COCOA BEACH, Fla. - Back-to-school plans don’t seem to include back-to-school sports plans. Extracurricular athletic programs are sidelined right now as kids return to class. Yet, a different type of school could assist with physical conditioning: The Cocoa Beach Surf School.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, the stoke is real. We have all the way from six-years-old to the bucket listers -- you know, the early 80s,” Jake Oleson, the school owner, told FOX 35. He is a lifelong surfer himself.
Jake is happy to fill the athletic void that school kids will have this coming semester. In fact, he says his school can put students into great shape, claiming "great physical shape! I always tell everyone this is cardio-based. Basically: swim, swim, swim, burpee. The ocean has a current, i’s got a pull, there are waves hitting you, you’re holding a board, you’ve got to paddle into it, pop up, and continue to surf."
"Oh it’s great, the kids love it. They want to be surfer girls,” Millie Brinkman, a local mom, said. "They‘re excited to come in the morning. They’re excited to get up and get going."
There are multiple surf academies along the Florida coast. Some even have connections to local schools to fulfill P.E. credits. Jake would like to move into that direction because much of his clientele disappeared this summer – the cruise ship passengers. However, he’s hopeful the local school children will want the ocean diversion.
"Every one of our lessons includes board rental for the rest of the day so that way you can try it on your own and keep practicing afterwards,” Jake explains. He says the hardest part of the course is "the transition from us pushing you into the waves to being able to catch the wave yourself. Wave knowledge, wave selection, knowing which wave set is the best. And that really comes with time in the water."
An additional benefit is something that kids sometimes lose in traditional schools: confidence. Jake laughs though, saying that "Surfing is really an art form. Everybody is a little bit different. As long as you’re having fun out here, that’s what we grade you on."
Tune in to FOX 35 Orlando for the rest of the FOX 35 Classroom Survival Guide as schools prepare to reopen.