Our Mission

It is our mission to use surfing, the ocean, and professionally designed physical activity programs as tools to promote self-determination and whole-person development. It is through the application of safe, effective, and researched methods that we are able to adapt to meet the needs and goals of our clients. Our evidence-based assessment procedures and individualized curriculum give our clients a powerful opportunity to improve functional movement proficiency and gross motor coordination within a broader prospective of social and mental well-being.

Our Approach

Our evidence-based curriculum is designed to improve emotional regulation, social skills, self-determination, quality of life, gross-motor coordination & postural control

Surf

Our adapted equipment and skill development exercises place the individual in a position to succeed in the water. We help our clients develop an awareness of the ocean, currents, and wave mechanics. Navigating the field strategically, maintaining proper surf etiquette, and interacting with the ocean in a safe and enjoyable manner are all integral components of our curriculum

Yoga

We use specific postures and intentional sequencing to improve balance, flexibility, and body awareness. Breathing techniques and visualization exercises are added to the session to promote breath regulation and introspection. Our goal in combining these aspects of yoga is to nurture the mind-body connection

Fitness

Fluid, coordinated movement is essential to performance of daily living activities. We integrate motor sequencing exercises to improve bilateral coordination, core stability, power, strength, and flexibility. Surfing is an excellent way to cross-train, diversify your skill set, and enhance both your physical and mental well-being

Meet the Team

Daniel Parsonskeyboard_arrow_up
Daniel's Biokeyboard_arrow_down

Daniel holds a Master’s of Science in Kinesiology, is a lecturer in the Kinesiology department at California State University Northridge, and Clinical Coordinator at the Brown Center of Achievement Through Adapted Physical Activity. In addition to these roles, he is also an Aquatic Therapist for individuals with special needs and his passion is simple: helping people and making an impact in the community. In 2013 he founded “The Abilities Club” at Los Angeles Valley College to provide students with special needs a platform to express their abilities and an opportunity to become integrated into the social fabric of campus life. Over the past several years the club has thrived, receiving numerous awards and regularly organizing campus and community-wide events. The success of club reflects something that is close to Daniel’s heart and aligns with one of his core beliefs: given the opportunity, individuals with disabilities can accomplish great things. Fueled by compassion towards those in need, Daniel specializes in designing evidence-based adapted surf, aquatic, and physical activity programs in a way the promotes both mental and physical health. He is an avid surfer, swimmer, and partners with companies providing surf therapy for individuals recovering from drug addiction.

“The effects of surf therapy on self-determination and quality of life in young adults on the Autism Spectrum”

This work was presented at The North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity (NASPSPA) National Conference in Denver, CO in June, 2018

This work received the following awards:
1st place @ the 32nd Annual CSU Research Competition in Sacramento, CA · May 4-5, 2018
1st place @ the California State University Northridge Annual Research Symposium; April 6th, 2018

Ally Barabankeyboard_arrow_up
Ally's Biokeyboard_arrow_down

Ally moved to California from New York in 2016 as an experienced ocean lifeguard and swimming instructor for the individuals with special needs. Ally is an avid surfer and is passionate about aquatic therapy. While receiving her bachelors in biology, Ally assisted in organizing a swimming program for children with special needs to give back to the community. Ally is a certified yoga teacher, exercise specialist and surf instructor for Shaka Surf Club; providing surf therapy programming for individuals recovering from drug addition. Ally’s mission is to provide a service that is naturally stress relieving yet strengthening, one that reinforces both mental & physical health for individuals with special needs. Ally believes anybody can learn to feel comfortable, relaxed and confident in their body with movement and breath work

Kiera Hockettkeyboard_arrow_up
Kiera's Biokeyboard_arrow_down

Adapted Physical Activity

Kiera has been working in the field of adapted activity since graduating from Cal State Northridge in 2013. She began as an aquatic therapist, and very quickly realized that her love and appreciation of the water put her in a unique position to share this therapeutic environment with those who can benefit from it the most. Having a desire to move forward and help others become more connected to their bodies not just physically, but also mentally, she completed a 200-hr yoga teacher training and began teaching yoga to children and adults of all abilities. She then went on to become the director of an adapted aquatics program offering swim instruction, competitive swim team, and aquatic therapy for children, teens and adults. This position solidified her passion for helping people of all abilities feel more self assured and empowered through physical activities tailored to their needs. Kiera comes to Surf the Spectrum with a holistic perspective in mind, and the intention of nurturing growth that can not only be seen, but also felt and experienced in an individual way.

Chris Kraemerkeyboard_arrow_up
Chris's Biokeyboard_arrow_down

Chris is a native of Chicago, Illinois with a passion for life, people, and the ocean. He is a teacher and mentor at heart. Chris moved to San Diego in 2008 and attended San Diego State University where he spent summers teaching English abroad in China, Taiwan, and Korea. He holds a bachelor's of science in Kinesiology as well as in Nursing Sciences. Chris currently practices Nursing at Scripps Hospital in San Diego on the medical oncology unit. In this role that he is able to fulfill his life passion: to connect with and help those in need.

Our Programs

Sign up for just one or a combination!
Surf Ninjakeyboard_arrow_down
Surf Ninjaclose

The ocean is a natural environment rich with stimulation; one that brings us to the threshold of our imagination. Surfing is a unique platform that allows us to interact with the ocean in a way that fosters patience, trust, resilience, and mental strength. Sign up for our Surf Ninja program to start your journey and improve your movement both in and out of the water!

• Includes a 60 minute evaluation of functional movement & surf readiness

• Curriculum: Designed based on assessment

• Location: Beach

Sessions are 60-90 minutes and include training in:

  • • Ocean Safety & Surf Etiquette
  • • Surf Instruction & Technique
  • • Breathing Techniques & Arousal Regulation
  • • Balance & Agility
  • • Spatial Awareness
  • • Core Strength
  • • Stretching & Mobility

Surf Readiness & Functional Fitnesskeyboard_arrow_down
Surf Readiness & Functional Fitnessclose

Learning to surf can be challenging for everyone. With that in mind, we took all of the fundamental motor skills and techniques necessary for surfing and designed a fun, engaging, and challenging surf readiness program to be taken either before or concurrently with our surf ninja program.

No matter where you are in your ability, we want to help you prepare and be READY for those challenging, exhilarating and empowering moments. Improve the paddling, breath control, endurance, and motor sequencing necessary for a fun and safe trip to the ocean.

Our Surf Readiness curriculum is a fun and unique way to get in your physical activity!

• Includes a 60 minute evaluation of functional movement & surf readiness

• Curriculum: Designed based on assessment

• Location: Park or Home

Sessions are 60 minutes and include training in:

  • • Alignment & postural control
  • • Core strength
  • • Balance & Proprioception
  • • Reaction Time
  • • Spatial Awareness
  • • Functional Strength
  • • Stretching & Mobility Training
One with the Waterkeyboard_arrow_down
One with the Waterclose

The aquatic environment is a dynamic and therapeutic one, so lets jump in! Daniel has 15 years experience providing swim and aquatic therapy services and has designed a fun and engaging pool program for you to improve fundamental water skills.

• Includes a 30 minute evaluation of swim readiness & water safety

• Curriculum: Designed based on assessment

• Location: Home

Sessions are 60 minutes and include training in:

  • • Water acclimation & comfort
  • • Water safety
  • • Rhythmic breathing technique
  • • Stroke technique
  • • Board straddling & paddling proficiency
  • • Cardiovascular endurance
MoveWell Gross Motorkeyboard_arrow_down
MoveWell Gross Motorclose

From hopping to running, skipping and jumping our MoveWell program will help you improve these fundamental motor skills. Hand-eye coordination, spatial awareness, dual tasking and overall motor performance plays such a critical role in everyday living. It is well understood that gross motor coordination and movement proficiency has a major impact on executive function and cognitive development. Each client is assessed using The Gross Motor Development Scale-3 (TGMD-3), and curriculum is designed to meet their specific needs and goals. Our unique, challenging and fun program will help you improve your sport performance and readiness for a physically active lifestyle!

• Includes a 30 minute evaluation of gross motor development & functional movement

• Curriculum: Designed based on assessment and includes training of the major gross motor milestones specific to age-group

• Location: Park or Home

• Sessions: 60 minutes