News

Twenty Years a Surf Guru!

San Diego Surfing Lessons, Oceanside Surfing Lessons, Coach Pat Weber, San Diego Surf Camp, Oceanside Surf Camp
French Canadian Schoolgirl, Malika, charging on Day One at the San Diego Surfing Academy in her fantastic thrift store wetsuit on Mothers’ Day 2015.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  On June 29, 2015, the San Diego Surfing Academy LLC celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the first surfing lesson given by founder and owner, Coach Pat Weber (54).  Coach Pat vividly remembers his first clients, David and Dixie Zittlow of Chicago, IL.  “She was a Registered Nurse and they were on vacation in La Jolla.  I had just dropped off freshly minted neon green flyers at Mitch’s Surf Shop on Pearl Street and they were the first folks to respond.  We met by appointment at La Jolla Shores on a beautiful day at the beach, the surf was perfectly shaped, glassy one to two foot.  We had epic conditions for learning or improving your surfing skills. David gets credit for the idea to take a surfing lesson but Dixie was the star pupil that day!  We all had such a great time and I thought to myself (after six years of selling floor coverings), this is good work if you can get it!”

2015 06 16 Pat Weber Headshot

Over the last twenty years, SDSA has educated thousands of newbies and improvers about the etiquette, art, lifestyle and sport of surfing.  In addition to private and group instruction, they have hosted hundreds of weeklong surf camps on the pristine bluffs overlooking the surf at San Elijo State Park and Carlsbad State Park in Southern California. Coach Pat has guided numerous trips for hire to Mexico (150+), Costa Rica (9), the British Virgin Islands (2), and most recently, Nicaragua.

Along the way, volunteerism has been SDSA’s way of giving back to the community.  The San Diego Center for the Blind – Encinitas Lions Club – Swamis Surfing Association Annual Surf Day has been a September fixture for two decades and SDSA has been a stalwart of the program since near inception.  As an outgrowth of that participation, Coach Pat is personally training Blind Surfer Scott Leason (59), who will be vying for a gold medal at ISA World Adaptive Surfing Games this September.  SDSA contributed time, energy, expertise, and resources over the years to the wildly popular dog surfing events held by the Helen Woodward Animal Center.  Says Coach Pat, “We love the idea of supporting a ‘no-kill’ shelter and that is central to the HWAC mission.”

Team USA's first-ever Blind Surfer, Scott Leason, with Coach Pat Weber of the San Diego Surfing Academy at the first-ever ISA World Adaptive Games, La Jolla, CA, 2015.
Team USA’s first-ever Blind Surfer, Scott Leason, with Coach Pat Weber of the San Diego Surfing Academy at the first-ever ISA World Adaptive Games, La Jolla, CA, 2015.

Fast forward to the present day and SDSA is still going strong with no end in sight.  Coach Pat feels the twenty year milestone presents the perfect opportunity to recognize everyone that has contributed to the success of his business.  “First and foremost, Lori Hoffman, has been intregal to our viability for the nine years she has been on board (no pun intended).  Whatever we need: organization, photography, transportation, culinary skill, you name it, she’s always there to help the cause and has been our biggest cheerleader!”

What does the future hold for the San Diego Surfing Academy?  According to Coach Pat, “We’d like to stay relevant and narrow our focus to the kind of client that comes to us on Day One for the fundamentals and then we continue to nurture and grow their surfing progress with return tune-ups at Oceanside Harbor North Jetty (current home base of SDSA) and trips to exotic warm-water locations around the world. A perfect example is the Kretkowski brothers of Maryland, Ron and Keith.  It is extremely rewarding and fulfilling to work with an appreciative client and witness first hand their journey of self-improvement over time.”

The Kretkowski Bros split the peak in the warm waters of Costa Rica with SDSA. 2014 Lori Hoffman photo
The Kretkowski Bros split the peak in the warm waters of Costa Rica with SDSA. 2014 Lori Hoffman photo

Going in to the 21st summer of stable and continuous, year-round operation, Coach Pat acknowledges the past and present SDSA surf instructors, clients, sponsors, friends, and family who have made it all possible through their support and encouragement.  He provided a partial list:

Submitted on 6/24/15 by Doug Rayle – SDSA ’97