• Photo by Bill Fulcher

Philosophy & Method

From the cradle to the wave

We are true water lovers and mentors to our students. From baby swimmers to bucket list wave riding we believe in helping to create a lifelong love for the water.

coach syd lovelace's 10 level water balance Method

In the pool our initial goal is to get children comfortable and balanced in a horizontal position on their stomach and back. This will allow them the best opportunity to master the art and athleticism of bending the water to create forward motion. Once they become balanced our coaches will assist the child's body and mind to form new connections and muscle memory. This creates the ability for a child to direct their body in an efficient manner towards a desired target. The next step is coordinating their breathing and focusing on making their strokes more efficient and faster to a point where they can maintain them throughout their entire life. If a child has an aversion to water touching their face it can affect how quickly they pick up swim skills. We help those that have this challenge with bath tub homework and by redirecting their anxiety to a specific target or task. We believe in abundant positive verbal reinforcements and gentle persistence. We emphasize fun, safe, efficient techniques in a creative and nurturing environment.

Click here to see a breakdown of the Levels

Classes & Schedule


Class Costs and Location

All classes are $30 when you pay as you go or sign up for individual lessons. If you sign up for ongoing lessons and make automatic payments, classes are $25. Our West LA location is a private residence and therefore we do not send out the address beforehand. Upon submitting a request for a class, the address will be sent to you.

Lincoln Middle School • 1501 California Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

Beach Lessons Click on class name to sign up

Santa Monica Beach at Ocean Park (dependent on conditions)

Intro to Wave Play & Ocean Safety

Suggested Ages: 3 years and up. Wetsuit provided.

Stand-up Paddle (SUP) Lessons

Surf Lessons

Open Water Swim Technique, training advice and snorkeling tips

Private Parties & Corporate Group Packages

A great option for your private group, corporate or team building events in the LA & Santa Monica areas. Get to know friends and family or build business associates into team players.

Paddle Fork & Spoon

Join us on the Venice Canals for a paddle-icious night of great architecture, ducks and starry skies. Perfect for birthdays, anniversaries and out-of-town guests.   All classes, group/corporate packages and Paddle, Fork & Spoon are offered year round (dependent on conditions) and require a non-refundable $50 deposit.

Coaching Staff

Coach Sydney Lovelace


Coach Syd brings over two decades of coaching & teaching and his proven aquatic methods to Los Angeles from Nashville TN. While in Nashville he started and ran 3 successful swim teams and still has Sydskids, a swim school. The Sydney E Lovelace Award for Excellence is given each summer to a top swimmer at The Belle Meade Country Club in Nashville.

Coach Syd attended Florida State where he was standout swimmer in Sprint Butterfly, Backstroke and Individual Medley. He has been teaching full time since 1991.

When he moved to LA in 2002 he was hired as the Guest Head Coach at Marlborough Prep and was Interim Head Coach of the Hollywood High School Club Team. He is also former co-founder and owner of Venice Del Play Surf & Yoga Beach Camp.

Coach Syd and his teams have done it all—from Olympic Team Trial qualifiers, Collegiate Swimmers and High School All Americans to Special Needs kids and 6-month-old toddlers, He especially enjoys the unique challenges of helping children overcome acute fears of water.

Sydney is also an avid windsurfer and competitive body surfer. In 2012 he placed 6th at the World Body Surf Championship, 3rd at the International Body Surf Championship and Grand Champion of the Venice Beach Surf-A-thon. In his spare time he likes to Stand Up Paddle surf, compete in SUP ocean races, body surf and tandem surf with Booda, his dog and swim school mascot.

Brandon Bulat

Site Manager/Coach

Coach Brandon grew up in northern California where he started swimming and a very young age. Starting at the age of 15, Coach Brandon taught swim lessons with the American Swim Academy. He continued working there until moving down to LA to go to college. When not in the pool, Coach Brandon is passionate about music. He is in his second season with LA Surf and Swim.

Courtney Toomey

Operations Manager/Coach

Coach Courtney swam competitively throughout her childhood. She attended LMU where she graduated in 2009. She has been working at LA Surf and Swim since 2008. She still teaches occasionally but is more often known as the face behind the phone calls and emails.

Tommy Natoli

Site Manager/Coach

Coach Tommy has been with LA Surf and Swim since 2012. He has been a highly successful teacher at programs including the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Club and the Michael Phelps IM Program.

Bo Dierker

Coach Bo grew up in Lake Barcroft in Falls Church, Va. and was taught from a very young age to love and respect water. He enjoys sharing his love for water with others and takes pride in helping beginners sprout fins so they can safely enjoy the water as well. He recently moved to LA after graduating from George Mason University and is currently in his second season with LA Surf and Swim.

Daniela Cordoba

Coach Daniela was born in Colombia where she began synchronized swimming at the age of 4 and continued until she was 7. At that time she moved to the US and began swimming competitively. She swam through high school where she played water polo as well. Her swimming continued at Santa Monica College. Every summer for 9 years she did Junior Lifeguards. She just graduated from Cal State Northridge and is in her first summer at LA Surf and Swim.

John Mikuzis

Coach John M competed in both swimming and water throughout high school and college. He was name a Division 1 All-American at Loyola Marymount University, 1 of only 15 in the programs history. He was a state champion for swimming in high school and has been coaching swimming and water polo for over 5 years. He is in his first season with LA Surf and Swim

Kristen Smith

Kristen is a native Oregonian who practically lived in the water since the moment her parents plopped her into the pool as an infant. In high school she lettered in varsity swim team and swam so much she accidentally gave herself a dreadlock. She’s been lucky enough to scuba, snorkel, raft, water ski and surf all over the world. Her biggest dream is to sprout her very own pair of gills and mermaid tail…any day now.

Katie Hughes

Coach Katie is a true California girl. She grew up in Venice and spent most of her childhood at the beach both swimming and surfing. She received a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin but could not be away from the Pacific Ocean for too long. When not at the pool, she is a 1st grade teachers aide and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Nursing.

Kyle Testman

Coach Kyle began to compete in water polo and swimming in 8th grade. He was a member of the CIF and California state championship swim team in 2009 at Capistrano Valley high school, specializing in freestyle and butterfly. After high school, Kyle continued to play water polo at LMU where he started and was all-conference for two years. He has taught swim lessons LMU swim camps in the summer and has coached water polo since graduating from LMU. Kyle will be starting a masters program at USC in Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine this fall.

Sophie West

Coach Sophie started swimming when she was 4 and has refused to get out of the water since. She attended Marymount High School where she played water polo and swam on the swim team. Sophie loves teaching children and got her first job as a swim coach at 13.

Ruben Castillo

Coach Ruben has been swimming since he was 3 years old. He was on the swim and dive teams and was dive captain while in high school. He has been teaching swimming for about 6 years. He is currently in college studying psychology. He loves kids and still feels like a kid while in the pool playing games and singing songs. He is in his second summer with LA Surf and Swim.

Hilary Madler

Coach Hilary learned most of her swim skills through childhood lessons and her numerous aquatic adventures—snorkeling in the waters of Belize, surfing/body boarding in Hawaii, and tubing/kayaking in the lakes and rivers of her hometown, Whitefish, Montana. Coach Hilary is also an active duty Air Force officer during the day and has learned rigorous water survival skills throughout her 6 years of military training. Not only does she love water, also loves the children she works with. Before becoming a swim instructor, Hilary was a dance teacher for 10 years and still enjoys taking the occasional dance class. Coach Hilary is very excited to get to know you and your children and to help them discover the joy that can come from swimming!

Chase Wilt

Coach Chase has spent much of her life in the water. She started swimming competitively at the age of ten and swam until she began college. Throughout high school, Chase was a lifeguard and a swim instructor at her local pool club back in her hometown of Westchester, New York. Coach Chase has always loved working with kids and teaching them how to swim. Currently, she will be a senior at Loyola Marymount University and continues to swim recreationally. This is her first summer with La Surf and Swim.

John Landers

Coach John L is a graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. He is a former water safety director for a program in Sidney, New York. Coach John has been teaching ocean and swim lessons with LA Surf and Swim since 2012.

Mascot Booda

Booda grew up in Nashville, TN where he was adopted off the streets by his human companion, Coach Syd.

Gear 4 Sale

SUP Boards

Ocean Gear

Pool Gear

SUP Boards in stock

New, Demos & Used


Skyrim board

9.3. x 28 x 4.25


Minor scratches & dings. Center fin included


Lines of Eternity

9 x 33 x 4.1


Excellent Condition, used as a demo board

Email us for availability

Ocean Gear

This is the ocean gear we have for sale:

Snorkel – it’s a basic snorkel – $20.00

Goggles - simple goggles! – $18.00


Contact us at ###-###-#### for purchasing information.

Pool Gear

This is the pool gear we have for sale:

Snorkel – it’s a basic snorkel – $20.00

Goggles - simple goggles! – $18.00


Contact us at ###-###-#### for purchasing information.