The Heart of Surfing

Danielle says that the camp sees a lot of the same families year after year who make it their annual family trip. They come from all over, with the highest percentage coming from the East Coast.

“We have met some really interesting people, and have stayed in contact with so many of them. We’ve had campers meet here and get married later. They write us letters and tell us how surfing has changed their lives, whether it’s the regular camp or Surfer’s Healing,” says Danielle.

Danielle credits solid instruction and safety, a well-rounded and seasoned staff, a focus on individual customer service and the camp’s publicity in such venues as ESPN as factors in their success.

The camp has staff who run the campground and provide entertainment, and instructor counselors who are paired up with the types of campers that mesh best with their ability. The instructor-to-camper ratio is typically 3-1, but goes to 2-1 or one-to-one depending on each camper’s needs.

“A lot of the people who come back to camp request certain instructors, and on the other side we have waiting lists for people who want to be counselors and instructors. We’ll have someone come in for a year and intern to see what it’s like. All the surf instructors have at one time surfed professionally, and most of them we’ve known for a long time through surfing,” says Danielle. “The instructors have been using the same method for years. The students get so much individual attention at camp, and that’s why they keep coming back. Safety is our most important thing, so we teach them the proper way to cover themselves if they fall, for instance, because that’s the most important thing to avoid injury. The safety instruction comes on Monday before they even get in the water.”

In addition to the camp in San Diego, Paskowitz Surf Camp hits the road to Cabo San Lucas and Montauk, N.Y. The Cabo San Lucas trip is adults-only and is not nearly as rustic as a regular camp session, with “campers” staying in four-star hotels.

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