Skip to Content

For media inquiries, please contact:

Deanne French
Director of Public Relations
The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel
One Ritz-Carlton Drive
Dana Point, California 92629
Phone: +1 (949) 240-2000
Fax: +1 (949) 240-0829

The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel Surfing Santa Competition
Benefits Surfers Healing Foundation

DANA POINT, Calif. – August 15, 2016 – On one perfect day in November, surfers from all over southern California dress like Santa and surf the waves at Salt Creek in order to raise money for children with autism. Hosted by The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, the annual Surfing Santa Competition benefits Surfers Healing whose mission is to enrich the lives of people living with autism by exposing them to the unique experience of surfing.

The competition takes place on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Salt Creek Beach, just below The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. The competition features prizes for the top six surfers in five divisions including:

  • Surfing Rudolph (Shortboard) - Guys 18 and over
  • Santa's Elves (Shortboard) - Guys 17 and under
  • Candy Canes (Shortboard) Girls all ages
  • Yule Loggers (Longboard) Open to Guys and Girls
  • Sleigh Riders (Bodyboard) Open to Guys and Girls

Prizes include Carver skateboards, Maui Jim sunglasses, Surfline memberships, and other items donated by RipCurl, Billabong, Sun Bum, Incipio, Barrellicious and more. Additionally, all contestants are eligible to win $500 for the best costume and a Brawner Board and $1,000 for the biggest air which is based on contestable air points throughout the day. Competitors can sign up to surf at

The concept for The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel’s Surfing Santa Competition was developed by General Manager Bruce Brainerd in 2009 and honors the resort’s Community Footprints commitment to supporting worthy causes. The resort also hosts an annual Surfboard Auction that opens Saturday, November 19 and closes at noon on December 31, 2016. Since the inception of the surf contest and auction, The Ritz-Carlton has raised more than $210,000 to Surfers Healing.

About Surfers Healing

Though Surfers Healing serves thousands, their mission exists because of one child. Izzy and Danielle Paskowitz founded Surfers Healing because of their son, Isaiah. Isaiah has autism, and when he struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload, riding the waves with his father calmed him like nothing else.  Not everyone has a championship surfer for a Dad, so the Paskowitz family invited others to join them at the beach. Their idea caught on, and now Surfers Healing is a nationwide, grassroots non-profit organization. They are the original surf camp for children with autism and ALL of their events are free. Yet even though they had 4,500+ participants last year – and even though autism now affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S. – Surfers Healing doesn’t think in thousands. They think in ones, because that's where they can effect change. One child. One family. One day at the beach.