Leucadia Surf School, surfing lessons and camps in Encinitas, Leucadia, Carlsbad in San Diego, California Leucadia Surf School
San Diego, Encinitas, Del Mar
Surfing Lessons & Surf Camps
Surf lesson in Leucadia

Real! testimonials
Surf camp & surfing lessons reviews

Be sure to go into the filtered reviews on the yelp page.
Our filtered yelp reviews from last summer of 2013 are below:
(for some unknown reason, yelp thinks the reviews below are either not relevant or fake. We think it is because we do not advertise with yelp.)
Regina O.
Carlsbad, CA
5.0 star rating

Absolutely the best surf camp on moonlight beach, my son did four days and had a ball, lots of instructors, lots of help it's all about surf, they get them up on the board so fast. There were other schools on the beach and leucadia surf school stood out so much as by far the best camp. Would recommend it to all my friends.
Was totall impressed from start to finish.

Zach C.
Davis, CA
5.0 star rating

I put my 8 year old boy into a four day camp, 3 hours a day. He had a great time and his surfing really improved. They spent little time on the beach and lots of time in the water. When I tried to teach him to surf he would only stay in for about 15 minutes but in the class/camp environment he was happy to spend about 2 hours in the water (in 2 sessions with a lunch break). Nice people, a good group of instructors that paid a lot of attention to my boy. On the last day I joined in and they even had a big popout board for me so I could catch some waves with my son. That was the highlight of my summer; to catch some waves with my little boy. I am planning on doing it again next summer. He loved it.

Linda C.
San Marcos, CA
5.0 star rating

My husband and I signed our Grandson up for one lesson last week. He was in town for six days and we really wanted him to spend time in the water. We opted for one day of surf lessons not knowing if he would like it. Gerry had him standing on his board by the end of the first lesson. We ended up cancelling everything else we had planned and just let him go to Gerry's surf school and catch waves. He had so much fun! The instructors were wonderful and very encouraging and we did not have to worry about wetsuits or boards. We did stay to watch the class and always felt that our child was safe. We love the way the school is run and how the lessons are set up. The students participate from the very beginning and they sure respect each other in the water.
I would recommend this school for anyone. Thank you all so much for providing such a wonderful experience for a young boy. Oh, and the waves were all "10 footers" when he talked to his parents.

Dave F.
Encinitas, CA
5.0 star rating

I just spent the last week at a Leucadia Surf School surf camp, and I absolutely loved it (so much so that I'm writing my second ever yelp review). Let's get a little background here. I'm a big guy at 6'2" 230lbs. With in the first day, using Gerry's method I was standing in inside. Within three I was riding waves on the outside (though few and far between). I was really impressed with the way Gerry runs his school. You can tell that he genuinely wants everyone to have fun, and fall in love with surfing. Mission accomplished Gerry. The staff that he hires are all professional, and eager to give helpful tips that help you better understand the sport. All in all, if you're big or small, attend a Leucadia Surf School surf camp, and you're pretty much guaranteed to be a self sufficient surfer within a week. Ride safe.

Carol K.
Tucson, AZ
5.0 star rating

I would highly recommend Gerry to anyone wishing to learn to surf. I walked away from a 2 hour group lesson with a great foundation to build on.. Gerry is not only extremely knowledgeable teaching skills and safety, I completed the lesson with confidence and enthusiasm for the sport.

Here's a review from an Encinitas real estate site:

Surf’s Up with this Encinitas Instructor – Fun for the Family!
- April 2010

Interested in learning how to catch a wave and ride the whitewater to the beach? I was and I asked Linda, my Encinitas real estate agent about the surfing here while viewing open houses in Encinitas! She told me about all the schools and lessons to take to learn how to surf, so I did my own research and that’s how I found Leucadia Surf School at Encinitas Beach. I called first to make sure it was safe and that said they are fully insured and licensed. Also, they don’t stick you with rental fees for boards and a wetsuit which was really nice. I decided to give it a shot and took my whole family. It was a great activity for us! I have three children ages 9, 13, and 15. The whole time they had a huge smiles on their faces! It’s usually so hard to find something they all enjoy and that we can do as a family, but I’ve finally found something. My youngest son even said I was “the coolest Mom.” The owner Gerry is an experienced instructor, who has been surfing all of his life. He is very knowledgeable and easy to understand and gave us a great foundation for surfing. For beginners like us, he showed us everything from how to spot waves, to standing and balancing. He took us to a “local” beach good for beginners and he even said that was where he learned to surf. It truly was a great time that brought our family closer. If you live in an Encinitas home, have free time, and are looking for a family activity, call Leucadia Surf School!

Take a look at these reviews from the Trip Advisor!
"They gave me the funnest day of my life”
Sep 14, 2009 - rgaxton - oklahoma

My stepdad paid for me to have lessons for a day and it was a BLAST! All the instructors were very helpful and I even got up on my first try! It was so fun and I definitely will be going back next summer! If you are looking for an experienced instructor with a great personality who is really helpful this is the PERFECT place to go!
More reviews from the Trip Advisor below.
The review below is from a site called iExplore Community at iexplore.com
actual review at:

"The ultimate California experience, and no trip to this coast is complete without it."

Reviewed by(h)earstories on 5/16/2005.

From journal: Leucadia, California--R,R&R

Being the tropical mammal that I am, I did not dare to try this in the cold Pacific waters. However, we signed up our nephew, visiting from Scotland, to have a few lessons. We stayed to watch the whole time.

He absolutely adored the classes. After overcoming his initial embarassment--few non-native Californians look all that great in a wet suit--and falling hundreds of times, he managed to ride a wave based on feedback from the instructor.

He raved about the instructor--patient, friendly, really helpful, very knowledgeable, and funny. He also thought the class had other great participants and was reasonably priced ($50 for a 2-hour lesson).

He said it was the ultimate California experience, and no trip to this coast is complete without it.

Another review below from iExplore Community at iexplore.com
actual review at:

"I promise you will LOVE surfing if you attend Leucadia surf school on your trip & I also PROMISE you will be able to get up on the board almost as soon as you get in the water!"

Reviewed by jennyelise22 on 5/21/2008.

From journal: Surfing in California

Leucadia Surf School was the highlight of my trip to San Diego!!
Gerry is the coolest surf instructor, and the other guys he brings on to help are equally as cool. I was able to get up on the board right when we got into the water. This surf school taught me how to surf, and made me fall in love with the sport! We took two surf lessons over a period of two days & met some awesome people in the larger group lessons. Everyone has a great time, its a thrill to be able to get up on the board & be in the water!! Thanks Gerry for making my first surfing experience the BEST!! I promise you will LOVE surfing if you attend Leucadia surf school on your trip & I also PROMISE you will be able to get up on the board almost as soon as you get in the water! Grandview Beach is PERFECT because the waves are great and the beaches are less crowded then in pacific or mission beach-- trust me if you want to learn how to surf and have an amazing time doing it Leucadia surf school is the way to go!! Have fun!! Gerry we miss you already!! :o) - Jenn N.

The review below is from the Svenska Dagblandet, one of the biggest newspapers in Sweden:
actual review at:
Mitt bästa restips för dig, 8-55 år, som vill göra något som både är en fantastisk aktivitet, och en härlig naturupplevelse vid en underbar strand är att lära dig surfa i Leucadia, California, med hjälp av den engagerade personalen från Leucadia surf school. Här finns allt från nybörjare till avancerad nivå, från ”pröva på” till hela camps. Mina barn, 10 och 13 år, deltog sommaren 2007 i en ”5 Day Surf Camp”, kl 9-12.30. Hyra av bräda och våtdräkt ingick i avgiften på 300$. Ett minne för livet!

TRANSLATION: My best advice for travel for you between age 8 - 55, are to learn surfing at Leucadia, California with the help of dedicated staff from Leucadia surf school. This is an amazing adventure and a wonderful experience at a wonderful beach environment. At this school you will find beginners to advanced level. My children, 10 and 13 years old went to a "5 Day surf Camp" in summer 2007. Everything was included for 300 dollars. A memory for life!

Take a look at these reviews from the Trip Advisor!
"Great instructor for my two sons.”
May 7, 2010 - EAB3 - Fort Worth, Texas
We were vacationing in San Diego for a week from Texas and wanted to get my two sons introduced to surfing. They are 15 and 11 and they had a blast! The instructor was very patient and knowledgeable. My sons were able to get up on their own very quickly and were out the next day surfing on their own. This lesson gave them a strong foundation to begin surfing. Highly recommend this school.
Photos below taken by the reviewer above.
Going out with a group of four. Helping one son get started Some one on one instruction Hands on surf instruction
Going out with a small group A little help
to get started.
One on one instruction. Watching a student
catch a wave on his own.
"They gave me the funnest day of my life”
Sep 14, 2009 - rgaxton - oklahoma

My stepdad paid for me to have lessons for a day and it was a BLAST! All the instructors were very helpful and I even got up on my first try! It was so fun and I definitely will be going back next summer! If you are looking for an experienced instructor with a great personality who is really helpful this is the PERFECT place to go!

“One of the Best”
Dec 29, 2008 - Ken Strange, Valencia, California

Never knew how fun surfing could be until Jerry taught my twin daughters how to surf. Jerry is a great instructor. He is a true professional with a lot of experience. My kids loved him--said he was fun to be with, that they learned a lot and were able to surf in just a short time. We parents had peace of mind knowing that our kids were with one of the best surfing instructors in the country.

“Good Things”
Feb 12, 2008 - gfallon - San Diego

Highly recommended. Jerry provides everything you need and you're surfing before you know it. Great fun for a group of people or individual looking to get their feet wet.

“Awesome Surf Lesson”
Feb 11, 2008 - K. McCrudden - Hoboken, NJ

During a visit to San Diego in Feb 2008, my cousins and I decided to take a surfing lesson with Gerry Kantor of Leucadia Surf School. It was AWESOME! I had never thought about taking a surf lesson in the past, but when you are out in CA and everyone surf's you feel like a fish out of water! Well we got into the water and up on our boards with Gerry's help and expertise! I cannot wait to go back to Leucadia and sign up for surf school again! It was an amazing experience!

“Great experience!!”
Jan 4, 2008 - SussexFamily, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex

We visited Encinitas from England with our 5 children and the 3 older ones - 16, 14 and 13 - really wanted an introduction to surfing. They had 2 lessons with Gerry who was fantastic. He provided the wetsuits, boards and knowledge of tides, locations, etc.
In the water Gerry was great and provided exactly what we needed - someone showing them the basics and then getting in the water with them and making it happen!! All 3 of our teenagers enjoyed themselves thoroughly!

Thanks Leucadia Surf School - highly recommended!!
Sussex Family.

“Experienced Instruction For Reasonable Price! Check It Out!”
Dec 19, 2007, tek14_4

Gerry is an experienced instructor, who has been surfing all of his life! Gerry is knowledgeable and easy to understand and gives you a good foundation for surfing so that you can go out on your own and surf. For beginners like us, he showed us how to spot waves that were good for beginners to learn on, very helpful!

We were in a group of 3 with my wife and brother in law as well. At the end we were all standing up. He gave us a lot of water time.

The rates are very reasonable, if anything he probably could charge more for the two hours that we spent with him.

Definitely check this guy out if you want to learn how to surf. By the way, he also takes you to a "local" beach where he surfs himself. If you want to know which beach, you will have to call Gerry. Thanks!

“Best instructor”
Apr 1, 2007, Boulder, CO, FrostyCO

Gerry made learning how to surf fun and easy. He has a natural style of teaching as well as an eye for details that comes with lots of years in the waves. His school is not just about getting you to stand up right away. He is all about giving the beginner a foundation that you can build on. I'm really happy with what I was able to achieve with a Gerry lesson followed by a week on my own with his board rentals. He also pays attention to some important details like type and shape of board that fit with what a beginner is trying to do.

“Great Surf School”
Mar 22, 2007, San Diego, orangeman2

I had a great week joining the Leucadia surf school. Great advisor, makes you catch waves fast and easy, always helpfull, good rates. We went surfing all week and had fun even when the weather wasn't that good. Highly recommended.

"Leucadia Surf School Rocks"
Aug 2, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, Arizona

Choosing a summer surf school in California on a long-distance basis for
your child can be a real crap shoot, however with some research and some luck we landed a bonafide keeper. Leucadia Surf School met all of my expectations during a recent week long summer camp for my 13 year old. The following reasons are why I wholeheartedly recommend Gerry Kantor's program:

1. Grandview Beach in Leucadia is uncrowded, exceptionally clean and there was available parking in the mornings (and walkable parking in the afternoons). Gerry staked out a spot on the beach that didn't compete with other surf lessons or local packs. The sand was not rocky in or out of the water.

2. This is the real deal from a seasoned local who has the appropriate knowledge and experience regarding surfing and it's culture. The program was worth every penny. My son found Gerry and his staff appealing and personable.

3. As desired by us, this was not a daycare program. I noticed several of those on a crowded section of beach to the north with way too many kids running around on the beach without adequate supervision. A notable difference was that Gerry's group, which didn't exceed 9 people during our week, was in the ocean surfing except for a mid-lesson break. Four hours of daily instruction was just right (not too short and not too long) and my athletic son definitely had a work out.

4. My comfort level regarding safety was high because of the student to instructor ratio of 3:1 during our week, the attentiveness of the instructors and while the waves were challenging; this is not a dangerous area.

Finally... a summer sports program that lives up to it's promotional information.

"Outstanding surf camp"
Aug 31, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, Carlsbad, California

Gerry Kantor runs an excellent program for both children and adults. We had three generations learning to surf this summer. The youngest children were closely supervised so the parents were able to concentrate on their own surfing. The senior surfers also got the special attention that allowed them to experience riding a wave. Everyone had a good time and plan to surf again next summer.

"Surf's up in Leucadia"
Aug 30, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, West Bloomfield, MI

Everything about this surf camp was first rate. The staff was extremely helpful and encouraging. The beach was shallow so we could walk our surf boards out into the waves and then hop on. I had three kids in the week-long camp and I took a lesson. We were all up, standing on our boards, within the first hour. As a bonus we got a little bit of surf boarding history and lore during the snack breaks.

We will be back for a tune-up next summer!

"Great surf lesson"
Aug 23, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, Del Mar, CA

My husband and I took a surfing lesson from Gerry Kantor and the Leucadia Surf School today. We absolutely loved it! He's not exaggerating when he says he'll have you catching waves in one lesson--we did!

Thanks, Gerry!

"Amazing Week"
Aug 21, 2005: A TripAdvisor Member, Bellevue, WA

My 16-year-old son attended the Leucadia Surf School last week, and it was a fabulous week for him. Gerry and his staff are dedicated to teaching the students to surf and work tirelessly to help them succeed. My son is not much of an athlete, but Gerry got him surfing, and he can't wait to come back again and ride the waves again!

Dollar for dollar, Leucadia Surf School is worth every penny. If you want to learn to surf, they can make it happen for you.

Trip Advisor's below:
but wait, THERE'S MORE!

Okay, so testimonials always look so fake, but we've got some real ones...

We've had testimonials before, but somehow forgot to name them "testimonial" when we saved them to the computer, so now, they may be lost, maybe not.

When we find them, or when we receive more we'll add them to this page.

Hi Gerry

thanks for the surf lesson on Friday. Matt and you were very helpful in helping us to get up and watching the waves. Take care and keep showing the kids all that you know about a fun crazy sport. They will remember that for their whole life.
Thank you Gerry and Matt.

Scott and Nicholas (July 25, 2009 by email)


Thank you for a great experience! The boys learned to surf by the first day and had such a blast that they bought beginner softboards from Costco so we could take them out more! It was a great school and all of your instructors were helpful and friendly.


Geni Telkamp
American Direct Mail
(818) 843-6378
908 N Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505

(received via email, July 8, 2008)

Gerry - our family is still traveling so I am sending this from my sister-in-law's email address but I wanted to get this out to you while I was thinking about it.

I wanted to thank you for all that you and your guys taught Miller at surf camp last week. She had the greatest time and loved every minute of it. She learned to surf and learned a love for surfing that will no doubt last a lifetime.

Last summer I sent her to a big surf camp in San Clemente and she enjoyed it but did not get even half of the training or experience that you gave her. She was excited to go to your surf camp every morning and was worn out but happy when I got her every afternoon.

You and your camp are wonderful and we will definitely come back for refresher lessons whenever we come to town! Next trip we will try again for both of my girls to take lessons as I am sure that Scarlett will love it too, when she is not sick of course.

I also wanted to let you know that we love the DVD that you made and it will give Miller and us a great reminder of the fun that she had with you.

You seem to really enjoy helping the kids learn to surf and Miller really enjoyed learning at your camp.

Thanks again, Andee Ross (Miller Ross's Mom from last week - July 23rd to July 27th)

(received via email, July 31, 2007)

more from Miller's mom:

Gerry - Didn't get a chance to say goodbye or to thank you for the great experience that Miller had this week. I was so happy with the lessons and Miller enjoyed it every day. This was her second time taking surf camp and she learned so much more with you than at the session she took last summer at another camp. She really loved your camp and was excited to go every morning.

Also, the
DVD is such a wonderful memory of the fun that she had in the class. We will enjoy watching it for years to come. It is a great touch. It is obvious that you really take the time to be hands on with the students and your instructors are great too. Miller has a new love for surfing because of your camp.

Thank you again for all that you did and we will take your camp again when we are back in town. Hopefully Scarlett will be able to participate next time as well!!

Look forward to seeing you again soon.

Andee Ross - Miller's mom

(received via email, July 27, 2007)



Thanks for the lesson on the 9th. I had a blast even if my feet were numb and I was too tired to stand up on that last ride. I'd rather be too tired than not tired enough.

Reflecting on the lesson, I respect the time you spent in the beginning discussing safety. You did a really good job circling back around to it until I had a pretty good fix. Parents should appreciate the time and care, even if students don't. And as you say, the lesson itself is plenty long. I got up pretty quickly and learned as much from the rides as the wipe-outs. I'm happy to be a reference, and if I can convince my brother in law, niece, and nephew to try it, you know where I will send them.


Rupert Ayton
San Mateo, California
(received via email, March 13, 2006)

Hi Gerry,

About a month ago my daughter and I had a lesson with you. I just wanted to drop you a note to say thanks for the great time we had. We have got some boards and are really enjoying ourselves. I was looking for something that Maddie and I could do together and surfing is working out great.

Thanks for the lesson and introduction into this great sport.

Nate Downey
Hi Jerry,

I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful experience. You and the other instructors made it fun and easy. I had a great time and I am looking forward to using my new skills. Once againg thank you very much.


(received via email, July 2006, from an Escondido High School administrator who took surf cinic)


Thanks for the great lesson. I had a blast, and am eager to get back in the water!!

Laurel Sakihara

(received via email October 4, 2006 - This was one of three local Encinitas moms whose kids were all friends at the local elementary school. After they dropped off their kids at school, they had some free time, and wanted to start surfing, so got together and came out to learn to surf on a pleasant fall day at Grandview in Leuadia. The waves were small, and the beach empty. The water temp had dropped a little, so it was the first day we broke out our new full wetsuits.)
surf camp student Cecilsurf camp student Emma Two surf camp students, Emma & Cecil.
Emma and Cecil would ride waves together so they could have cat fights while riding. They even learned switch stance so they could face each other. Emma, above, starts to lose the wave, and Cecil is almost riding backwards so she can face Emma.
Thanks for teaching us how to surf!
ABOVE: Emma & Cecil, two 14 year old friends from Washington, gave me a six pack of beer in a brown paper bag at the end of a surf camp during the summer with a note written on the bag. The note on the bag is above. Thanks, Emma and Cecil!
more info: San Diego surfing lessons | San Diego surf camps | How to Surf

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