Catching waves at Ormond Beach with Surfari Surf School
Surfari Surf Shop owner Rick Gehris said his Ormond Beach surf school teaches aspiring surfers "how to read the ocean like a book."
The shop, located at 52 Bovard Ave., offers 90-minute surf lessons at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. seven days a week. Gehris said the most popular surf class option is a semi-private lesson, which has two students and one instructor. During each lesson, students learn about ocean safety, like how to avoid and escape rip currents, as well as surfing technique. After the lesson, the students are able to practice on their own with the shop's surfboard for an hour.
While vacationing in Ormond Beach for the summer with their family, brothers Sterling Diaz, 12, and Dylan Diaz, 11, geared up for their first lesson on Friday, June 29. The waves were present but not overbearing as the two paddled out with surf instructor Frankie Guinther in the early afternoon.
Raul and Stevi Diaz, the boys' parents, took photos and offered encouragement from the shore as Sterling and Dylan improved their skills throughout the hour. Raul Diaz started his career as a law enforcement officer with the Ormond Beach Police Department for four years before moving to South Florida.
"We're from Miami, and we visit here often, so they've always had an interest in trying to learn how to surf, and we just thought this would be a good time to start with their age," Raul Diaz said.
He said that while he's never surfed, his sons have always enjoyed watching surfers on the Ormond Beach shore, as the area is like a second home for the Diaz family.
"This is where I'm going to retire to, and this is our spot," he said. "It's a home away from home."
His two younger children stayed near the shore on skimboards while watching their older brothers stand up on their surfboards for the first time.
"They'll be next to learn how to surf," Raul Diaz said.