Industry News 2/17/2006

Surfing America's Memeber Surf School Program Draws Tremendous Response

Surfing America's Memeber Surf School Program Draws Tremendous Response

Newly Founded Standards Distinguish Legitimate Programs from Questionable Operations

San Juan Capistrano, CA - February 16, 2006 - Surfing America, the National Governing Body (NGB) for the sport of surfing in the United States, has recieved a tremendous response since announcing its Member Surf School Program.

This new initiative - which sets a minimum standard for safety, teaching progressions, staff training and professional conduct - has been an industry priority for quite some time.  Legitimate schools agree that the Member Surf School designation is critical to quiet the fly-by-night operations which seem to be popping up everywhere.  Based on feedback from school and camp operators, this is a program that is long overdue.

“This program will make it easy for parents to pick a legitimate surf camp,” said Chris Barnum who co-directs Summer Soul Surf Camp at San Onofre along with Professional Longboarder Josh Baxter.  “As a parent its nice to know that surf camps need to meet a certain criteria and curriculum to be part of Surfing Americas Member Surf School Program.”  Summer Soul Surf Camp, part of Billabong’s Surf Camp Network, is Surfing America's newest Member Surf School, offering day camps as well has their extremely popular overnight camps.

Barnum and Baxter, who each boast 25 years surfing experience, hire a first aid and CPR-certified staff that are hand selected and trained to teach all levels of surfing. With a 4 to 1 staff to student ratio, their program is the only camp which also offers Outrigger Canoe rides when the surf dips below 3 feet.  This important cultural experience along with Summer Soul Surf Camp’s safety measures, teaching methodologies, and etiquette fall right in line with Surfing America’s guidelines for a seemingly perfect union.  Surfing America aims to establish a well-maintained, cohesive pipeline that channels beginners through legitimate camps and schools, into its member organizations (ESA, HASA, NSSA, TGSA, WSA, and BIA), to the USA Championships and, ultimately, the professional ranks.

“The first day experience is paramount in making or breaking a young would-be surfer’s ultimate level of participation,” said Surfing America Executive Director Mike Gerard.  “Surfing America acknowledges those camps and schools that have proven their worth not only in professionalism, but an all encompassing positive ocean experience.”

Membership in Surfing America is granted to those schools and camps which comply with the established set of requirements and are approved by the Surfing America Board of Directors.  The objective of this program is not to discriminate amongst camps, but to ensure that parents and students who are shopping around for schools feel secure they’ve chosen a quality program.

“Our week long camp curriculum will focus on how our oceans and surfing enhances self-esteem and self confidence, two key ingredients in life for becoming a happy person.” said Summer Soul’s Josh Baxter, a parent of two. “Summer Soul Surf Camp is an amazing experience for kids ages 9 to 18. It's not just a “surf camp” - touching each camper's “soul” is our focus.  It’s going to be a fun summer at SanO’s."

For more info on Summer Soul Surf Camp visit www.summersoulsurfcamp.com.

About Surfing America, Inc.
Surfing America is the ISA-recognized National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States. The International Surfing Association (ISA) is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as the World Governing Authority for Surfing, Bodyboarding, and Surfriding 

Surfing America is the IRS recognized 501(c) 3 charitable organization responsible for selecting and fielding the official USA Surf Team. All donations made to Surfing America are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by the law. Donation checks should be made payable to: Surfing America, 33157 Camino Capistrano Suite B San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675. End of year tax receipts are sent to every individual donor of more than $250. For donations under $250, a cancelled check or credit card statement is sufficient evidence for IRS purposes. Surfing America will send a tax receipt to any donor who requests one.