Wonderful Words from a Wonderful Guest

Like every surf camp out there, it’s summer time, and the high season is right here right now. We do our best to show the camp as authentically as we can through our efforts. But it’s stuff like this that will give you the best idea of what a good time looks like at TheCaliCamp.

We’ve always promised good times, good vibes, comfortable rooms and professional surf guiding. But of course there’s so much more. Big thanks to Eliana for the very kind words and we can’t wait to have you back some day. Much love amiga. (Below is Eliana’s article): Hearing it from us is one thing, but from someone who actually enjoyed themselves is the best we can do to convince you to make California and TheCaliCamp a priority for Summer and Fall 2018.


California Dreaming: By Eliana Graf

California: That’s the stuff dreams are made of. Hollywood, warm weather, and unlimited possibilities: “The American Dream” in its most beautiful form. And there is also something very important for us European surfers: Waves. Beautiful, soft, easy to ride Pacific waves.

The Idea

It was shortly before Easter holidays, when I met one of the owners of the first California surf camp for adults, TheCaliCamp, at the Waveup Surfflohmarkt in Zurich Switzerland. I grabbed one of the nice flyers and said that it was my dream to surf there at least once in my life, thinking that I just didn’t have that kind of money yet. He replied, “Why wait, it is a lot cheaper than you think.” I just thought to myself this guy is crazy. But still took a flyer with me. Because in two years I might be ready to make this dream come true. Instead of two years it just took me two weeks until I remembered the flyer. Because shortly before my spring break, I still hadn’t booked anything for my next surf trip.

I watched the surf forecasts of different spots I had in my head. And it all looked bad.


Sure, it could get better, but it wasn’t looking good at my go-to locations. My Portuguese friends also told me that it had been a bad winter, with many storms, which I knew, because these storms caused a lot of snow in Switzerland.

I was at a loss. And then, there’s the California flyer laying there. And I think to myself, while I’m checking it out, why not California? But first I’ll look at the airfare and wow.. They’re super cheap! Next, the forecast and the seasonal forecast. Wow, it looks good! And then the surf camp with the next surprise. It’s within budget.

Three weeks later, Dave, the other owner of TheCaliCamp, picks me up at LAX.

I can’t believe I’m here.  

Surfing USA

But this is just the beginning. I can hardly put into words what I experienced. I surfed some of the best waves of my life. I saw beautiful beaches with wooden piers and lifeguard towers, just like in the movies. It was so cheesy that I didn’t know, for a moment, whether I was playing the leading role in a Hollywood movie or whether it was in fact reality. Most of the times we surfed at spots that were so un-crowded that I mostly forgot everything around me. Wonderful that I could fully concentrate on the waves. For me, the waves were “the dream”. Gentle beach breaks. This year they are said to have been even smaller and gentler than usual. It was all right with me. Mostly we had long morning sessions and if conditions in the afternoon didn’t deliver, we all did something together.

I was immersed in the American surf culture. What I liked best, was that Americans often surf a shortboard in the morning, eat something, and ride longboards to relax in the afternoon. It’s a dream. The Americans are so crazy about surfing that they even call the train that runs along the coast “The Surfliner.” They also integrate surfing into their school days. Surfing in California is a high school voluntary class. One day, we were even lucky enough to watch a surf contest between local high schools. It goes without saying that the surf level was incredibly high.

I saw Huntington Beach, Lower Trestles from a distance, and much more. We even surfed the area around Trestles. The excursions were also a dream. Laguna Beach is probably the least known, but worth a trip. It is one of the most beautiful towns, as the city rests directly on the ocean and has many boutiques to stroll. San Diego and San Clemente were also more than worth looking at. On a day off I even went to Disneyland. I saw LA, walked around Hollywood, and I was in Venice Beach. I experienced the legendary Skate Bowl just as a skate contest was taking place. It was just awesome.

And the Americans are really relaxed in California. We ate “organic food” and watched the sunset. It was so inspiring to see the beautiful sides of the USA. To experience the inspirational power of unlimited freedom for two weeks. And most important – I had a blast surfing.

Thanks to TheCaliCamp!

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