A brave rhinestone cowboy domesticated the first wild wave by strapping a saddle to its frothy mane and proudly riding it to shore while whipping its watery hind legs. Learn the legendary secrets of wave taming with today's deal: for $55, you get a three-hour introductory surf lesson (a $95 value) from Adventure Out at either Linda Mar Beach (a.k.a Pacifica State Beach) in Pacifica, or Capitola Beach in Santa Cruz.
Designed with newcomers in mind, Adventure Out's beginner surfing lessons instill the basics necessary to catch waves, including ocean awareness, wave safety, water etiquette, paddling, balance, push-up and pop-up techniques, and similar techniques such as mop-tops and push-pops. Each lesson starts in shallow areas before venturing into deeper waters. All Adventure Out instructors are CPR and lifeguard certified with a minimum of 10 years' experience, ensuring the safety of even first-time wave riders. Eighty percent of the day will be spent in the water, 20% on shore, and 10% in the exhilarating “110% Zone” known only to surfers and drill sergeants.
Adventure Out provides the wetsuit, board, and booties, but you should bring a towel, bathing suit, sunscreen, snacks, and water. Bring friends for encouragement, especially if they are comfortable swimmers or are about to turn back into a reverse mermaid. Check the availability of upcoming lessons here, then call ahead to reserve a spot aboard a board.
You must be 13 or older to participate in AO's surf lesson.
San Francisco magazine called Adventure Out a "future classic way to inspire a bored teen" in 2007, and it has been featured in countless area magazines. Folks who have taken Adventure Out classes and enjoy reviewing stuff online have only great things to say:
- Since I was a wee little girl, I had always had a deep longing to learn how to surf. Everything about the sport, history, and culture had always been so alluring to me. Finally this past Saturday, I stopped being a beach bystander, and took my first lesson with Adventures Out. Let me tell you, I can't recommend AO enough... it was probably one of the best investments I have ever made. – Elizabeth L., Yelp
- The best part about these classes were the instructors. I was worried that I was going to show up at the beach and have some local high school brat calling me "dude" and yelling "come on man, just stand up!". I had 2 instructors named Mike and Jim (I think) and there were only 5 students in the class (talk about a great ratio!)…They had me up and surfing within the first day - and trust me, I am no athelete [sic]. – griffdog, TripAdvisor
When Cliff Hodges, the founder and CEO of Adventure Out, graduated from MIT with a degree in electrical engineering, he knew a traditional desk job wasn't for him. According to Technology Review, he quickly gave up his engineering career for the wireless world of the great outdoors, where he began to hike, climb, and surf his way around the world, always staying true to his philosophy of environmental respect and protection.
His travels and business accomplishments have gained some measure of notoriety: he's coached on MTV's Made, consulted for ABC News, and was selected as one of four winners of the 2011 Santa Cruz County Civic Service Award: The Nextie. Adventure Out was also identified for meeting survival-skills training standards by New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss in The 4-Hour Chef.
Today, he leads excursions into the California wilderness to teach backpacking and survival skills, including the tracking of animals and wild ice-cream trucks, and they also guide novices through surfing, rock-climbing, and mountain-biking sojourns. Through fundraising, Adventure Out has helped save Castle Rock State Park from closure and a portion of their proceeds is put directly back into the park.