Although the first day of summer isnít technically until June 20, the weather is already warming up, and with it, the water. The ocean is reaching temperatures of 80 degrees, so for anyone whoís given any thought to learning to surf this summer, Wrightsville Beachís local surf camps are here to help.
Indo Jax Surf School is family-owned and has been active in the Wilmington area for four years. It provides both group and private lessons in surfing, kiteboarding, wakeboarding and standup paddleboarding. Most of its camps and lessons are run from Public Beach Access 10, north of Johnnie Mercerís Pier.
Indo Jax provides several camps free of charge for qualifying members of the military, as well as the disabled or disenfranchised. They also recently became the sole providers of surf lessons on Camp Lejeune, working on base to help get soldiers in the water.
More information can be found at www.indojaxsurfschool.com, or by calling 910-274-3565.
Surf Camp of Wrightsville Beach is another surf school that offers group and private lessons in both surfing and standup paddleboarding. It also provides both day camps and overnight camps for children and adults in exotic locations throughout the world.
Surf Camp also runs several charity camps to show appreciation for members of the community, including Mothersí Appreciation Day, Military Appreciation Day and Teachersí Appreciation Day. In addition, it will provide a free camp for alopecia and cancer survivors. Rick Civelli, founder of Surf Camp, was diagnosed with alopecia when he was 17.
"If I was not a surfer, I donít know how I would deal with it," Civelli said.
More information can be found at www.wbsurfcamp.com, or by calling 910-256-7873.
Jo and Ed Pickett, two Wilmington residents who have built their lives around surfing and teaching others how to surf, founded Crystal South Surf Camp. They run both group and private lessons, June through August. Their camps run Monday through Thursday three hours a day.
Crystal South Surf Camp offered its first Family Day clinic last weekend at Public Beach Access 39.
"In this learning environment, families have the most fun," said Jo Pickett. "Itís more fun for us, too. The kids get to tease their parents and have fun watching them acclimate."
Crystal South will also be running wahine clinics beginning later this summer. Wahine is a Polynesian word for "woman." During these clinics, Jo Pickett will be on hand to instruct women of all ages and ability levels on ways to improve their surfing. Participation in the wahine clinics is $20.
More information can be found at www.crystalsouthsurfcamp.com, or by calling 910-465-9638.
Odysea Surf School and its affiliated nonprofit organization, Ocean Cure, will operate both private and group lessons this summer. Odysea recently teamed up with the University of North Carolina Wilmingtonís Marinequest summer camp to provide surf lessons to day campers.
Ocean Cure will also be hosting the regionís Life Rolls On event for participants with spinal cord injuries on July 27 and 28. The event needs more than 100 volunteers.
"Itís a pretty magical day," said Kevin Murphy of Ocean Cure. "People leave with tears in their eyes. Once they participate they always come back."
More information can be found at www.odyseasurf.com, or by calling 910-458-7100.