The Tola Tale
After riding her bike down from Oregon,
my mom landed in Capitola where she became enamored with this quaint town, and surfing quickly became a fundamental part of her life. My mom shared her stoke of the sea with me since I was just a bump in her belly.
I spent my youth as a Capitola Junior Guard, and enjoyed many fun summers as an instructor for the program thereafter. Growing up my friends and I would surf anything we could get our hands on, be it a surfboard, boogie board, SUP, alaia, wave mat, handplane or pool floaty—we loved being in the sea, learning how to ride waves on different crafts, and exploring every little niche break in Capitola and Santa Cruz.
Throughout high school and college I competed on the surf team, where I got to discover breaks throughout California. This ignited my enthusiasm for surf exploration which has taken me to places like Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Costa Rica. I love surfing new breaks, learning how to read the water, and challenging myself in new environments. No matter where I go; howbeit,
I am always drawn back to this little nook named Capitola.
I have spent countless hours riding this wave, and every time I am amazed at how much fun it is! The community in the lineup here is uplifting and appreciative of the fortune we have to spend our days playing in the sea. This collective energy, along with the mellow nature of the wave itself makes Capitola the most ideal place to learn how to surf, SUP, or enjoy any sort of water activity.
My background in safety as a lifeguard, water rescue, EMT, Wilderness First Responder, CPR, and first aid helps clients feel comfortable and confident in the water. My experience as a Team Rider and apprenticeship in surfboard shaping with Locus Surfboards has enhanced my ability to help clients choose equipment that works best for them. My educational background in environmental sciences and certifications as a California Naturalist and UC Climate Steward provides clients with unique insight into the natural world, and the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary where we are located.
Capitola Surf and Paddle
offers personalized instructional lessons to all skill levels. Lessons can be from one-on-one to small groups with all equipment provided.
The waters of Capitola are generally calm because of its cove-like setting along the coastline. This makes it ideal for clean waves and smooth paddling out around the kelp beds. Capitola is generally warm and sunny and has temperate water temperatures year-round. Capitola Village is famous for its great family-oriented beaches, local shops, and rich cuisine.
I hope you decide to join the experience and create your own Tola Tale!
Frequently Asked Questions
SUP involves standing on an oversized surf board and using a single lightweight paddle, ideally somewhat taller than oneself, to glide over water. Either way, it can be as intense or relaxing as you choose to make it. SUP’ing involves balancing on the board which engages all the core muscles, while paddling hits the upper body. And because it’s low impact and relatively easy to master, which has made fans of paddle boarding among every age group.
No problem! Capitola is a great place to learn; We provide expert instruction and guide you through the experience. We enjoy to introduce beginners to the sport.
We start with 15-20 minute lecture on standard SUP equipment, instructions on SUP’ing and water safety on land. Plan to spend one and a half hours (1-1/2) on the water.
It truely depends on your personal comfort level. The time, weather and temperature of the water can all play a part of your decision.
We recommend just board shorts (shorts suitable for the water) with a long sleeve “water shirt” (a lycra or nylon shirt is great, like a biking shirt or running shirt). This is standard paddling gear, and most are surprised how warm they are when stand up padding. If the weather forcast looks a bit chilly for your class, or you are particularly sensive to cold, you may use one of our wetsuits.
If you are concerned about being cold, we’re happy to provide you with a full suit. However, you will likely will not end up in the water at all, so once you start paddling around in the sun, you’ll likely get warm. Unless you’re very sensitive to cold, a wetsuit is usually NOT required for simple paddling.
There are a number of parking options in Capitola Village which include all-day lots and metered street parking.
- Metered street parking is available throughout the Village for $1.50 per hour. There is a 2-hour limit on all parking meters in the Village.
- The Pacific Cove parking lot, located on Capitola Avenue behind City Hall, offers unlimited metered parking for $0.50 per hour. Meters run from 8am-8pm daily.
- Free, all-day beach parking is available at the Crossroads Center parking lot on Bay Ave. Visitors can ride a free shuttle from the lot into the Village on weekends and holidays from 10am-8pm.
We accept all major credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Discover) or cash as payment.
All students are required to sign a standard liability waiver form before we get started.
“Saved our trip to the beach! We booked our June 2014 trip to Capitola weeks in advance hoping for good weather. Unfortunately it was overcast and high 60’s. Our kids wanted so badly to swim and boogie board however the water was very cold (most likely 45 degrees!). Literally from the beach, I called Capitola Surf and Paddle and was able to walk to their storefront, rent wetsuits for the kids and return within 15 minutes! The staff is efficient and friendly (Stephanie helped me) and rental fees reasonable. The wetsuits fit perfectly and the kids had a blast! They saved the day! Thank you Capitola Surf and Paddle!!! 5 Stars!!!”Kimberly S.
“Jason is a great instructor and teacher. He is thorough and patient. His sense of humor puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable. He is knowledgeable and well prepared. His passion for teaching SUP is evident. I will definitely recommend him to my friends.”Gerry
“Came here last week with my girlfriends and we had a two hour lesson with Roger. He was patient, kind, answered all of our questions, made us feel safe, and best of all – took lots of pictures for us! =) We had a great time. I came back today with another group of friends. We were not disappointed. The staff wheeled and carried out all of the paddleboards to the beach for us and our only job was to get in the water and have fun =). Once we were done, we stayed with the boards on the beach while one of us walked back to the shop to let them know we were finished. Then all of us walked back together as a group and all we had to carry were our paddles. It was all just so easy. There are lockers to keep your stuff while you’re out on the water. There’s also a dressing room, restroom, and an outdoor shower to rinse off. Thank you Capitola Surf and Paddle! I plan to come back many times. = )”Diane
“I had a great day out on the water with Jason learning how to paddle surf. I have been out paddle boarding before, but this was my first time paddle surfing and it was a blast. Jason provided all of the equipment, including lugging it to the beach, helped me tune up my form, and gave me some great tips in the water. It was also great to try out a couple of different high performance SUPs. It was a fantastic experience and I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for something fun to do in Capitola.”Andrew
“Capitola is a great place to surf, but is often too flat to surf in the summer. I saw a paddle boarder which motivated me to take lessons. Jason of Capitola Surf and Paddle was a fun, patient and a knowledgeable instructor. Plus he is a fireman, so I knew I was in good hands. Now, I think I paddle board more than surf. It’s a great sport and Capitola SUP is a great choice for anyone wanting to get into the sport.”Audrey
“This place was awesome, a friend brought me and 2 other friends for our first time out. Rental for boards were $20. We went out with no wetsuits today’s high were to be 73…no vests…both are available however I’m not sure if they cost more. They had holders for our glasses but to be honest we didn’t need them (no charge). They take down the boards for you and then did a quick overview since 3 of us have never paddle boarded before… helped us in and away we went! It was super easy and one of our friends isn’t even a fan of water (lol) but she enjoyed herself enough to say she would come out again! You leave your boards and just bring your paddles with you to the short walk aback to the shop… they have a rinse off spot there too with warm water. I had such a blast and can’t wait to go back!!”Jennifer T.