Living on the Central Coast has many perks, but arguably one of the best is having access to an endless amount of outdoor sports and activities.

What’s a great way to introduce your kid to some of these?

Surf camp! A place where kids ages 5-15 can learn a new skill, be active at the beach, meet some new friends and have some good old-fashioned fun.

With a strict 4-to-1 student-teacher ratio and a flexible team of highly trained surf instructors who can cater to any skill level or surf condition, iSurf School is one of the safest programs around.

(iSurf School photo)

“Surfing is not intuitive, so no one is good at it in the beginning,” said Alelia Parenteau, owner of iSurf School. “It teaches kids that not everything is going to come to you super easily, which in my opinion, is an important lesson and a huge benefit of the sport.”

iSurf School Summer Camps are a week long, offered from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday. They run for five weeks beginning in mid-June through July.

iSurf School is one of the only surf camps that travels with students and explores different local surf spots.

Thanks to a partnership with the Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department, parents can conveniently drop off their kiddies downtown at the Cabrillo Bathhouse at East Beach, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. From there, the happy campers will be shuttled off to wherever the surf conditions are best that day.

“What’s so great about having the ability to travel is that we can really tailor to the students’ skill level and we can expose them to different beaches, different types of surfing and different parts of the county,”​ Parenteau said.

Whether it’s Devereux, Mondos or Solimar, your kiddo will get a chance to explore and take part in all sorts of activities, including surfing, boogie boarding and beach games — all while being carefully supervised by the pros.

While the waves are the main draw, campers will also learn the basic principles of ocean stewardship and environmental awareness. Taking part in an on-site beach cleanup every Wednesday introduces campers to the idea that as residents of the Central Coast, we must continuously work to keep our coastlines pristine.

Surf camp is so much more than just learning how to surf, “it’s about building camaraderie, making friends, catching waves and cheering each other on,” Parenteau said.

“It’s also a really good confidence boost because no one is good at it in the beginning, but then this amazing transformation happens during the course of the week,” she added.

“We have a lot of campers who end up sticking around for our after-school during the year because they catch the bug.”

Hoping to keep up with your child or brush up on some old skills? For the first time ever, iSurf is also offering week-long Summer Surf Camp for Adults!

“Camp isn’t just for kids anymore!” Parenteau exclaimed. “It’s a great way for parents to also spend a week being really active on the beach and learning how to surf.”

To make the camps accessible for all, the founders of iSurf School created the Watergirl Fund, backed by the nonprofit Surf Like a Girl Foundation, which this year will be offering two new weekly scholarships to girls who want to learn to surf but may not have the resources to do so.

iSurf is partnering with a host of other local organizations to put on its inaugural Run to Surf adventure challenge on June 4, with all proceeds going to the Surf Like a Girl Foundation.

The organization also will be holding its Third Annual iSurf Block Party on Sept. 3 at La Casa De la Guerra in downtown Santa Barbara, to benefit the Watergirl fund.

Click here to register for iSurf School, or for more information.

(iSurf School photo)

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