Read what our students—or better—their parents say
We met Bruce on the beach last summer in Montauk, where we watched him giving surf lessons to a couple of kids. I saw what a happy, calm way he had with them, and so I asked him if he could give some lessons to our kids as well. We were with our friends’ two kids, whom, after seeing my kids surf, also wanted in on the fun. Bruce was super easy going about adding them to the lesson and rotating them based on their inspiration to go for it. All four kids got plenty of waves, actually riding from way out in the ocean all the way to the beach, on their first surf session ever!
Then a day came where big rumbling whitewaters were rolling in from as far as the eye could see. It was hard to imagine my kids being able to handle the challenging conditions, but Bruce assured me everything was going to be ok. His encouraging words and confidence in the water took away any fear the kids, or I, were experiencing. He came up with a game on the spot to help the kids rise to the challenging conditions: the kids versus the waves. If my kid was able to ride a white water all the way to the beach, he got a point. If he wiped out, the waves got a point; half way would earn half a point. Bruce swam out, pushing my son up and over all of the oncoming whitewaters with him holding onto the surfboard for dear life! About half way out, they turned around and caught a wave all the way back to shore. Everyone cheered from the beach! My son took a break while Bruce swam right back out with my friend’s son, who was now eager to get a wave (and a point 🙂 There were some epic wipe outs too, but Bruce was always right nearby to help them back on the board and to get right back out there. The kids were a team, taking turns, battling the ocean. The ocean and the kids were neck and neck for the duration of the lesson, but they ended up winning by one wave! The kids were the underdogs, and victory was sweeter because of it. The game illustrated the man vs. nature aspect of surfing, or boys vs. nature in this case, and they remembered this experience for an entire year.
We ended up taking lessons with him almost every day for the rest of our stay in Montauk. For almost two weeks, we stayed in tune with the best tides and conditions for surfing, and we timed our sessions accordingly. Mostly, it was fun little waves, ideal for learning. The focus was on paddling, positioning, and learning how to stand up and ride waves. I even gave surfing a go a number of times, and felt like I was progressing with each lesson. It was really nice that he allowed us to share the lesson, rather than charging us per head like the other guys do. He emphasized safety first and gave us some basic tools for managing getting tossed around by the waves. He incorporated yoga into the lessons to warm us up before we hit the water, and one evening after surfing, my girlfriend and I attended a class he was teaching at a local yoga studio, which turned out to be an intense and lovely experience.
Bruce is just amazing; he is a source of peaceful but energized love for the ocean, and has heart-felt passion for teaching surfing. Bruce intuitively knows how to keep kids motivated and encouraged, and says just the right words to help ease their minds from fear to calm when they get thrown around by waves (some of which are pretty big for 6-year olds!). We are excited to surf with Bruce whenever we are lucky enough to be out east. We had a nice time surfing with him last weekend in Bridgehampton in fact, and after another great surfing experience, he asked me to write him a review. If you’re looking for a surf teacher for you or your kids in the Hamptons or Montauk, I highly recommend Bruce. This is not your average surfer dude.