Catch a wave, master the ocean and a lot more on a kids surf camp

Is your grommet raring to froth and experience the stoke of shredding the next swell that hits?

Well, you never know – they could be the next Stephanie Gilmore or Owen Wright if you enrol them at Waves Surf School. Kids get some great benefits from learning to surf, including:

  • A full body workout
  • New skills like ocean safety
  • Confidence in the waves
  • Surfing = no screens!

Based out of Bondi and run by Dean ‘Deano’ Dunstone and JJ, the school offers Adventure Surf Camps and Day Trips out of Sydney. Deano is not only a qualified surf instructor with 20+ years experience behind him but also has other feathers in his cap, including a career as a professional skater & actor in a previous life. With an amazing rapport with children of all ages, Deano, JJ and the Waves team are all about getting your kids having fun, no matter the weather or conditions.

We caught up with them to find out the difference between a barrel and a bommie – and what they are all about.

Deano, is it true you are a former roller skating world champ? 

Yes, absolutely (laughs) but that is another story. I got into surf instruction when a flat mate asked me to help him out running surf trips for backpackers out of a double decker bus. By 2011 I had bought the brand off him and it has evolved and grown from there. 

So we started out teaching adults and then got into running School Surf Camps with local schools like Barker College, the German International School and Brigidine College.

What is it about kids and surfing?

Kids are great, they want to do cool new stuff and learn. For me teaching kids how to surf is also more rewarding, the stoke level is definitely higher with kids. As an instructor it’s one of those things that if you didn’t grow up with it, teaching is like giving a gift to someone.

For me teaching kids how to surf is also more rewarding, the stoke level is definitely higher with kids

Dan ‘Deano’ Dunstone

Surfing is also pretty easy to get into and participate in, unlike something like skiing which can get expensive pretty quickly. Once you have a board, wetsuit and some basic skills you are good to go.

Tell us about your approach and what kids get out of your experience?

Of course they will learn to surf but our program is so much more than that. It will teach them skills like reading the weather and waves, as well as ocean safety – basically learning how to tame the beast. 

Our goal is to teach kids that surfing should be instinctive, they mustn’t overthink it, so they have to learn in a comfortable environment, so they can become fearless. 

There is also the physical aspect, it’s a great full-body workout, that combines aerobic exercise, balance and helps develop core body strength. It is an amazing sport, but it doesn’t feel like a sport, and it also gets kids away from screens. That’s a win-win!

What sets you apart from other surf schools?

Our main point of difference is that we take our groups to locations where we will often be the only group in the water with crowd-free waves. 

Because of the situation/orientation of the beach there are also a number of options for waves, with enough breaks for all abilities. We also work with the conditions and tailor the day accordingly, which means we very rarely get cancelled and we always surf!

Tell us more about your camps

Our Kids Surf Camp day trip is our main product. This is aimed at kids beginner 9-14 years old, which can also be booked for 3 days. The primary focus of the camp is teaching and improving surfing, and we also run camps for more advanced groms. 

We also offer a Seal Rocks Camp, which is 3 nights/4 days, with a mix of surf lessons, lighthouse walks and sandboarding. The evenings are often a BBQ and movie – but otherwise it’s wake up, brekkie, surf, eat, movie.

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