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Posted by Rick Civelli | 09.27.2011 | Teen Camps

California Surf Camp Travel Blog – Kate Murray


When Matt and I landed in San Luis Obispo I immediately felt like I could explode with excitement. It was sunny, warm, breezy, and the landscape was breathtaking. That was just from the airport! Matt and I went exploring and I fell in love with the area. The campsite was just off of Morro Bay and canopied by beautiful cypress and eucalyptus trees, providing a welcoming environment to come home to after a day of surfing. Once all of the campers had arrived, there was an instant connection I had never seen before in a group of kids. They were all cracking up, laughing, and bonding like they had known each other for years. Matt and I were instantly stoked to have such a solid group of new surfers to befriend for 2 weeks.

On day 1 we surfed Cayucos, just north of the Bay. With a nice stretch of beginner friendly beach breaks to choose from we posted up for our first session. After our routine ground school the kids instantly ran to the water, ready to shred. Morale was high, although the waves were pretty choppy that day. Everyone carried their excitement through the remainder of the 2 weeks surfing the beaches between Morro Bay Rock and Cayucos. Our morning sessions were met with consistent clean conditions and perfect introductory waves. It was such a gift for the kids.

One of the best days was during week one, when a distant storm out in the Pacific sent us some macking overhead sets. One of our campers, who we nicknamed Jonas “the Bull”, was charging! John G, a veteran Surf Camper, was surfing some of the best waves of his summer. And Griffin, our little future pro, requested only the biggest waves. Everyone had a blast and it was a session to remember.

During our stay in Central California we also had the opportunity to participate in a lot of outdoor activities, outside of surfing. Since the water was cold and the afternoons brought in unfavorable conditions, we did several day hikes along the bluffs and coves which snaked around the coast. We spent one day at an awesome hot spring spot in Avila and took a trip to Santa Barbara where the weather was perfect and the sunset was gorgeous. We spent another full day in Monterey visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row. The campers loved the sea otters, flamingos, and penguins. Our trips along Highway 1 were breathtaking. We stopped and hiked along cliff trails, saw elephant seals hauled out on the northern beaches, and caught glimpses of some awesome surf breaks while winding down the coast.

We also got to experience some exciting wildlife up-close and personal on a kayak trip around Morro Bay. Within this amazing estuary all species of birds flew around us and harbor seals popped their heads up right next to our kayaks to say hello. It was an incredibly diverse ecosystem that was awesome to experience from within.

The campers all improved drastically over the two weeks of camp. They were all excelling and catching their own waves, despite the ocean being chilly. But the waves were great for learning and the sea life was super exciting. During our surf sessions we would get our daily dose of marine mammals. On any given day the local seals, sea lions, or dolphins would swim by and visit us for a few minutes.

I couldn’t have asked for a better group of kids or an all-around fun adventure. We experienced the elements of nature in a whole new way and formed a fun family of friends. I can’t wait to get back there and hope the kids continue surfing and stay stoked on life!