In 1996, twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi – two women who loved the ocean and surf culture – started up Surf Diva, an all-girls surf school on the La Jolla shores of San Diego, on the premise that surfing should be a fun and positive experience, whether you are a beginner or moving on to more advanced skills.
“We really strive to teach people to enjoy the learning process,” says Izzy.
“Each wave is a gift, even if you ride on your stomach, knees or feet. We want our students to enjoy the ocean and realize that the big accomplishment is paddling out!”
They offer various private and group lessons (now available for both guys and girls), as well as weekend or week-long women’s surf clinics and an all-girls boarding school that hosts full-week overnight camps, taking care of your lodging, meals and surf instructions.
They have also expanded their surfing horizons and now provide a week-long surf camp in Costa Rica, on the Nicoya Peninsula, for women 18 and over.
Both sisters believe that learning to surf is about more than just riding the wave—it’s about building the kind of confidence that will help you go after any dream. “When you can handle what the ocean has to offer, you can handle most situations on land with a calm strength, knowing that you reached your goals in the water.”
If we can do it, so can you!
While under the rays of the powerful San Diego sunshine, Surf Diva gave me my very first surf lesson. I was a little apprehensive about braving the waves (especially after hearing that you have to shuffle your feet across the sand when walking out into the ocean, so that you don’t step on any stingrays—yikes!), but I was excited to try something new. The waves were only about two or three feet high, so it was perfect for learning. Even so, I did get pushed around out there—and drank a little too much sea water—but when I finally got up on that board, it was so worth it! There is a feeling of power in accomplishing any goal, and with surfing you feel like you’ve conquered the power of the ocean. What a ride; what a rush!
To connect with the ladies at
Surf Diva school visit their website www.surfdiva.com
Stoked to surf
Some of the world’s best surfing playgrounds can be found in Australia, Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Africa, Indonesia, Spain and, of course, California!
San Diego is a great year-round place for learning to surf, and for honing your skills once you’ve got the basics down. But be prepared for a wicked workout! Surfing involves both aerobic exercise and strengthening of your core, legs and upper body.
Our Faze surfer girl Dana Krook, finishing her first successful ride!
San Diego has a wide variety of waves for different skill levels—you just have to know where to go!
For beginners: La Jolla is a perfect spot, with gentle waves and tons of surf schools
For intermediates: Cardiff is ideal for perfecting your skills; the Central Coast—Pacific, Mission and Ocean Beaches—are also popular, but more so for their “tubular” surf culture along the boardwalks
For advanced surf-lifers: The southern portion of Black’s Beach is for experts, boasting 10- to 12- foot waves
Want to know more about San Diego?
Visit www.sandiego.org for additional travel info.