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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Children and Happiness

May 31, 2016 11:58AM ● By Izzy Tihanyi

What is a grom? A happy, surf-stoked kid who loves surfing, skating and playing at the beach. What is it that makes kids happy? It's really the same for all of us—a feeling of freedom, fun and fantasy.

When my daughter was five years old, she discovered her "ocean powers." Each time seawater was flung from her fingers, it looked like tiny drops filled with sparkly rainbow inside each one. Surf HappyCreating rainbows and finding sparkles in nature is magic, and I hope she never loses touch of her magical powers.

Surfing is a natural ocean power—from catching whitewater waves to flying down the line, it's all amazing, exhilarating and fun. Even wiping out, when taught properly, can be fun. Kids call it the "bouncy house" and if you see it as a fun way to play in the waves then you get a new perspective on being tossed around in the whitewater.

Kids love that feeling. If we teach them that it's okay to let go and essentially "go with the flow" then they feel pure joy in the waves, not fear. Kids have a natural ability to hold their breath and understand the movement of water. When they learn the right way to surf, they feel safe and will be able to experience total happiness in the ocean for the rest of their lives.

A group of kids surfing together in a camp situation is the most fun. They get to learn together from coaches who are stoked about sharing their passion for the ocean through pure appreciation, gratitude and stoke along with their campers.  

Izzy Tihanyi is the owner of Surf Diva School, located at 2160 Avenida de la Playa in La Jolla. For more information, call 858-454-8273 or visit

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