About Us

 

We educate and instruct children to enjoy the beach and ocean responsibly.

Erik Nelsen

Erik NelsenFounder/Owner/Operator
Born in Laguna Beach, California, Erik Nelsen had his first surfing experience through a small family-run surf camp. The intimacy and expertise of this positive experience fueled Erik’s passion for the sport and inspired his life-long love of surfing. Erik has surfed around the world, including work as a lifeguard/surf guide on the world famous Tavarua Island Surf Resort in Fiji for over 25 years.

Erik’s passion for surfing motivated him to provide kids with a safe and positive way to learn the sport. At the age of 15 he started a surf camp as part of his father’s Ocean Adventure Program’s science camp.

From a one-man show Erik developed his surf camp over the last 33 years into a thriving business that now features 25 instructors and has taught over 9,000 students how to surf safely and with confidence while learning valuable lessons about ocean awareness and ocean safety.

Erik’s passion and love for surfing flows into everything he does and everyone he meets. Come join Erik in one of his surf camps or beach camps and share the love of surfing.

 

This is Erik Nelsen! Thanks for visiting our website and considering our ocean programs. I guarantee your children will be safe, they will have a fun active week and learn and grow in and around the ocean. My programs are well supervised and organized. We make it easy for parents to pickup and drop off, it’s very organized environment. Please give me a call if you have any questions, I will be the one answering your call.

Regards, Erik

Jeff Nelsen

Jeff NelsenOcean Adventure Program, Founder and Operator
Introducing children to ocean science is Jeff Nelsen’s passion! He began his teaching career at University School in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Since then, Jeff has taught preschool children through community college students in camp settings, public schools and private schools on the East and West coasts.

Jeff created and directed the county Marine Science Laboratory program, the high school biology program for St. Marguerites School, the K-8 science curriculum at Thurston Middle School district and wrote the science curriculum for Harbor Day School.

He created and continues to direct the Ocean Adventure Program, a summer ocean science day camp for children 5 through 12 years of age for the last 36 years.

 

Hi, Jeff here! My personal philosophy is to engage, nurture, and challenge students to discover, explore, think, and question and in the process mutually respect each other. Come join our scientific ocean adventure!

Forest Holbrook

Forest HolbrookOcean Adventure Programs / Director
Forest Holbrook was born in Newport Beach, CA. and could always be found in the water. Forest grew up surfing, swimming, playing water polo, and lifeguarding for the Laguna Beach Lifeguard Department.

In 2005, Forest joined the Ocean Adventure Program where he was with us for 4 years, leaving only to teach at a high school in Los Angeles. After 11 years teaching, coaching, and working as an Assistant Principal, Forest made the move back to Laguna Beach after accepting a Principal position at Moffett Elementary School in Huntington Beach.

Forest currently coaches the Laguna Beach Club Water Polo team as well as his school’s surf team. Forest attributes working with Ocean Adventure as where he found his passion for education and working with children. Forest couldn’t be happier to be back and is excited for a great summer with Ocean Adventure!

Jake Wadman

Jake WadmanSurf Camp Director / Manager
Growing up in Newport Beach, Jake had the ocean in his backyard. He went to the beach often as youngster, but it wasn’t until he went to surf camp that he caught the surfing bug.

At the age of 8 he attended Erik Nelsen’s Surf Camp for the first time and has been returning every year since. In 2011, he started sharing his love of surfing with others by becoming an instructor at Erik’s camp for 6 years. Today, Jake is the director. He oversees day-to-day operations making sure everything is running smoothly and the children are safe. Because he originally started as a camper, he knows how to make camp a fun, safe, and memorable experience!

In the winters, Jake decided to take his teaching abilities to the slopes and works as a ski instructor in South West Montana. He enjoys, skiing, biking, surfing, and generally begin active in the outside. 

Surfing is a very healthy sport and Jake looks forward to sharing his skills and knowledge of the ocean with everyone so that we all can enjoy it just as he does!

Lindsay Holbrook

Lindsay HolbrookSurf Camp Educator / Manager
Lindsay brings her passion of water sports as well as her love for teaching to the team. As a kid she grew up at the beach and at the pool, which eventually led her to play competitive water polo at the University of California San Diego

Over the past five years she has been teaching languages in Spain and France to middle and high school students. Outside of her professional life, she has been able to discover new sports to practice, like rock climbing, kayaking and trail running in the Pyrenees. 

Her passions include outdoor sports, yoga, learning languages, the environment, and travel. This will be her sixth year managing Erik’s All-Girls Surf Camp and she couldn’t be more excited to get started.

Eric Silcock

Eric Silcock15th Street Beach Sport / Director
Eric Silcock was born and raised in Lake Forest, CA. where he made frequent trips to the beach and developed his passions for aquatics and education. As a high school student he played water polo and taught swim lessons.

As a college student at University of California San Diego he captained the Men’s Club Water Polo Team and coached several high school water polo programs including El Toro, Northwood, and Canyon Crest Academy.

He now teaches 7th grade math at Isaac L. Sowers Middle School in Huntington Beach. Eric is excited to continue doing what he loves this summer. His campers can expect to have a lot of fun within a safe environment while learning about surfing, ocean safety, one another, and themselves.

Dave Post

Dave PostNext Level Head Coach / Director
Next Level Surf Coach Dave Post was born in the city of Orange. Dave got the surf bug at the age of 11 and took the bus everyday to the beach during the summer until he was the age of 16. Those countless hours at the beach shows now in his dedication to the sport and now helping the youth find that same passion.

He started competing at age 14 and won a few amateur events. Turning pro at 18 he was picked up by Volcom and guided by Richard Wolcott and Troy Eckert into an elite contest competitor. His pro career saw wins in the Pro-Am divisions and air show series.

Dave still competes to this day and last year he whammies, double the points, a 10-point ride making it 20 points at the West Coast Boardrider’s event and helped Team Newport win the national title. The past 14 years he has worked with a couple of national champions: Andrew Doheny, Parker Coffin and Parker Cohn.

Dave really enjoys passing down the knowledge of reading the ocean, surfing waves, how to win surf contest and become a better all-around surfer! His motto is “Be the best person you can be.” He knows 99% of the tricks in today’s modern surf arena and truly understands what it feels like to put on a jersey. Dave will be critiquing your surfing and providing pointers through the week to help better your surfing skills.