Learn to surf with locals at Santa Barbara’s top surf school.

Experience the spirit of Aloha and the lifestyle of surfing, with surf lessons, camps and comps for all ages and stages.

Santa Barbara’s Premier Surf Camp & Surf Lessons

Surf Happens is Santa Barbara’s premier surf school – this is our profession and our passion. We are a community-based business dedicated to sharing the spirit of Aloha and the lifestyle of surfing with people of all ages and abilities. Founded in the local waters of Santa Barbara, California in 2000, we are a complete, full-service surfing school offering year-round private and group surf lessons, surf camps for kids and adults, after-school programs, beginner to advanced coaching, and community surfing competitions including the annual Rincon Classic.

Twenty years of experience – Proven methodology – Top-quality equipment – Elite coaching More than 18,000 stoked students – Voted Local Hero for surf instruction and community service – Learn to surf in two hours – Guaranteed fun!

As Seen In

We have been coaching beginning to elite athletes for over 22 years with the focus of helping each surfer set and reach desired goals. It has always been our practice to teach technique by analyzing the best in the world and employing a comparative analysis with footage of our athletes to isolate working points.

One of the best ways to improve at surfing is to review footage of yourself, then to learn by watching the form of your favorite surfers. The age old question is, “how did they do that?” Through the Surf Happens,  How To Surf – Pro Series our goal is to answer that question. 


Catch a Wave Today and Change your Life Forever!

Surf Happens is the industry leader in the field of surfing instruction, offering year round, all ages private and group lessons. We operate on an open booking schedule and have an amazing team on call to serve you. All you have to do is set up an appointment and show up and we take care of the rest! You may register online or give us a call @ 805.966.3613 to chat about your lesson and find the perfect time, location and instructor to fit your needs!


Beginner – Advanced Surfers

We are the original surf camp at Santa Claus Lane, one of Santa Barbara’s most beloved beaches, officially dubbed “the world’s safest beach.” If you’re looking for a great beach to learn to surf, you’ve come to the right Santa Barbara surf school.

Ages for the day camps are 4-17 with an even variety of age groups each week that help to form a “tribal” atmosphere. The youngest kids are adopted by the older students and both bond with junior instructors and instructors, forming a positive environment that enriches the learning experience.




Why Choose Surf Happens?

We are Santa Barbara’s premier surf school – For more than twenty years, we have taught the sport of surfing and the spirit of Aloha, to students of all ages and abilities, from 11 months old, to 88 years old, with alumni now including a few World Surf League competitors! From your first steps, to intermediate, competitive surfer seeking a national title, to the professional level, our team of expert coaches will systematically help you achieve your goals with guaranteed methods and results. We believe that surfing is one of the most fun things we as human beings may experience, along with a lifestyle that dreams are made of.

We are the organizers of killer contests and private parties, and our annual Rincon Classic is one of the oldest and best-loved surf contests on the West Coast. From your first steps to elite coaching, all occasion parties, corporate events, rentals, and after school programs, Surf Happens has got you covered.

The Surf Happens Teaching Methodology

Fueling the rapid growth and popularity of Surf Happens beginner to intermediate programs is the Surf Happens teaching methodology that approaches instruction through phases of mental and technical learning that resembles a martial arts program in its progression. Each phase builds upon the learning and understanding of the one before, paving a strong foundation for growth along with proper education on oceanography, safety, etiquette, and the history of the sport.

Kind Words

“Hands down, the best surf instruction and summer camp experience my son has had.  We have tried other surf lessons/camps which ended up in my son not wanting to go near the water for months after. Surf Happens does a super job – they keep a close eye on all the kids, the kids are up and riding on day one (as promised), and the kids have a fantastic time.  The owner Chris Keet runs a great operation!” 

Lotus V

“Surf Happens is the best Surf School in Santa Barbara! We love them because at Surf Happens your kids are their kids. They have instructors who are not only competent and the tops in town, but also kind and positive people that really keep kids engaged and determined to insure that everyone gets the most out of their surfing experience. We’ve had guests come from out of town and we’ve had our son enrolled in camps, and in each case we’ve all learned safety, skills and passion. Jenny & Chris of Surf Happens are a top notch team – they also run the non-profit Surf Happens Foundation and are upstanding members of the community that give back – so everybody wins.” 

Margot H

This is the most amazing surf shop and school. Chris and Jenny are amazing people. Chris is such a blast to work with. I got up on a surfboard within the first 10 minutes of being in the water. Was awesome. Super encouraging and knowledgable. I recommend this surf school in a big way. Do it!” 

J.D. Lewis

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