The best surfer in the water
is the one having the most fun!
Riding waves on the North Coast
by Bryan DeMain, Eureka Reporter
When someone mentions the word surfing, usually another person follows with
"I've’ always wanted to try that." Well, grab that someone and drive them up to
The Moonstone Beach "Endless Summer" Surfcamp located in Trinidad, CA is in
its second decade of providing North Coast and out-of-area first timers with an
opportunity to not only learn and enjoy surfing, but every other activity that comes
with being oceanside. And if there’s one guy for the job of head instructor, it’s
Jeffrey Steinkamp. The credentialed school teacher and experienced California
State Lifeguard, along with his wife Krista, have ventured around the world surfing
at hot spots and low-key hideaways. And after being embraced by numerous
surfing cultures, the 20-year Trinidad residents decided to spread the surf "stoke"
right here in Humboldt County. And what better place to start your passion, than
home. "Moonstone is perfect for a surf camp," Steinkamp said. "It has shallow
water, gentle waves and lots of sand."
But the four-day camp doesn’t just cover the "face of the wave," it’s an in-depth
education session that teaches lifeguard water safety, surf etiquette, beach and
ocean awareness, and environmental impact. The camp is proud to be a
consistent fundraiser for the Humboldt Surfriders, which is a non-profit
environmental chapter of the nation-wide Surfrider Foundation. "The tuition
supports the Surfrider Foundation and they were a motivating force in changing
the local pulp mill’s chlorine emissions," Steinkamp said. "It was one of the worst,
now the mill is one of the best." The camp also provides a hands-on approach to
various other ocean sports, such as body surfing, body boarding and the
increasingly popular kite surfing.
Another feature to the surf school is just pure fun. Along with days of surfing,
come sand-castle contests, endurance games, limbo and a Hawaiian-shirt contest.
"We have a lot of fun," second-year camper Logan Malcomson said. "(Steinkamp)
is a good teacher. He makes everything fun. We play a lot of games."
One of Steinkamp’s favorite aspects to the school is its ability to give one-time
students the opportunity to teach some day. Eighteen-year-old Matt Wright has
progressed from beginner to apprentice to instructor within four years of camp
The eight instructors are CPR/First Aid certified and spend each day assisting
campers, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a variety of ocean skill-building activities. And
Steinkamp always makes sure there are plenty of instructors to go around for the
eight-year-old and up enthusiasts. "We always make sure there is at least a 5-to-1
student-instructor ratio," the 30-year surfer said. "That’s always important." Just
six years ago, six-to-eight kids were signing up for the camp, but after some years
passed and school maturation, Steinkamp has watched his passion blossom.
Moonstone’s numbers of enrollment have nearly quadrupled, incorporating all
ages and all skill levels. "We have various skill levels, but it’s mainly beginners,"
Steinkamp said. "This is just a great opportunity to get in tune with the ocean."
The camp’s second session just came to a conclusion on Friday with 25 kids
registered. Two more sessions are still available this summer. Sessions will take
place from July 24-28, Aug. 7-11 and also 2 day weekend sessions throughout
September and October.
|To reserve a space in one of our
summer camps or for a private
individual or group lesson, please
pick up the conch shell and contact
us today at 707-822-5099
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