About Us

As an avid surfer and adventurer, Pat Murphy started Learn to Surf LA with one mission- to help students experience the thrill and excitement of catching their first wave. Learn to Surf LA has grown to be LA’s preferred and trusted surf school.




I caught my first wave:

At the Venice Breakwater. I remember being out there on my first board, a yellow 8 foot Becker funboard with black glassed trifins. It was winter and hardly anyone was out. I was alone, and the waves were probably small, though I remember them being rough and unruly, knocking me around. I had already stood up enough on whitewater waves, and I wanted to catch an open face as I’d seen others do. I kept paddling for waves and not catching them. I was probably too far back on the board, and I was going for waves too early as I didn’t want to pearl. I remember finally getting into one that hadn’t broken yet. It had a nice little shoulder – a right. I got up and put my feet on the right side and the board turned and stayed in the shoulder, and I hadn’t fallen yet! I kept going, I was in the slot – I was riding an open face! I’m sure it didn’t last long, though in my memory it lasts forever. Such a sweet feeling.
Favorite place to surf:

I have so many clear memories of so many awesome specific waves in so many different locations. To say that I have a favorite place to surf would be a forced and untrue statement. I have had incredible days on afternoon slop in Santa Monica with no-one else out, just making corners work out of nothing. I have had freight trains of waves sending me pumping and flying down the line north of the point at County Line. I have been barreled and spat out at Westward. I have shared mellow party waves on longboards with my niece and nephews at San Onofre. I have had powerful macking waves with new friends at Punta Roca and Punta Mango in El Salvador. I have enjoyed winter surf on the north coast of Pais Basco in Spain… the list goes on and all are cherished memories. None are favorites, though many stand out in my mind. My favorite place to surf is in a centered state, connected to my environment, aware of so many things at the same time and completely present to the awesomeness I participate in creating in my play with the ocean.

Surf Style:

I like riding short boards, fish, longboards and everything in-between. My style is all about fun – whatever makes the most. Different wave conditions call for different boards and styles. I like using the whole wave, following through my turns, maneuvering around the limits of my skill and the thresholds of the wave. I like good wipeouts as much as I like killer drops. I love the ocean and pushing myself.






With over 10 years ocean experience to keep you safe. Gary aims to share the gift of surfing with as many people as possible. He is great with all ages and ready to give you a memorable surfing experience!




Born and raised in Los Angeles, Darrin has been surfing for over 12 years and takes pleasure in sharing his joy of the ocean with others. Don't hesitate to chat with him about world travels, life experiences, or..well, anything, really.




Chris was born and raised in Hawaii and is a former top ranked professional bodyboarder. He has over 30 years of surfing and extreme water man experience and genuinely enjoys sharing his valuable insights.