Youth surf instruction, ocean environment awareness and surf community represent the three Boarding House Mentors (“BHM”) surf cornerstones which, taken together can have a potentially positive impact on the lives of at-risk youth in our society. BHM provides various youth and mentor programs throughout greater Los Angeles, the opportunity to bring the mentor program’s youth to Will Roger’s State Beach each summer, every Sunday, for up to six Sundays between July and August, to facilitate the youth’s experience surfing with equipment and basic surf instruction provided by BHM.

BHM’s goal is to contribute to the outside participating mentor program’s positive influence on the participating program youth. BHM believes that through the surf cornerstones, participating youth may become more open to positive physical, mental, and spiritual growth.

BHM’s surf cornerstones allow BHM to inject hope, enlightenment, admiration and respect into the hearts and minds of youth. There are no textbooks or lectures, just the experience of a safe, fun, respectful interactive community learning environment. The ocean beach environment and sense of community BHM manifests in its program, encourages free thinking as well as admiration and respect for the ocean.

Through this manual BHM intends to communicate to potential BHM volunteer instructors and other volunteers, basic information on two key BHM program areas: (1) Basic Surf Instruction and (2) the Daily BHM Program Schedule. The information will assist the volunteer instructor and those volunteering for beach activities and duties other than surf instruction. In this manual, BHM attempts to convey basic techniques to teach youth beginning surfing in an intuitive, safe and fun manner. While the techniques will work for young and old alike, this text is specifically focusing on youth ages 10 to 18 years old.

DISCLAIMER: This manual has been created through the group effort and contributions of BHM volunteers based upon their collective years of surfing and teaching experience. None of the contributors are certified by any organized surfing instruction certification association, organization or club. The information in this book may not be up-to-date with the latest surf instruction techniques, however the goal for this manual is to provide some basic information on how a volunteer instructor can provide a safe, intuitive and fun surf learning experience for youth. Should volunteers believe the surf instruction information within this manual may be improved, volunteers are encouraged to bring any potential updates to BHM for discussion, review and incorporation into an updated version of this surf manual.

When to Arrive:

8:30 Early
∞ It’s your first day attending a surfing session
∞ If you have any questions or concerns or would like to go over any of the teachings or techniques
∞ If you are enrolled in the instructor training

9:00 On Time
∞ We need to set up our tents, equipment, tables and have a volunteer pre-program meeting on the beach so please be prompt.
∞ We start on time!
∞ If you arrive at the Temescal Canyon, Will Rogers Beach Parking Lot before 9:00 am, parking fees are at a reduced rate.

10:00 The Youth Arrive
∞ Volunteers greet the Youth in the parking lot and assist with Youth and Mentor/Guardian with sign in (we need to ensure that each Mentor/Guardian and each youth have signed a surfing activity liability waiver and that we have the youth’s full name and information about swimming ability.
∞ Volunteers and Mentors assist youth with sizing a rash guard and wetsuit for the day.
∞ The Volunteers assist Youth with taking a surfboard or boogie board down to our tent site on the beach.

NOTE: Check your email on Saturday and if you can help please tell BHM. For every Volunteer needed that does not make it out to the beach, there is one or two Youth participants who will not have a surf or beach Volunteer and may not be permitted to join on the day of the event.


Our Mission Statement


Boarding House Mentors is a non-profit organization that transforms the lives of under-served youth by introducing them to the exhilaration of board sports. We provide a safe and supportive community environment which promotes positive self-image, inspires self-confidence, fosters healthy lifestyles, and encourages respect and awareness for the environment. BHM is an all-
Volunteer organization.

Our Commitment to

Our Youth:

We strive to create an environment that provides our youth participants with the safe, trusting and fun community. To support our mission, we ask all volunteers to be committed to the days for which they sign up to participate. We also ask that all volunteers commit to at least three of our six sessions over the summer. The bond between the youth that we serve, and our instructors and beach volunteers, leaves a lasting impression on both the youth and the volunteers. Each time the participating youth observe a volunteer return to the beach each Sunday during the program, the more trust develops between the youth and the volunteers. By creating a trusting community, we provide a safe environment where “surf magic” happens!

If you cannot make it to a Session:

The Tuesday prior to our first Sunday surf program event and each Tuesday thereafter, before the next Sunday surf event, an emailed program reminder will be sent to every volunteer reminding the volunteer that the volunteer is scheduled for the upcoming Sunday surf event. If a volunteer who is listed as participating in the upcoming surf event cannot attend the event for any reason, BHM needs to be notified right away, as we accept more youth participants each Sunday based solely on the number of volunteers who register to participate at that Sunday event. We make an effort to keep the youth to volunteer ratio at 1:1 or 1:2. If a volunteer drops out of the program for any given surf event Sunday, and BHM cannot find a replacement for you, it is likely that some portion of the youth will not be able to attend that session. Go to “Contact Us” on the website or email us at; letting us know you will be unable to attend, so we can make proper arrangements.

Registered volunteers will receive a second general email on the Saturday before the Sunday surf event, in order to let all the volunteers know if BHM has any open volunteer spots that are available for that Sunday’s surf event. The email on Saturday is very important. If there are any volunteer cancellations, BHM will need other volunteers to fill those spots, otherwise on that Sunday certain youth will not have a mentor or will not be able to attend the surf event.

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Our Program Schedule

- 8:30 am - New Volunteers Arrive and sign in.
- 9:00 am - Returning Volunteers Arrive, Set-Up and Circle/Meeting.
- 10:00 am - Youth Arrive & Breakfast on the Beach
- 10:20 am - Opening Circle with all Youth, Mentors/guardians and Volunteers
- 10:30 am - Breakout into surf teams.
- 10:45 am - Initiation
- 11:00 am - Surf
- 12:30 am – Exit ocean, change out of wetsuits, youth and volunteers carry wetsuits, rash guards and surfboards/boogie to truck for rinsing and cleaning.
- 1:00p.m. - Lunch
- 1:30p.m. - Closing circle
- 2:00p.m. - Beach breakdown tents / clean up trash, all youth and volunteers assist with transporting remaining equipment from the beach site to the truck for cleaning and storage.

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