What to pack?! Thinking about joining us for our surf camp or Beach Adventure this summer? Here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School we are pros at making a day out of going to the beach. It’s almost like we live here. We’ve been this for over 20 years, and have seen it all. So we definitely know what to pack to have a good (and safe) time at the beach.

From sunscreen to towels, you’ll want to make sure you have all the necessities to get the most out of your camp experience. Enjoying a beach day at camp may seem self explanatory. But to make it as easy as possible we have outlined some tips to ensure you maximize your fun. 

Here’s a beach packing list with all the essentials to help you pack quickly so you can get out the door and on your way!

The Essential Packing List to Bring for a Day at Corky Carroll’s Surf Camp

Beach Bag: First thing you need is a beach bag that can fit all your items. You don’t want to be carrying an arms-full of items when walking across the hot summer sand. Get yourself a spacious bag that has enough room to fit bulky items such as a towel, swimsuit, and extra pair of clothes.  We recommend that your bag have a zipper or something to cover up it up while you’re enjoying your beach activities so that the seagulls don’t get into your stuff.

Sunscreen: One of the most important things to take with you for a day in the sun. Even on a day where the weather looks overcast, you’re likely to get burnt as beaches tend to be very exposed to the elements. We recommend bringing a waterproof sunscreen with you but we do provide sunscreen if necessary. We choose Eco and skin friendly sunscreen such as Sun Bum and Zinka!

Sunscreen Beach Bag and Water

Sunscreen Beach Bag and Water

Lots of Water: Don’t forget to bring along plenty of H2O. When surfing in the sun all day, even more water intake is required than on a regular day. It’s very important that you keep yourself hydrated whilst enjoying your beach day to avoid sunstroke and other related illnesses. With increased sweating in the sun, we tend to lose a lot of fluids. So make sure you drink moderate amounts of water often to avoid getting thirsty and therefore dehydrated. You can bring plastic water bottles but we recommend bringing a reusable water bottle from home so we can reduce our use of plastic.

Swimwear: We recommend you put your swimsuit on before coming to Corky Carroll’s Surf Camp. That way when you show up you can get in the water as soon as possible. We provide wet suits for all of our campers to wear. We recommend wearing wetsuits while surfing, but it is not mandatory. If you know you are not going to want a wetsuit, you should wear a swimsuit that is sturdy enough not to fall off while surfing waves and swimming in the ocean. Most of our kids stay in the wetsuits for the entire day but you are more than welcome to take it off during our out of water activities.

Lunch & Snacks: Nothing increases your appetite quite like a day of running in the sand, hanging in the sun and wave surfing. Make sure you bring plenty of snacks to keep your energy levels up! Fruit is a great option or anything else that doesn’t require preparation. If you’re taking sandwiches with you, remember that they may get soggy if not placed in a cool bag. Always pack more than you think you’ll need, as spending a day on the beach can take a lot of energy. You will want to keep your energy up for the surfing!

Towel, Hat, and Beach Bag

Towel, Beach bag, and Hat

Towels: One thing that you can’t go to the beach without is a towel. Everyone needs a good towel to dry off with after a surf session, when eating your snack, and or when you’re tired and want to lay down in the sand. We would recommend choosing a bigger towel than you would use at home for more room to lay on. We also recommend choosing a different, uniquely patterned towel so you can recognize yours between other campers.

Flip Flops: Seriously, don’t forget your flip flops. There’s nothing worse than having to walk across the hot sand with your bare feet. And it’s a real drag trying to put your socks or sneakers back on after you’ve spent the day soaking up the sun, sand, and water. Simply slip your flip flops on and you’re done and gone. We recommend putting your initials on the sides and or choosing a distinct design so you don’t get yours mixed up with other campers.  

Sun Hat: We do provide shade for campers under our Corky Carroll’s Surf Camp tents, but we recommend you also bring a hat. Hats do wonders for protecting your head, ears, face and neck while also keeping the sun out of your eyes. Even if you’re not a hat fan, just remind yourself that keeping those rays off your face will make a huge difference for the following day at surf camp.

A Change of Clothes: Ever get back to the car just to realize that you and your wet bathing suits and towels are about to ruin your car seats? Bringing an extra pair of clothes will not only help you feel your most comfortable on the ride home, but it will make your parents happy also!

Empty Plastic/Reusable Bag: This might sound like a strange one, but they’re great for keeping valuables dry and sand free.

Sunscreen, Beach Bag, Water, Snack, Hat

Sunscreen, Beach Bag, Water, Snack, Hat

Surf Camp Packing List Checklist

Just to review here’s a quick and easy checklist of everything we covered above:

  • Beach Bag
  • Sunscreen
  • Lots of Water
  • Swimwear
  • Lunch & Snacks
  • Sun Hat
  • Change of Clothes
  • Empty Plastic/Reusable Bags

Our surf camps at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach are a blast every summer. It’s an amazing time for groms of all ages to have fun at the beach, enjoy the ocean, and learn to surf. With the right gear in tow everything is made all the better. Proper packing can help you and your little ones make the most of our summer camp experience, and focus on what really matters. Staying safe, having fun, and surfing!

With this list you should be all set for an awesome time. We can’t wait to be a part of it.

See you on the beach!

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Confident & Positive Attitude

The number one rule for preparing for your surf lesson is having a positive mindset with confidence that you can be successful. Having an open, growth mindset will keep you positive and focused on enjoying your surf lesson experience. By going into your Private Surf Lessons with a negative or apprehensive mindset, then you are setting the tone for the rest of the lesson and it may not be as rewarding. If you think you are going to be able to do something then most likely you will be able to do it, so, if you think your capable of learning to surf then it will be easier to accomplish.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Good Vibes Only

Mother Nature always has the final say

Surfing is different than most sports in many ways. The waves and conditions are changing constantly throughout the day. Some days we can know exactly what the conditions should look like, but other days mother nature throws us a wildcard. Surfing demands a lot more patience than other sports because at the end of the day, the conditions will ultimately make the decision. Sometimes the forecast can read like an incredible beach day, but by the time you get there it is be so foggy that you can’t even see the waves. This is one barrier that, unfortunately, preparing for a surf lesson cannot necessarily help you with, but it can prepare you for the potential that conditions may not be favorable for a successful lesson. 

preparing for surf lesson

Understanding That Surfing Isn’t Easy

One of the best things about surfing is that is forces you to be in the moment. The ocean will not stop for you and it will make you have to work hard to be able to conquer it. You can be preparing for your surf lesson for months but it might take some time to learn, just like riding a bike.  You can’t expect to immediately be a pro surfer or never fall, making mistakes is key to learning how to surf faster. Surfing new spots can be tricky but we recommend Bolsa Chica State Beach as one of your first spots for a lesson  The best surfer is the one having the most fun, and most of the time that isn’t the one who is the best in the  lineup.

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Positive

Physical Capabilities

Knowing how to swim is one of the biggest keys for preparing for your surf lesson. If you don’t know how to swim it will be a little scary while trying to learn how to surf but if you tell us ahead of time we can make arrangements for helping you learn. Here are some workouts you can do to prepare for you surf lesson. Swimming: Swimming can help build up your endurance for paddling in the water, the more endurance your arms have the easier it will be to catch waves and the more you will catch. You would be surprised that surfing is actually 90% paddling, so having good paddling endurance is a good first step.  Yoga is another activity that will help you while learning how to surf. The more flexible you are the easier it will be to learn how to stand up and the easier standing up is for you the more energy you will have to surf longer. When learning how to surf I would also look up videos or read blogs about the basics of learning how to surf to give you some insight before your lesson. 

Preparing For Your Surf Lesson

Yoga

Planning in advance

The last thing you want to do is run late for a surf lesson. It takes some time to sign in, put sunscreen on, throw a wet suit on your body, and walk down to the water’s edge, so planning to arrive on time is crucial. On top of that the instructor most likely has another lesson booked immediately after yours and every lesson must run on time, regardless of arrival time. The longer you have with your instructor the more time you have to learn how to surf.  Knowing Huntington Beach, you never know if there are events going on or maybe the freeways have traffic, so you need to make sure that you look ahead of time so you can plan your departure time accordingly. You also want to know what to pack for a day at the beach  so you don’t run into any conflicts. Another step to prepare for your surf lesson is to be well rested and eat a good meal before coming to the beach. A good meal doesn’t mean eating a lot of food, while that may fill you up it will up, it will also make you feel sick when doing exercise in the ocean. Not eating at all will make your body feel fatigued and you may end up feeling sick, therefore stopping the lesson. Just a small to moderate sized, nutrient dense food will better prepare your body for the lesson.

Go Check out some of these links for more information about surfing lessons in Huntington Beach.

Huntington Beach Surf Lessons

Private Surf Lessons

Directions

Contact Us

Healthy Family. Healthy Friends. Healthy you.

Healthy New Year

2019 is a fresh start. It’s a fresh page in your new, favorite book. It’s a tad bit cheesy, and a tad bit cliche. Yet, this is the chance of a fresh perspective. This New Year is a chance to look back, to be appreciative, and to move forward with full momentum, and kick off a Healthy New Year! 

Healthy New Year

Healthy New Year

 

What’s next? What are your New Years Goals?

Maybe you’ll strive to have new, active hobbies. Maybe you want to be outside more. Maybe you’ll work on being more mindful, and take more time drawing or reading. Maybe you’ll work on being more present with your family, and maybe you’ll delete that, “time sucking app” off your phone. Maybe you’ll practice making the best, darn, vegan tacos EVER! Or maybe you’ll decide to adopt a happy, yellow-lab from your local shelter.

There’s a lot to be grateful for. There’s a lot to reflect on, and remember how exciting (and draining), 2018 was. There’s a lot to be stoked on. There’s a lot we’ve each learned personally/individually- And a lot we’ve learned as a group/business here at Corky Carroll’s Surf School.

We’re grateful for our community that teaches us so much. We’re grateful for you. We’re grateful for the chance to teach our craft, and to teach the next generation of little rippers. We’re grateful to own and love this passion, that gets us out of bed each morning.

From Corky Carroll’s Surf School, to you…

THANK YOU!

Thank you for letting us be a part of your world, and to encourage new and returning surfers to hop on a board. Thank you for reading this, and thank you for engaging with us on social media. Thank you, for being you. We’re happy as can be, to remind our California Family what lies in our backyard. (Or to be honest, reminding our family what vacation is right at our fingertips.)

Healthy New Year

New you

Now… Let’s begin!

Let’s make this year the best one yet.

We welcome you to try surfing this year. Not only will surfing brighten your day/week/month- surfing allows your body to physically and emotionally feel better. After a few times Surfing with us at Corky Carroll’s Surf School– this healthy activity will give you better stamina/cardio. Surfing works-out not only your arms for paddling- but also works out your core to keep balanced, and your legs to squat and stay level on the waves. It’s also a stress huge reliever, to hang/wade in the cool water, and listen to the calming/crashing sounds (and to laugh with friends). Oh… and did we mention how cool your hair will look afterwards (really gives that, fresh out of the salon, BoHo look…)?!

In 2019, make that “home-made, famous, vegan taco!” Eat it on the beach, and rent a surfboard. Or maybe, consider taking your family to our all-inclusive Costa Rica surf resort where we make learning to surf, easy (since ’98!)! We teach all ages, and all skill and all athleticism levels. And we’d be happy to give you 1-on-1 lesson, or teach a group lesson, for a fun afternoon with friends. We even provide videos for feedback, and to show how much you learned that day!

Want to learn more about our programs, and what we offer? Simply cruise over, and hang with us at Bolsa Chica State Beach. Or just give us a call to say hi, and talk surf. Or call and talk yellow-lab, shelter dogs. Either way, we’d love to hear from you.

Healthy New Year

2019

Best of wishes for 2019!

Start this off with a healthy New Year, and a new perspective.

Tell us your New Years Goals, below!

Or tell us what active hobbies you’re trying in 2019!

 

-Hunter Rose

HOTTEST SURF HOTELS IN HUNTINGTON BEACH

With so many Southern California beaches to choose from, there’s no question why Huntington Beach has become the most popular tourist destination in Orange County. Almost 10 miles of white sand and breaking waves line the shore of this bustling beach city, providing all day entertainment for swimmers, surfers and beach goers. Whether you’re visiting for surf lessons, music festivals, bonfires on the sand or shopping at the new Pacific City, HB has it all. If you’re wondering where to stay when traveling to Surf City, allow me to simplify your life. Here’s a list of the best and highest rated surf hotels in Huntington Beach, all of which are located steps from the sand along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway.

PASEA HOTEL  AND SPA 

Coming in at the priciest one on our list, this click and trendy, newly constructed, pet friendly, high-end hotel is situated across the street from the Pacific Ocean. Pasea Hotel  Features contemporary rooms and suites with ocean views, a rooftop bar & lounge, outdoor pool, yoga, luxury spa services and free WiFi. It is especially popular with the younger crowds given its prime location, right next to Pacific City. This comes in as our #1 surf hotel in Huntington Beach 

HYATT REGENCY HUNTINGTON BEACH RESORT & SPA

A long-time favorite amongst visitors and locals, this upscale resort is located across from the beach and features Spanish architecture, upgraded rooms and suites with traditional decor, five restaurants, three pools, a kids club, fitness center and free continental breakfast. 

WATERFRONT HOTEL BY HILTON

This well known and popular, beach-inspired Hilton hotel features some extra resort amenities that make it an excellent choice for families. Stylish and contemporary rooms and suites offer guests a choice of city or ocean views. Showcasing tropical outdoor pools, waterslides, cabanas, beach equipment and multiple venue spaces, this resort provides everything for your vacation or special event.

KIMPTON SHOREBREAK HUNTINGTON BEACH RESORT

A stylish, surf-themed 4-star rated boutique hotel that sits within steps of the famous Main St. hub. This property is set across from the beach and zero minutes from nightlife, bars, restaurants and retail shops. There’s no pool at this hotel but it does boast a 24-hour fitness center with a 40’ bouldering wall, complimentary beach cruisers and a wine hour. Perfect for travelers and beach goers that want to be right in the mix of all the entertainment.

BEST WESTERN HARBOUR INN & SUITES 

A less expensive, no frills hotel located north along Pacific Coast Hwy, close to Huntington’s Bolsa Chica State Beach and Sunset Beach. Clean and classic guest rooms, some with balconies that offer a view of Huntington Harbour, free WiFi and continental breakfast. Close to the beach, Starbucks, restaurants and the #1 rated surf school and kids beach camp in Huntington Beach.

So there you have it! The hottest, trendiest, highest rated and favorite hotels in the HB area. There are more, unlisted options in the city but none with the level of amenities, views, service or close proximity to the sand as the hotels mentioned above. Wherever you choose to stay, there’s no shortage of fun in the sun when you visit Huntington Beach.

If you are staying in the area and you want to learn from the best surf school in town go check out Private Surf Lessons

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner and the never-ending question of what to get Dad is finally over. The gift of surfing is a memorable experience, rather than another item stacked on the shelf. Whether it’s sharing a beach day with the family or Dad getting out into the water and challenging waves on his own, it provides an experience to get outdoors and enjoy nature in the Californian sunshine.

father's day dad day

Father’s Day at Corky Carroll’s Surf School: 

Corky Carroll’s Surf School has been providing surfing lessons for over 20 years with a team of instructors that have strong knowledge and experience in surfing, so Dad is in safe hands.

The location of the surf school at Bolsa Chica State Beach in Huntington Beach is an amazing spot for Dad’s first time because of the relaxed surfing conditions. Surf City’s Bolsa Chica State Beach has a gentle break, a sand bottom, and mild water temperatures year-round making it an ideal spot for Dad to learn how to surf. This will make his Father’s Day the best yet 

Lessons for Dad

If Dad is a beginning surfer or just wanting to improve his skills, Corky Carroll’s Surf School has lessons available for all levels. A friendly and knowledgeable instructor, wetsuit, and wide selection of surfboards will be provided for Dad to have an unforgettable Father’s Day!

For further information on private lessons: Click Here

There is a lot more going on at the beach this Spring and Summer than you might think. Check it out with me! Let’s go to the beach!

HB

 

Huntington Beach is taking getting back to the beach to a new level of family fun for 2018 with activities and events for everyone. We couldn’t be more stoked!

Beach body ready or not ,Let’s KICK IT!!!

It’s Back to the Beach Fest 2018

 

Hey Guys Howzit, I am Bruddah Chris. I will be hovering and covering awesome events, entertainment and anything that shines bright in our surf culture. If it’s  happening here in Huntington Beach. I am gonna check it out.  So be sure to check back every couple of weeks for all the latest in what’s hattnin here at da beach. Mahalo, I appreciate you.

I love this time of year!   It is April and time to get back to the Beach. If you love surf culture, live music, food, drinks, crafts, arts and awesome party’s then HB is the place to be this Spring and Summer.

Surf City is kicking off the 2018 Festival Season this Saturday and Sunday April 28, 29.

Travis Barker and Feldy in partnership with KROQ are hosting a lil family friendly beach bash jammy jam. Guess what they are calling it?…

They are calling it “Back to the Beach Fest 2018”

So stoked as the artist lineups for both Saturday 28, and Sunday 29,  are packed nadz with killer bands. Some of  music’s most respected and recognizable sun punk bands representing  our surf, skate, bike, wind sailing, sandy pants, epic vibes, sun-n-fun, SoCal life style will be throwing down hot licks and rootsie good tunes.

 Bands like the Aquabats, the Mighty Mighty Bostones, 311, and Long Beach’s Sublime with Rome will be kicking the funky, phat party tunes in the dunes. RIGHT ON THE BEACH.. BOYYYY!!!

Gromms under 10 are free!

Links to Single day and full weekend passes can be found on the Back to the Bach Fest website.

You will also find all the Beach Fest 2018 info including BUT NOT LIMITED TO the lists of allowable and unallowable items that can be brought into the festival area- i.e.

  • No glass is allowed, you can bring a refillable plastic water bottle
  • Blankets and low backed chairs are allowed as well
  • No outside food or drink will be allowed
  • Sorry evil doers, no bad vibes allowed. (Message from the Aquabats)

 Free parking will be available at Edison High School along with a shuttle service that will be providing safe rides to and from the Festival event area for a fee.

Family friendly games and a “PUNK kids zone” will be part of the festivities.

With all the action and skankin around you are bound to get hungry and thirsty.

Food and beverages will be off the chains. Delicious organic and vegan grinds, and Meaty Carnivorous options will be abundant. Craft beers and cocktails “will be flowing like the Salmon of Capistrano.”- L. Christmas

It’s enough to give you that gleaming with a sense of Nirvana feeling, ya know? Like being in heaven. This event is so loaded with fun for the whole family I can’t imagine a better way to launch into the festival season. It’s gonna be so rad. Hanging with the wahini  and the grommets. Enjoying in one of the worlds most beautiful festival settings available. Just soaking in all the shine I can handle. This party is gonna be as rad as we make it. Be the vibe you wanna see. Smile, Have a killer time.

  Want more action? Get Your Sea Legs On

Sea Legs at the Beach I can not wait to spend more time here. Now that they have regular hours for the season. Sea Legs at the beach is open to all ages. A fun combination of restaurant and entertainment venue. Sea Legs at the Beach is a glorious oasis of bitchin built right on the sand. Enjoy the best of HB life style and entertainment. Located on the Huntington Beach Bike path. It’s an epic spot to chill out, grab a bite and a cold frosty brew or a hand mixed cocktail while enjoying free live entertainment. Relax and soak in the vibes of the Pacific. April 29 and every Sunday it’s Reggae Sunday at Sea Legs

Legendary  DJ / VJ / and TV personality Richard Blade is a regular host of parties and events at Sea Legs On the Beach. Getting it poppin off with a 70’s & 80’s flashback, this years Cinco de Mayo party is gonna be glorious with live music provided by the smooth, cool sounds of Yachty By Nature. Find out more about location, menu, and entertainment options here  Reggae Sundays and Richard Blade’s Cinco de Mayo Beach Party

I hope you will be down to check out  Surf City Nights Farmers Market and Crafts Fair in Down town HB Every Tuesday  http://www.huntingtonbeachevents.com/calendar.html

So much to do between surf lessons and sessions. It’s all happening right now. No need to wait. Something great is happening in HB right now and you can be part of it..

sun flower

April is gorgeous at the beach in Huntington Beach, Ca.

Even if you still need it to warm up a little before you get back into the water. Mother Nature is doing her Spring beauty thing at the beach. The flowers are popping off and all the little critters that come with them are thawing out and bouncing around. Summer is right around the corner and Surf City is ready to party.

HB animals

Back to the Beach trailer  “What is a Kahuna? Is it good to have a big one”- line from Back to the Beach a movie From Paramount Pictures 1987 -good clean family surf film starring Frankie and Annette. Recapturing the magic of their on screen relationship and the result is a huge beach party for everyone. The band Fishbone makes an appearance to “Jamaica Ska” I like to think it’s a preview of what’s gonna go down at Beach Fest on Saturday and Sunday

For any of your surfing needs go to our Surf School and find out more details

Thanks for reading guys! Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks for more on what’s hattnin in Huntington.

Chaka, Mahalo,

Bruddah Chris

 

  by Chris Benton

Huntington Beaches Surfing Spots

Brookhurst Street: Huntington Beach 

This surf spot is on the south end of Huntington Beach, Ca. It is located right next to the Santa Ana River Mouth. The combination of drainage from the storm drains and the tidal surge from the hb marshes makes this surf spot dirty. Overall this wave is pretty good most of the time and can be excellent on the right swell mix. The wave is pretty steep and hollow and can get pretty closed out on bigger S and WNW swells. It is not a beginner wave I would recommend to anyone. The beaches are very long and if your a beginner you will need to surf the inside shorebreak because the outside is for advanced surfers. The biggest drawback is the water quality especially after even the smallest rain.

Surf city

South Side and North Side  Huntington Beach Pier is one of the most famous surf spots of all time.From reality tv stars to professional surfers everywhere, HB pier has everything you would want except for a beginner surfing wave. In the summer it has huge contests, crowds, and all kinds of other nonsense, most of which happens on land. Breaking the sides into two different surf spots is necessary because both provide different waves and atmosphere. The waves are very similar in shape on both sides but you get a very different feel and attitude as you move from one side to the other. The North side is open to surfing all year round while the South Side has black ball during summer. The crowd here is localized and some surfers can get aggressive towards people learning how to surf.

 

Huntington Beach Cliffs– This surf spot is a soft and slow wave most of the year. You can long board on the smaller days but it gets fast enough to short board on a lower tide, particularly with a swell combo. In the winter we get NW swells the change the wave from being soft to actually holding some size and being heavy. When there is swell and when there isn’t swell the cliffs have a good crowd on them. Most of the locals will surf it everyday and there are a lot of new beginner surfers trying as well. It can be localized at times during the year, but most the time you can find a spot in between others to have some fun. The walk down is more difficult compared to the surf spots to the south or north because of the rocky cliff. The dog beach is located right on the beach in front of the cliffs and can get very crowded for parking on summer days. Make sure you watch your step for dog poop!

hb cliffs

Bolsa Chica State Beach

There is no black ball at Bolsa Chica State Beach

Black ball is a yellow flag with a black circle that lifeguards put out meaning no surfing allowed. This happens because of the amount of tourists in the water. Even though there is no black ball it is still a lifeguarded beach. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round while lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. At Bolsa Chica State Beach there is no black ball, so that means surfing all day!

Conditions

At Corky Carroll’s Surf School the conditions are important for beginning surfers. Bolsa Chica State Beach has a gentle break, a sand bottom, and mild water temperatures year-round making for ideal beginner conditions.

A gentle break allows students to learn how to surf on the outside and inside.

The inside is closer to the shore where the waves have already broken. This area is mostly white wash, which is waves that have broken and washed out. These waves are easier to get into and best for beginners. The outside waves at Bolsa Chica State Beach break slow, allowing beginner surfers to enjoy them as well. Unlike the beaches south of Bolsa Chica State Beach, such as the Huntington Beach cliffs or Newport Beach where the waves break faster.

A sand bottom allows for gentler impact when a wipeout happens.

A wipeout is when you fall off your surfboard and as a beginner it is inevitable. With a sand bottom the ground is soft, so it is less likely to get injured and safer for all ages and ability levels learning how to surf.

Go to our why bolsa chica blog! Bolsa Chica Blog

Stingrays! Bad or Good?

If you’re unsure about your stance on stingrays, we don’t blame you. They’re often portrayed as deadly, cold-blooded creatures who wield their venomous tails like a weapon. They’re also 99% of the time not hurtful or mean creatures. The best way to form an opinion is by learning a little more about the stingray.

When people see stingrays in the water the first reaction people make is get me out of the water! But they usually act kind and gentle around humans. Its only when a stingray feels threatened that beach-goers have to worry. Most of the stingray attacks in California happen when a human swims above or in front of them, either creating no escape route for the stingray or they accidentally step on them. Of course any animal that is cornered or scared can be dangerous, just as a stray dog can be dangerous if backed into a corner.

Trying to learn how to surf Private Surf Lessons

The stingrays do not want to eat or hurt you!

The diet of these creatures consists of small animals that live in the sand – mostly shellfish, small worms. The stingray feeds by hovering directly over the sand and fluttering the wing-like edges of its body disc to clear away the top level of sand. This exposes the little creatures that live just under the sand, and the stingray plops on top of them and eats them.

stingrays

How to Avoid Stingray Attacks

Stingray Attacks  are more likely to happen to swimmers or surfers who are entering or exiting the ocean through shallow water and accidentally step on a stingray.

Naturally, the stingray will react. When the stingray is stepped on, it quickly whips its long tail forward and down, which jabs the stinger at the base of the tail into usually the foot or leg of the person. This is a defensive maneuver designed to remove the beachgoers foot from the stingray’s body, and it works. To avoid stepping on top of a stingray, beachgoers can shuffle their feet when entering and exiting the water. We call this the stingray shuffle! The Stingray Shuffle is simply sliding your feet along the sand instead of taking big steps. To a stingray, these sliding movements feel more like vibrations, which scares them away. If you take big long steps the stingray will not feel these vibrations and will stay put until you step on their backs, which most the time ends up in getting stung. Here is a video that will show you how to stingray shuffle. Go watch this video that demonstrates how to do the stingray shuffle and what to do if stung https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9a6QRcSBQec

ray shuffle

How to Treat an Injury

Treating stingray wounds requires submerging the affected area in water as hot as the individual can stand, around 110 degrees. If parts of the barb are not lodged into the wound, this type of treatment can easily be done at home instead of the doctor’s office; however, it’s important to note, if the barb is deeply lodged into the skin and/or the area does not seem to be healing, a trip to the emergency room and some antibiotics are in order. Carefully remove any surface debris from the wound with tweezers and continue to soak the area in hot water until the

One of the most common questions we get asked is what is the best surfboard for learning to surf. Answer: a soft top surfboard. Thanks to their improved buoyancy, soft tops make paddling and standing up easier, letting you catch more waves and have more fun. They are also safer than hard top boards because getting hit with something soft is always better than getting hit with something hard. (That’s just math.) But what many beginner surfers don’t realize is there are a lot of great options out there for soft top surfboards. So instead they head over to their local mega superstore and pick up a Costco Surfboard. But take it from us, that’s not a good idea.

Costco: Your One Stop Shop (Except for Surfboards)

We love Costco. Cheap gas. Fifty pound bags of popcorn. Free tastings. It’s heaven in a warehouse. Where else can you buy a pair of board shorts, get some photos printed, have an eye exam, prepare for a barbecue, find a computer, and stock up on enough toilet paper for a decade — all while feasting on a free lunch of mini-sausages, Vitamix smoothies, and microwavable empanadas.?

Best of all, the prices are killer. A $9.95 large pizza to go? Don’t mind if we do.

Over the past couple years Costco has also become the king of selling soft top surfboards. Their Wavestorm model is the most popular surfboard in America. Head down to the Huntington Beach pier on a mid-summer Saturday and you’ll see a flurry of them heading out …. and then getting washed ashore.

And while there’s definitely a place for a Wavestorm in any surfer’s quiver, a beginner would be better off looking elsewhere than Costco’s line of soft top boards when first getting started.

Costco and Kooks

Let’s get one thing clear. Riding a Costco surfboard doesn’t make you a kook. Neither does learning to surf. So long as people respect their gear, the ocean, and others around them, the waters are free for all to enjoy. Everyone makes mistakes and wipes out. That’s life. No worries. It’s how you approach the waves that really matter.

Even seasoned surfers can mess up from time to time. Dropping in on other surfers? That’s wrong no matter how long you’ve been surfing, or how good you are. But most experienced surfers know better. Those hitting the surf for the first time usually don’t, and are more likely to make the mistake of taking a wave that someone else has priority on. Odds are they are also riding a Wavestorm.

And that’s why Costco surfboards sometimes get a bad rap.

Costco makes it really easy to get a board. Maybe a little too easy. And over the years they have gained a certain association with kookdom. That’s because the majority of people riding Wavestorms are beginners. Beginner surfers are often linked to being “kooks” because they are still figuring out the surfing etiquette and lifestyle. Put two and two together and you can see how Costco surfboards can gain a certain reputation.

But we don’t buy into that reputation. The point we want to make is Costco surfboards aren’t necessarily bad, they just are not right for beginners.

The Soft Top Revolution

There is a great quote that sums up our motto perfectly.

The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.

That’s what it is all about. The lessons, the equipment, the waves — it all boils down to having as much fun as possible. In the past, soft top surfboards had a certain stigma. They were frowned upon by surfing purists who thought soft tops bucked the trend of tradition. Not to mention, they made surfing more accessible, which in the already overcrowded lineups can be a regular surfer’s greatest fear.

But this is nothing new. There has always been those reluctant to embrace change.

Foam surfboards were initially balked at by those loyal to their 40 pound balsa wood boards. When shortboards arrived on the scene they were seen as a joke by longboarders. Using Jet Skis to catch big waves was paramount to cheating. Hydrofoils were considered a novelty act. And then there’s the Chip.

Back in the 50s, shorter, thinner boards with more-defined rockers came out that made learning to surf easier and more forgiving. They became popular with California’s growing population of female surfers. At first, guys chided these “girl surfboards” for being too small and delicate. That is until they tried one for themselves and instantly fell in love. Soon these “girl surfboards” helped fuel the Surf Boom and provided the model for one of the most famous surfboards of all-time: The Malibu Chip.

The same thing is happening to soft top surfboards today. Although they may have been originally designed with the beginner surfer in mind, they are fast becoming a welcomed part of any surfer’s quiver. Why? They make surfing more fun.

The Pros of Costco Surfboards (and Soft Tops)

There is a time and a place for everything, and that’s certainly true for Costco surfboards. They can be really fun, in the right conditions. Have you seen the Wavestorm World championships? Turns out even pro surfers are getting kooky with Costco Surfboards. But these members of Team Wavestorm know what they’re doing, and learned to surf the right way first on boards suitable for the task.

That’s because Wavestorm surfboards are better for someone who already knows how to surf. Their thinner shape and squatter tail make it easier to loose control while on a wave, allowing for some gnarly maneuvers and just as gnarly wipeouts. That’s why Wavestorms are for experienced surfers, who can take advantage of this loose performing board and tap into their full fun-releasing potential.

Which is why we recommend against using a Costco surfboard when you are learning to surf. After you figure out the fundamentals, then go ahead and tackle pipeline on a Wavestorm.

The Cons of Costco Surfboards

Costco stocks other board besides Wavestorms. But since they are the most prominent, popular and widely used, especially by beginners, it’s important to understand why Wavestorms in particular are not ideal for learning on.

The top reasons being:

  • They are thinner
  • They are narrower
  • They have a small tail width

Each of these contributes to losing stability, float and buoyancy while on a board. Which are some of the most important features required for beginners to properly learn.

Also, there is a reason why Wavestorms are so inexpensive. They are priced according to quality and scale, and built with less durable materials. The means they break down quicker than stronger constructed soft top boards.

Waterlogged Wavestorm Costco Surfboard

While for someone looking to have short-lived fun that might be enough, a dedicated beginner surfer will want a board that allows more room to progress. Not to mention one that can take a beating.

What’s In a Board?

Whenever you buy or rent a surfboard you should give serious thought to what the board is made of and its dimensions. For example, when buying a hard top surfboard knowing whether it is glassed with epoxy vs fiberglass, or shaped using polyurethane vs EPS foam, makes a big difference. The length, width and thickness of the board matters too.

The same level of consideration should be given when choosing a soft top board. Soft tops are not just for beginners. Every level of surfer from novice to intermediate and advanced can benefit from having a soft top in their quiver. So long as it is the right model for them.

Just like you need to choose the right surf spot to learn at (which is why we hold our surf school at Bolsa Chica), you need to find the right board to start with. The result is a much safer, and funner, experience all around.

A beginner should choose a board that is suitable to their skill set, height and weight, and can survive the initial mishandling that comes with trying something new for the first time. Not just go with whatever Costco has on its shelves for the best price.

The Soft Top We Use Instead of Costco Surfboards

At Corky Carroll’s Surf School we teach surfing using Storm Blade Surfboards. This model has been around since 2006 providing some of the best high-performance soft top surfboards on the market.

Storm Blade is produced by AGIT Global, which is actually the same company that puts out Wavestorm surfboards. But there is good reason why you find their sturdy Storm Blade’s being used at a lot surf schools and surf camps around the world, and not their thinner Wavestorms.

Not only do Storm Blade surfboards come in a wider selection of sizes for all skill levels, but Storm Blade’s strong yet forgiving, extra buoyant foam layered construction and well calibrated thickness make surfing an unparalleled experience for beginners to advance. Overall their design with beginner in mind and use of high-quality materials provides a perfectly balanced wave-riding platform to surf.

When compared to Wavestorms, the Storm Blade is thicker providing creating stability. And perhaps most notably, the Storm Blade’s wider, better shaped squash tail performs superior to the poorly shaped blocky squash tails on Wavestorms.

All this will have any novice standing up in no time, and is why recommend an 8ft or 9ft soft top surfboard with as much width and thickness as possible for beginners. Our favorite surfboard to learn on in the industry is the 8ft Storm Blade SSR.

Storm Blade SSR Soft Top Surfboard

 

This might all sound like an over-fluffed up endorsement, but we feel really strongly about the boards we use for our surf lessons and truly find Storm Blade’s to be the best. But like we said earlier, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to surfboards. There are plenty of other great soft tops out there (some of which we include in our surfboard rentals quiver).

We want everyone to have fun surfing. And we want beginners to learn the right way. So think twice about that Wavestorm $100 Costco surfboard if you’re just starting out. The better choice is to learn on a higher-quality soft top.

-Hunter Rose