Surfing and Paddle Boarding at Summerland California

The natural beauty and relatively calm waves found on Santa Barbara area beaches provide the ideal setting for learning how to surf.  Campers start with body boards to learn how to “catch a wave.”  Unlike traditional team sports, surfing is an inherently individual experience that comes down to you and the wave. There are no rules, no score, no win or lose. After campers get into the mindset and master the basics, they discover that surfing is pure, self-indulgent fun!

Check out the Santa Barbara beach with the U.C. Santa Barbara Surf Team:

There are many benefits to surfing as a sport.  These include:

  • Better sleep: Scientific research is clear that screen activity interferes with sleep- but conversely research shows that regular exercise, increases the positive benefits that sleep brings.
  • Improved balance: Campers learn how to be more in control of their body which also translates into other physical activities.
  • Mental health: Physical exercise and being “at one” with the ocean helps to offset the negative effects of stress.  And because surfing is so much fun participants don’t realize how many calories they are burning!
  • Cardiovascular and heart health: As surfers paddle out to waves, it provides an intense upper body and core workout.
  • Stress relief: Because surfing requires mental focus, participants momentarily forget about the stresses of school or home.

Surfing is a great non-competitive sport which offers physical and mental benefits.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand up paddle boarding is an offshoot of surfing that originated in Hawaii and is very popular in Santa Barbara.  Unlike traditional surfing where the rider sits until a wave comes, stand up paddle boarders stand on their boards and use a paddle to propel themselves through the water. The sport was documented in a 2013 report that identified it as the outdoor sporting activity with the most first-time participants in the United States that year.

Campers at Summerland California can try boogie boarding, surfing, or stand up paddleboarding.  Each one has it’s unique challenges and takes some time and skill to master.  Camper can rest assured that most come to Summerland California with little to no experience with any type of boarding.  As a result, we will focus on fundamentals and ensure that every camper develops the basic skills needed to learn the sport.

Check out the stand-up paddle board videos below to see the basics on paddle boarding.


summer camp with snorkeling The clear waters of Santa Barbara offer snorkeling opportunities as well.   Snorkeling is an experience that allows you to see the life that exists underwater and encounter the most beautiful sights in the world.

As with all our activities, safety is our first priority.  Campers may see kelp beds and a variety of ocean life including many varieties of fish and sea anemones while snorkeling.

Benefits include stress relief, improved flexibility, fitness, and cardiovascular health.  Not to mention, it’s just plain fun!