Through the duration of time I have worked at Pacific Surf School I have seen the surf instructor job in many lights. Some of our instructors use it as a summer gig and others have truly made the title “surf instructor” who they are. The job may not necessarily define them but their personalities and passion for surfing definitely defines the job.
What separates Pacific Surf School from the other surf schools in San Diego and makes it the best? “The surf instructors. Hands down. We have the best employees. We are a family, not just coworkers.” (Daniel Adams) I decided that this question could make for a great blog so here we are. Daniel Adams, age 26. Dan is one of our best and most frequently requested instructors at Pacific Surf. He has been teaching for over 5 years now has no plan on leaving (we hope). I took Dan through a little interview to get a better idea and share with all of you why he loves what he does and what being a surf instructor means to him. Dan got the job back in 2012 when his buddies convinced him to join the team. He had always had a passion for surfing and figured he’d give it a try. There was no looking back. Dan’s favorite conditions for teaching surf lessons are sunny mornings when the tide is high and the water is glassy. In regards to Dan’s favorite and least favorite parts of the lesson, here are his comments. “My favorite part of the lesson has to be watching their face after they ride their first wave. The student is usually beyond stoked and it is a great feeling knowing you were able to help that happen.” “My least favorite part of the lesson is telling people it’s time to head in. It’s like you can feel their disappointment. Sometimes kids will look at me and say ‘Just one more wave please!’ and of course I can’t say no to the kids haha.” (Dan)
I then asked Dan about the best lesson he’s ever taught. If there was one and why it was the best or the most memorable. He proceeded to tell me this. “The best lesson I ever taught was in 2015. I taught a lady in her thirties and her husband. The lady was struggling quite a bit so I attempted to stabilize her board by holding down the tail of her board as she rode the wave. The first few attempts with this technique were rough and she fell off her board a couple times. Then it happened. It clicked and she popped up like a champ. I let go of the board and let her ride the wave into the shore until she fell off into the water. She got up and looked back at me and was crying. My immediate reaction was ‘uh oh she hurt her ankle’ or something but she began walking back to me. I asked her if she was okay and without response she just gave me the biggest most genuine hug I’ve ever received. She looked at me and said that she had just beaten breast cancer and that this was the first thing she had done since then. Her husband came over, crying as well, and we continued the lesson. I will never forget that moment/lesson, ever.” (Dan)
Dan explained how getting to share your passion with another person is the most rewarding feeling. He also mentioned it’s a great full body resistance workout. Another question I asked was, “who generally does better, girls or boys?” He said girls, because they listen. Lastly, I asked Dan which surf instructor at Pacific Surf School he looks up to the most and his answer was Adam Smith.