Amateur surfers are a lot like newborn fawns: they’re wide-eyed, full of life, and not so great at standing. That’s why head instructor and founder of Surfari Surf, Rick Gehris—along with his team of seasoned instructors—begins every first-time lesson by introducing a simple, achievable goal: stand. To increase the chances of success, Gehris and his instructors—well versed in Hawaiian, Californian, and Floridian surfing methods—hop right into the water to assist students as they cut into the waves. The instructors hang off the tails of their surfboards, stabilizing each board and repositioning students until they’re ready to take to the open water and try out their pickup lines on the nearest, cute-enough dolphin.
In addition to surf lessons and camps, instructors also show off their athletic prowess during standup-paddleboard lessons, which often are supplemented by independent board rentals.
How does a yoga studio with no electrical outlets to plug a sound system still resonate with the tranquil ambiance of waves, wind, and wildlife? By hosting its classes on the ocean. The instructors of Paddle Board Bliss beckon students to the calm waters of Laguna Beach, Dana Point, and Mission Bay to practice invigorating yoga atop paddleboards. While balancing on their boards, exercisers progress through a series of traditional yoga maneuvers that call for them to stand for poses, sit for meditative exercises, and do cannonballs for attention. If the ocean?s soothing whispers aren?t enough, a live guitarist strums alongside students during Acoustic Flow sessions.
Although its yoga classes have received a lot of press, Paddle Board Bliss isn?t exclusively a yoga studio. It also dedicates its time to fostering aquatic exploration with paddleboard rentals, tours, and lessons.
Hawaiian-print curtains welcome clients to Suki Day Spa's shabby-chic Fourth Avenue location, where bamboo screens flank cream-colored sofas in wicker or leather and a vast painting of a red blossom reflects punches of crimson in the throw pillows and fresh blooms. The long, lean space reaches beyond the plush pedicure chairs to a hallway with private rooms, where spa treatments such as massages, facials, and spray tans gloss clients' guises more effectively than daily slatherings of vaseline and glitter.
Since opening in 2003, Bird Rock Yoga has supported its students' journey to health and wellness by creating a calming, welcoming environment for its all-levels Vinyasa Flow classes. Every day of the week, yogis settle into the lightly heated spacious practice room, where certified instructors lead a series of continuous physical postures linked together with deep, mindful breaths. Specialty classes, such as the Surfer's Flow, are designed to help athletes develop the strength, endurance, and flexibility needed to hang not just ten, but any number of their choosing. Those looking to enhance their practice even further may benefit from one of Bird Rock's intensive, subject-focused workshops, or can become a certified cobra impersonator through their Yoga Alliance–recognized teacher-training program.
During Pacific Coast Kettlebells' boot-camp classes, exercisers bounce from one timed movement to the next with short breathers in between. At one station, they might do kettlebell swings or pull-ups, at the next, they might grunt through presses or tire flips. It's all part of an approach that balances intense cardio exercise with strength training in an effort to build lean, muscular physiques. Thanks to the nature of this approach, classes at Pacific Coast Kettlebells are quick and efficient. Classes are personal, too, since groups are capped at 15 exercisers.
Taking place entirely on the beach, the Margarita 5K rewards runners with more than just some sweat on their brow and some sand in their socks. All participants also receive a t-shirt, medal, and ticket good for one icy cold margarita. Awards?which will be presented by age group?will also be given out during a beach-front ceremony behind the Wave House, to be held after the last runner has crab walked across the finish line.