2016-07-15 / Front Page

Double thrill beckons at Surf-Climb Camp

Surf’s up and so’s rock climbing in Scarborough
By Michael Kelley Staff Writer


Surf Camp Maine instructor Justin Burl helps 13-year-old Liza Sturgis, of Gray, get ready to catch a ride on a wave at Scarborough Beach State Park Monday, July 11. This weekend campers will be able to enjoy surfing and climbing when Surf Camp Maine partners with Salt Pump Climbing Company. (Michael Kelley photo) Surf Camp Maine instructor Justin Burl helps 13-year-old Liza Sturgis, of Gray, get ready to catch a ride on a wave at Scarborough Beach State Park Monday, July 11. This weekend campers will be able to enjoy surfing and climbing when Surf Camp Maine partners with Salt Pump Climbing Company. (Michael Kelley photo) At first blush surfing and rock climbing don’t have much in common. One is focused on mastering the waves of the oceans and the other on mastering the rocky terrain of Mother Nature.

This summer two Scarborough businesses are coming together to marry the thrills of the two activities. For years Dustin Turin has run Surf Camp Maine, a business that uses Scarborough Beach to teach children and adults how to surf through camps and individual and group lessons. This weekend Surf Camp Maine will partner with Salt Pump Climbing Company for twice the fun.

Both disciplines, Turin said, thrive on pushing yourself further with every attempt. Climbing, he added, is good cross training for surfing.


Staff member Becca Soule teaches Haley Leary-Forrey about safety before taking on the climbing wall during the Salt Pump Climbing Company’s week-long climbing camp during February school vacation. (Courtesy photo) Staff member Becca Soule teaches Haley Leary-Forrey about safety before taking on the climbing wall during the Salt Pump Climbing Company’s week-long climbing camp during February school vacation. (Courtesy photo) “What keeps people coming back is the thrill, whether it is riding the wave or climbing higher on the wall,” said Turin, who has been surfing for 20 years, but much more recently got into climbing.

Surf-Climb Camp, which takes place Saturday and Sunday, includes two hours of surfing in the morning at the beach and two hours of afternoon climbing at Salt Pump Climbing Company, which opened at 36 Haigis Parkway on July 30, 2015.

The day, Turin said, is designed to offer the campers the best surfing conditions – typically in the morning – as well as ample time for climbing in the afternoon.


Gray residents Amelia Cobb, 12, Nicole Cobb, 13, and Liza Sturgis, 13, practice their paddling techniques before grabbing their boards and heading into the water during this week’s Surf Camp at Scarborough Beach State Park. The camp is offered weekly through Aug. 26. (Michael Kelley photo) Gray residents Amelia Cobb, 12, Nicole Cobb, 13, and Liza Sturgis, 13, practice their paddling techniques before grabbing their boards and heading into the water during this week’s Surf Camp at Scarborough Beach State Park. The camp is offered weekly through Aug. 26. (Michael Kelley photo) Turin was one of the early visitors to Salt Pump when it opened a year ago.

“I would go in the fall when there weren’t many waves,” Turin said of his introduction to Salt Pump. “It was a good alternative to surfing.”

Soon Turin said he thought there might be an opportunity for collaboration between his business and Salt Pump.

“I immediately clicked with them and recognized in them a lot of what I see in my fellow surfers which is a passion for the outdoors,” Turin said Monday, July 11, the initial day of Surf Camp Maine’s fourth camp session.


Since opening last summer, Salt Pump Climbing Company has offered kids of all ages an opportunity to try their skills at rock climbing. This weekend the center will offer its second Surf-Climb camp of the summer. (Courtesy photo) Since opening last summer, Salt Pump Climbing Company has offered kids of all ages an opportunity to try their skills at rock climbing. This weekend the center will offer its second Surf-Climb camp of the summer. (Courtesy photo) Salt Pump Climbing Company owner and general manager Taki Miyamoto, who started the center with his business partners Mark Richey and Freddie Wilkinson, was immediately on board regarding the opportunity to work with Turin.

“It was a no-brainer. Surfing and climbing have a lot in common. There are climbers that are surfers and surfers that are climbers. Both play in the outdoors so it is good that we can work together,” he said.

Both surfers and climbers try to “capture the moment and live in the moment” while enjoying nature and the environment.

“When everything goes well in climbing, when everything goes well in surfing, that’s the feeling you have,” said Miyamoto, who described himself as an “aspiring surfer.”

Turin said climbing and surfing both “have a meditative quality.”

“They really focus you,” he said.

Miyamoto said surfing and climbing teach similar skills, such as focus, determination, trust, body awareness, awareness of others and environmental stewardship.

This will be the second Surf-Climb camp offered this summer. Turin and Miyamoto said the first one, held July 2 and 3, went well.

“It went great. We were afraid the kids would be a little tired from surfing in the morning, but they came in with a lot of energy. We met their energy with more energy and got them to climb a lot,” Miyamoto said.

Turin said he too was pleased with how the first session went.

“It was really successful. We had great weather. It was a nice mix of kids new to surfing and those who had been surfing and climbing at Salt Pump,” Turin said.

“I think everyone, myself included, was happy with how much fun the kids had,” Turin added. “There wasn’t a moment of boredom. It’s hard to be bored when you go from surfing to climbing without a big break in between. Both are highly engaging.”

The Surf-Climb Camp, open to novice and experienced surfers ages 9 to 14, will be offered again Saturday, Aug. 20, and Sunday, Aug. 21. Turin said there are limited openings in this weekend’s session and the session in August is wait-list only. A fourth Surf-Climb Camp, he said, could be offered in September.

“It’s such a different thing. They really latch right on to it,” said Surf Camp instructor Ben Doller, who helped out during the first Surf-Climb Camp.

Scarborough Beach State Park, Turin said, is the perfect place for individuals to learn how to surf.

The camps, which run through Aug. 26, are full, but individuals can join a wait list.

“I definitely have a special connection to the beach. I have been coming here for years,” he said. “This beach and Higgins Beach are probably the two premier beaches around for surfing. This beach is really big so we are able to spread out.”

Salt Pump Climbing Company offers climbers both group lessons and free climbs in bouldering and rope climbing. The 13.5-foot high bouldering wall in which individuals free climb includes 75 to 90 color-coded “bouldering problems” or ways up the wall ranging from easy to more advanced. Individuals climb on the much larger 45-foot high wall using a harness and belay.

Miyamoto said Salt Pump, like Surf Camp, has a full schedule of camps for kids to learn more about climbing, including biweekly indoor climbing camps at the center and an outdoor climbing camp Aug 1 to Aug. 5.

He said this partnership with Surf Camp may only be the beginning for Salt Pump.

“We want to expand our relationship with Surf Camp and others within the community. We really appreciate the support we get from everyone here,” Miyamoto said.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at news@scarboroughleader.com.

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