Advisory Board

In our efforts to constantly improve the student experience at our Surf School, we have created an Advisory Board to review our policies and procedures, including our instructor training and lessons/camp curriculum. As a result, we believe we are creating a new standard for surf schools that makes Pacific Beach Surf School a unique leader when it comes to teaching surfing, safety in the surf zone, and the valuable life lessons from the waves and surfing’s culture.

Deborah Hoyt: Deborah is a respected local surfer and was co-architect of the foundations of the curriculum we use today. She played a significant role in the growth of the Pacific Beach Surf School as a school director for eight years. She is a six-time All-American swimmer, has taught Junior Life Guards, coached swimming at University City High School, and founded and coached Team Menehune, originally a part of Pacific Beach Surf School.  Her passion for teaching and experience in the water has raised the bar for our surf coaching and surf curriculum development.

Shaun Tomson: Shaun is a surfing legend (former World Champion and voted one of the all-time most influential surfers). However, he believes his most important contribution to the world of surfing consists of his books, the “Surfers Code” and “The Code-The Power of I Will”. Through them, he’s become a role model by sharing the lessons of his life that go well beyond surfing. As a result, Shaun has contributed significantly to the Pacific Beach Surf School curriculum regarding how surfing builds character and inspires children and their parents. His role on our Advisory Board contributes exactly what the School wishes to impart to the children that enroll in our camps.

Glenn Hening: As the founder of the Surfrider Foundation Glenn contributed a strong environmental perspective to our curriculum. As a co-founder of the Groundswell Society, he also has contributed the Society’s “Sharing the Stoke of Surfing” message that is intertwined within the curriculum. With three teaching credentials and 25 years of classroom experience, he consulted on our new curriculum to improve our product to all of our students. Glenn also has a keen eye for surf history the importance of maintaining and growing our historical “surf culture” presence for the Pacific Beach area.

Ron Nelson: Ron’s 27 years in the San Diego Fire Dept. along with seven years as an Encinitas City Lifeguard give him the credentials to oversee our safety program and policies. In recent years he has overseen as aspects of the Surf School including instructor training. He also happens to be the current record holder as the fastest man ever in the  60 years old division for the Catalina Classic, a race of 32 grueling miles from Catalina Island to Manhattan Beach. He is a prone paddling training partner with owner Randy Strunk and has made valuable contributions to the interface between the Surf School and the Surf Shop.

Jim Kempton: Jim was the Director of Billabong Camps program from 2003 thru 2014 where he oversaw 35 camp locations where participants of all ages learned surfing skills, water safety, surf etiquette, and ocean science. Previously he spent 4 years with Quiksilver as Director of Marketing where managed the Crossing and Surf Camps Programs. He has served on the board of Directors for Surfing America, the State Parks Foundation, the Coalition of Museums, the Scripps Legends & Luau Foundation, and the Sport of Kings. Jim served as the editor and then publisher of SURFER magazine for eight years. He is the author of 3 books including Surfing the Manual, a “How To Surf” and his latest First We Surf Then We Eat, a surf travel adventure cookbook. He is now the President of the California Surf Museum.

Jericho Poppler Bartlow: Jericho has been a well-known and accomplished surfer for many years, and her inspiration to female surfers has been extraordinary. Widely known as “The Wave Dancer”, she was a Championship surfer on Hawaii’s North Shore and a pioneer in the development and progress of professional women’s surfing. She was a member of the Surfrider Foundation board of directors and a co-founder of the Groundswell Society. She independently initiated the “Kids For Clean Waves” beach events. She was chosen by the State of California to be the female surfer representing surfing as the official sport of the state. In fact, her image graces the official logo of “California Surf Day”.  She adds an invaluable “surfer girl” perspective to our Surf School.

Red Pedrick and Sean Paddingon: Red and Sean own the Fit Lab Gym and Paddle Synergy, a progressive workout/ coaching program for all water sports. Sean is a former Olympic Canoe Paddler with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in fitness, nutrition, and health. Red co-founded Paddle Synergy, a personalized workout program specific to water-related sports. (Red also served our country for 10 years in the Marine Corps and is a Certified level 1 canoe sprint coach.) Red and Sean designed the stretch and warm-up component of our curriculum for both the surf camp and private/group lessons and the daily pre-surf guidelines followed by all our Surf School surf instructors.