Gilad Lewandovski founded Freedom Riders in 1995 in Israel to fulfill his passion for fostering a relationship between children and their families with the great outdoors. In 2007, Gilad brought his popular program to the US, establishing a base in Los Angeles where he could launch a year-round program encompassing skiing and snowboarding in the winter and surfing in the summer. Since launching in the US, the program has grown in popularity and now serves over 1,200 kids & teens each year, and counting!
Despite our focus on outdoor action sports, Freedom and its crew are committed to the highest safety standards. Our instructors are certified in their fields and have a passion for working with kids. We ensure that our teaching suits the needs of all our riders from novice to advanced. Every one of our instructors are not just great teachers and all-around great people, they are also amazing at their sport. All of our staff have also undergone background checks and are also certified in first aid and CPR. We enjoy low turnover of staff because our instructors love what they do and love to share it with the kids. The kids who return each season build ongoing relationships with our instructors who get to see them grow stronger and more confident, year after year.
Our program encourages friendship and leadership and fosters a respect and sense of responsibility for our natural environment, on land and in the water.
Kara Drexler, Manhattan Beach Surf Director.
We have known Kara since she was 16 – helping us with the Manhattan kids as a junior instructor about 5 years ago. With all of those years of experience, Kara became the Freedom Surf Director at Manhattan Beach in 2017.
Kara is spending her school time representing Manhattan Beach local girls at Yale University, where she plays on the Women’s Ice Hockey Team.
Mary Haberski – Yoga & Surf instructor, ocean enthusiast
Our Yoga & Surfing instructor who is sharing her Aloha spirit everyday at camp.
This will be the third year Mary is sharing her passion with our team. Beside her roll as an instructor, Mary is a clean ocean enthusiast who runs a non-profit, Danablue , facilitating beach clean ups, right where our Venice camp is. She is spreading the knowledge of pure life, the benefits surfing and Yoga as well as our responsibility to giving back to nature.
Mission & Vision
Freedom’s mission is to create the most safe, fun & educational outdoor program for kids and their families. All of us at Freedom are here because of our deep and abiding passion for what we do, and we are committed to share our knowledge and skills with kids to spark a similar love of these sports, the natural world, build confidence in themselves and enjoy the camaraderie of the group. We are proud to say that Freedom is the only organization in the US offering this unique combined program of winter and summer board sports for children and teens. Our passion drives what we do and it is our joy to share it with the next generation.