Academy founder’s goal is surf safety

Native San Diegan Sean Brody is a busy man. His list of job titles has included photographer, surf resort founder (in Liberia no less), international surfing director, writer, husband and, most recently, new father.

If that list isn’t lengthy enough, Brody recently launched a new venture called the Surf Education Academy, or SEA. The academy will offer premium educational programs on water safety, surf education and hands-on learning conferences aimed at creating safer surf zones and providing valuable information and training to those who teach and give surf and SUP lessons at our local beaches.

In recent years, the surf zones have become more crowded with surf schools and beginners than ever before. Brody saw the need to upgrade the training for surf instructors firsthand when he was manager of global educational programs for the International Surfing Association. During his tenure at ISA, Brody was able to connect with representatives from dozens of countries to see how they assigned regulations and training to surf schools. You wouldn’t get driving lessons from a 17-year-old kid with no training would you? Of course not, but that’s happening now at surf schools throughout the U.S.

While it’s great for beginners, seasoned surf instructors will also benefit from what SEA will provide. According to Brody, the courses will provide instructors with a globally recognized safety certificate that is necessary to work in most surf schools around the world. It will also give them a leg-up on other instructors and schools once laws are passed requiring the certification.

“My goal with SEA is to improve safety, surf knowledge and help people of all levels have a better user experience when entering the water,” Brody said.

There are two key factors influencing this need for increased safety. First, the inaugural World Beach Games are coming to Mission Beach in 2017, which will draw the world’s eyes to the city. The event will bring in thousands of people who will want to learn the water sports they will be watching.

The second factor is the Olympics. Surfing is shortlisted to be included in the Olympic Games starting in 2020. This will bring surfing to the global audience and, with wave parks popping up all over the world, proper training for inland surfers as well as coastal natives is more important than ever.

To introduce this training, Brody partnered with longtime friend and San Diego surf shop owner Eric Huffman to host three courses at Bird’s Surf Shed on Morena Boulevard.

? March 18-19: ISA Surf Level 1 Instructor Certification (great for surf instructors)

? March 20-21: ISA SUP Flat Water Instructor Certification

? March 22: ISA SUP Surf Certification and ISA SUP Open Water Certification

If you are a lifeguard, surf instructor, SUP instructor or just a surfer who wants to take the next step and get certified so you can work in surf schools abroad, you should take serious look at what the SEA has to offer. For more information about SEA and its upcoming classes and locations, visit

For more about the World Beach Games visit

As a lifelong San Diegan, Ken Lewis has surfing and ocean life in his DNA. A 30-year surfer himself, Lewis has worked in the surf and skate industry for most of his career. Send him thoughts about the surfing and fitness worlds to or follow him on Instagram @hanger18.

Source: DiscoverSD