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5 Best Surf Schools

By Leigh Held

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--Twenty-five years ago the only sport businessmen played was golf and maybe tennis. Today, that has expanded to marathons, triathlons, rock climbing, snowboarding and surfing. At a certain point, there was a shift from cigarettes and red wine to free weights and yoga. Staying healthy and learning how to do these sports decently can be challenging. Here are a six surf camps where you can learn to ride the waves and get into "the aloha" lifestyle.

Destination: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Camp: Azucar
Why Go: "We are boat-based," explained owner Michael Lawson. "We take the boat out and within ten minutes can access just about any type of waves we are looking for. We anchor the boat and paddle directly to the wave, bypassing the need to struggle out over the reefs or pounding coastal beach break."
Package: A typical Learn to Surf package is price based on the first two people sharing the cost of $445 per day and then each additional surfer adding $195 per day. The packages are all inclusive. They provide accommodations and food. A typical stay is six nights and with morning surfing lessons, an afternoon free surf, private instruction and equipment rental included. Azucar also offers a list of other activities: yoga, jungle hikes, snorkeling, a Starfish Beach tour, a Dolphin Bay tour and a tour of Butterfly/Chocolate Farm. They also provide transportation to and from the airport.

Destination: Long Beach, N.Y.
Camp: Skudin Surf
Why Go: Instructors Will and Cliff Skudin, who are also the owners of Skudin Surf, are ranked on the Big Wave World Tour.
Package: Skudin Surf offers a children's surf camp and an adult surf camp, which both run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. All of the pricing is the same except for the one-day rate. One-day for the children's camp is $90, and the adult camp costs $100. Three days are $250, and the full week is $375. Unfortunately, there is no housing; however, the Allegria hotel is located just three blocks west of our location in Long beach. The hotel offers special rates for customers of Skudin Surf.