summer or Spring Break surf camps. However, many weeks do sell out. We recommend reserving your dates as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Our live availability can be seen on our Surf Camps page.

Is full payment required to make a reservation? Do you facilitate deposits or payment plans?

We prefer that all reservations be paid for beforehand in order to secure your dates. Dates often sell out due to the growing popularity of our summer program. Deposits and installment agreements are available on a case-by-case basis. Feel free to email us at info@aquasurf.com or call +1(310)902-7737 for more information.

Cancellations and Upgrades

Can I make up a missed day of surf camp?

It depends on the situation, and the notice we receive. We try to be flexible and understanding, however we usually don’t offer make up days without advanced notice. Aqua Surf’s level of safety and quality is maintained by our high instructor to student ratio. We seek to hire the best of the best, but this may cause us to be overstaffed if we schedule instructors to work without a full class (incurred costs). Please email info@aquasurf.com as soon as possible if you’re going to miss a day.

Prorating? May I purchase additional days/weeks after my credits have been used?

We suggest all customers try and reserve their days and weeks in advance, because we do sell out. Unfortunately, we’re unavailable to prorate old credits to new purchases. Discounts are applied every time you purchase credits (the more you buy the more you save). Please make sure that you are receiving our company emails containing information, news and our best discounts/promotions.

What happens if something comes up last minute, and my child is going to miss a couple days from the consecutive week that were already paid for?

If we have at least 72 hours beforehand, we can upgrade the missed days to Single Day Credits. Our office manager will calculate the price difference based on your reservation, the days you have used, and what days you need. If you are interested in doing this please let us know via email/phone (an upgrade cost and a $39 processing fee may apply).

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.

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

Your credits don’t expire, so there is no rush. We do sell out during popular dates, so we suggest scheduling when you have an idea. You may always reschedule if things change.

The Camp Program & Day to Day

Will my camper be far out in big waves?

Our team are experts on “reading the ocean” and ocean safety. The surf instruction program for each day is adapted to the surf conditions. Campers are only practicing their skills in safe conditions, within their limits, and under the close watch (or arms reach) of our expert staff. Safety is our number one priority and our experienced Beach Captains constantly monitor conditions and supervise all water activities to monitor camper safety.

When do the campers eat lunch?

Lunchtime is usually between 11:45am-12:45pm. The campers may either bring their own lunch or bring cash to order lunch. The cost of lunch can vary by location and lunch order, it is usually $10-$15. Lunch orders are placed by parents, or campers, during drop off in the morning with an Aqua Surf staff member. Lunch orders are only taken in the morning from 8:45am to 9:15am, and we are usually unavailable to accommodate late orders.

What does the camp day consist of?

  • 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.

Miscellaneous

How is your program different from other summer camps?

We create a safe, fun environment with high quality personalized instruction, and were awarded the “Best Surf School in Southern California”! We do this with the best student to instructor ratio around (3:1) and a team of professional, well trained, positive role model staff. As a surfing school, our surf camps offer more individualized surf instruction than any other camp, giving our campers maximum opportunity to grow confident as surfers and in the ocean. You may find more information on our company page.  If you need additional information please feel free to contact us with any questions.

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.

Is there a referral bonus if I get other kids to attend camp with my child?

If you are able to recruit additional participants to enroll we will gladly add one 1/2 day credit your account $50 per new customer that registers for a full week session, or a service of equal value.  Email us their contact info, and we’ll credit your account once they sign up.

If my child’s first language is not English or is visiting internationally, can they still join the camp?

Yes, your kids are welcome!  At Aqua Surf, we have many kids from around the world who participate in our camps 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 with the 6 - 12 year old kids, or it might be "too babyish" for him.

This is a typical concern for teens. We attract a variety of students (of all age ranges), and our 13-17 year olds have just as much (or more) fun as our younger students. We assign campers to groups based on a combination of age and experience so teen campers 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. This allows campers to advance their surf skills at a rate that is right for them (learn about our teen leadership program).

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 info@aquasurf.com.

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 in the ocean (while parents relax). 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?

We encourage teens to become leaders and role models. The CIT program is designed for experienced teens who wish to strengthen and practice their leadership skills while having fun in the sun! This program is intended to prepare an individual for the responsibility of being a counselor.

What are the hours of CIT camp?

 The hours are 9:00am – 3:00pm or 8:00am – 3:30pm.

How old does my teen have to be to qualify?

Normally 13 & up.  This may vary depending on maturity, experience, and dedication (factored in the qualifying process).

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.

How many years of previous surf camp experience does my teen need to qualify?

A minimum of one week (at Aqua Surf) to qualify as a Junior CIT, and a minimum of one summer  (at Aqua Surf) to qualify as a Senior CIT.

Does my teen need any special certifications or documents to qualify?

No, unless they are applying for Level III Senior CIT (requires CPR and First Aid).

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

There is a two week program (minimum requirement for CIT enrollment).

Aqua Surf creates experiences and memories that your kids will cherish forever.