Los Angeles Youth Club Surfing Program Has Begun!

Our Youth Club Surfing Program has started! The Fall Quarter is in full swing and we've had some great days of surfing. Perfect little peaks in Santa Monica, a foggy session at Sunset, an amazing session at Sunset, big and challenging waves at County Line, and even a session an undisclosed location in Malibu.

We have a great group and each surfer is progressing toward their surfing goals. Shannon's goal this week...get barreled!

For more information or to sign up, contact Kai at 949-742-1086 or kai@zsstraining.com

Program Details, Schedule and Pricing

Kai's Bio:
- Born and raised on Pt. Dume, Malibu
- Married and has an amazing daughter and future surfer
- 27 years surfing experience
- Masters Degree in Secondary Education - LMU
- California Teaching Credential - Social Studies
- Extensive knowledge of local spots
- Surfed, worked and travelled all over the world
- CPR & First Aid Certified

Fall In The Santa Monica Bay

Believe it or not, fall is by far the best time to surf in the Santa Monica Bay. We get small combo swells, such as a south swell mixed with short-period north-west wind swell. Even just a north-west wind swell will provide for some fun peaks. Normally medium to high tide is best, but it can be good on a low tide if it’s exceptionally peaky. Venice and El Porto hold better on the low tide.
Here are a few shots of some fall surf in Santa Monica from the crappy camera on my Blackberry, but you get the gist...

Tip: Sunset breaks on west or north-west swells, as well as south swells. Get a nice low tide in the afternoon and a little west swell and you've got yourself a great session at Sunset. Another plus, Sunset is protected from the north-west wind, and during the winter, there is usually just a fraction of the summer crowd.

Warm Winter Surf Accessories

If there’s still is any question, webbed gloves are not cool. All the rage back in the 80’s, this accessory is one that you can do without. Surfing, like many sports, is best in its simplest form. Just wait until you get that perfect session in the warm water tropics wearing only your boardshorts or bikini. So don’t over accessorize. Keep it simple.

In Southern California, booties are a critical accessory for those cold winter days and for surfing places with rocks. They can be your best friend, or your worst nightmare. The key to booties working properly is that they fit snug, extremely snug. If booties are too big, they balloon up with water, making it nearly impossible to get your feet in the right spot on the board. Wearing booties can be hard to get used to. The alternative? Not being able to feel your board because your feet are getting numb and “prickly” as they enter the first stage of frostbite. Sounds fun.
For the best fit and board feel, look for a “split-toe” style. The most critical factor - the booties should have some type of strap that goes over the top of your foot. This keeps them as tight on your feet as possible. Try on sizes smaller than your normal shoe size. Once you get in the water, they will stretch out a bit and you’ll gain some room.

Side note: Booties never really completely dry out so they have a tendency to develop a stench the likes of you have probably never encountered. This is normal.
With the right pair of booties, your water time will be extended and your comfort level dramatically increased. Any brand will work if it fits right, but some of the best booties I’ve had over the years are from Xcel, O’Neill and Hotline.
Gloves (non-webbed version) might be helpful on the very coldest days, or for people whose hands get cold easily. Effective paddling with gloves is extremely difficult, so most surfers don’t use them unless absolutely necessary.
A hood is great for increasing your warmth and avoiding those ice cream headaches while paddling out in the winter. They also help keep the wind out of your ears, which helps to slow the development of Surfer’s Ear (excessive bone growth in your outer ear canal that develops as your ear attempts to keep itself warm and dry). The downside: A hood greatly reduces your ability to hear what is going on around you, thus affecting your balance and orientation. For some surfers however, a hood is an absolute necessity.
Rash guards and fleece tops. The normal lycra rash guards can do a good job protecting you from those painful under-arm rashes. But they are not a necessity unless you ARE experiencing rashes. They’re also a great way to keep the sun off your back on those scorching days. The normal lycra rash guards don’t do much to keep you warm, but there are fleece (PolarTech or M-tech) rash guards like the ones made by Mysterioso that can greatly increase your warmth and comfort level. These must be very snug and are worn underneath your wetsuit as an additional internal heat barrier. For beginners, this can be a good way to get through the winter with your 3/2 and booties, as opposed to buying a new 4/3.

And there you have it. Other than these things...just keep paddling to keep warm!