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The American Dream

California

From £699

Classic Californian beach vibe
Great variety of bodyboarding spots
Hunt perfect waves off the Pacific Coast Highway
Endless beaches, warm climate

Come with us to experience the ultimate American bodyboarding dream: the Southern California road trip. Enjoy the iconic, laidback lifestyle of hitting the Pacific Coast Highway, scoring backlit green barrels, and soaking up golden sunsets under sky-high palms.

Quick Facts

Water Temperature: 18°C
Local Currency: US Dollar
Language: English
Local Beer: Anchor Liberty Ale
 Mediterranean climate
Reliable Pacific swell
Surf 2ft-6ft
Consistent offshore Santa Ana winds
Beach, reef, slab, shorey, point and wedge bodyboarding spots
Perfect for riders of all abilities
Bespoke one-on-one coaching available
Coastal accommodation
Ultimate US booging roadtrip

Upcoming Trips

2019

DATES
EVENT NAME
PRICE
02/11/2019 > 16/11/2019
California Road Trip 14 Nights
£1349

Trip Information

Our Aim

This trip is about living the dream in the heart of US bodyboarding culture – waking up each day in the middle of one of the most iconic stretches of coastline in the world to score hollow pits in warm offshore winds.

SoCal is absolutely littered with an endless selection of firing surf spots, from San Diego and the surf cities of Encinitas and Oceanside in the south, up through LA’s famed beaches and north to Malibu and beyond.

We’re going to take you on an epic adventure, road tripping the most famous road in surfing culture – the Pacific Coast Highway. This tarmac ribbon takes us by the piers, palms, boardwalks and Baywatch towers, to uncrowded beaches and coves where you can bag a slice of the Cali lifestyle for yourself.

In a land of 300 days of sun a year, we’ll check out and surf the famous reefs of La Jolla, Huntingdon City Pier, the mental Newport Wedge, and a whole load of empty offshore peaks along the way…

Waves

California has a staggering 1,100 miles of coastline exposed to the best swell the biggest Ocean in the world can muster. We are basing ourselves in the sun-drenched south, home to some of the most iconic bodyboarding waves on the continent, where wave riding is an integral part of its history and culture.

You can find virtually every single type of wave here – from peeling points and hollow reefs to booming beachies, sick shoreys and ludicrous wedges. Each day we’ll hit the road and check out the best spots up and down this golden, surf-rich, wave-drenched coastline.

La Jolla reefs

A veritable hotbed of bodyboarding fun, the reefs off the coves and beaches at La Jolla are hugely consistent and pack a punch. Offshore submarine canyons north of La Jolla – like Nazare in Portugal – help funnel swell to the shore, giving the waves good power for their size.

Black’s

Arguably San Diego’s best spot, it works off a wide SW/W/NW swell window and delivers thumping, hollow waves that break top-to-bottom with Pacific power.

San Clemente and Oceanside

The open beachies of San Clemente and Oceanside deliver ridiculously consistent swell, hoovering it up and laying it out with groomed uniformity in the desert Santa Ana winds. These are perfect spots to indulge in the cruisey Cali vibe, in the centre of the US bodyboarding scene.

Huntingdon Beach

One of the most famous surf spots in the world, there’s a whole heap of surfing history at HB, known as the official Surf City, USA. The breaks north and south of the famous pier can get all-time, with some of the sand banks here behaving almost like a fast, hollow point break.

Newport Wedge

A beautiful/demented by-product of the town’s breakwater, the Wedge is one of the most instantly recognisable spots in the world. There are very few places you can surf a casual 2ft side wave directly into the throat of a 20ft barrel exploding violently enough to shake cameras off their tripods on the beach.

When a normal size you can still expect to trade barrels and beatings, but with the added bonus of telling all your mates you surfed the Wedge and survived!

Secret spots

You might not think it on one of the most well-known stretches of coastline in the world, but there really are a whole heap of secret spots and empty peaks to hunt down and slot into in Southern California, and on this trip we’ll be hitting the highway and plundering them! We have an awesome local guide and network of contacts that will see you in the best spot each day for your skill level.

With such consistent desert offshore winds and insanely consistent Pacific swell, you can expect super fun conditions wherever we end up … from world-renowned bodyboarding spots to entirely off-the-radar secrets.

Our headquarters for the trip will be based in Encinitas, a vibrant and authentic beach town 25 miles north of San Diego – the ultimate place to soak up the South Californian vibe.

Just 50 metres from the beach and trendy local cafes (where we head each morning for a surf check and breakfast), our surf-inspired boutique hotel is freshly refurbished and perfectly geared toward the travelling booger.

There are single, twin, double and quad rooms which all come with modern furnishings and a walk-in shower. À la mode restaurants, eateries, bars, organic grocery stores and a vibrant nightlife are all within walking distance of the house.

Encinitas strikes the perfect balance between casual sophistication and a laidback beach vibe. This quintessential Californian surf city offers an eclectic mix of 1960s-inspired beach culture and unique shopping, with sidewalk cafes serving açai and granola breakfast bowls with chai lattes to go, and pop-up eateries doubling up as yoga studios.

It comes as no surprise, then, that National Geographic recently named it among the 20 best surf towns in the world. So integral is surf in Encinitas, that when it’s pumping here you feel the buzz of excitement on the streets – it’s a happy, healthy, friendly feeling, full of sun-kissed specimens enjoying the good life.

Climate California

Climate

Southern California is beautifully balmy in autumn, with an average air temperature of 20C and the water an inviting 18C. With more days of sunshine than anywhere else in the mainland United States, you’ve come to the right place if you want to prolong your summer and not give in to the darkness just yet!

With the water still relatively warm, a 3/2mm will more than suffice, and you can certainly get away with a shortie on the hotter days. As with many places in the northern hemisphere, autumn is the prime swell season, and with a Mediterranean climate and constant Santa Ana offshore winds, you can’t help but score amazing waves.

Food California

Food

California’s clean-living lifestyle means the variety of healthy eating options is mind-boggling; from stuffed bagels and green power smoothies for breakfast to protein-filled fish tacos and avocado burritos for lunch, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

You’ll be relieved to know California also has a thriving microbrewery scene, offering a plethora of organic craft beers. After a day of scoring sick waves, nothing beats a classic Cali burrito washed down with a cool craft beer whilst watching an epic Pacific coast sunset!

You are free to head out and find your own meals or we organise group meals in our favourite local restaurants, with such an awesome selection of eateries, it’s always a highlight of the day. An evening meal at a local restaurant would average around $10.

Coaching California

Coaching

Intermediate and Foundation level bodyboard coaching

The spread of SoCal’s surf breaks means we’ll always be able to find quiet peaks – perfect if you’re a beginner learning the basics or an intermediate rider looking to reach the next stage.

The breaks up and down this coast are ideal for bodyboarders of all abilities, and you’ll often find gentler, mellower waves breaking just down the beach from better banks, offering steeper drops and barrels for more experienced riders. We split our group in to separate ability levels so that everyone is catered for with waves of a suitably challenging level and coaching that is tiered to the rider’s ability.

Don’t stress if you haven’t been bodyboarding long – on this trip there’s something for everyone. You’ll be amazed how quickly you master riding good-quality waves, and we’re committed to patiently helping you progress.

You’ll never be thrown straight into the deep end. We’ve got your back whatever your ability, and that’s a promise. Likewise, intermediate and advanced-level coaching is also tailored towards the individual.

Our coaching team offers daily tuition, tailored to your ability with instructors who are in-house qualified and fully insured. Experienced lifeguards, some have 30 years of surfing experience and 20 years of worldwide travel experience. All staff are trained by multiple-time British National Champion and UK Team Coach Rob Barber.

Advanced Coaching

We send out a pre-event form to measure your ability before you arrive. If you’ve not attended a coaching holiday before, don’t worry – we can have a surf assessment, get to grips with your riding and help plot you a path of improvements. By the time you fly home you’ll be well on your way to reaching that next level.

Our instructors are on hand with groups in the water, able to give extra tips on the beach, and give detailed feedback during our informal classroom analysis. Our coaching covers all levels of riding, with separate ability groups and instructors to suit your standard, whether you’re a novice or a pro.

We aim to have one long session or two 2-hour sessions each day, depending on the swell, tide and wind conditions. Everyone can expect 4 hours of water / land based tuition each day. There will also be both photo and video analysis available following all sessions to help improve your riding, and both will be available to take away at the end of the trip for £30 and £50 (per week) respectively.

If you’re a shredder and already know your flips from your ARSs, you’ll find this trip ideal – a daily road trip to drop you into the best pits and ramps SoCal has to offer. And plenty of footage to help you improve quickly. From peaky wedges to powerful reefs, you’ll be tearing into Pacific power, so the perfect opportunity to fine-tune your air or barrel game.

Travel

You need to make your own travel arrangements to get to San Diego International Airport. If you arrive on the first or the last day of the 14-night trip then we offer airport pick-ups and drop-offs to and from our accommodation. If you arrive or depart on days other than the first or last of the trip we recommend that you book an Uber which will cost you around $40 – $50 USD. If you land in LAX there are good public transport links to get you to our accommodation.

If you are flying from the UK, we work closely with the good people at Dial-A-Flight, so get in touch and they can hook you up – just give them a call and ask to speak to our bodyboarder-friendly agent, Lee (020 7295 1556).

Alternatively, check out SkyScanner to find the nearest flights to your location. When booking, make sure you check the airline’s baggage charges by weight and number, so you don’t get hit with any nasty hidden fees on the day.

Remember – we also hire equipment, which works out cheaper than paying extra for a large ‘sports equipment’ bag in the hold, and saves you carrying the thing! Just let us know in advance if this is something you’d like to do.

Once you’ve collected your bags, if landing at San Diego on the first day of the trip we’ll meet you at the arrivals area. We ask you to call us when you land and we will pick you up as you walk out of your terminal, we’ll be looking for people with bodyboard bags! Once everyone has been located, we’ll check you in.

You may have a short wait at the airport as the rest of the group assembles. If this is the case,  you will be told in advance and it is worth bringing a good book, a Kindle or an iPad.

For those clients based in the U.S. and coming overland, then we ask you to meet us in Encinitas. We will supply you with the meeting time and location prior to the trip starting.

Shortly after everyone arrives we’ll have a group welcome meeting to discuss the epic road trip ahead.

Price

14 NightsPrice
Price per person in a shared room (bodyboarder)£1349
Price per person if requiring private room£2349
Price per couple (one of whom doesn’t bodyboard)£2998
Price per couple who each bodyboard and require their own private room£3098
Alternative PackagesPrice
7 Nights per person in a shared room£699
10 Nights per person in a shared room£999
2 Day Package£180

Limited availability for couples, private rooms etc, please contact us for availability

14 Night Package

For details on the 14 night package check the What’s Included tab

7 or 10 Night Package

This 7 night or 10 night option would be exactly the same as the full 14 night adventure; only you would choose the period that you would like to join us. We would then tell you what is available.

What’s included?

  • Accommodation for the duration of your stay with us
  • Airport pick -up and drop off on the first and last days of the two week trip (only)
  • Surf guiding with our team each day to find waves to suit your ability
  • 4 hours of tuition each day
  • Video and Photographic analysis
  • Tuition tailored to your ability from Rob Barber’s elite coaching team
  • Meet and greet with Jay Reale, a former professional bodyboarder and absolute legend, for an exclusive Q&A session (if this lands during the period that you book)
  • Guaranteed improvements!

2 Day Weekend Package

Please be aware that the weekends do book up quickly so we urge you to contact us early if you’d like to book a Saturday and Sunday.

With Veterans Day on November 11 this is also a popular option so please book early.

Price: £180 per day

We ask our guests to meet us at our accommodation in Encinitas at a pre-arranged time, and then join us for two days of bodyboarding safari along the surf rich Pacific Coast Highway.

What’s included?

  • Surf guiding with our team each day to find waves to suit your ability
  • 4 hours of tuition each day
  • Video and Photographic analysis
  • Land and water based tuition tailored to your ability from Rob Barber’s elite coaching team
  • Guaranteed improvements!

Area California

Area

Even if you’ve never been to Southern California before, driving about will feel strangely familiar – being the centre of the world’s entertainment industry will do that!

However, beyond the Hollywood sign and multi-lane highways lies a golden strip of coastal cities, each comprising their own individual identity and history. The sandy ‘village vibe’ in most towns stretches back from the beaches into the foothills behind, each sporting their own bustling neighbourhoods, be them creative, gastronomic or commercial.

On the way to breakfast or while checking out the beaches, it’s always good fun to have a quick eyeball on some of the ridiculous properties perched at the back of the beaches here – the mind boggles at how much they’re worth.

Southern California is also blessed with the perennial Mojave desert offshore winds, which nicely cleans up the hundreds of miles of corduroy swell which strike this magnificent stretch of coastline, day in, day out. With literally thousands of beaches, coves and reefs benefiting from this perfect combination, it’s no wonder surfing quickly became so synonymous with the Californian dream.

However, for an area so popular, it’s incredible that so many beaches and top-class surf spots are as empty as they are – as long as you know when to visit them. It seems for many spoilt locals, if it’s not 6ft and firing it’s not worth going in! This, coupled with the sheer variety of spots within a short distance of our HQ, means finding quiet peaks to ourselves each morning is something that we make our mission on a daily basis.

Wherever we end up, we’ll be sure to maximise every minute for you, helping you progress in your bodyboarding and getting you the best waves for your ability every single day.

Kit List

Pro-standard bodyboard hire – £8 per day
Swim fin hire – £8 per day
Wetsuit hire – £8 per day

Bodyboarding is one of life’s great pleasures, and we’re convinced if you haven’t already, you’ll want to get fully kitted out to get the most from the waves.

That’s why we offer an excellent selection of kit hire for the trip, which can be ordered in advance and that we’ll bring along, saving you the time and hassle. It can also be cheaper to rent equipment with us than paying airline baggage fees to bring your own gear – doing this means all you’ll need to think about is the surf, sea and sun!

Feel free to drop us a line and we can chat with you about what you’d need to hire so it’s ready and waiting for you when you arrive. 

Bodyboard

California is golden in more ways than one, but with the Pacific Ocean sitting around 18C at this time of year, we’d recommend a board with a bit of flex. Therefore aim to bring a board with either a stringered low-density PP core.

To help with this, we can supply hired boards, which are perfect for use in California’s water temperature and wave types.

Wetsuit

When it comes to rubber, we’d recommend a 3/2mm full suit. We have worn boardies on the sunny days in November and it’s not been too bad. But a 3/2mm wetsuit is definitely required for this trip.

Fins

It’s essential to use a pair of comfortable, powerful, bodyboarding swim fins to get the most from the awesome waves on the trip. 

Leash

It’s a simple insurance policy on any trip, so don’t forget a leash – it’ll save you a whole load of unnecessary swimming. 

Bodyboard travel bag

A decent board bag will keep your kit safely protected throughout your journey, especially when you consider the brutality of some baggage handlers. They range from £20 to more than £100 – the more you pay, the better protection you get. The best on the market is the Creatures wheelie bag, it’s heat-reflective, padded and you can wheel it around, saving your arms and shoulders for paddling.

Board sock

Board socks perform a dual purpose, protecting your board from the sun, and drying you off, as it’s a handy towel. The humble board sock is a great all-rounder. 

Fin socks

Fin socks are a regulation piece of kit. They protect your feet from rub and sharp rocks, as well as keeping them toasty on the early morning sessions. 

Heel shields

If you don’t wear wetsuit socks and want to prevent rub around your heels, it’s worth considering a set of heel shields. They make fins comfortable, stop chafe and have different thickness levels to suit the snugness of your fin. 

Fin tethers

Don’t let a lost fin ruin the rest of your trip. Bag a set of tethers and know you’ll pop up from every duck dive and wipeout with both fins still attached.

Sun protection

There is a range of sun creams geared specifically for bodyboarding, and we can attest they actually stay on in the water!

While we can’t guarantee bright blue skies, there’s nothing worse than having to sit out on an epic session because your sun cream washed off yesterday and today you’re painfully crispy.

What’s Included

  • 14 nights of coastal accommodation
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off on the first and last day of the 14 night trip
  • Surf guiding with our team each day to find waves to suit your ability
  • 4 hours of tuition each day (land and water)
  • Video and photographic analysis
  • Tuition tailored to your ability from Rob Barber’s elite coaching team
  • Meet and greet with Jay Reale, former top professional bodyboarder, industry pioneer and absolute legend, for an exclusive Q&A session
  • Guaranteed improvements!

Our California road trip comprises 14 nights of accommodation in the heart of the action, tracking down the best bodyboarding waves to roll in and break along this iconic stretch of the surfing world.

Every day throughout the trip you’ll be guided by our team to find the best waves for your ability, each day will be an early start, we’ll take some snack food with us and enjoy the best of the morning’s conditions for a couple of hours. We’ll then get out of the water have a break and a quick morning snack before hitting the water again.

After a long morning of bodyboarding we’ll usually head back to a local café or our accommodation to refuel and review the footage.

After lunch our guests time is then their own to relax, visit local areas of interest, grab a bite or go celeb-spotting.

We often meet up at the beach next to our accommodation at the end of the day to witness a stunning sunset over the Pacific, to chat about the day, plan for tomorrow and then grab dinner together. Then it’s early to bed.

Photography and video analysis will be available throughout all sessions to help improve your riding, and each of these will be available to take away and keep at the end of the week too, for an additional £30 and £50 respectively.

Dates

14 nights from 2 November to 16 November

Please see the ‘Prices’ tab for options to join the trip for 2 day, one week or 10 day trips.

Please be aware that weekends do book up quickly and we urge you to book early to avoid disappointment.

Veterans Day is on Monday 11 November and is another day that we urge you to book early to avoid disappointment.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about our California Trip.

Do I need a visa?

You’ll need prior authorisation to enter the United States using a British passport through the Visa Waiver Programme. For more information, and to apply online, visit the official ESTA website.

International travellers please contact the company you are buying your flight through for up-to-date passport and visa entry information (or search online).

Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. For more and up-to-date information refer to https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/usa/entry-requirements. Please be aware these rules can change, and it’s your responsibility to know and understand the entry rules before you travel.

I’m a silver surfer, will this be a problem?

If you’re over 60 years old – or will be turning 60 on the trip – we need to chat on the phone prior to booking. Please call us on 01637 879571, or email us to arrange a time for a call.

Can we contact you if we have travel problems?

On the day that you travel please keep your mobile phone handy so that we can stay in touch in case of delays and flight changes. Please inform us at the airport if you’re early or delayed for any reason. If you need help to book your flight then just drop us a line and we can recommend travel agents.

If you can’t find our representative at the airport, stay there and wait, they won’t be far away, having tracked your arrival time.  However, if you’re having real problems finding them, please call the tour leader (you will be issued with his number prior to the trip) and one of us will be sure to locate you. The UK office telephone number is +44 7974729639.

What’s the best way to transport my bodyboard and kit?

Remember to check the baggage size and weight allowance with your airline, as well as read their guidance for carrying bodyboards. Baggage handlers can be unforgiving, so a tough bag and intelligent packing are a must.

Firstly, pack your board(s) in a protective, padded board bag, and write FRAGILE and TOP LOAD ONLY on it with the largest, most permanent marker you can find. Make sure you wrap your towel and wetsuit around your board inside the bag for added protection. Place your shampoo and other wet toiletries in a separate sealed bag in case of leakage. We also recommend locking your bag zips with a padlock.

Do I need personal travel insurance?

Please advise our coaching staff of any medical complaints or conditions prior to your trip.

We will ask for travel insurance details upon booking, so please organise this nice and early. We will also ask you to fill out an enrolment form with these details before the holiday. You do not need travel insurance if you live in America. We will just need details of your health insurance.

How can I find out about medical advice for travelling?

Health and safety medical advice for travellers can be found at www.doh.gov.uk. Otherwise, contact your GP or the Department of Health (DoH) for further information.

Alternatively, from the UK you can call the helpline on free phone 0800 555777. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) issues up-to-date information on safety issues for countries world-wide. Contact the FCO travel advice line on 020 7238 4503/4504 if you have any concerns.

What currency should I take?

Well, this is the big ol’ U S of A, so bring American dollars, which you can pick up from travel agencies, banks or post offices. There are also exchange facilities in airports as well as ATMs.

It is better to get your money changed before the trip, as the banks in California charge a lot for the service. We plan to be surfing and chilling as much as possible, so please arrange your currency before arriving on the trip.

How much should I budget for the trip?

Clients are free to head out and find their own meals on this trip, where the average cost per meal is $10. Surprisingly though, beers can be up to around $6 in bars, so be sure to factor that in! It’s possible to eat on a budget if you choose too, there are some great priced local Mexican restaurants.

There are also some cool shops in Encinitas and elsewhere, so if you’re looking to take some presents home, just make sure you add this to your daily allowance.

How do I make payment?

You can pay the total amount for the trip at time of booking or we can split the payment in to three equal payments. We will agree this at time of booking. You must pay in full no later than six weeks before the trip begins.

To pay with debit or credit card, we will send you an online Stripe invoice, which is quick and easy to pay. This applies to both UK and international customers.

Can I make contact from abroad?

If you are based outside of the UK and would like to chat through the trip details, we can be contacted through WhatsApp, Facetime or Skype, just let us know by email and we can arrange this with you.

How to book

Once you have read all the info and made your selection. Book your holiday in 3 easy steps

Booking Steps 1

Enquire

Fill in the enquiry form below

Booking Steps 2

Confirmation

We’ll confirm availability and explain payment plan options.

Booking Steps 3

Completion

Pay your deposit, book your flights and complete the enrolment form. You’re on the trip!

Tripadvisor

“Rob Barber’s team of skilled, knowledgeable bodyboarding experts were not only talented professionals, but very personable and a lot of fun to be with in and out of the water. They had a constant eye for safety, but always tried to keep everyone’s stoke levels maxed out!”

BlackHawkBrown

“Fabulous fun! Rob, Jamie and Jesse took me from a full on newbie, hardly able to make it out into the surf to someone who could get out there and hop on a wave! Brilliant, adult instruction, fun and personable group and safety paramount each and every wave. All age groups represented with many different skill levels accommodated. Have to get on board for the next trip!

Cataloulou

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