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BODY OF WORK The kids are stoked on sufing!

MALIBU

MAKOS with Tom Corliss Interview by Jackie Robbins

Photo by Jackie Robbins

JR: I remember bringing my child; she was about 10-11 years old when she started surf camp at Malibu Makos and feeling comfortable dropping her off at the beach with you and your staff…how do you do that, I mean after all, the beach can be a dangerous place? How do you give parents that confidence? TC: What I realized very early on is that you treat people, especially the kids, respectfully as an individual. Yes I have a program and I have a curriculum and a teaching methodology and it does apply to everybody but I do understand that each kid is different. Some kids you don’t have to tell anything, they just want to get out there and hit the surf instantly. Then you have kids who are here for days and days and maybe they’re scarred of kelp and sharks. So there are different ways to help everybody, I try to be gentile and understanding and not force kids. If I provide the atmosphere and have a great and fun staff who do not pressure, we finally get all the kids out there having the most fun time of their lives. You really can’t push kids as hard as we used to 20 years ago, because they have a lot more say in what they do and where they go. A lot of the kids choose their camps themselves, so you learn to balance the schools ethics as an instructor and what you need to do with the individual. If a kid gets frustrated they just text their parents and ask to picked up and they are gone. So we strive to find a balance. We work at a tuff beach, so we work hard with every kid to prepare him or her, to make sure they have a positive experience. We’ve been very successful with our program; over all the years I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. As far as the trust we hope to maintain with parents; I try to get the best instructors, we have a training program, first aid, cpr, 90% of the people have come through the camp or I know them personally. We hire real ocean lifeguards so we have a high level of instructor experience, which is v e r y important to parents. When you come to camp you find all the instructors in uniforms, everybody looks professional and the set up is professional, right away that gives the parents confidence. The parents come in and meet everybody, I train my instructors how to meet and greet, how to approach parents, how to speak to parents.

Profile for Malibu90265magazine

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