Surfing harnesses the Earth's power for recreational use, much like skydiving or using the wind as a coolant in lava-eating contests. Go with the planetary flow with today's Groupon for surf lessons at Maui Surf Academy in Encinitas. Choose between the following options:
- For $32, you get one spot in a group lesson for four or more people (a $65 value).
- For $50, you get a private lesson (a $120 value).
After spending nearly a decade as a surf instructor in Maui, Hawaii, Matt Allen returned to San Diego to open Maui Surf Academy, a safety-first surf school with lessons for all experience levels. In a group lesson, students and curious sand crabs gather around teachers at a three- or four-to-one ratio, assimilating to basic technique with a 20-30 minute segment on the sand that includes a water safety lesson. The group then spends the remainder of the two-hour lesson in the water, practicing paddling techniques before working up the nerve to conquer an actual wave. The CPR- and First Aid–certified instructors also stress the importance of ocean etiquette, such as taking turns in the surf with nearby boarders and allowing ticklish waves to float by unsurfed. Private lessons follow a similar schedule but with one-on-one coaching, useful for younger students, accelerated learning, or specialized instruction of advanced skills. The stretch of beach used at MSA is beginner friendly, stabilized by sandbars and crabs that quiz surfers with waterproof flash cards.