POLINA L. - RUSSIA
What can i say - the guys are fantastic! I came across the world (Russia) and had only 2 weeks to learn to surf. For those 2 weeks my level raised unbelievably. I had lessons with Josiah, Chris, Jack and Dane. All of them are real professionals who apart from super techniques are absolutely loving their job and enjoying the lessons as much as i did (and what is most important were so supportive and positive when after 2 hours of washing machine i was ready to give up). The guys were showing and teaching every small detail - when to pop up, where to sit on the line up, how to watch waves and tides; after several lessons we went to another spots, San Onofre, surfing sunset, long rides - the most exciting experience; Doheny - small waves, perfect paddling exercise; we took a lot of pictures, made GoPro video. Apart from lessons Chris and Joanna were showing me and my friend around; we went to local events where we met surf champs like Mick Fanning, Tom Curren, Wilko - big thanks to the guys for such a great welcomes! I've got an unforgettable experience and would definitely recommend this school to anyone from any part of the world because with SC Surf School you can be sure to be warmly welcomed!Thank you guys for making my surfing dream come true and definitely see you next year!!:)
We really enjoyed just hanging out there and waiting for our sets to come in. It genuinely gave a great chance to catch up, chill, catch some rays - and then ride some righteous waves!!!!
VANESSA HURTADO - Exclusive Resorts Concierge at Montage Laguna Beach
I have been referring all of my luxury clients who are interested in surfing on their Orange County vacations to San Clemente Surf School. After many referrals, clients have always given flawless feedback regarding their experience with San Clemente Surf School. This company provides my luxury clientele with a safe learning environment, where instructors are knowledgeable; not only with regard to ocean safety, but also local surf knowledge. The instructors are very comfortable with all surf skill levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. They have taken clients who are very scared out in the ocean . Only to have these same clients return from their lesson and boast of standing up on their first wave, and feeling safe and comfortable in the care of their instructor, Chris Iltis. I will continue to recommend San Clemente Surf School to all of my clientele, but more importantly I will recommend them to my family and friends as well!
WENDY F. - NEWPORT BEACH, CA
Right from the start I knew Chris Iltis of San Clemente Surf School, was going to be the perfect instructor for my three young children ages 10, 8 and 6. Since we spend most of our summer at the beach, I was very concerned for their safety in the ocean while they were surfing. This was also very important to Chris. He always went over water safety with them before going into the ocean, and would only have the children surf if the conditions were good. My children started taking lessons with Chris and his other surf instructors back in June ’09. They took several lessons a week throughout the entire summer, and their surfing skills really progressed.
When it was time to go back to school in the fall, my youngest son, Spencer, decided he wanted to continue surfing and start participating in local surf contests. Chris has been very helpful coaching and preparing Spencer for the different events. Chris spends a lot of time going over the rules, etiquette, and different strategies associated with competitive surfing. This is a huge time commitment for Chris that involves several practices a week as well as assisting him in the water at all the surf contests. He is incredibly patient and encouraging, and is genuinely committed to helping Spencer be successful. I feel very fortunate to have Chris as an instructor and a surf coach for my children.
WILL & AMANDA, SAN CLEMENTE, CA
We just wanted to take a moment and comment on our daughter Maddisen's experience this past summer at surf camp. Trusting people to take your child and not only teach them how to surf and learn basic oceanic knowledge is one thing. But keeping her safe, was the foremost thought in our minds as parents. After meeting Chris and his staff, we were very comfortable with the hands we were leaving her in. Each day she came home after camp completely exhausted yet beaming with excitement with how fun and challenging the day was. This surf camp was obviously a great addition to our daughter's life physically, mentally and emotionally. Her confidence and attitude towards surfing and getting better waves was truly evident. Everyone was kept safe, the kids all had fun, and the staff was as good as it truly can get. They were very patient and understanding. They never pushed too hard and always kept an wide eye for safety open.....we would be happy to recommend this camp to anyone.
DIANNE BELFREY - SUMMER OF 2008
I like using craigslist for stuff as much as the next person, but using it to find a decent surfing instructor, from all the way across the country (I live in New York city)—well, I knew it was a gamble. I’m a middle-aged woman who hasn’t had all that much surfing experience, outside of a bad week at a too-advanced break down in Costa Rica, so I had some reservations. Still, I had responded to the intelligence of Chris Iltis' posting, so I went for it.
It was one of the best gambles I’ve ever taken.
First of all, not every surfer knows how to teach surfing. It’s a skill like any other, and Chris definitely has that skill. He knew how to communicate his vast amount of knowledge to me—about surfing, ocean awareness, timing, surf etiquette, wave selection—in a way that I could instantly translate into action. Chris was also able “read” my anxiety level (which was considerable, after my near-death experiences in Costa Rica) and take it into account while gently pushing me forward. In two sessions with Chris I was choosing waves, catching them, turning, and basically remembering why I bother to surf in the first place. It was an exhilarating two days.
Chris also met me at a surf outlet to help me select some wet suits, which I thought was generous of him, had us do some yoga stretching before we headed into the water to make sure I was properly warmed up, and responded with gentleness to a small sting ray we spotted in the water, which reflected his overall sensibility. Chris’ respect for the ocean and all the creatures in it made me respect him.
Besides being a top-notch athlete and instructor, I also just appreciated being alongside Chris’ personality out there in the water. He’s a very intelligent and genuine person, and he was good company. In fact, this April I’m returning with my two teenaged sons so that they can take lessons with Chris. I know that not only will they be entirely safe in Chris’s hands (one boy has never been on a board), but they will appreciate how cool he is. I do, too, but what I wanted most was for someone to actually teach me how to reliably pop up on waves, and Chris accomplished that. His coolness quotient was an extra. He’s quite a teacher, and quite a person, and you can’t go wrong taking lessons with him.
CHERYL E. - STRONGSVILLE, OH
San Clemente Surf School is AWESOME! Had a group of 27- Strongsville High School Lady Mustangs soccer team. What a GREAT experience. Very organized from start to finish. Very quick to respond to emails. Were VERY helpful in giving us lunch options for the group. Steve and the guys (Dane, Josiah & Garrett) were great. Fun that Steve grew up in the bordering city. to ours at home. They all made it their mission to get everyone up on their boards. Loved their fun attitude and surfing knowledge. Great Beach, designated area just for surfing.
JOHN S. - CEDAR PARK, TX
We were visiting from Texas with two teenage sons who had never surfed before. I booked the lesson through the internet and followed up with phone calls and texts. Our instructor, Josiah, was right on time and proved to be a great instructor with the patience and friendliness needed to deal wih those who want to try surfing for the first time. The tide was high and the surf was a little rough for our lesson, but we got the basics down and are looking forward to our next trip to battle the surf!
OMURICE O. - LOS ANGELES, CA
San Clemente Surf School are awesome! My Boston friends (two adults and two children) and I had a blast with instructors Dayne and Jack. Also, Chris took really cool photos of the kids surfing. We learned lots in two hours and had so much fun. Now there are two, new, little surfer kids back in Boston who can't wait to come back. Thanks SC Surf School!
LESLIE W. - REDONDO BEACH, CA
They've been around for a few years. I had Chris as an instructor and really enjoyed learning how to surf.
I have to admit, I didn't learn how surf in one session. I took lessons for months in order to finally be able to ride my funboard (7'2"). Chris had me start out on a 13ft long board and then helped me slowly transition down to the board I had.
Last summer, I had some friends in town - so we all did a group lesson. The school provided everything! They got foamie boards and nice wetsuits. It was a two hour session and everyone was having a blast. great day : )
I would highly recommend anyone interested in surfing to try this school out.