Today I had a very enjoyable lesson with Sarah and Stephanie. Sarah had come down from Santa Barbara to spend the weekend celebrating Stephanie’s birthday. They both grew up close to the beach and all their friends surf, so surfing was something they’d always wanted to do. They never got around to it until now — they finally got tired of all their surfing friends’ empty promises to teach them.
Both girls also recently graduated from UC Irvine, my alma mater, so we had a lot in common and a lot to joke about, going to the same college and growing up in Orange County. I learned to surf through a class offered through UC Irvine when I was a student there, so I assured them it’s never too late to learn to surf.
Miraculously, the Santa Ana winds that have been gusting all over Southern California the past few days, almost completely died down the 2 hours of our lesson! It was almost glassy conditions, with perfect 1-3 ft. slow waves and virtually no one in the water! The frigid winds which make the air temperature colder than the water, kept us feeling comfortable and I couldn’t have asked for better learning conditions for them. Sarah and Stephanie both quickly excelled, getting up to their feet within the first few tries. Sarah, an ex-water polo player, quickly started catching waves on her own with aggressive paddling, and towards the end of our lesson, I was able to take them to the outside, past the whitewater, to teach them to turn their boards, and catch waves there.
Sarah and Stephanie are inseparable and constant comedians — the best part of their lesson was catching and standing up on the same wave together, and we had a lot of laughs out there. As soon as we ended our lesson, on cue, the winds picked right back up. So if you’re wondering if you can still learn to surf in December, have fun doing it and not freeze your tail off, yes you can! The off-season after summer is ideal — by the end of the lesson, we had the whole beach to ourselves! As the Christmas Holiday approaches, whether you want to learn to surf or give the gift of surfing to someone special, like Sarah did for Stephanie’s birthday, buy a Holiday Gift Certificate!