Where are you located?
We have three main spots: one in Santa Monica off Ocean Park, one in Venice toward the Fishing Pier, and one in the north zone of Manhattan beach. We can also teach near the Hermosa Pier.
The nice thing about teaching surf lessons is that we can be (relatively) mobile! As long as we are following our permitting rules, we can maneuver around these spots. We are always sure to text and email exact addresses upon booking so there’s no confusion.
For intermediate and "begintermediate" lessons, we often surf elsewhere when the waves are THAT much better nearby, depending on conditions.
Is it safe? Are there rocks or sharks?
For beginner lessons, we teach on all beach breaks, which means the bottoms are all sand. Nothing sharp or dangerous. As for sharks, there has never been a reported shark attack at the LA county beaches.
(From the owner, Jake: I’ve been surfing for half my life now, and I have never even seen a shark in LA!)
Are there places to change or shower?
There are definitely bathrooms nearby at all our spots. If for some reason the bathrooms are unavailable, most surfers use towels to change. We do it every day!
We also keep a portable pressurized shower head in our VW bus, so no matter what, you’ll be sure to get clean after your lesson.
I want to do a group lesson, but I don’t have a group of my own. Can I join one?
Most of our lessons we book are private lessons. We do offer a group workshop for beginners and for intermediates at certain times during the week. Check out our “group surf workshop” tab for more info. If you’re brand new, we highly suggest a private lesson, because surfing is WAY, way harder than it looks.
Why choose Badass Surf School? There are cheaper lessons out there!
From the owner, Jake: you’re right, there are. But you get what you pay for. I started this surf school after years and years of working for other schools. Some of them aren’t truthful about what they provide, including + not limited to number of provided instructors, instructor “professional” certifications, equipment, and more.
We teach real knowledge about the ocean and how waves break your very first lesson. We teach you how to spot corners, peaks, shoulders, and open faces waves. We teach you what NOT to do and what kinds of waves not to catch. We put you on a surfboard that fits YOU and your body + athletic type. We properly disinfect and dry our wetsuits after each use, and make sure they’re free of holes, tears, and thinning. We also cater your lesson to the best conditions around that day.
I hire intelligent, personable, experienced teachers, and make sure they’re trained my way. After that, each instructor combines my training with their own specific style of teaching. Oh, and we pay our instructors the highest and most fair rate in California.
Also: UNLIKE MOST SURF SCHOOLS, WE PAY THE CITY A PERCENTAGE OF EVERY LESSON AS PER OUR PERMITTING!
I decided to start this school primarily because we want to teach surfing the right way. We don’t just teach you to surf, we teach you how to BECOME a surfer, and what joining the surf community entails. Check our reviews! We’ve almost never had a bad lesson because of our work and care.
What is your cancellation/rescheduling/ weather policy?
We charge $50 for cancellation and rescheduling outside of 24 hours before your lesson. This fee goes directly to your scheduled instructor, we charge this fee in order to fairly pay our instructors for their time (the best demand the most!). Again, no surf school treats their employees better than we do! We do not cancel within 24 hours of your lesson.
We teach rain or shine, so long as the lifeguards say it’s 100% safe to surf. We live in Southern California, so bad weather isn’t really something we have to deal with.
Do you provide/rent equipment?
Sure do! Every lesson comes with a board, wetsuit, and leash. All our equipment is in great condition, and if it’s not, we replace it. If we wouldn’t use it, you won’t either! We also usually keep extra towels and reef-safe sunblock (zinc or zinc-oxide) in the VW in case you forget yours.
We provide everything you need when you book a lesson. We also rent equipment!
What should I bring to my lesson?
A towel, something tight to wear underneath your wetsuit, like compression shorts, spandex, or a skin-tight bathing suit, and sunscreen. We often have extras of these in case you don’t have them (minus the spandex), but it’s no guarantee. Some water before and after the lesson is encouraged.
You may also bring your own surfing equipment if you so desire, but we have plenty and provide it for every lesson.
Where can I put the rest of my stuff?
We have plenty of space in both cars and our VW bus for your things. All our vehicles will be locked with keys inside a lockbox so that your stuff will be safe and sound. Please note that we are not responsible for lost or stolen items, especially if you decide to bring things to the beach.
How early should I arrive to my lesson? What if I’m late?
We always recommend showing up 10-15 minutes early for your lesson to ensure you get the most out of your time. If it’s nice out, a weekend, or both, we may also suggest showing up even earlier than that. Sometimes, parking and traffic are a problem here, as is the LA tradition.
Lessons go on as scheduled even if you are late. If your lesson is from 8-10am, and you arrive at 8:15, your lesson will still be over at 10am. If you are more than 30 minutes late, and we don’t hear from you, we consider your lesson a no-show and cannot refund you.
Do you provide parking or transportation?
We do not provide parking. We suggest taking an uber/rideshare if you are worried about it. All our spots are close by parking lots which are usually easy to park at, but on warmer days and weekends, parking is definitely harder and more time consuming.
We offer transportation for our camps and retreat activities, but only during the activity. You still need to find your own way there upon your start time.
When is the best time to surf?
We generally advise surfing earlier rather than later, as that’s when onshore wind is tamest. That being said, if you are a true blue beginner, conditions tend to matter way less. We do lessons any time there’s daylight, but we’ve taught 4am lessons before with no problem!
What ages do you teach?
We teach ALL ages. Our owner is also a teacher to quite a few special needs students! We start as young as 3, with no ceiling for our age limit.
Do you have to know how to swim?
Swimming is definitely preferred, but not required. We do have life jackets for those who are too young to know how to swim, or if swimming was just never really your thing.
Can I request an instructor?
Of course! But it’s completely subject to availability; we can’t guarantee that specific instructors or those who identify as male or female will be available.
Will I get up my first lesson?
We guarantee everyone gets up their first lesson!! If not, your next lesson is FREE.