California is a haven for surfers, with the coastline of the state being 840 miles long.
Imagine almost 900 miles of water to surf!
California has lots of surf camps, primarily due to its sought-after location and sunny weather.
Parts of California like Big Sur and Point Lobos have an iconic Hawaiian feel, making it spectacular for surfing and spending a day on the beach.
California has a mild, warm, and Mediterranean climate, meaning people flock from all over the United States for surfing in the deep blue ocean, with warm temperatures of 75f.
San Onofre State Park, San Onofre, CA 92672
Endless Summer Surf Camp is Southern California’s Premier surfing camp, and it is wildly popular. Endless Summer Surf Camp offers a program for each skill level.
If you have never even held a surfboard before, there’s a course for you. There are also programs for skilled surfers, and the coaches are attentive and patient.
At Endless Summer Surf Camp, the programs include:
- personal training and instruction on the beach, in the water, with professional photography
- videos of your time in the waves.
The camp also has safety induction talks about being safe in the water and sun.
The camp is all-inclusive, meaning that your equipment, meals, and accommodation are all taken care of in the price. You can choose a five-day overnight camp running from Monday to Friday, or a day camp.
All the camp options cater for all skill levels, with full equipment and expert surf instruction.
The camp is situated overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the San Onofre State Park, perfect for camping.
This is south of South Clemente, and has rolling waves and yellow sands.
They offer beginner lessons in the waves of San Onofre, to expertise world-class point surf of Trestles.
24800 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629
The Cali Camp surf camp offers skill classes and coaching for beginners and those of intermediate levels.
It is located just five minutes from the beach, with a harbor with surf shops and hotels.
Cali Camp regards surfing as a lifestyle, allowing those who attend the camp to partake in surfing activities and excursions to live the Southern Californian lifestyle.
The camp is located in Dana Point and is close to some of the best activities and a great beach.
The local guides assist you, finding the best waves for all levels:
- In the beginners class: You are closely guided, allowing you to catch your first wave. There is basic surf training for those of beginner levels, which includes an ocean safety discussion, theory lesson, equipment training, hands-on surf lesson, paddle technique, and breathing tips.
- The intermediate class: Teaches you to improve your green waves, learn turns and do a duck dive. You can book for up to two weeks as a single traveler or as a part of a group for a discounted price. The camp is structured well, with meals and accommodation being provided as the price.
You are taken to your first surf session in the morning, followed by lunch at the camo. Then after lunch, you complete your second daily session, followed by yoga, dinner, and social events.
There is also a great sunset surf course, where the camp boss takes you to a hidden spot to catch waves and enjoy the sunset.
Mondos Beach, Pacific Coast Hwy, Ventura, CA 93001
Mary Osborne Surf Camp was founded by international surfing legend Mary Osborne.
Osborn grew up in Ventura, California, and caught her first wave at the age of 12. After 23 years of surfing, she started her own surf school and camp.
Impressive: The camp has been voted as the best surf camp several years in a row by Ventura County Report and Sunset Magazine.
The ages of students at her surf camp range from 2 years old to 75!
Mary is a businesswoman and philanthropist, and one of her main causes is female empowerment within surfing.
She runs Summer Surf Camp, which has been running since 2000. This is run by highly qualified instructors with lots of experience in teaching children how to surf.
Surfboards, wetsuits, life jackets are provided for youngsters (as well as adults), and all ages are welcome. There is a private camp as well as specialized individual classes to suit your needs.
Mary also runs the Saturday morning learn-to-surf program, which is usually for adults. It is intimate, with seven students per class, every Saturday from 8.30-10 am.
The pricing for this short class is $85, but it is intense and helpful. There is a warm-up, followed by in-water instruction.
All equipment is included, and Mary herself instructs this class.
Ventura, CA 93001
Ventura Makos Surf Camp is Ventura County’s best-rated surf camp. The surf camp offers weekly camps for ages from 4-17.
There is the fall and spring surf camp, summer surf camp, mini Makos surf camp, summer surf camp at South Jetty, the teen surf camp, as well as the summer surf camp at silver strand beach.
The camp is heavily scheduled, with activities throughout the day. There are over three short surfing sessions per day for you to catch waves and play on the beach.
Lessons are available all year round, and there are lessons for each capability. Surfboards, wetsuits, and all equipment is provided, and all instructors are highly trained, and CPR certified.
Safety is one of their key priorities, and if conditions on the beach are not safe, beach activities are encouraged instead.
They have three surf locations:
- Mondos beach
- Ventura harbor
- and Silverstrand beach
There is variety and activities for those at even the most beginner level.
Linda Mar Beach, 5200 Coast Hwy, Pacifica, CA 94044
Surf Camp Pacifica is located just 15 minutes away from San Francisco and is exceptional for its camps, programs, and special surfing training.
All participants in the program will leave, understanding:
- fundamentals of surfing
- body surfing and boarding
- wave judgment
- surfing etiquette
- ocean safety
- and basic lessons on sea life and marine respect.
Surf Camp Pacifica runs camps for ages 6-18-year-olds for up to 5 days.
They also run customized lessons for all ages and abilities, as well as private lessons. The surf camps for ages 6-18 cover basic techniques, as well as instilling confidence and self-esteem on the water.
They have a 1:4 ratio with instructors and students, with junior instructors and a beach director to supervise and monitor the surfing lessons.
Safety is closely monitored and is a priority at Surf Camp Pacifica. Their individual and group lessons are for adults and are two hours long.
They teach ocean safety and awareness, as well as cater for all techniques with their junior and senior instructors.
The camp also runs family camps, consisting of a two-hour slot, allowing families to bond and learn the ropes of surfing together.
They have ten instructors who are all individually skilled.
205 Manresa Uplands Rd, Watsonville, CA 95076
Club Ed Surf School is a friendly, expert surf camp located in Santa Cruz.
Club Ed is run by no other than Ed Guzman, who is a long-time surf instructor and travel extraordinaire. Ed’s grandmother was the first woman to ever perform a headstand on a surfboard in 1915!
Ed has traveled the world and has surfed almost every day since 1969. Club Ed Surf Camp is genuinely interested in your goals and aspirations as a surfer and has an excellent and extensive team of instructors for your every need.
The camp teaches surfing lesions every day at several locations, with unique features for each. The instructors are all trained lifeguards and fully CPR qualified, as well as First Aid certified.
Ed’s has summer surf camps, and their base is situated at the beach at Manresa Uplands State Park Campground.
This is where campers are based for the entirety of the camp.
Get Ready: Surfing starts on the beach early in the morning, at 7 am! Ed teaches, along with other surfing instructors, and equipment, accommodation, and food is all included in the price of the summer camp.
The stretch of the beach that the campground is located on is one of the best spots for surfing, as it is suitable for those of all abilities.
Ed’s camp takes pride in their food, as they recognize that diet is important for such an energetic activity. The campers are catered by some of the best restaurants in Santa Cruz.
There is also fresh fruit and vegetables available and fun bonding activities in your recreational time.
Various Locations in Southern California
Aqua Surf School has three locations in California:
- Santa Monica
- Redondo Beach
- and Manhattan Beach
It has been awarded the number one surf camp in Southern California.
The mission of Aqua Surf School is to educate and empower surfers about a greater sense of eco-responsibility, as well as teaching them to catch waves, too!
The surf school was founded in 1998 and has provided professional and detailed instruction into surfing, as well as the chance to make lasting memories and friends in the summer camp.
Their beliefs are to be safe in the water, with the correct surfing etiquette.
They also believe in honoring surfing history and understanding environmental impact and ocean life.
Aqua surf school runs educational and recreational surfing programs for children and teenagers ages 5-17. The instructors are professional, and their expertise on the waves transpires to those that they teach.
The program can be catered to your individual needs, and there is always a 3:1 ratio of students to instructors, meaning all of your surfing needs are attended to all the time.
As students, you can attend a day session or a weekly camping program.
There is availability with each surf camp located in their three locations, making it accessible to those who live all over southern California.
Perfect Day surf camp was founded in 2001 by Robbie Yrigoyen and Bob McKnight.
The two knew surfing and business, so they proposed the idea of a surf camp. It is one of the first premier surf camps in Los Angeles County, with continuous funding.
The camp covers ocean and beach safety with awareness of tides, currents, and surfing etiquette. All instructors are highly qualified, being fully CPR lifeguard and first aid certified.
They run a surf and beach program, which teaches those 5-17 to improve and learn their techniques.
This also includes beach play, giving campers the opportunity to have fun with their new friends. The camp provides all equipment.
Their locations include South bay, and Santa Monica, central to the excitement of Los Angeles. The surf camp has a 5:1 student to instructor ratio, with the week being structured into blocked lessons.
Perfect Day Surf Camp also holds individual and group lessons of all abilities in:
- Santa Monica
- Manhattan Beach
- and Torrance
There are 90 minutes and 120-minute lessons, with excellent rates and certified instructors.
4850 Cass St, San Diego, CA 92109
San Diego Surfing School runs surf camps, lessons, as well as rentals and retreats.
There are options for a five day, three day or one day camp, running throughout the year. The summer surf school runs for a half-day or whole day, including sunset sessions!
The surf camp covers surfing basics and etiquette as well as wave and ocean safety, which is crucial. The camp has two locations, pacific beach and ocean beach in San Diego.
The camp includes a surfboard, wetsuit, snacks, merchandise, and pizza on a Wednesday.
It is not a boarding camp, hence why food and accommodation is not provided, but for the price, their packages are good.
They teach all abilities, with small sessions, safety talks, surfing tricks, and bigger surfing sessions.
By the end of each camping week, students will be able to catch caves independently.
Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, California
Moonlight Beach Surf Camps have been operating since 2007 and run surf camps all throughout the year.
Their camps are safe, fun, and educational for surfers of all ages and levels. They provide surfboards and sunscreen at the beach, as well as all the necessary equipment.
The camp teaches skills such as controlling speed, dropping into the face of the wave, as well as riding the board on different size waves.
All instructors at moonlight beach camp are CPR and first aid certified and have several years of experience riding waves.
Moonlight Beach Surf Camp also provides private surfing lessons, group lessons, and parties and events.
Moonlight camp is not a boarding camp, so you will not need to worry about expensive rates for accommodation and food.
2950 Pierpoint Blvd, Ventura, California 93001
Ohana Surf camp is a surf camp in Ventura, specializing in a variety of experiences for a variety of ages.
They offer a summer camp at Marina Park for surfers aged 5-16, as well as private surfing lessons for all ages.
Who Is It For: It is the perfect camp for youngsters looking to extend their skills and make like-minded friends.
Ohana’s main mission is to make the best of the natural resources available in Ventura County and encourage the stewardship of the beaches and oceans.
Their summer surf camp includes equipment and applications open for the summer camp ever April.
The summer surf camp is run daily, and is suitable for those ages 5-16 every year in Marina Park. Ohana Surf Camp’s private surfing lessons ensure students get the one-to-one experience for those skills that they are not too confident on.
It enables the highly qualified instructors to focus on just you, with direct instruction and feedback.
The one-hour private surfing lesson is inexpensive and is suitable for adults and children, making it excellent if you are just looking for a fun activity, or to brush up your skills.
The private group surfing is also inexpensive and is perfect for families and friends. It can be tailored to each individual and their needs.
California is sought after and is one of the best places in the world to surf. With its long coastline and hidden beaches, it makes a great state for surf camps and schools.
California is warm and dry, so surf camps are able to continue throughout the year, not just the summer.
Places like Santa Cruz, Manhattan Beach and Ventura are fun and diverse, with so many activities to do with your surf group, as well as great places to eat!
There is such variety in the beaches and coastlines in Southern California, which makes it a perfect location for all skill types.
For beginners, there are gentle waves that are great to practice standing up on the board.
For the experienced, there are beaches with a high tide and big waves, perfect for practicing tricks.