Surf Camps at Wrightsville Beach Offer Free Lessons, Special Needs Camps

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What could be cooler than surf camp for kids? I don’t surf, so I was thrilled to see young kids from a local surf camp on the shore with their instructors on Friday while I was at Wrightsville Beach, in Wilmington, N.C., for a day trip.

Named one of the Top Ten surf towns in the country by Surfer Magazine, Wrightsville Beach is home to several surf camps offering free surf lessons as well as charitable outreach camps for kids and adults with special needs.

Special needs surf camps include Indo Jax Surf School’s week-long camp for the visually impaired; Ocean Cure’s surf camp for the hearing impaired; Wrightsville Beach (WB) Surf Camp‘s outreach camp for those diagnosed with alopecia; and Surfers Healing for those diagnosed with autism. Still other camps cater to those diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, cystic fibrosis and spinal cord injuries.


But, if you are a special needs child or adult, you won’t need to wait to learn to surf with WB Surf Camp. The camp offers a complimentary private lesson to special needs children and adults during the surfing season. Sessions are also arranged for nonprofit groups.

Wrightsville Beach also attracts two national, special needs surf camps that make annual stops. The frontrunner is Surfers Healing, founded in California by professional surfer Israel “Izzy” Paskowitz for his son, Isaiah, who was diagnosed with autism at age three. After discovering the positive impact that surfing had on his son, Izzy now shares this unique therapy with other children diagnosed with autism. Surfers Healing kicks off Aug. 22.

Families can also attend Wrightsville Beach for Ocean Cure’s camp for children diagnosed with autism from Aug. 23-26, or the Autism Surf Camp by Indo Jax Surf School Aug. 29-Sept. 2. On Aug. 27, in conjunction with Ocean Cure, the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation’s Life Rolls On/They Will Surf Again event returns to Wrightsville Beach. Last year, more than 100 volunteers assisted teens and adults with spinal cord injuries into the water and onto surfboards, and this year volunteers are needed again.

Ocean Cure also features weekly programs every Friday after school for special needs children (Team Jellyfish), and monthly programs for Wounded Warriors. And the surf camps at Wrightsville Beach also reach beyond national boundaries. During the off-season, Indo Jax takes its surf camp overseas to India where it leads surf camps for hundreds of young women at the Home of Hope orphanage in southern India.

If your child has special needs, visit Carolina Parent’s Special Edition, a Family’s Guide to Special Needs Resources in the Triangle.


The Blockade Runner Beach Resort at Wrightsville Beach is a long-time supporter of charitable surf camps for special needs people. For special arrangements contact Jason St. Clair at (910) 256-2251 or visit

Wrightsville Beach Special Needs Surf Camp Calendar July – Dec. 2011

July 9: Aloha for Moms at WB Surf Camp

July 11-15: CARE at Ocean Cure

July 16: Aloha for Kids at WB Surf Camp

July 25-29      Visually Impaired Indo Jax Surf School

Aug. 13: Aloha for Alopecia at WB Surf Camp

Aug. 20: Aloha for Wahines (Surf Clinic) at WB Surf Camp

Aug. 22: Surfers Healing at Surfers Healing

Aug. 23-26: Autism Week at Ocean Cure

Aug. 23: at Aloha for UNCW at WB Surf Camp

Aug. 27: Life Rolls On/They Will Surf Again at Ocean Cure

Aug. 28:Cystic Fibrosis at Indo Jax Surf School

Aug. 29-Sept. 2:  Autism Surf Camp Indo Jax Surf School

Sept. 12-16      Auditory Disabilities Surf at Camp Ocean Cure

Sept-Dec: Team Jellyfish (every Friday) at Ocean Cure

Sept-Dec: Wounded Warriors (monthly) at Ocean Cure


Registration Contacts for Surf Camps in Wrightsville Beach

Indo Jax Surf School Ocean Cure
Jack Viorel (910) 274-3565 Kevin Murphy (910) 431-0594

Wrightsville Beach Surf Camp Surfers Healing
Rick Civelli (866) 844-7873 John Pike (910) 791-8240

The Blockade Runner Beach Resort
Jason St. Clair (910) 256-2251

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