Cyber this, cyber that...it's much more fun to just surf! Holiday surf lesson gift certificates available

Forget about all those hyped sales and just spend more time surfing. Zuma Surf and Swim Training offers gift certificates to make your holiday shopping easy and to help you get the people that you care about an amazing gift.

Here's how it works:
You email or call us to let you know you would like a Gift Certificate.
Or, just simply purchase one directly through our website. Purchase here.
We'll then email you a Gift Certificate that you can print and give to your loved one.
When they're ready to go surf, just give us a call or email and we'll find the best time to get out there.

It's super easy and they'll have a blast!!

Check out our YELP reviews to see what other clients have said about us.

Zuma Surf and Swim Training instructors sneak in a few waves in perfect Santa Monica surf conditions

We've seen some classic fall conditions this year with clean, peaky mellow waves in Santa Monica. Perfect for surf lessons...and for our instructors to catch a few of their own!

Kai Sanson, showing the kids how to get that Wavestorm moving.



Jonathan on a nice, easy cruiser.





Colin, catching a few on a wild, stormy day. Photos by: James Liu Photography




Summer is here, the water is warm and the surfing is awesome! Come down to the beach and join us.

Wow, this past week had amazing, sunny mornings with tropical clouds and a great little south east swell running. I hope everyone had a chance to get in the water!

We've had some great lessons recently. Also, we're really happy with the kids club surf group...they are ripping! Check out some recent shots.











Summer Surf Schedule is here!

Our summer surf schedule is here! We have different options to give your child the best surfing and ocean experience possible:

Summer Surf Adventure Camp - Last week in June and the last week in July. Transportation included to the best surf spots for the best conditions for intermediate surfers. We'll go to the best waves and surf until we can't paddle anymore!
**Sign up now for the July 23 - 27, Summer Surf Adventure Camp

Youth Club Surfing Sunday Sessions - A continuation of our Club Surfing Program, but for summer we'll focus on getting a great session in Sunday mornings. Surfers must have previous surfing experience.

Every Sunday Morning - Club Surfing Sessions! Call us to reserve your spot.

A morning of perfect surf at Zuma Beach

These shots were taken a few months back when Zuma was perfect! Blue water, perfect peaks and offshore winds. Snapped a few photos before I couldn't take it anymore and had to get out there.



This winter sucks if you want to ski or snowboard, but it rocks if you want to surf!

We have some rain on the way, but we've had the most amazing December and January for lessons. So many days of perfect waves and weather! Here's a shot of the star winter surfing family who have recently moved here from France. I think they're enjoying the weather...

Mom and dad get out there and practice on their own while we help the girls get the best rides, work on technique and gain wave knowledge. The girls are doing amazing and are having a blast. Meanwhile, I get to practice my French, which is horrible!

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.

Friend Solikai.com on Facebook to enter to win a free week stay at Casa Luminosa, on the beach at Playa Colorado, Nicaragua

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Effective Surf Paddling: Maximizing Your Power and Stroke

Effective surf paddling is critical to a surfer's progression. It helps you get through the waves without being totally exhausted, but most importantly, it helps you catch that perfect wave!

This is why, at ZSS Training, we focus on paddling in every lesson we do. For the first-time and beginner surfer, we work on the basics, such as how to properly position your hands and elevate your head off the board. With intermediate surfers, we spend time working to master that crucial "S" stroke and develop the power necessary to get those shorter boards moving.

Surfline.com just did a good article on effective paddling. I especially like Jamie Mitchell and Greg Long's (big wave surfers) descriptions of technique, although they differ a bit in hand positioning, which I found interesting.


JAMIE MITCHELL [Paddle board champion/big-wave surfer]

"Hand position. People ask me all the time how I hold my hands and fingers when paddling. Do I keep them close together or have a slight gap? I personally just relax the hand and it tends to have a slight gap. If you keep your fingers together, it feels unnatural -- like you have to try to keep them like that."

GREG LONG [Big Wave Champion]

1. Position yourself on your board correctly. Where you actually lay will be different depending on what type of board you ride, but each board has a sweet spot. You don't want to be too far back on the board. This causes the board to be too high and makes you push through the water. If you are too far forward your nose will pearl into the water. You want to be perfectly centered so when you do start paddling your board is on a nice, even plane.

2. Get a full arm extension with every stroke. I often see people who do an awkward, chicken-wing paddle where their arms enter and exit the water prematurely. Your hand should be entering the water at the full extension of the elbow and never before.

3. When you are at the full extension of your stroke, your fingers should be held tightly side by side creating a cup or paddle with your hand. Do not slap the surface when your hand enters the water. It should enter in a graceful diving fashion.

4. As you pull through your stroke, try and get your arms as deep as possible. I like to create a slight "S" motion with my stroke bringing my arms down the centerline of my board. Try and keep your wrist and forearm in one line.

5. Pull through your stroke in one continuous motion until your arm is fully extended behind you. Again, do not prematurely pull it from the water. In doing so, you lose power and your stroke is ultimately much less efficient. Not to mention you look like a chicken.

6. When you pull your hand from the water, do so in the same graceful fashion as when you entered. Splashing or throwing water behind you is wasted energy.

7. As you become a more advanced paddler you can get even more power from your stroke by implementing your core strength into the paddling motion. As your arm reaches forward your torso will slightly lift forward with it. As your arm pulls back, so does your torso adding even more muscle and power into your stroke.

Check out the full article on Surfline.com here.

The Archy Movie Tonight, May 7th in Santa Monica

This will be a fun show....go check it out!

And the WINNERS are...

On Friday April 11th, at the Billabong XXL Awards we saw the biggest chargers of the surfing world applauded and awarded for their achievements in big wave surfing. I heard it was quite a party, with the usual debauchery, but what better way to honor these guys that travel around the world charging the biggest waves. The crazy thing is, most of these guys are soft spoken, centered guys, not loud, amping maniacs. They are great surfers and deserve every bit of respect.

Here's the $50,000 Ride of the Year by Shane Dorian.
The 2008 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Nominees - Shane Dorian

Local San Clemente chargers took the prizes for Biggest Wave and Biggest Paddle-In Wave.
Mike Parsons- Biggest Wave at 70Ft!
The 2008 Billabong XXL BIGGEST WAVE Nominees - Mike Parsons

Greg Long for Biggest Paddle-In wave at Todos Santos
The 2008 Monster Paddle Wave Nominees - Greg Long

Let's see what happens this year. Will is go down in Chile, Tahiti, France, Hawaii...or Cortex again???



And the Nominees are...

The annual Billabong XXL Awards nominees have just been announced. It seems that each year the rides just get more incredible! Can you imagine seeing one of these waves in person? I can't, but the videos will do for now, and maybe someday I'l find myself sitting in the channel watching Teahupoo do it's thing.

Click on the different thumbnails to view all of the nominees in each category.

Ride of the Year:
The 2008 Billabong XXL Ride of the Year Nominees - Shane Dorian

Biggest Wave:
The 2008 Billabong XXL BIGGEST WAVE Nominees - Grant Baker
All I have to say is...I can't believe the Cortez Bank waves!!

Monster Paddle-In:
The 2008 Monster Paddle Wave Nominees - Greg Long

Trestles Toll Road Gets the "No" vote from the California Coastal Commission

A true victory for the Southern California surfing community...the Toll Road at Trestles gets rejected by the Coastal Commission.

Check out this article for further details.

Trestles saved: Coastal Commission rejects toll project