Welcome to Aloha Beach Camp!

Thank you for visiting Aloha Beach Camp's summer camp blog. Aloha Beach Camp is an aquatic-focused day camp program for kids and teens ages 4 to 14 in Los Angeles, California. 2019 Summer Camp activities include surfing lessons, boogie boarding, ocean swimming lessons, tubing, jet skiing and more at Zuma Beach and Paradise Cove in Malibu, and Castaic Lake in Valencia (just outside L.A.) plus other amazing aquatic venues. Join us for summer camp 2019!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Surfing is Good for Kids

I just joined a cause on Facebook called "Quit TV, Go and Play Outside." For all of us who care about kids, this couldn't be more important!

Surfing is one of the healthiest activities for kids you'll find. It requires balance and promotes muscluar development, too. If your child wants to learn to surf, this article is for you.

It's common for parents to search for the ideal place for their kids' "learn to surf" experience. However, here might not be a "best" place to learn to surf in the traditional sense. Instead, certain elements must be in place to make sure your child's learn to surf experience is a safe and positive one.

Learning to surf should be a safe, fun and rewarding experience. In general, there are three main components to your child's "learn to surf" experience. These include:

1. The instructor(s);
2. The beach and ocean environment; and
3. The equipment (the surfboard itself)

The first and most important criterion is that your child takes surfing lessons from an experienced and qualified instructor. Obvious, right? And yet, you'd be amazed how many parents either try to teach their kids themselves (bad idea!), or who just buy their kids a surfboard and send them into the water to fend for themselves (an even worse idea!).

Not only should you make sure your child's surfing instructor has the proper skills and credentials, you want to also be certain he or she has lots of prior experience teaching surfing to other kids your child's age. Ideally, your child's surfing instructor will provide a well-rounded surfing lesson curriculum incorporating surf etiquette, water safety, environmental awareness and more.

With respect to beach and ocean environment, the ideal atmosphere will offer warm, clean water, gentle surf, a soft sandy bottom, consistent wave activity and a long stretch of beach. Small crowds are and added bonus so your child is not distracted by others and does not infringe upon other surfers' space while learning. It is also important to learn to surf at a beach staffed with public lifeguards.

Safe, modern equipment is an essential component to your child's learn to surf experience. Your instructor should provide a user-friendly (long and wide) since these types of boards are easier to maneuver and learn on. The board will ideally be constructed of soft foam (rather than wood or fiberglass) with flexible fins and a long leash for added safety and learning pleasure.

Since ocean water is generally cold -- and because kids get cold easily -- be sure your child wears a rash guard at a minimum, but preferably a wetsuit, for the duration of the surfing lesson. If you don't have your own, your surf instructor should provide this for you.

Where can you find quality surfing instruction? Summer camps that specialize in instructional surfing activites is one of your better options, because not only will your son or daughter learn to surf, they'll make lots of new friends in the process. But you can also find individual/private instructors by looking on the internet or asking friends for a recommendation.

If you go the summer camp route, we recommend a surf camp that's accredited by the American Camp Association. Accreditation ensures the camp meets or exceeds up to 300 best-practice industry standards relating to safety, presentation of activities, supervision and more.

In any case, make sure you check references and that you are completely satisfied with your choice in surfing instruction before making any sort of financial commitment. At the very least, you should be promised a money-back guarantee if for any reason the surf camp or instructor does not deliver what they promise or you are unsatisfied for any reason.

Here's to a great "learn to surf" experience for your child!

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