EcoVentures
1901 New Jersey Ave, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Phone: 609.742.5656
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FREQUENTLY ASKED SURF LESSON QUESTIONS

 

  1. How do we sign up for surf lessons?
  2. How far in advance should we book lessons?
  3. What are your business hours?
  4. Can we text the business number to sign up for lessons?
  5. Who can participate in surf lessons?
  6. Where and when do we meet?
  7. What do we wear and bring?
  8. Is tipping the surf instructors customary?
  9. What if the weather doesn't cooperate?
  10. What times and days can I register for surf lessons?
  11. I have a surfer with some special needs. Can you accommodate them?
  12. Why don't you offer lessons in the afternoons or on weekends?
  13. What is your cancellation policy?
  14. Someone in my group decided they didn't want to surf. Can we put someone else in their place?
  15. What's the difference between group and private lessons?
  16. My child is not a very strong swimmer. Will they be okay in the surf lesson?
  17. Why are you closed on Sundays?
  18. My surfer has their own board. Can we bring and use our own surfboards?
  19. Can I take pictures while my group is in the lesson?
  20. If I love surfing, can I keep the surf boards after my lesson?
  21. I'm a worried parent. Tell me everything will be okay.
  22. Are there sharks?
  23. Will we see wildlife?

 

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How do we sign up for surf lessons?
All surf lesson registrations must be made by calling our office at (609) 742-5656. Our staff must collect some information about each surfer, go over any questions and take payment via credit card in order to generate your surf lesson confirmation, which is sent out via email. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. We no longer accept American Express.

 

How far in advance should we book our surf lessons?
We always tell guests to book your lessons as soon as you know your vacation dates. Space is limited to a maximum of (12) surfers per time slot and we're only able to offer two time slots per day. Booking early gives you a much better chance at locking in the date(s) and time slot(s) they you prefer. If you have a medium sized group of 3-6 surfers, we recommend booking at least 7-10 days in advance. if you have a larger group of 7+, we recommend booking at least two weeks ahead of your desired dates. Space fills on a first come, first served basis, so these are just general guidelines. Space cannot be guaranteed until you are confirmed.

 

What are your business hours?
Our office hours are Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm, and Sat 8am-12pm. Our office is closed on Sundays. To accommodate high demand during the summer months, we have all of our staff (including office staff) in the water teaching surf lessons. This means that you’ll most likely receive our messaging service until about 11am during lesson days. PLEASE LEAVE A MESSAGE IF WE ARE UNABLE TO ANSWER. All calls are returned in the order they were received to give first rights through our ‘first come, first served’ policy of filling space.

 

Can we text the number to sign up for lessons?
No. We use a call forwarding service to send incoming calls out to our staff during surf lesson periods. Text messages cannot be delivered.

 

Who can participate in surf lessons?
Anyone ages 8+, who is able to swim may take a surf lesson. Please note there are no exceptions to the age limit as this is a strict enforcement by our insurance company and we will not jeopardize anyone's safety. ALL SURFERS must be able to manage their 8’+ surfboard while in the water and be able to physically paddle themselves back out to the lineup where the instructors sit with the surfers. Our instructors cannot leave a group unattended out in the deeper water to assist with surfers paddling back to the lineup.

 

Where and when do we meet?
Lessons take place at The Cove Beach, on the far western edge of Beach Avenue in Cape May. For mapping or GPS purposes, you can use 405 S. Beach Avenue, Cape May NJ 08204. Surfers can arrive to the beach area (go directly to the water’s edge) up to 10-minutes in advance of their start time. Please plan accordingly so you arrive on time and ready for the water. Lessons start promptly at the scheduled time and we cannot restart the instructional portion in group lessons.

 

What do we wear and bring?
Surfers need to wear a bathing suit and be ready for the water, and we recommend bringing a towel and water for afterwards. There are no lockers or storage area at The Cove Beach, but it is a very safe area with plenty of protective eyes watching over our area. Our instructors leave their bags in this same area. Surf shirts or rash guards are recommended but not required, and wetsuits are not necessary during the summer months.

 

Is tipping customary for surf instructors?
It is very common for customers to tip the instructors and they always make our instructors over-the-moon happy. Our instructors are the best in the industry and they go above and beyond to make sure our surfers are safe, having a blast and getting the most of their lesson based on their individual needs and capabilities. The instructors pool all tips for even disbursement each day.

 

What if the weather is bad?
Surf lessons will still be held in the event of a light rain (surfing in the rain can be a magical experience!), but a driving rain or threat of lightning at time of lesson will cancel a lesson. Rough surf or dangerous conditions will also lead to a lesson cancellation. ALL CANCELLATIONS are determined by the City, but our trained staff may cancel at our own discretion if the conditions are not suitable for a safe lesson. We try to reschedule in the event of a cancellation if space is available during our customers’ stay here. If we are unable to reschedule, the customer does not pay anything. Please refer to our full weather policy on the main page.

Please keep in mind that this is the beach and we're surrounded by water on all sides of the Cape — our weather patterns are much different than inland areas. It is nearly impossible to accurately predict our weather outside of a 48-hour window. Most of our summer weather, like thunderstorms, do not occur until the afternoons when the land mass reaches much higher temps. Mornings are almost always clear and calm. And if you want to rely on a 10-day forecast for Cape May, then we a bridge for sale that we'd love to tell you about!

What times and days can I register for surf lessons?
Surf lessons are available mid-June through the first Friday in September, Mondays through Fridays at 7:45am and 8:55am.

 

I have a surfer with some special needs. Can you accommodate them?
We’ve had plenty of incredible special needs surfers over our 20+ years and usually don’t have any problems accommodating most needs. We always recommend calling our office to discuss first.

 

Why don’t you offer lessons in the afternoons or on weekends?
Once the City Lifeguards start duty at 10am each day, the City does not allow bathers (what our instructors are considered) to be in the water where we surf. Weekends are too busy to safely hold lessons and we always put safety above all else.

 

What is your cancellation policy?
Leading up to your scheduled date and time, we are very flexible with any changes you may need, however, as we get closer to your date and time, things get a bit more rigid as we almost always have a very deep wait list and it’s impossible to tap into the wait list on less than one business day notice. Cancellations made within one business day of your reserved surf lesson, including no-shows, will not be refunded and will be charged the full amount of the lesson and rental. Cancellations made within (2) business days of your lesson will be charged a 20% processing fee. All other cancellations will be charged a 10% processing fee. There are ZERO EXCEPTIONS to this policy and surf lesson registrations serve as your consent and agreement to this cancellation policy.

Please note that for surfers under the age of 18, parents assume full responsibility for the actions and ages of their children. Any violation of our age limits, swim requirements or program policies will cause for immediate dismissal from the lesson.

 

Someone in my group decided they didn’t want to surf. Can we put someone else in their place?
Yes, you can. Remember that cancellations made within one business day will not be refunded, and this includes no-shows or last-minute changes in plans. If someone in your group backs out at the last minute, you are welcome to fill that space with another surfer. If your scheduled surfer changes before our office closes for the day, feel free to call or email about the new surfer so we can try to accommodate the right board size. This is not always possible for last minute changes, however.

 

What’s the difference between group and private lessons?
A group lesson means that your surfers will be part of a larger group where the maximum ratio of instructor to surfers will be 1:3. Your specific group will be right next to each other throughout the lesson and you have the freedom to move around or stick together as you’d like. As participants surf the waves in, they typically paddle to the nearest instructor and may be working with up to four different instructors, or head back to the same instructor as available. If your surfers are physically capable of managing the surfboards without any issues, and are comfortable in ocean conditions, the group lessons are usually the best option. Private lessons mean that your group will be by yourselves and work with only your instructor(s). Private lessons do not intermingle with the group lessons and typically surf next to the group surf area, rather than mixed in with the other surfers. We recommend private lessons for anyone who needs extra help in the water, would prefer a more intimate setting, or needs more one-on-one time.

 

My child is not a very strong swimmer. Will they be okay in the surf lesson?
Our instructors are all fully capable and CPR/First Aid Certified (many also carry Lifeguard certification), but we always rely on the parents to make the decisions about their child’s comfort level in the water as they know their children much better than we do. Keep in mind that the ocean is a completely different animal than a pool, and just because a child is a proficient pool swimmer does not mean that they’ll be as strong in the ocean. We go over exactly how to manage the waves, paddling and surfboard control in each and every lesson. As long the children listen carefully and can apply what they’ve learned while in the water, they do fine. If children do not listen or pay attention during the instructional portion on the dry sand before we hit the water, they will have a very difficult time. We always want our surfers to have the best experience possible, so we go over this whenever surfers under the age of 10 register.

 

Why are you closed on Sundays?
The surf lessons are pretty physically for our instructors and Sunday mornings are very crowded at the beach. After 100+ surf lessons each week, our instructors need a break to get ready for the next 100 lessons. Surf lessons almost always sell out 2-3 days in advance, so our office usually can't reserve lessons on Sundays for the following Monday anway. If you want book a Monday lesson, be sure to reserve well in advance.. If you contact us while we closed on Sunday, ALWAYS leave a message as messages are returned in the order they were received and lessons are booked on a first come, first served basis.

 

My surfer has their own board. Can we bring and use our own surfboards?
Yes, you may, but ONLY if the board has a 100% exterior coating of soft foam. Fiberglass boards are not permitted in lessons and will not be allowed.

 

Can I take pictures while my group is in the lesson?
Absolutely, however we require that you give us space and do not interfere or are a disctraction during the on-sand portion of the lesson. The best photo ops are when we're in the water, and you'll have plenty of chances for amazing photos.

 

If I love surfing, can I keep the surfboard(s) to use after my lesson?
Unfortunately, no. We have to use the boards in the following lesson, or leave the beach with them and the boards used in our lessons do not get rented out for a variety of reasons. HOWEVER... our other company, Southend Surf Shop, offers the same exact boards for rent on a daily and weekly basis. You have to go to Southend Surf Shop in person at 311 Beach Avenue in Cape May (about five blocks from where we surf) to fill out a rental and waiver form to book your rental. You can call the surf shop directly at (609) 898-0988 for details.

 

I'm a worried parent. Tell me everything will be okay.
Totally understandable and we get this all the time. Our instructors are true professionals and we've been doing this for well over 20 years. Safety is our top concern and the deepest we go is about chest high for our instructors. All of our surfboards are soft foam boards, perfect for beginners.

 

Are there sharks?
Surf lessons take place in the ocean, and yes, sharks live in the ocean. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Although sharks do live in the ocean, we never see them during our surf lessons. Cape May is home to amazing wildlife, including big pods of dolphins, who forage on the same baitfish that sharks do. The sharks know they cannot compete with the dolphins and rarely get close to shore.

 

Will we see wildlife?
YES! One of the best things about surfing early in the morning is the serenity and the wildlife. It is VERY common to have dolphins swim right by us, we often have osprey diving around, and we see big schools of fish swimming by all the time. We also see stingrays, migratory shore birds, jumping fish and more. Our instructors love pointing the wildlife out to our guests and we teach you a bit about them inbetween waves.

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EcoVentures
1901 New Jersey Ave, North Wildwood, NJ 08260
Phone: 609.742.5656
Email: info@EcoVenturesUS.com