Although the temps don’t let on, those lazy summer days are quickly coming to an end. But as fleeting as summer may be, there is still plenty of time to let the kids learn to surf before that first homeroom bell rings. Give your little groms a helpful push into the wave by signing them up for one of these top Palm Beach surf schools.
Local surfing legend and professional free surfer Peter Mendia has opened up his own slice of surfing paradise by hosting summer camps for the next generation of shredders. For 24 years, Mendia has been surfing the waves of the world. Now, he's sharing his passion with local groms at his home break with the Mendia Boarding School, one- to five-day surfing camps for kids through July and August.
A day at Mendia Boarding School goes something like this: Students and crew, including Mendia, hit the beach for surfing 101—learning where to lay on the board, the proper technique to the paddle, the motions of popping up and more. Then they hit the water on oversized soft-top boards (a soft foam shell to help prevent bumps and bruises), paddling for waves. Some of the smaller tikes need a little push into the curl, but once the wave’s momentum starts to carry the little groms, up they pop.
“It’s a huge success and a blast,” Mendia raves. After getting their first surfing lesson from a professional rider, campers receive a swag bag at the end of their session that will make them want to reach that next level.
- Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Cost breakdown is as follows: one day $100, 3 days $200, five days $300.
- Professional photography packages also available for $40 to capture every moment.
- For more information, call 561-412-5332 or visit facebook.com/mendiaboardingschool.
Boca Raton/Delray Beach
The Boca Surf School is back with extended dates for the summer. Through July and August, the surf school will be hosting one-week camps for ages 6-14. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. kids will have a blast at the Red Reef Park in Delray Beach while pro surfer Tanner Strohmenger leads the lessons. A day in class goes beyond the basics like paddling, standing and turning, touching on some of the more complex techniques like paddling through the breakers, selecting and approaching a wave, understanding ocean conditions and practicing surf etiquette.
Not limited to summer surf camp, Strohmenger and the Boca Surf School offer private lessons, seasonal lessons in the winter and spring, and competitive training, complete with strategy breakdowns, a mental and physical training regime, video analysis and sponsor mentoring.
- Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Weeklong camp is limited to 50 surfers (first-come, first-serve basis). Boca Residents $350; nonresidents $403.
- For more information and to inquire about private lessons, call 561-235-2267 or visit bocasurfschool.com.
North County groms need only know one place for their summer surfing schooling: Aloha Surfing School. Situated at Juno Beach’s Loggerhead Park, the camp teaches kids ages 6-13 the basics, from proper technique and prep to dropping in and riding the face. But the camp goes well beyond the standard paddle, duck dive and drop-in; Aloha delves into the surfer’s habitat with an education-focused tour of the Loggerhead Marinelife Center, where campers will learn about the marine life that swims and scurries along with surfers. They will also get a steady dose of ocean education and physical fitness breakdowns to be well prepared for whatever the ocean throws their way. Run by founder Paul Vargas, a physical therapist by trade and an avid surfer who cut his teeth teaching at Australia’s legendary Byron Bay, every camper gets a steady dose of how to prepare for the curl, what to do when it starts to break and how to maximize the ride.
Starting at 9 a.m., kids start with a warm-up before splashing into the blue. Equipped with longboards and soft-top fun-shaped boards (a cross between short and long), riders make the most of the summer surf offerings, gliding into a newfound respect of the sea and memories that will last a life time. And when the surf just isn’t cooperating, no worries—Aloha has a bevy of activities to keep the groms busy. From skimboarding and Indobaording to working on balance, plus beach relays and dodgeball to keep the fitness levels high, there is a beach-themed activity to keep the kids busy.
- Camp runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- $200 for a week.
- For more information, call 561-543-7873 or visit alohasurfingschool.com.