Don't let the mythology fool you: Most Angelenos have never seen action on a surfboard. In fact, the average local couldn't hang 10 if you spotted him a five and four ones. This saddens avid surfer and Venice del Play co-founder Sydney Lovelace. So when new kids swing by his beach camp's winter break session on Wednesday (Venice del Play meets summers and most school vacations), he'll be inclined to set Mom or Dad straight.
"The kids have never been in a wet suit," Lovelace, the camp's water safety and athletics coach, says with tangible disbelief. "They don't know what it is. I tell the parents, 'If you're going to live in Southern California, you ought to have a wet suit in the closet.' "
How's that for investing in local resources. Lovelace may well believe that life's a beach and then you die, but don't get the impression that Venice del Play is strictly dedicated to building the next generation's Kelly Slaters. As co-founder Carmen Thomas -- parents may remember her from her five years as Hillary Wilson Martin on "All My Children" -- explains, the camp's location near Ocean View Drive means it automatically qualifies as a, um, beachhead for creativity.