learn to surfLooking to surf in high school? Army and Navy Academy, a private school nestled along the Pacific Ocean in San Diego County, can offer you immediate beach access and a long list of seasonal team and varsity sports.

As one of only two boarding schools directly along the Pacific Coast in California, Army and Navy Academy is ideal due to year round sunny San Diego weather and great surf conditions. Of course, there are other options as well to evaluate in the U.S., so we have provided a number of resources and a short list of some top private schools with surf teams.

If you are considering a local private school, keep in mind that most western boarding schools offer both a day program for local students, as well as a boarding option. The main advantage of a private school, where you reside (board) on a beachfront campus, is obviously the easy access to the beach and time to practice your favorite sport.

To find the right private school with a surf team, you will want to ensure you have regular and easy access to the coast, a strong coach, and competition opportunities.

Here are some tips to help you find the best private school for surfing in California and other states.

How to Find Private Schools with Surf Teams

1. Do Internet Searches – If you do a Google search for “high schools with surf teams,” you will quickly see listings for the best surf teams at private schools and boarding schools. To save you time, a list is provided below to share some of the schools in California, New York, Rhode Island, and Hawaii.

2. Compare Schools on Lists – As you check various review sites, make sure you use the search function if you want to narrow your list to the “top surf team boarding schools” (boarding school review) or “best California private schools offering surf team sport” (private school review). To get you started, the list below includes some of the top private schools for surf teams in the U.S.

  • Amerigo Los Angeles, Bishop Montgomery High School, Torrance, CA, Coed, Catholic, Day (Inland)
  • Army and Navy Academy, Carlsbad, CA, All Boys, Nondenominational, Day and Boarding (Beachfront campus with direct ocean access)
  • Asia Pacific International School, Hauula, Hawaii, Coed, Christian, Day
  • Besant Hill School, Ojai, CA, Coed, Nondenominational, Day/ Boarding*
  • Cate School, Carpinteria, CA, Coed, Nondenominational, Day/ Boarding*
  • Iolani School, Honolulu, HI, Coed, Episcopal, Day School
  • Middlebridge School, Narragansett, RI, Coed, Nondenominational, Day
  • Midland School, Ojai, CA, Coed, Nondenominational, Day/Boarding*
  • Steward Outdoor School, Ivoryton, CN, Coed, Episcopal, Day
  • Ross School, East Hampton, NY, Coed, Nondenominational, Day
  • Villanova Preparatory School, Ojai, CA, Coed, Catholic, Day/Boarding*
  • Wy’East Mountain Academy, Sandy, OR, Coed, Nondemoninational, Boarding

*Note: Some schools listed above are inland without direct beach access on campus. Boarding schools in Ojai, California, for instance, are approximately 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.

3. Check Private School Review Sites – To dig a bit deeper, Private School Review is an excellent site to find private schools based on location and many other preferences. This site provides an overview of each school and includes information about religious affiliations, coeducational (aka “coed”), all boys, all girls, location, day/boarding, grade levels, testing statistics, reviews, and other key comparison data.

4. Research Schools on Boarding School Websites – If you want to live on campus while attending high school, narrow your search by looking at boarding school sites. Boarding School Review and Boardingschool.com are great sites to compare U.S. boarding schools. Use the filters, comparison functions, and search function to find the kind of information you are seeking about surfing.

5. Explore Specific School Websites – Once you have narrowed down a short list of private schools, then check each school’s website. Make sure you check under athletics and review some basics about their surf program. Feel free to reach out to the Admission Office with any questions.

6. Speak with the Admission Office – The Admission Office at private schools is specifically geared to address your questions about admission criteria, how to apply, commonly asked questions about academics, athletics, and campus life, college matriculation, campus amenities, and much more. They will encourage you to apply online and schedule a campus visit that typically includes: campus tour, student interview, and family/parent consultation.

Tip: After speaking with the Admission Office by phone, you should have a better understanding of whether you will be accepted and should apply. Consider applying to your top choice, alongside two others if you are concerned about acceptance.

7. Visit Private School Campuses – Campus visits are an excellent way to check out beachfront facilities and a school’s proximity to the ocean. If the private school is not on the coast, you will need to ask about how surfers practice, types of competitions, and transportation. In addition, while on tour, make sure you see all of their athletic facilities. Ask about their surf and water sports, gymnasium, athletic fields, swimming pool, tennis courts, and workout room.

8. Speak with Surfing Coaches – During or after your campus tour, speak with the Athletics Director and/or the surf coach. This will help you address questions and explore their surfing program in more detail. If you tell the Admission Office in advance of your campus visit appointments, they can usually make arrangements for you to meet the athletic director or surf coach.

9. Speak with families, alumni, or check reviews – This is a great way to learn more about a private school and their high school surf team. Firsthand information from students and families familiar with the school and alumni can provide insights into academics, campus life, and athletics. You can also check reviews for mentions about surfing and/or comments about the school’s location.

10. Ask about Community Service for the Environment– Some private schools work with the Surfrider Foundation and/or their local beach communities to participate in beach clean-ups, high school surfing competitions, and other projects to support the environment.

There is no doubt that surfing in high school is a great way to meet friends, stay in great shape, work on teamwork, and enjoy nature. Although it may be only one of your priorities as you research private high schools, it is not something to overlook if this is one of your main sports of interest.

Finding the right private school for surfing can be simple if you use the above resources and tools. Make sure you contact admission offices, visit schools, and do your online research using a variety of tools.

Also, bear in mind that checking out high school surf teams for high school could also pay off when you apply to college. You will hone your research skills and you could even find surfing scholarships and other key information as you explore.

To narrow your search for the right private school for your surfing interests, consider the following questions before you begin to explore private schools:

  1. Do you want to go to a boarding school or a local day school?
  2. How far away from home do you want to be? Is there easy access to an airport if you go to a boarding school?
  3. What is your location preference? East coast vs. west coast? The Hawaiian Islands?
  4. Do you want direct access to the ocean on a daily basis?
  5. Do you want to go to an all boys, all girls school, or do you prefer coed? Are you open to a college prep military school?
  6. Do you want to attend a nondenominational or denominational private school that incorporates religious values? Although most private schools incorporate character development and values, you may want a focus on your religion. There are private schools that are specifically affiliated with a religious direction. You will find Christian, Jewish, Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopal, and other types of schools listed.
  7. Beyond surfing, what other priorities or preferences do you have for your high school experience in terms of academics and campus life? Check out electives, clubs, weekend activities, special events, and more.
  8. Do you have other athletic interests? Check athletic overviews on school sites for more information on seasonal sports of interest. Many private schools offer a wide variety of junior varsity and varsity sports, as well as team sports, including: football, basketball, baseball, cross country, track and field, lacrosse, tennis, golf, water polo, swimming, and wrestling.
  9. Where do you plan to go to college and will this school provide college planning services and a college prep experience to help you get into your top choice?
  10. Are you interested in preparing for a given profession while you are in high school (e.g. aviation, computer science, cyber security, video production, game development)? Some schools, beyond a college prep curriculum, also have specialized elective classes, clubs, and programs to help students gain professional skills while attending high school.

For more information about private schools, feel free to reach out to Army and Navy Academy. We are committed to helping families find the right fit for every teenager’s education. Learn more about The ANA Difference. Phone: 888.762.2338