There's something brewing for the competitive surfer down in Oceanside. It oozes with the enthusiasm and ambition befitting a grom at the beach, and rightly so; it's made specifically for that kind of energy. Surf Coach USA, a project developed by former pro surfer and former manager of Surf Ride in San Diego, Sean Mattison, aims to raise the level of surfing in America. Starting this summer, any grom who wants to get serious about competition will have that opportunity; they need only sign up for Mattison's boot camp. And with NSSA Nationals and a slew of summer contests coming up, it might just be about time to give this guy a call!
"My camp is for kids who want to learn about competition—from guys just starting out competing to guys on the WQS looking to get on the tour. I have been working with professional trainer and nutritionist, Zack Becks, to make a well-rounded package for the kids." The intensive clinics will host 12 surfers each week, and aim to prepare surfers for success come time for horns and jerseys.
"Something as simple as what you eat and when you eat it can come into play before a competition; it's things like that you might not think about that are going to make a difference."
While competitive surf coaching is nothing new, Mattison believes that placing a more concentrated focus on overlooked aspects of the sport will push youngsters to the next level. This means educating competitors about nutrition, competitive tactics, stretching, and technique. Mattison discusses, "Something as simple as what you eat and when you eat it can come into play before a competition; it's things like that you might not think about that are going to make a difference."
Boasting an impressive resume of pupils like Julia Christian and Che Stang, Mattison has already established himself as an exceptional coach. He cites his professional surfing career, tenure in the retail industry, and experience coaching around the world as a few of his advantages over competing camps. While serving as the Assistant Coach of Team USA at the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Games in South Africa, Mattison recognized a void he felt compelled to fill in the American competitive scene.
Sean describes his experience, "The great thing about that competition was I got to watch all the coaches from all the other countries, and their coaches have so much time to work with the kids. At the ISA World Games in South Africa in 2002 we [Team USA] were kind of like the bad news bears. Just look at Australia, from their surf clubs to the way they train their athletes—they're very directed. As much as we're headed in the right direction with Surfing America, it takes a lot of grassroots training to get where we want to be."
Mattison seems committed to equipping American surfers with the artillery necessary to succeed on the WQS and eventually the WCT, but, ultimately, he considers his new venture as a type of tribute to a sport he loves.
"Surfing has given me so much that I feel indebted to it. When you're a competitive surfer it's all about win, win, win. Then you get to a point where you want to give back to the sport and see people do amazing things when they're motivated."
Pausing for a moment, Mattison reflects on his new endeavor, "I can't promise a lot of gold medals, but I am going to pour my heart into this and get kids to surf better."
If his sincerity is any indicator of future success, one could confidently bet on the hardware to pile up for the folks at Surf Coach USA. So salute your officers, gremmies. It's time for boot camp!
Sign up for boot camp at: Sign up for Boot Camp at SurfCoachUSA.com