Surf Education Academy will work with anybody with a willingness to learn the sport. (courtesy photo)
Surf academy will include everyone
With so many surfing academies dotting the San Diego coast, it’s impossible to say which is the best.
So, maybe start with the one owned by the man who personally gifted Pope Francis his first surfboard.
His name is Sean Brody and he’s a lifelong Scripps Ranch resident and the founder of Surf Education Academy. He started surfing at the age of 10, got a surfing-focused master’s degree from San Diego State University and taught the sport to at-risk youth in Africa.
In other words, Brody knows a few things about surfing.
He opened the academy three years ago with one simple goal: “I ultimately wanted to create the program that we wish we had when we were kids growing up in Scripps Ranch.”
For starters, this means getting people from Scripps Ranch to the academy’s headquarters in La Jolla Shores, a 20-minute drive. He said they are happy to offer van transportation when enrollment is high enough.
The academy also puts a high emphasis on inclusivity. This not only means offering programs for those of all ages and skill levels, but also for those with disabilities.
“We also have kind of an inclusive model where we also work with people with special needs or disabilities,” Brody said. “We make sure that we can accommodate.”
This is an area Brody is particularly skilled in, as the head coach for Team USA’s Adaptive Surfing Team.
While he said the academy will happily work with anybody with a willingness to learn the sport, Brody said it’s these kinds of community connections that he values most.
“We can gladly accommodate any tourist or anybody that wants to have a surfing bucket list experience,” Brody said. “But we really take a lot of pride in working with communities.”
These community connections can be seen forming in some of the academy’s more regular classes and camps.
For those who like to frequent the waves, Surf Education Academy offers a unique membership system in which members can drop into whichever classes fit their schedules for a monthly rate, rather than paying on a singular basis.
For the kids, Brody said the academy uses a martial arts-inspired approach in which the youngsters have the opportunity to work up to different colored leashes, starting with a white one.
For those looking to perfect their techniques, he said, the academy uses photos and videos of sessions to show surfers exactly what they need to do to improve.
With this, Brody said, it’s hard to walk away feeling unaccomplished.
“We see that confidence translate on land, whether it’s in the school yard or the classroom or the household or even the workplace for adults,” he said.
For more information about Surf Education Academy, visit SurfEducationAcademy.com.