ENCINITAS — One of the biggest obstacles facing young surfers is actually getting to the beach on a regular basis. On the Go Travel Surf intends to break that barrier.
Founder Justin Lindholm, 26, said he came up with the idea of taking groms on surf trips to out of the way surf breaks while he was an instructor for the Magdalena Ecke YMCA’s summer surf camp. “I saw how excited
the kids were to get away from their parents and go
to different beaches,” he said.
Of course, if you live by the beach and are old enough to go unaccompanied by an adult, this doesn’t pose much of a problem. But Lindholm, an Encinitas resident, saw a gap between the desire to surf and access to the beach. “I thought I could put together a program that got kids into the water at different breaks than they were used to,” he said.
Making its voyage trip March 7, On the Go Travel Surf will give groms an opportunity to surf quality waves on a regular basis. “We picked sites based on what kids see as their favorites even though they may not have had an opportunity to surf there yet,” Lindholm said.
Surfers are guaranteed two full sessions a day at whatever spot may be
breaking best on the Southern California coastline. Locations include but are not limited to Trestles, Rincon, Blacks, Malibu and Salt Creek.
Exposing kids to a wider variety of surf breaks is not Lindholm’s only motivation. “My ultimate goal is to gain the trust and respect of North County parents,” he said. “I’d like to eventually have trips to Baja.”
Lindholm describes the trips as more of a travel camp than strict instructional camps. “This is definitely for kids who are already going out by themselves and are comfortable in the water,” he said.
But you don’t have to be an expert by any means to participate. Shawn Stevens, 13, recently heard about the camp. “I would totally go on a trip like that,” he said. “I surf Beacon’s all the time and it would be cool to get some experience on other waves.”
Shawn’s mother, Sara Stevens, said she would be open to the idea of letting her son participate in a surf trip. “I don’t always have time to take him to the beach and a lot of his friends his age don’t really surf yet,” she said. The Encinitas family moved to the coast from Arizona two years ago. “I still feel like Shawn is at a disadvantage because he hasn’t been surfing as long as some of the other kids,” she said, adding that the travel camp might sharpen his skills.
While Lindholm manages the logistics of each trip and the grind of building a business he works at Bob’s Carpet Care. “I’ve still got my day job,” he said. “This will build and I’m willing to do whatever it takes to earn the respect of local families.”
For more information, visit www.otgsurf.com or e-mail Justin@otgsurf.com.