It’s normal for parents to have a lot of wonderful questions when dropping kids off at camp (similarly to the first day of school). 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 outstanding experience learning at Aqua Surf. We wish to provide parents with the abundance of information they may need to 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.
Table of Contents
Q. My child has never surfed before. Is it safe, and can you teach him/her?
A. Safety is our first priority. It’s especially important for young people to learn surfing and water safety skills in a protected environment. That is why Aqua Surf hires instructors who are experienced surfers with a knowledge of ocean safety, in addition to being trained in CPR, first aid, and emergency response procedures. Every Monday, we get 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, 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, campers grow confident and parents become comfortable with this new experience, as our students develop long-lasting ocean-safety skills and a love for surfing.
Q. Can we do a trial day of camp?
A. 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.
Q. Do children need to know how to swim?
A. We often get younger kids who are not strong swimmers or do not have a lot of experience with the ocean. Please simply add a note about this in the “Comments” section when registering, and our team will give them the extra support in the water they need. We prefer that campers are able to swim at least the length of a 25 yard pool.
Q. Do you provided a shade area during summer camp?
A. 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.
Q. Where do the kids wait during camp pick-up, who waits with them, and if I'm late?
A. Upon completing your reservation, you will be emailed directions. This includes pick-up and drop off information. We set up a shaded area for pick-up and extended care. One or more instructors would wait with your child in a shaded area with sunscreen and water available.
Q. What if my child is going to be late to surf camp?
A. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or notify the beach administrator during drop-off and we will notate our camp rosters.
Q. I can’t pick up my child right at 3pm, can she stay a little later?
A. Yes, we offer extended care from 7:00am - 6:00pm. The rate is $18 per child, per hour.
Q. Do campers (kids and teens) need to be signed in/out every day?
A. Yes, safety is our number one priority at Aqua Surf. We require a parent/guardian to sign their camper in at drop-off, and 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 we require ample notice in writing and that you notify our beach manager. 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.
Q. Do you provide transportation to and from camp?
A. We currently don’t offer transportation. Please feel free to email email@example.com and inform us of the location you need transportation from. We may able to offer transportation suggestions or connect your family with another commuting family.
- Our Santa Monica Beach camp is by Lifeguard Tower 28. The camp canopies are set up on the beach 100 yards in front of our AQUASURF van. 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 by Lifeguard Tower DM (Del Mar) just west of 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).
Q. What time does camp end without incurring additional cost?
A. Camp pick up is from 2:45pm - 3:15pm (30 minute grace period). If you are interested in extended care, please review our “Scheduling and Reservations” section herein for more information ($18 per hour, per child).
Q. How are campers divided?
A. We maintain a positive “family-style” atmosphere. Our surfing sessions are organized by ability and skill level, which often corresponds to age.
Q. Are you accredited?
A. For the surfing education industry, there is no national authority for accreditation, but we’ve been “sharing the stoke” since 1997. At Aqua Surf, instructors undergo a three month in-house training program (annually), a rigorous boot camp of extensive ocean swimming, beach running, ocean lifeguarding, emergency response protocols, customer service workshops, systematic surfing instruction, camp operations and safety training.
Q. How old does my child need to be to sign up for camp?
A. 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 students.
Q. What is your student to instructor ratio?
A. 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).
Q. How do the surf instructors rotate between the children?
A. Younger kids are provided with a great deal of 1:1 training (especially kids 5-6 years of age). The surf instructors will hold on to their surfboard, until they are able to do so on their own. Older and more skilled surfers are given greater freedom and guidance to mature as surfers. Aqua Surf never forces kids to surf if they do not feel comfortable (we gently motivate and encourage). Our dynamic 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.
Q. Can I hang out with my child at camp?
A. 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 a Friday (10:15am - 11:15am) during our weekly self-surf mastery contest.
Q. Is there a minimum age to be able to participate?
A. We wish for all kids to join in on the fun as soon as possible, but children under five usually require additional care. On a rare occasion our general manager may approve four year olds on a case-by-case basis, but we often recommend they take private surf lessons instead (until they are old enough to join).
Q. My child already has an activity in the afternoon, can she/he just come to camp in the morning?
A. Yes, we offer half day sessions where your child can attend camp from 9:00am - 12:00pm or 12:00pm - 3:00pm. Half day sessions are priced at $85 by the day or $330 a week.
Q. What if we can’t commit to a full week, what are our options? Can I just come for a single day?
A. Yes, your kid can still catch waves. We offer individual day passes, and you can pick the specific days you want. We also offer discounted packages for full day passes (read more on surf camps).
Q. Are there discounts if I sign up for multiple weeks and/or for family and friends?
A. Aqua Surf offers early bird and special promotions to customers on our email list regularly before and after summer. Our by-the-day (individual) prices are discounted based on how many are bought in advance. You can purchase by the day, and by the week passes, which are discounted incrementally by the amount purchased. You may share these packages with your friends and family.
Q. Why are single day passes more expensive than by the week options?
A. Our by-the-week passes are consecutive (Monday - Friday), but single day passes may be used anytime. Single day passes never expire (unlike by-the-week), and you can use them for future camps or private surf lessons (90minutes). The versatility of the day passes generates added expenses for us, so we charge a little more to cover these costs.
Q. Can we use the “By the Day” package once a week?
A. Yes, the by the day passes and packages are designed flexibly for your convenience.
Q. If I reserved a week of surf camp, how do I switch to another week? And how much notice must I give to make the switch?
A. You may switch one week to another if the week you are switching to has not already been sold out. We require at least 72 hours notice in writing (via email) to make the switch. The first switch of the year is a courtesy, but a $35 processing fee will apply to each additional switch.
Q. What is your rescheduling policy?
A. We normally ask for at least 24 hours notice, but can offer a make up day(s) if we get notice 2-3 hours before we close (the day before your camp reservation). Our office officially closes at 5:00pm (but we often stay until 6:00pm). This helps us take extra staff off the camp schedule.
Q. Is full payment required to make a reservation? Do you facilitate deposits or payment plans?
A. 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 payment plans are considered on a case by case basis. If this is a consideration you need, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. How do I sign up for summer camp?
A. The best way to make a reservation is online. Simply click sign up, or you can mail a check and registration form to:
2801 Ocean Park Blvd. #335
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Phone registration is available. Call us at 310-902-7737.
Or, in person registration is also available by appointment.
Q. Can I make up a missed day of surf camp?
A. It depends on the situation, and the notice we receive. We try to be flexible and understanding. 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. Please email email@example.com as soon as possible if you’re going to miss a day. We don't usually offer make up days without advanced notice (unless there are special circumstances). You may purchase full day passes/packages which are more flexible, and can be used for camps or lessons. They never expire, and they have rescheduling flexibility.
Q. May I purchase additional days/weeks after my package has been used, at the package price?
A. We suggest all customers try and reserve their days and weeks in advance, because we do sell out. Unfortunately, we’re unavailable to prorate packages. Discounts and package prices are not generally available during summer, but we strive in being accommodating and flexible. Please make sure that you are receiving our company emails containing information, news and our best discounts/promotions.
Q. 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?
A. If we have ample notice (at least 72-24 hours beforehand), we can upgrade the missed days to single day passes. As for the price difference, each day is $85 when you buy a week pass for $529. Therefore, the difference would be $45 a day to upgrade to the single day pass. If you are interested in doing this please let us know in advance, and we will send you an invoice for the remaining amount, including the processing fee.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. This can be viewed on our website by clicking here.
Q. Is there a deadline for reservations?
A. 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.
Q. Can I choose my own days/times, and do they need to be consecutive?
A. As always, we will do our best to accommodate people’s varied schedules. To that end, we have full session and half session weekly passes that can be used on any week but must be used consecutively. However, full session and half session passes can be used on any day. With half-session passes you can opt to come in from 9:00am-12:00pm or 12:00pm-3:00pm.
Q. How far in advance must I decide on dates for my single day passes?
A. We would like to know as far in advance as possible, so we may properly schedule our staff. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know. These passes don’t expire, so there is no rush (but we do book up).
Q. If I need to pull my child from camp for a day or two can we make these days up later in the summer?
A. We can upgrade those to single days. As for the price difference, each day is $85 when you buy a week for $529. Therefore, the difference would be $45 a day, because one Single Day is $130
We charge more for single day passes, because we generally have to schedule an additional instructor to accommodate the additional student(s). Single day purchases never expire, and you can use them for future summer camps or private surf lessons.
If you are interested in doing this please let us know in advance, and we will send you an invoice for the remaining amount.
Q. When do the campers eat lunch?
A. Lunchtime is usually between 11:30am-12:30pm. The campers may either bring their own lunch or bring $12 to order lunch. At drop off in the morning, the student or parent can order lunch (healthy and organic choices are available). Instructors submit lunch orders and deliver them to campers on the beach. Lunch orders are only taken in the morning from 8:45am to 9:15am, and we are usually unavailable to accommodate late orders.
Q. 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.
Q. How is your program different from other summer camps?
A. Our programs differ from other camps, because we create a safe and fun environment with high quality personalized instruction. For this reason, we were awarded the "Best Surf School in Southern California”! You may find more information on our company page. If you need additional information please feel free to contact us with any questions.
Q. What is the average number of campers per location?
A. The number of campers can vary week to week. Each location is also different, but our typical size is 25 - 35 campers.
Q. Does everyone need to fill out the release form?
A. Yes, the cities which issue our beach permits require a parent or guardian to fill it out a wavier for participants.
Q. Is there a referral bonus if I get other kids to attend camp with my child?
A. If you are able to recruit additional participants to enroll we will gladly credit your account $50 per new customer. Have them input your full name when they register online, and we will credit your account.
Q. If my child’s first language is not English or is visiting internationally, can they still join the camp?
A. 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.
Q. My teen is concerned with the 6 - 12 year old kids, or it might be "too babyish" for him.
A. This is a typical concern for teens. We attract a variety of students (of all age ranges), and our 17 year olds have just as much (or more) fun as our younger students. The variety of activities, flexible schedule, and the attention our team provides 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).
Q. Are there any perks for new or return students?
A. We have opportunities to register early and offer special promotions. Make sure you are on our email list, and following our social media channels.
Q. Do you throw birthday parties?
A. 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.
Q. What is the CIT program?
A. 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.
Q. Can we choose weeks during the summer that are non-consecutive (e.g. two weeks in June, and two weeks in August)?
A. Yes, we wish for teens to have this opportunity to grow.
Q. What are the hours of CIT camp?
A. The hours are 9:00am - 3:00pm or 8:00am - 3:30pm.
Q. How old does my teen have to be to qualify?
A. Normally 13 & up. This may vary depending on maturity, experience, and dedication (factored in the qualifying process).
Q. How well does my teen have to surf to qualify?
A. 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.
Q. How many years of previous surf camp experience does my teen need to qualify?
A. 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.
Q. Does my teen need any special certifications or documents to qualify?
A. No, unless they are applying for Level III Senior CIT (requires CPR and First Aid).
Q. Can I sign my teen up for a week of the CIT program at a time?
A. There is a two week program (minimum requirement for CIT enrollment).
Aqua Surf creates experiences and memories that your kids will cherish forever.