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Communications Coordinator

Nov 2, 2005, 8:00 AM

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August was a hot, sweaty experience in Toronto, Canada.

It was tough: piling into crowded subway cars and buses, dodging kids and parents on the prowl for back-to-school bargains, or just watching the grass turn brown during a dry late-summer day.

I was glad to see that two friends from did the sensible thing and traveled out of town to balmy Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.

Evan Heltay, President, and Hagai Maidenberg, Chief Technical Officer (CTO) flew out of Toronto on a blistering August day, landed in Wilmington N.C. International airport, and drove to nearby Wrightsville Beach to participate in five fun-filled days at Surf Camp as guests of founder Rick Civelli.

The two MySummerCamps dudes hung ten from Aug 22 - Aug 26 with a diverse group of adventure seekers from nine to 65 years old.

Says Evan: "First, we learned on the beach, jumping up on the board pretending to surf, and then we surfed in the water."

They learned about the dangers of rip tides and undertows and studied the water to figure out the location of the best waves. Our intrepid travelers from also learned about sea life – crustaceans, plants, and the threats of pollution and hurricanes.

Evan and Hagai visited The Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center in nearby Topsail Island NC.

"It was really moving to see how much people care," says Evan. "A nurse was crying that morning because a sea turtle had died from severe injuries."

Evan and Hagai learned the basics of surfing:

  • protect your head when you fall back
  • stand towards the back of the surf board, knees always bent
  • be aware of the surf board's most dangerous part, its sharp fins
  • forget your fear of sea life - they're more afraid of you
  • white jelly fish don’t sting but beware of the blue ones

Another basic lesson of surfing — "Don't be afraid to wipe out!” says Evan. “It's an integral part of the sport."

Hagai caught on quickly because of his comparable experience with snowboarding.

"I was a superstar, in fact I was the best there," he says half-joking. "I was pulling tricks and really ripping it up out there." Evan was up on the board a lot too and 'doing fine'.

Evan and Hagai were impressed with Surfs Up professional instructors and founder Rick Civelli’s demonstrations of surfing techniques.

Hagai, the office body builder, gained a lot of insight into what motivates surfing enthusiasts: "They love the sand and the freedom they get from surfing, and the adrenalin. Surfing provides that."

For Evan and Hagai, Sea Camp was a beginner's lesson in ‘The Sport of Kings’. They learned so much over their five days in Wrightsville Beach that when they returned to Toronto, they were ‘full-on, stoked, and gnarly dudes’.

They’ve settled down now but retain fond memories of their days in the surf and the sand of Surfs Up.

Stephen Winbaum is the Communications Coordinator at

(This post was edited by stephenwinbaum on Dec 23, 2005, 8:10 AM)


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