The CrewOur experienced staff are truly outstanding people both in and out of the water.
Ever since I hopped on a surfboard for the first time 14 years ago I haven’t stopped pursuing my passion for riding waves and learning about the ocean. I have now spent over a thousand hours in the water teaching people to surf. Surfing has taken me to the other side of the world and back finding new waves and an appreciation for surf culture in different countries. I love surfing in its purest form, being overjoyed and the sensation of riding a wave, not what it’s typically stereotyped as a sport of too cool for school bros and babes. It’s not about how you look, how you talk, or what you wear. It’s about having fun and loving the ocean. My favorite moment as a surf instructor was watching a 55-year-old man from Switzerland with a lifelong dream of one day learning to surf catch his first wave, stand up, and then look back at me with the biggest smile I’d ever seen. Those are the moments as a surf instructor that I look forward to every time I get to teach a surf lesson.
My name is Ally James, and I have taught surf, SUP and kayak lessons at Cal Coast for four years! I was born and raised in Carpinteria where my dad taught me how to surf. I started surfing when I was about seven years old and as soon as I got my driver’s license I started traveling up and down the coast to surf, and have traveled to Hawaii to surf too! I have been a lifeguard for four years at surf camps and pools. I go to college in Santa Barbara and am studying Studio Art, and in my free time, I try to teach surf lessons as much as I can! My artwork is influenced a lot by the ocean and surf culture of Santa Barbara, the easy going and highly accepting community of surfers have allowed me to grow confidence as an athlete, artist, and has elevated my overall well-being. Surfing has been there for me when there were no other constants in my life and has forced me to seize the moments we are given, wave by wave. The ocean always leaves us wanting more, and watching people that I teach have this realization is so rewarding to me. I love to show other people how capable they are of surfing and how cathartic, rejuvenating, and rewarding it can be for them too!
As a native Californian, I have always had a passion for the outdoors and action sports. Growing up I learned to snowboard and skateboard first before moving to the coast and picking up surfing soon after. I quickly realized that surfing, as an experience, is on a higher order than most other sports because of the inevitable connection to the ocean that comes with it. I have found that teaching others to surf, whether they pick it up right away or need a slower pace, is an immensely rewarding experience in which I get to watch people step out of their comfort zone and form a connection with nature that they may not have realized was coming their way. Plus, it is SUPER FUN!! Let’s get out there and catch some waves, share some stories, and collect a few more to tell some other time!
Hi, my name is Sean Lappi. I’m a Pacific Northwest native who was born and raised on Bainbridge Island, Washington just outside of Seattle. My father was born and raised in Santa Cruz and introduced me to surfing at a young age, and I’ve been hooked ever since! After growing tired of the rain and the cold water, I made the move to Santa Barbara in June 2008, and have resided here ever since. My surfing and kayaking adventures have taken me throughout Washington, Oregon, California, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. When I’m not in the water surfing or teaching, I enjoy exploring our awesome local hiking trails or various National Parks throughout the U.S. I also occasionally moonlight as a student majoring in Political Science with a minor in Geography who will finally graduate in 2019 after a
My name is Brody Weiss and I am a recent graduate from Westmont College, located here in Santa Barbara, California. I am originally from Denver, Colorado where I spent most of my free time hiking and snowboarding throughout the Rocky Mountains. Growing up, I was blessed to have a family beach vacation home in Sanibel Island Florida, that we would visit 5 to 6 times a year. It was through this beach house where my passion for the ocean started. At age 12, I took a family vacation to Costa Rica, where I took my first surf lesson and stood up on my first wave. It was from that point on where surfing became my deepest interest. Being from Colorado, I knew I wanted to get to the Coast of California where I could continue to grow my passion for surfing. It was then a dream come true as I received a scholarship to play baseball at the University of California Santa Barbara. I then moved out to Santa Barbara in 2011, and from that point on, surfing has become the biggest part of my life. For me, the ocean/surfing is the one thing that seems to keep my life in balance. For the time I’ve been out here, I have had the opportunity to travel up and down the coastline of California, surfing with friends and getting to experience all the adventures this state holds. The Ocean has so much to offer us, and it has become my passion teaching and sharing these amazing experiences with others in the water. I look forward to seeing you out there!
In Memory of Gregory Jon Lewis
Gregory Jon Lewis 1963-2013 founder of Santa Barbara Surf School. Thank you for your passion