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Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

Huntersville, NC
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Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

I am looking for a place to get a couple beginner surf lessons for my 16 yr old son in late June. We will be driving down from SF. I see ads, but can't tell who is legit... any suggestions? I was first thinking of just trying to get the lessons in Half Moon Bay, I am open to either place (have been to SC before, but not HMB).

Also if there are any suggestions on hidden gems/where to stay between HMB and Santa Cruz (looking for near ocean for around $200/nt-- that would be appreciated as well. Will be driving to SFO from wherever we stay. Thanks

Santa Cruz...
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1. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

You might as well drive another 45 minutes past Half Moon Bay and learn to surf in Santa Cruz. There are a few "companies" that go out at Cowell's Beach, which is located adjacent to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It's definitely a good beginner spot. Club Ed and Richard Schmidt Surf Schools are two I would personally recommend, having used both myself (I live in SC too!).

As far as accomodation between HMB and SC, look into Costanoa Lodge, which is about 25 minutes north of SC. But, if you are doing the surf thing in SC, I would probably look into some where here.

Puter on this forum would be a good expert to get accomodation info from. June is busy here and expensive, but I think you should be able to find something in your price range.

Have fun!

San Francisco Bay
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2. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

I second the recommendaton for Santa Cruz instead of Half Moon Bay for two reasons: 1) better weather

2) better ambiance - the big beach, the girls in bikinis, and the Boardwalk. Great restaurants too.

Be sure to check out the Surfing Museum on West Cliff Drive.

There are a few cheaper sleeping options in Santa Cruz, so please post what hotels/B&Bs or motels you are looking at.

There is a section of town that we'd have you avoid.

Santa Cruz...
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3. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

If you decide on surfing school in Santa Cruz, which I recommend, there are four hotels near Cowell Beach, where surfing lessons are held regularly. This is also near the Municipal Wharf and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, an old fashioned amusement park, with an historical wooden roller coaster and calliope, many rides, much food, and concerts and other amusements in the summer. Free admission.

There are different prices for these lodgings. The Dream Inn and the Sea and San Inn face Cowell Beach. These would be the most expensive, but every room in the Dream Inn has a balcony or patio facing the beach. Across the road there is the Seaway Inn, which also has balconies with bay views.. The West Cliff inn is a Four Sisters inn in a lovely Victorian. More modestly priced, I believe, but also with views - the Beachview Inn (but it was just remodeled, so am not sure of the current rates.) The Edgewater Beach Motel is on the hill, also with views. I put my son and his friend there during Christmas when we had a family overflow at our house and they were very pleased with it. I believe they had a unit with a view and even a small kitchenette.

If you decide to do Santa Cruz, please let us advise you on the lodging locations before you commit. Sadly, there is an area at the other side of the Boardwalk which is not very desirable. There are many lodgings in the downtown area, however. We would be glad to help you decide on something suitable

Huntersville, NC
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4. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

great advice on the weather difference between HMB & SC... had not thought of that. According to average temps, it is likely to be 73 in SC and 63 in HMB, plus the whole beach vibe (and yes, girls in bikinis). Sold.

Not sure I want to stay right by the beach & boardwalk or not... would be nice to be right there, but wondering about partiers being around all night long. This will be June 30-July 2, I'm sure the beach will be packed for the holiday week. Was looking at the Bella Notte Inn at East Cliff-- reviewed well on Tripadvisor. Is that in the bad section? Also checked out the Holiday Inn Express downtown (usually stay at Hampton Inn, but those reviewers said Hampton only has 25 parking spots for 50 rooms, forcing guests to park on street blocks away), but many have said the downtown beggars and even break-ins can be bad. Like to hear your thoughts.

I will try to reserve surf lessons at Richard Schmidt-- looks great.

Huntersville, NC
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5. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

BTW, also can get a pretty good AAA rate at Hotel Paradox. Also was under consideration.

Santa Cruz...
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6. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

I wouldn't stay at the Bella Notte. It is not in a bad area but it is on a busy street and not near anything particularly interesting IMO.

The Holiday Inn Express on Ocean Street is only a couple of years old and is very nice. When we have an overflow of family at Christmas I put up some of my family there. If I am not mistaken they have a pool.

The Paradox recently opened after having been rehabbed. It began as Holiday Inn then was bought by the University for student housing. It is nearer the beach (you would still have to drive there) and you would probably be happy there. I haven't read any reviews. See if there are some now.

Edited: 28 April 2013, 20:14
Santa Cruz...
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7. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

I hope I didn't leave the impression that the Paradox is still student housing. It was bought by a hotel company and completely redone. I haven't seen the inside yet, but it is supposed to be very nice.

Santa Cruz...
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8. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

Bella Notte is located closer to Twin Lakes/Harbor Beach area, near the Crow's Nest Restaurant and boat Harbor (walking distance), which is south of the Boardwalk area. I think it is in a pretty good location, it's not near the busy Boardwalk area. It's near some good restaurants and I think the beaches are better south....again, JMHO...have fun!

9. Re: Surf Lessons for teen son, Santa Cruz or Half Moon Bay?

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