Surfing. It's been described as "amazing," "thrilling," "euphoric," "incredibly filled with pleasure." (From Quora, "What Does Surfing Feel Like?")
No wonder so many tweens and teens are eager to learn to surf - including, perhaps, your own children. That's because surfing is truly sic (translate: awesome!).
But if your kids have never surfed before, they may feel intimidated by the challenge. Or perhaps you, as a parent, may feel apprehensive about letting them ride the waves.
Never fear. Here at the NC Outer Banks, specialized summer surf camps safely instruct children ages 5 and up, with expert adult oversight and super-strict safety protocols. So, if your kids are clamoring for surfing lessons, sign them up for an OBX surf camp... and come along for the ride!
Most OBX surf camps operate as day camps at reasonable package pricing - usually around $250 for 3 days and a little more for 5 days - which typically covers all lessons and activities, snacks and/or lunches, plus use of a surfboard and leash.
Pure Pleasure for the Entire Family (Even the Grownups)
Think of it. If you book your family's vacation rental near the surf camp's site, you'll get to enjoy a serene seaside getaway while your kids are busy shredding the waves. (You're also welcome to come to the camp and watch your kids' progress, of course. But, if you have tweens or teens, you and they may decide, "OK, on second thought... nah.")
Here are a few of the Outer Banks' gnarliest summer surf camps.
1. 5-Day Shredutopia Surf Camp
Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Kayak & Surf School (6150 North Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk), Shredutopia provides multiple summer sessions catering to different age groups - typically ages 9-13 in June, ages 8-12 and 10-13 in July, ages 8-12 in August.
Each session runs five days, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Every morning, kids participate in an expert surf lesson plus an ocean safety clinic. After lunch, they engage in fun-filled activities that vary day to day, including:
- surf kayak lesson
- 3 kayak tours
- kayak rescue clinic
- tour of an Outer Banks surfboard factory
- hike through beautiful Jockey's Ridge State Park
- ocean awareness & surfboard rescue clinic
- Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP) lesson
- Presentations on coastal ecology by Nags Head Woods Nature Conservancy Preserve
All Shredutopia surfing instructors are members of NSSIA - National Surf Schools & Instructors Association - the official professional association for the surf school industry. So you can rest assured your children will be in good hands.
Transportation is furnished for all activities. And kids receive special T-shirts and stickers as mementos of their memorable experience.
2. 3-Day Waterman's Summer Surf, Kayak & SUP Adventure Camp
Would your kids prefer a shorter 3-day experience? Bring them to Waterman's Surf Camp at Sanderling Resort, 1461 Duck Road, Duck, NC. Here they can spend three hours per day over a span of three days - Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday - learning how to surf, kayak, and stand-up paddleboard. It's ideal for families staying at vacation rentals in the Duck/Corolla area.
Sessions are held most weeks throughout the summer. Each day starts at either 9 a.m. or noon, depending on the ocean tide. But the 3-day program always includes:
- In-depth surf instruction
- Stand-up paddleboard lesson
- Kayaking lesson
- Important presentations about ocean safety, rip tides, etc.
- Endless fun in the sun
- Plus a final team surfing contest
All instructors are trained, certified professionals, so you can be sure that the entire experience is safe and educational.
3. 3-Day Outer Banks Surf Camps
If you'll be staying in or near either Corolla or Nags Head, check out Outer Banks surf camps for ages 5 to 10. Sponsored by Kitty Hawk Surf Company, these 3-day camps typically run from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, all summer long. Kids get to make new friends, have a blast at the beach, and, above all, learn to surf, with age-appropriate lessons given by skilled, experienced instructors.
Healthy snacks and drinks, served daily, keep active surfers nourished and hydrated. And on Wednesday a delicious lunch tops off the whole experience.
4. Outer Banks Surf School Kids' Surf Camps
Do you plan on staying in or near Nags Head? Look into the kids' summer surf camps sponsored by the Outer Banks Surf School. Held twice each summer - once in late July/early August and once in mid-August - these 3-day camps typically run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (but times may vary depending on tides and wind patterns).
Guided by CPR/First Aid-certified instructors, children start out with beginner surf lessons and gradually advance each day. Healthy snacks and drinks are served daily, and a spacious beach tent furnishes refreshing shade.
As with all surfing day camps, the price is reasonable. And, for an additional $75, you can receive GoPro video footage of your child's gnarly adventure.
Book Early to Reserve Your Kids' Spots
Most summer surf camps fill up fast, so the earlier you book, the better. Make your reservation online or by phone. And be sure to book your Outer Banks vacation rental for the same time period.