Learn to surf this summer

School's out. Swell's in. Surf's up.

To celebrate the continuation of summer — or the onset if we're going by the weather — a few surf schools in Laguna Beach are offering lessons and camps for little (and big) grommets who want to learn some real skills.

Laguna Beach Surf School, sponsored by Billabong and directed by Steven "Slydawg" Chew, is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, and teaches kids about water safety, physical fitness, surfing etiquette and marine biology, in addition to providing instructional surf lessons.

Groms meet at Laguna Surf & Sport, 1088 S. Coast Hwy., before they are taken to the "Wave Wall" on Anita Street, where Chew and his certified staff will go over ocean safety and awareness before helping students into the waves. Kids take a lunch break about noon, when they can relax with a packed lunch or venture to Gina's, Wahoo's or Adolfo's.

The weeklong program concludes with a pizza party Friday, where each surfer will also get a goodie-bag from Billabong.

Boards and wetsuits are provided. Campers will need a towel, swimsuit, sunblock, and lunch or lunch money.

Cost is $450. The camp runs through Sept 3. For more information, call Steven Chew at (949) 280-3005.

The school will also host Surf Experience Day in collaboration with the Mauli Ola Foundation from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Thalia reef, where Surf n Sport's pros and bros will provide free instruction to children and adults who have cystic fibrosis.

One of the most common chronic diseases in children, cystic fibrosis, is an inherited disease that causes thick mucus buildup in the lungs and digestive tract. According to the foundation, the elevated saline environment of the ocean air facilitates the breakdown of mucus in the lungs when inhaled, which makes surfing an especially beneficial activity for people with the disease.

For more information or to register, visit http://www.mauliola.org.


The Soul Surfing School, 255 Oak St., will offer a Surf Adventure Club from 9:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 9 to 13 for kids ages 5 to 7.

Cost is $350 for the week. Kids will need lunch or lunch money, a towel, water, sunblock and change of clothes; surf equipment will be provided.

The school also offers a variety of clubs and trips throughout the year. For more information or to register, call (877) 768- 5773 or visit http://www.soulsurfingschoo.com.

The Standup Paddle Co., 1099 S. Coast Hwy., in an effort to take an old Hawaiian form of surfing and turn it into a "movement" toward a healthier lifestyle for all, offers private and group lessons for kids and adults, as well as a variety of fitness and yoga classes that incorporate stand-up paddling. Lessons range from $45 to 95. Fitness classes are offered for $30 for one class, $125 for five classes and $225 for 10 classes. For more information, call (949) 715-4530 or visit http://www.supcompany.com.

La Vida Laguna, Laguna's eco-adventure company, offers individual and group surfing and paddleboard lessons throughout the summer. Surf lessons are two hours and take place at Thalia Street. Wetsuits and soft foam boards for beginners are provided. Lessons range from $125 to $300. Standup paddle sessions are also two hours, during which instructors will teach you how to paddle through the break and the five techniques of paddling. Cost ranges from $83 to $100. For more information, call (949) 275-7544.

The Aloha School of Surfing, founded by pro surfer and Coastline Pilot columnist James Pribram, also offers private and group surf lessons throughout the summer. Cost starts at $65. Visit http://www.alohaschoolofsurfing.com to register.

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