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One-day Beginners Surfing Clinic in Santa Cruz

Ever since trainer Jackie Warner, the star of Bravo's Work Out, tried to entice a potential paramour with the information that her abs have never been as solid as when she was surfing, I've been meaning to brave the Bay Area's less-than-ideal ocean conditions (remember, I'm from Hawaii, so the standard is high) in the name of shredded abdominals. The Adventure Out outdoor school holds regular one- and two-day surfing workshops; the next intensive one-day classes are this Saturday, May 22 in either Pacifica (read: brrrr) or Santa Cruz (read: better). You may not be catching waves by the end of the three-hour clinic, but you will learn about wave breaks, ocean conditions, paddling and push-up and pop-up techniques. Give yourself several months of putting this knowledge to good use on the open water and then you'll be ready for A.O.'s Surf II clinic, where you'll definitely learn how to catch waves. Will you be competing at Mavericks any time soon? Probably not. Will you get those washboard abs that Jackie boasts about? Depends on your diet and genetic pre-disposition. So, likely, no. (Sorry, just trying to manage expectations.) Will you be having the time of your life out there on the ocean, just you, your board, several dozen other surfers and a couple of circling sharks? Yes! Will you earn your place among the dawn-patrol elite? Yes, eventually! Will you be able to hang ten in Bali, Hawaii or Costa Rica? Yes, eventually, with discipline and lots of practice! And to think, it all started with a one-day beginners surf clinic in Santa Cruz.