My name is Jack Tsoflias and I am 8 years old. During Spring Break, 2014 I was stung by a stingray. This is my story:
Tuesday, April 8th was a good beach day. It was warm and the waves were nice. I was surfing in the water and then we had a snack break. After the break I went boogey boarding. I stepped on something rubbery. Suddenly I felt a sting. It felt like a very strong pinch. I reached down and touched my foot. It was bleeding!! I called for help!
The Freedom Rider instructor didn’t think I got stung at first. Then he saw my foot and took me to the life guard station on the sand. When the life guard saw my foot he carried me up to the main station on the strand. Up on the strand the captain life guard told me to put my foot in hot water. Before it was in the hot water, it really hurt. It felt much better in the hot water. The pain would come and go.
Then they called my parents, but my parents didn’t answer the phone. Then they called again a couple minutes later and my parents picked up. My dad came and got me.
When I got home my foot still hurt. So we soaked it in hot water for 5 hours straight. During that time I was watching TV, playing with my phone and relaxing. The stinger came out of my foot and I felt better.
The next day my foot was sore and swollen. But by the end of the day it was much better!
If this happens to you, don’t feel worried or scared. It will get better.
Posts Tagged ‘Freedom Rider’
My name is Jack Tsoflias and I am 8 years old. During Spring Break, 2014 I was stung by a stingray. This is my story:
Parents who are looking to shred the mountain or get a group/private lesson – please talk directly with Gilad Lewandovski.
Freedom Surfing club & team are ready to shred year around at Malibu, Santa Monica & Manhattan BeachMonday, September 9th, 2013
We hope you young grommets have enjoyed surfing with us at Freedom Surf Camps in Venice/Santa Monica, Manhattan Beach and Malibu. This has been an amazing summer for the camp, with amazing fall still to look forward to. September and October can bring some of the best south & combo swells to California beaches, along with warmer water temperatures, this is the best time of year to expand on what we learned in summer before the waves get too big this winter. When summer comes to an end, we don’t want your kids to forget about riding the waves and experiencing the ocean. We have noticed that your child has a talent in the water and we want to expand on that in a constructive and safe manner. The team differs from camp in that all the riders have already been surfing, these are the surfers who want to take it to the next level.
Ages 5-7 : this group will be lead by Gilad & Hannah providing more safety skill through swimming, boogie-boarding and surfing. Most of the surf sessions will be conduct in Venice. This group will surf/boogie/swim while the water is warm enough … usually until the second week of October. Price : $40 for 2hours
Ages 8-12 : Amateurs team : This age group will be working on carving, duck diving, reading the waves, understanding the unwritten laws of surfing, using different equipment, Video & photo analysis and traveling to the best surf spots along with other ocean safety skills. Most of the surfing sessions will be conduct in Venice or Manhattan Beach, Malibu & more. instructors : Charlie Beck
The Pro team : This group will use the same locations as the amateur team but will travel more often to other spots in SoCal for experiencing range of quality waves conditions & local contest. Instructors : Charlie Beck & Gilad Lewandovski The team will meet in Manhattan Beach & Venice on Sundays & Saturdays from 10am to 1pm though schedule may change because of waves & tide conditions. We are looking for young surfers who want the ocean experience & surfing to be a bigger part of their lives than just a summer camp activity.
We handpicked the team based on what we saw as instructors in the camp, this is a special invitation. The cost for 8 weekend sessions is $360 (am & pro ages 8-13), there will be a total of 12 sessions this season to accommodate those who have other activities planned. If you need to purchase individual sessions you can do so at $50 per session.
Those who come more will ultimately benefit the most from the continual instruction based on each surfers progress. We want to be there to mentor your child as they transition from beginners to intermediate and beyond. The team is sponsored by Body Glove, so if you are thinking about getting a new wetsuit for the colder months feel free to check in with us first. It is a great privilege that we are partnered with Body Glove, and so we want to pass that on to our team members. We want to make sure they are getting the best custom equipment, for the best prices. We want to form a community that transcends the summer training. So come out and meet the rest of the year around surfing family.
September : 7,8,15,21,22,28,29
October : 5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27
November : 2,3,9,10
With a minimum of 4 surfers we will open the program on Saturdays. Special events: September 18th – ordering Team winter wetsuits (only if needed ) . September 20,21 – going to see WSA kids surf competition. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Gilad, (310) 770-4410, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to surf with you.
Thank you so much to all of you amazing Freedom Surf Camps Directors & Instructors!
You worked hard and smart this summer and you totally earned it. I am so proud of you and am feeling so blessed that you choose again to work with us to share the passion of the ocean.
I feel fortunate to know and work with all of you. Whether this was a one-time gig or a long-term committment, I’m grateful for your passion and contributions to our team and to our program.
I appreciate how hard all of you worked. You logged hours in the sun, toted surfboards & canopies on your head, endless shuffling back and forth from the van, repeated sunscreen applications, supported all the parents and kids, dealt with a demanding boss. It isn’t easy, and I want you to know how much I value your dedication and professionalism.
It takes a lot of trust for a parent to give their children to other caregivers and teachers, especially when the ocean is involved. So thank you for being dependable, reliable, and enthusiastic.
Our kids adore you and will remember you for for the rest of their lives. I still recall the older boy who took me on my first drop-in as if it were yesterday. I was eight years old and that memory stays with me, just as the kids you taught will remember you.
Wishing you all a great rest of the year and looking forward to see you again in the water. I’m looking forward to working with you in the future, and for anyone moving on I wish you all the best in your future endeavors!
Special thanks to :
Hannah Stiles – Manhattan Beach Director
Charlie Beck – Malibu Director
Jen Lewis – Office Director
Spencer Wilson – Malibu pillar
Tommy Stiles – Venice & Manhattan Beach
Will Stiles – Venice & Manhattan Beach
Matt Cohen – Venice Beach
Gil Ben David – Venice Beach
Jen Stevens – Manhattan Beach
Troy Compel – Manhattan & Privates
Josh Toberman – Venice Beach
Andy Miles – Malibu
Me and the kids can not wait to see the water today
Freedom Surf Camps
Malibu / Santa Monica – Venice / Manhattan Beach
As we took our last runs of the day with tired legs we walked back to the “Little Bear” cabin. As Courtney Gebhart (Mom of Sadie and Jake who skied with us on Family Day) put it, we “couldn’t have asked for a better day. Seriously if I were to order up the perfect conditions this”, gesturing toward the sunny Bear Mountain slopes, “would be it.” Freedom Riders couldn’t have agreed more. The weather was warm, the snow was dry and fluffy and the sun was out all day! Thursday at Bear Mountain kicked off the ski and snowboard season for our shredders and it was a great day.
After getting all the families together and grouped with our extremely friendly instructors everyone was ready…well most of us. Noa, the very sweet and quiet young skier girl, was a little reluctant. After meeting the awesome Bear Mountain staff she was off to her 2nd ever ski lesson with Randy! In the meantime the older skier girls were turning like pros all day with instructor Andrew. They were having a blast together and antagonizing Andrew.
A quick lunch and everyone was eager to get back on the sunny slopes. The younger group of skier guys took on the Express lift with instructor Harry. They were feeling confident and ready to go faster the second half of the day. Harry even took them over some mini jumps at the end of the day! Never losing enthusiasm (even on the 2 hour car ride home) they had a blast. Way to go guys.
We had a group of pre-teen snowboard shredders who had been taking on the park all morning and learning everything they could from snowboard and park expert Todd. Todd gave them helpful tips about sliding on boxes, bending your knees (sounds like surf camp!) and set up turns before jumps. I took up the chair lift with Roee who had only been snowboarding seven times but was approaching boxes with enthusiasm, anxious for his turn. Todd never pushed him passed their limits and always reminding to look out for others on the slopes!
I met back up with quiet Noa after her afternoon ski lesson and walked back to the lodge with her. After asking if she had a good day she smiled and nodded. Out of nowhere she said, “For once my Dad was right. Last night I didn’t want to come because I said it wasn’t going to be fun. My Dad was right though. It was really fun!”
Then Noa asked if my snowboard was a rental or it was mine. She turned very curious about snowboarding. I sense a future Freedom shredder girl on our hands.
With such a great day and so many memories made we left the mountain in high hopes for the ski/snowboard season to come! You’ll have fun…we promise!
By the end of the paddle board session I thought that my arms were going to fall off. The excitement of learning to surf on a paddle board and wanting to be out on the water kept my arms moving but they were extremely tired at the end of a session with Gilad in Venice. This is the beginning of a journey. This was journey toward a new way to workout, a lifestyle and an addition to my love of all things ocean.
Gilad was a seasoned pro at stand up paddling. I watched his technique carefully as I took in the clear Tuesday October morning with crisp outline of Catalina Island as a backdrop. We filmed some awesome GoPro footage of our time being one with the beautiful water surroundings. My pace with the paddle strokes became consistent and Gilad encouraged me to keep a continuous “plane”, where you feel the connected and contant pace with the ocean. It’s a difficult pace to find, easy to lose and precious for the few minutes that you can maintain the rhythm. Then we decided to try and catch some of the small swell that was rhythmically flowing below our boards….
This is when all the nature chakras become misaligned and you want to punch the ocean in the face. I felt myself shuffling awkwardly along the board as I tried to aggressively paddle to catch an oncoming wave. Screw form…I need speed. In a frantic furry to catch the wave I lost my balance and took another plunge into the surprisingly warm October ocean. I watched as Gilad caught wave after wave and I kept missing waves, losing my balance and finding myself off the board again. It was fun to be challenged in a new way and after finally anticipating a wave and having just the right momentum I caught the wave and rode it to the shore! This was a brand new challenge and I found myself ready for more.
After the session I felt excited and exhausted. My stress was washed away by the many wipeouts in the ocean and my arms are the kind of sore where you are reminded of the session while reaching for a glass in the kitchen. Gilad was energetic as ever talking about what a great workout we just had but mostly it was a happy Tuesday adventure.
Can’t wait until the next session. Though my body needs a little time to recover…
Camp and summer ended unceremoniously. We packed up our towels, sunscreen, took off our wetsuits. The van was packed up like every other one of the 55 days of surf camp this summer. Tired campers meandered back to their cars towed by parents. We don’t know that this day will be engrained in anyone’s memory forever but rather our experience at Freedom Surf Camp summer 2012 will be a collection of friends, surfing, boogie boarding, cookie day Fridays, Pizza day Wednesday, Nationball games and surf stories.
Our Friday Cookie Ceremony was time to share our favorite part of surf camp! This week we were surprised with some large surf on the last day of camp that made for some really fun swimming and boogie boarding but difficult surf conditions. As always at Freedom we respected the ocean and made the best of it. “Boogie boarding, swimming and big waves” were the highlight of Minnie’s week. Jack loved “boogie boarding, big waves and laying in the sand.”Tom was very entertained by “being toppled over in big waves.” Josephine loved “catching big waves with Gilad and boogie boarding.” Chloe, who took to surfing like a dolphin this summer, enjoyed “surfing, swimming and wipeouts.” Chloe brought her friend Beanie for the last day of camp. Beanie had a blast swimming and “going under big waves.” We hope we see more of you next year! Holden was fond of “boogie boarding and being tumbled in the big waves.” With such big swell we took a last adventure to the tide pools and the Venice breakwater later Friday afternoon.
Through the summer we see all the ups and downs (literally) of learning to surf. Gus, a happy veteran camper, loves “everything and wipeouts.” His love of wipeouts even earned him “Best Wipeout” in the Wednesday boogie contest. Will had a blast “boogie boarding, surfing because he likes to wipe out!” We all know wipeouts are an important part of surfing and learning! Matthew liked the same things as his older brother Will, but liked “stand up surfing.” Will and Matthew joined us for the last few days of camp and we hope we get to see more of them next summer! Liad said simply “wiping out” was his favorite part of surf camp. As the instructors love to say, we wipe out all the time! It’s the only way to get better.
Even in our last week, the most fun aspect of camp is always being in the water with boards, whether boogie or surf. William loved “swimming, boogie boarding and surfing.” Eliayna had a blast “boogie boarding and surfing.” Guy also enjoyed “boogie boarding and swimming.” Henry and Angus both begged to get back in the water so they could “boogie board with friends.” Henry caught the most waves on our Wednesday boogie contest. Angus, who had the best tricks in the boogie contest this week, enjoyed “properly learning to surf and surfing big waves.” I’m sure he’ll be busting out big tricks on the surfboard soon. Andres, a Freedom Surf Camp regular, never grew tired of “boogie boarding and swimming with friends.” Theo was a “boogie boarding and surfing” fiend “because it’s fun!” He won “Best Style” on the Wednesday boogie contest. Sister Ava, a lover of all things Freedom Surf Camp, enjoys “swimming, boogie boarding, body surfing and surfing.” Calvin spent his summer surfing at the Malibu camp and joined us in Venice for the last week. Calvin liked “surfing, boogie boarding, body surfing and swimming.” We saw so much progress with this little waterman! Earning “Overall Winner” in the Wednesday boogie contest. Rambunctious Max entertained us all summer with stories and endless energy but loved “boogie boarding” the most. Atticus kept entertained by “surfing and boogie boarding.” We hope everyone continues to surf and boogie throughout the year!
Mid-week we had one last paddle out session where all the kids got on surfboards and paddled out past the break on a warm summer day. The water was pristine and clear allowing us to see the majestic water world beneath the surface. We love all aspects of the ocean oasis of Venice. Eden joined us for her birthday this week and enjoyed “collecting shells and everything”. Hudson who has grown so much this summer had fun “catching birds.” Hudson is the Freedom Surf Camp protector from seagulls. While he hasn’t caught a bird yet, he has definitely saves a few camper lunches. The inexhaustible Gussy sang his favorite Katy Perry song “Firework” one last time.
This summer we were annoyed with the parking guy giving us a hard time, the burden of reapplying sunscreen, the crazy morning rush of kids. Time will prove that we only remember boogie board contests, catching that first wave, learning to carve, the squeals of joy, smiling gap tooth campers, building sand castles, along with pizza and cookie day! As many of the parents and instructors joked life was “rough” this summer. Thank you to everyone who was a part of such a happy summer at Freedom Surf Camp. We are looking forward to seeing you next summer!
It’s hard to believe that summer is over. It seems like just yesterday we took the boards out of the van, set up the swimming zones, yellow rash guards and helped the kids with their body surfing & surfing skills.
Time seems to be irrelevant when you’re being creative and having fun, like we did this summer. When the kids are learning how to identify the swell directions and tides, on some level they are also experiencing the notion that learning can take place anywhere, anytime, not just in a classroom.
We were luck to enjoy great weather and amazing waves. As always, the kids benefited from our enthusiastic crew led by Hannah Stiles (Venice / Santa Monica), Charlie Beck (Manhattan Beach) and Spencer, in Malibu.
This summer we hosted the most international group we’ve ever had with
Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Ireland, and Lebanon! Some of them didn’t even speak English, but they did understand the language of hospitality, kindness and learning Thank you to all our kids for showing our international guests a great time with kids their own age.
In Malibu, many of the kids this summer were brand new to surfing, but with the help of our nurturing instructors, Spencer & Aiden, they were carving the waves in no time and begging their parents to let them come back for more!
Here’s a special shout out to all our crews who helped make each of our camp locations rock as usual:
Venice / Santa Monica:
Crew: Hannah Stiles and her two brothers Tommy & Will, Heather, Noa, and Sara.
Kudos to Hannah for managing her crew so smoothly. I came one time to camp to replace Hannah when she was sick and, I was impressed with how well everything was running. Every day was full of smiles and amazing vibes of creativity, surfing, & boogie boarding. The instructors did a fabulous job for all the levels. Thanks guys!
Manhattan Beach @ 26th St.
Crew: Charlie Beck, Danny Beck, Sara Price & Heather.
The photos from this group say it all. Charlie and his crew took the fun & activities to new level. He kept the kids safe but having fun, while teaching them a lot about ocean safety and respect for the waves. All of the kids became better swimmers and paddlers by meeting Charlie’s new challenge of swimming and paddling to the buoys.
Crew: Gilad , Spencer Wilson, & Aiden Armony.
This crew worked together for the first time and put on a great program for the kids Malibu and San Fernando Valley.
Malibu’s unique waves served our both the advanced and beginner surfers. Even the experienced surfers shredded 3rd Point everyday and improved their skills and artistry. 3rd Point is a top quality point break wave that unique to Malibu in the summer.
NEXT STEPS surfing is right there …
Surfing is a YEAR-ROUND activity!
If your kid liked surf camp, it’s probably because it’s
1. Not competitive.
3. Creativity through action.
4. Building new friendships.
5. Safe environment .
6. Quality instruction.
7. Being Cool! Surfing is just the best.
8. Shapes the body, mind & the SOUL .
9. It is life time activity for your kids & your family.
We invite you to join us and surf with us year around.
On the weekend before our Winter Ski/ Snowboarding program – we will offer a WEEKLY SURFING CLUB.
Join us every Sunday! Click here for more info.
SURF WITH US: SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 9TH 2012
Keep the summer vibe going by surfing with us on Sundays!
MORE NEWS WILL COME SOON!
Another amazing week of camp has flown by. The sun was out for the majority of the week marking the “official” summer feel- plus another crew of the best surf campers a director could dream of. I find myself looking forward to camp everyday, the early wake ups and little commute don’t even phase me. We had such great surf conditions most of the week, not a person wanted to get out of the water. Well, except for the occasional Zelda’s sandwich, and sunscreen reapplication. Also, we have retired our after snack game “prisoner” – a kid friendly volleyball-esque game, and have recently replaced it with Nation Ball. Nation Ball is like dodgeball, but better! All of the instructors grew up playing this game for years in junior lifeguards, and most of the time I can’t tell who is having a better time the kids or “adults”. Oh, and the campers vs. instructors Nation Ball games are always a highlight of my week, even the most timid, quiet kid comes out in full force to claim victory against the instructors. On thursday, it was high-tide for a better part of the morning so after a quick morning surf session Heather and I took some of the younger kids to the Venice Break Wall on a mini field trip while some of the older crowd stayed and surfed with the other instructors. We saw it all, fish, crabs, a sea ray, and my favorite sea anemone. Then of course I had to make all of the kids attempt to pronounce ‘sea anemone’- “sea enemitimy” was a popular answer.
The thing I love most about my years ‘working’ at Freedom surf camp is that everyday is different and there is always something memorable happening. This week we had a camper, Parker, come down on Monday, it was her first time surfing and she was so nervous to the point of tears. Parker stood up on her first wave all the way into shore and by Friday was asking us to take her out and help her surf.
On Friday her mom came down to watch her surf a few waves in the morning. I was helping her paddle out when the dolphins showed up. They were right outside the surf line so I put Parker on the nose of the board and paddled out to them. Heather followed with a camper Emily on the nose of her board, soon we had a bunch of surfers and dolphins hanging out together. They were right along side of us and stayed around making appearances all day. From my 13 years of surfing, seeing dolphins that close never gets old and it’s so amazing to be able to share that with all of our new surfers.
This week we had another “San Onofre Rock Circle” to let the kids share some of their favorite parts of surfing and the week at camp:
Sara: The first time I dropped in was SO cool…. and just a little scary.
Betsy: Coming and seeing everyone I saw last year and hanging out with new friends I made.
Jake: When I stood on my first wave it was really fun.
Oak: My favorite thing is when I’m riding a wave, I even like wiping out.
Leeor: When Hannah took me surfing and when I stood up, but then I got my head in the water.
Quinten: surfing with Will and boogying !!
Parker: the first time I stood up was really exciting
Emily: standing on my first wave and then being able to stand up and do it on my own.
Griffen: the first time I stood on a surfboard it was really really fun and I made it all the way to shore.
Ethan: My favorite thing was all of the instructors teaching me how to surf.
Nate: I loved the part when all of the kids go in the water with all of the instructors its so cool
Ilan: I loved making sandcastles and doing epic wipe-outs on the surfboard
William: going out really far and catching big waves!
Fletcher: my favorite part is EVERYTHING, and being with my friends.
Ridly: I like boogie boarding and making sandcastles
Gardener: Favorite experience is when I turned sideways and had a really fun wipeout.
THANK YOU ALL for another great week !
The first week of Freedom Surf Camp at Manhattan Beach camp proved to be an amazing start to summer at 26th Street. With a tight knit group of campers and a fun week of activities we quickly became a team. Team Y.O.L.O. (You Only Live Once). Everyone got up on waves whether seasoned surf camp veterans or surfing newbies, much thanks to the leadership of the awesome surfer and Manhattan Beach Director Charlie. Charlie enjoyed “catching great waves with campers”. Sandro, a new camper this year, said his favorite part of surf camp was “standing up on boogie board and surfboards.” We spent mornings surfing and afternoons playing Nationball, paddling to the buoys, boogie boarding, digging up sand crabs and swimming.
Nationball is a really fun amped up version of dodgeball where balls can come from both sides. We were so enthusiastic, games only lasted a few minutes but we played a bunch of heated matches. Dylan, a team YOLO enthusiast, also loved “surfing in the morning, pizza and yelling YOLO for life.” Dylan bravely ventured into another camp to ask if we could borrow a ball for Nationball. After a successful negotiation he triumphantly came screaming back to camp, ”YOOOLLLLLLOOOOOOO”. This was by far the funniest moment of camp for me, instructor Sara. I may or may not have been rolling in the sand laughing.
The trio of campers Noah, Max and Wyatt were surfing fiends! Noah loved “surfing and paddling out to the buoy.” Max also had a great time paddling to the buoy and liked “body surfing”. Wyatt said his favorite part of camp was “the instructors, surfing, catching waves and Nationball.” We can’t wait to spend more time with these guys this summer! Kaiya, also a new lively addition to surf camp, loved all aspects of surf camp including “standing up on the surfboard, when Danny (beloved instructor) put a crab on the surfboard, when Sara (more beloved instructor) towed me to the buoy, seeing dolphins and Nationball”. Needless to say Kiaya loved all aspects of Freedom Surf Camp and we can’t wait to have her back.
The strand at 26th Street has a workout park that is home to some very fit men doing some impressive pull-ups. So Team YOLO decided we should show them how it’s done. Max has the new camp record of an impressive 5 full pull-ups! Also camp veteran, Adam, at the ripe age of 6 did many pushups and a full pull-up, putting the workout guys to shame. Danny holds the instructor record of 11 pull-ups. Despite getting beat by his young brother, Director Charlie, said his favorite part of camp was “working out on bars.” I see a little rivalry on the horizon for next week!
Ben also liked the counselors but found fun in “arguing about getting pizza” (which we eventually gave in on Monday, because who doesn’t like pizza?). Ben was dropping in on some serious waves all week and loved “surfing in the morning with the cool counselors.” We liked Ben a lot too! Chris went from boogie boards to full-blown surfer dude this week at surf camp. The highlights of Chris’ week included, “ordering pizza, surfing great waves and the cool counselors.” We swear we did not bribe them to say nice things about us, but pizza seems to be a key factor in instructor appreciation! Young Adam and camper Ian become quick friends in the afternoons digging for sand crabs together. They loved sand crabs so much they may have brought a departed surprise home with them…sorry Mom! Adam’s favorite parts of camp this week were “surfing and Nationball.”
Friday was a magical day. The Friday surf conditions were glassy and perfect for campers. We surfed all morning trying to catch some Team YOLO waves. Then a magical surprise slowly swam close by…a family of dolphins with a small baby! After a couple lively games of Nationball, Adam’s mom, Julie, treated our group to some pizza. THANKS JULIE!! Then we were off to do a little Strand workout to burn off those pepperoni calories. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the summer holds for Freedom Surf Camp Manhattan Beach.
TEAM YOLO for life.