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Sunshine Surf School
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Karen B wrote a review Aug 2017
Sarasota, Florida164 contributions94 helpful votes
I live on the gulf coast of Florida which doesn't have many opportunities to surf but, I just came back from Coast Rica where I had begun to learn to surf and wanted to keep learning. I had 1 lesson from someone I didn't care for and knew I would have to drive to the east coast to find an instructor. I had contacted several places and instructors none of whom seemed to be able to help. I understood that It was a little complicated since although I have a flexible schedule I do have to work. I would also have to drive the night before so would want to have a general idea of what the surf was doing. I know the surf is unpredictable and I wasn't looking for any guarantees more just some help deciding as to whether it was worth the drive. I really thought it would have been easier to find some place or someone. I turned to Ron John's because of the name but, they were cold and unwilling to appreciate the lengths I was willing to go to surf. I was beginning to give up when I found Jay. He is AWESOME!! When I say that I mean he is an awesome person and an awesome instructor. We communicated by text and checked with each other about what the surf was looking like. There were a couple of times he told me not to make the drive because the surf wasn't worth it. He really took the time to learn what I was looking for and wanted to make sure that if I was going to make the drive I got everything he could give. Well, I just got back and I couldn't be happier. I drove 3 hours there the night before, spent the night so we could surf in the morning and then drove 3 hours home after. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt it was worth 6 hours of driving and a night in a hotel for everything Jay taught me. No the surf wasn't perfect but, it was just right for what I had told him I wanted to work on. First he spent time teaching me a lot of important safety information. Even though I learned a lot in Costa Rica including basic safety precautions Jay taught me even more valuable safety lessons. He proceeded to teach me not only how to read the surf reports but, what the numbers in the surf report really mean in practical terms. I began to feel more confident surfing by myself and we hadn't even gone in water yet. Those things are fundamental yet, almost no instructors teach them to that level. My other instructor here didn't teach them at all. After we had gone over the basics we hit the water. He was constantly evaluating what my level was to make sure I was always learning and having fun. What he taught me in the water gave me even more confidence to go out alone. He was supportive, fun and full of great tips to catch even more waves. Since the conditions weren't ideal and the kids were back in school he had extra time in which he gave to me. He didn't have to spend his free time continuing to help me but, because he loves doing what he does, loves helping his students progress and appreciated the lengths I was willing to take to surf he spent all the time he had helping me. His passion for surfing is obvious as is his love for his students. After our lesson he even went with me to the surf shop to go over different surf boards. He answered every question I had and helped me pick the perfect board for my level of surfing. I plan on getting some practice in and will definitely be making the drive to see him again soon. What a perfect day!!
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Date of experience: August 2017
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SanibelMama wrote a review Apr 2017
Sanibel Island, Florida12 contributions7 helpful votes
Jay was extremely knowledgable and really improved my surfing in just one session. He was great about contacting me ahead of time also. He was really complete- making sure I understood things like the currents, strategies to get out into the waves safely, as well as technique. I also felt extremely safe the whole time. I am looking forward to more lessons with him- worth the 3 hour drive!
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Date of experience: April 2017
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aejo1991 wrote a review Jan 2017
Beverly, Massachusetts6 contributions4 helpful votes
I took my second ever surf lesson with Jay, of Sunshine Surf School, January 2, 2017. The conditions were less than ideal but Jay was great. He begins the lesson by teaching you about the ocean and ocean safety. Some may not like it but it's definitely important, need to know info and he made it matter. When it came time to surf he taught well, recognized my strengths and weaknesses and he went the extra mile to make sure I had a fun, useful experience and got the most bang for my buck. I absolutely recommend him!
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Date of experience: January 2017
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Cheryl W wrote a review Aug 2016
Venice, Florida138 contributions101 helpful votes
My husband and teen daughter took the lesson while I watched and took pictures. Thorough land and water instruction. The downside was the waves weren't big enough to stand, so it never happened. He offered to have us come back later in the week if the surf was better and he wasn't too busy, but it didn't happen. They feel educated enough to do try to surf in the future, though. It's a lot harder than it looks. (my husband felt a little seasick)
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Date of experience: June 2016
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StacyHamms wrote a review Apr 2016
Cadillac, Michigan16 contributions2 helpful votes
...but we want to take more lessons. Jay made surfing so easy. He was extremely patient and kind. It was evident that he is passionate about surfing and only wants others to enjoy it as much as he does. His goal was to make sure we had a good time and we did! He met my 11-year-old daughter and I at Pepper Park with boards and sunscreen/ready to go. He kept us informed via text message of weather and surf conditions and drilled "Safety First." He made us feel very comfortable and confident in the ocean and on the board. We were both able to successfully surf before the end of the lesson! This lesson was the highlight of our Spring Break trip and we can't wait to do it again. Thanks, Jay!!
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Date of experience: April 2016
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