Over the years my passion for the ocean, music, health, and community have taken me to some mystical far off places. Through following my intuition, a sincere enjoyment for hospitality and a penchant for adventure I seem to have carved a unique niche for myself. For over two decades I have been refining and merging my passions of nationally certified surf guide, yoga/meditation/breathwork facilitator and live entertainer.  Be it one-on-one  personal guiding, exclusive boutique resorts /yacht charters or corporate outings my general focus is always remains the same. My attention is on connecting on a sincere personal level my clients, making sure everyone is safe, creating the best guest experience possible with what is offered on any given day.  I go about accomplishing this through clear communication, awareness of expectations, personal attention and a genuine enjoyment towards working with others. 

        Most recently, ( 2018 season) I spent as wave guide/ yoga instructor /live performer and guests main point of contact for the luxury surf resort company Pegasus Lodges. I was based at their flagship location,  "Pinnacles on Telo"  in North Sumatra, Indonesia. I got to spend some time at their newest property Tenggara Point Lodge, in Sumbawa as well..  

          "Pinnacles on Telo" is an exclusive surf resort located on a private island consisting of only 8 bungalows, hosting a max capacity of 10 surfers while also catering  to non surfing guests, welcoming family members and friends to enjoy the resort.  During the 2017 season I held the position of surf guide/entertainer/guest relations on the coveted yacht charter "Ocean Divine" in the Maldives. A few additional  previous locations of residency include Maho Bay Eco Resort- St. John, U.S. Caribbean, Hawaii Lifeguards -Kona Hawaii, Californias leading ocean activities company La Vida Laguna and running a private surf/music school for roughly five years.

        When I’m not working abroad I hold the position of lead surf guide for the adventure activities company La Vida Laguna based out of Laguna Beach, California.  I have been involved with running Sup, Kayak, Surf, Hiking and Snorkeling tours to training staff, organizing corporate outings to  delivering breath work/yoga  classes . LaVida Laguna holds contracts with the highest end local resorts/hotels from Pelican Hill, Montage, St. Regis to the Ritz Carlton and many of the local boutique hotels. My long standing position with the company offers me the flexibility to travel when the opportunity arrises.  La Vida Laguna has always been a special place of friends and family who love what they do.

 

Please see below for employee references/guest testimonials as well as the About section for more info on certifications.  

Pegasus Resort properties drone clip from forever traveling world renowned surf photographer/videographer, Andrew Shields. Literally the same day I flew out to Indonesia I recorded this track in the studio and it’s called, “End Of The Road”. It's about traveling to faroff destinations in search of surf and adventure. Basically my life story :-)  More on Andrew Shields photo/video work @ http://andrewshield.com.au

            EMPLOYER REFERENCES

PINNACLES ON TELO- LUXURY SURF RESORTS- INDONESIA 

"It gives me great pleasure to express my sincere appreciation to Derek Thomas who was employed as Lead Surf Guide, Yoga Instructor and Live Entertainer at both Pegasus properties Pinnacles on Telo & Telo Island Lodge located in North Sumatra, Indonesia, as well as our Tenggara Point Lodge in Sumbawa, Indonesia. Derek's multi faceted skill set added extra value to our guests’ experiences. During his 8 months assignment with us, I found him to be very knowledgable and accomplished in all operations related to Pegasus Resorts and guest relations. 

Derek understands the needs of the luxury market and is well prepared before the requests are being made by our guests. He carries a proactive, respectful and sincere work ethic in all his dealings. l would not hesitate having him out for another season and look forward to working with him again. 

I wish Derek every success. For any further information feel free to contact me directly.  I can be reached via email at - DavidDeBrito@hotmail.com

David DeBrito- General Manager -Pegasus Resorts

 Pinnacles on Telo -

Pinnacles on Telo -

 

    OCEAN DIVINE-  A MALDIVES  LUXURY YACHT CHARTER

"Being a surf guide on an exclusive yacht charter with occasional various groups with high expectation on the same boat can be very challenging and demanding. Everything from organizing daily activities and guest relations to safety briefings, assessing client surf levels bringing them to the various surf breaks and most of all doing it all with a smile and sincerity that says you care about the guests experience.

Derek Thomas was the main point of contact for our clients from airport pick up to drop off. He held the position of Surf Guide on Ocean Divine for the Summer months of 2017. Some adjectives to describe his demeanor are friendly, generous, educated and organized. Derek also performed music a few nights a week for the guests on our top deck lounge. Singing and playing with his acoustic guitar and harmonica he added something to the experience that was very special, relaxing and fun."

Gaëlle Mesnard - Operation Manager Ocean Divine Safari Boat 

 Ocean Divine

Ocean Divine

LAVIDA LAGUNA-  LAGUNA's PREMIER WATER ACTIVITIES COMPANY

"Derek Thomas has been our lead guide for La Vida Laguna these past five years. He brings over 25 years of ocean activity experience to our team as well as an  instructor/coach certification from internationally recognized NSSIA. Derek has an infectious energy and uncanny way of making our clients feel comfortable, focusing on both their safety and enjoyment. His passion for surfing, decades of experience and ability to connect with our high end clientel both  young and old set him apart from our other surf instructors. 

In addition to his instructional expertise, Derek has a keen understanding of our business and regularly offers valuable insight to increase our professionalism guest safety."

Doug Oyen- Chief Adventure Officer for La Vida Laguna

DSC_0141.jpg
A deep two hour immersive Conscious Breath and Meditation Workshop at Mark & Dave's in Nicaragua with certified facilitator Derek Thomas.

              GUEST TESTIMONIALS

IMG_0626.jpg
“I had the pleasure to go to Pinnacles on Telo island for a ten day surf trip recently and wanted to talk about my surf guide, Derek Thomas, for a moment. Derek met us in the airport on the way in and immediately made us feel at home and at ease with our trip. Derek was as excited as we were about the ten days ahead and the surf we would experience around the Telo islands. I was blown away by how much he knew about the area, the surf breaks, and the people.

I would say we all became friends after just a day between the early morning surfs to the evening pool sessions we practically spent all day together. Every excursion went off without a hitch as Derek was always on time, knowledgeable, and well organized. Derek’s talent was not just about surfing, as he entertained us on the boat and in the bar after dinner with great jam sessions on his guitar. I can say that this was the best surf trip I have been on thanks to Derek and the rest of the crew at Pinnacles. I’m looking forward to returning as soon as possible.” -
Stuart and Jeanie Schlesinger- Northern California/ Nicaragua
We met Derek Thomas on our surf holiday aboard yacht charter “Ocean Divine” in the Maldives during the summer of 2017. He introduced himself as our surf guide and by the time we left he had quickly become a lifelong family friend. Just a few months later we invited him to our home in Nosara, Costa Rica for Christmas. Board, guitar in hand, we had another memorable surf trip with the family! Derek has an undeniable love for people, the water and music. Always professional and upbeat he is definitely stoked to share his knowledge and expertise. He had a knack of keeping us comfortable in new surf breaks and was quick to help when asked. Fun to watch him rip but also quick to let you drop in when a great wave came your way. After epic surf sessions, Derek would often play his guitar and harmonica for us. Equally as talented, Derek knew how to keep the good and fun vibes going!! If you need the absolute best surf guide, look no further! You’ll be lucky to have him!!
Eddie & Jen Delaney- Austin Texas/Costa Rica
“ We spent ten days at Pinnacles, having organized a trip there for a couple of mates and our families. Derek acted as our host on the island concerning himself with every detail of our surfing experience. He worked so hard for us in aspects of our trip too numerous to mention and he did it with soul and grace. It was an expensive holiday by our standards and it more than met our high expectations. I know I speak on behalf of all of us that this was in a large part thanks to Derek. A beautiful guy and as a bonus he is a very good musician. We loved listening to him playing guitar and singing. Couldn’t recommend him more highly.”

Andrew and Penny Knight- Cape Town South Africa
“I have had the good fortune of catching Derek as a surf guide at two very prestigious locations, Pinnacles on Telo and Ocean Divine. As is easy with Derek’s nature, we have now become close friends and have continued discussing and sharing of great music and books. As a surfer Derek is highly experienced and truly “rips” ,as a guide he has always been very knowledgeable of the locations we have visited and highly attuned to where the best waves will be located in terms of tides, directions of winds and crowds.

My surfing personally has improved thanks to Derek’s attention and guidance. His musical talent that is available most evenings brings the perfect end to your day. I have to thank Derek personally on the spiritual guidance and advice he has given me, he is soulful human.”
Alex Illing- Porto, Portugal
 Dinner on the beach. photo- Andrew Shield

Dinner on the beach. photo- Andrew Shield

Just dropping you a note from both of us to thank you for an unforgettable holiday. From the moment you collected us at the airport and set the tone with your music on the boat it was bound to be a fabulous 10 days. I’m sure you thought we were a pretty challenging group when we arrived but in your subtle way you managed to put us all in our boxes!

You were so much more than an amazing surf guide. We really loved your music and you playing for us was a real treat and totally unexpected. Thanks Derek, your attention to detail and way of making everything hassle free was really appreciated. A holiday to remember in the right way. Please stay in touch and you are welcome to stay with us if you’re ever in Cape Town.
Good luck with your music and best wishes.”
Martine and Nick Critics- South Africa/ England
“Tara and I wanted to reach out and thank you for an amazing trip at “Pinnacles on Telos”. Words can’t describe how happy and pleased we were with your incredible services and hospitality. From the minute we met you we knew our trip was going to be epic and indeed it was. I must say you were quite the host! You made us so comfortable that we were able to put away the hustle and bustle of work and leave it all behind.

As you are aware the trip was more than just surfing. It was Our Honeymoon and my return to surfing after being out of the water for over a year due to Surfer’s Ear surgery and an abdominal injury.
You made the transition back into the lineup an easy one by putting us on solid waves everyday, giving us important line up information and pushing us to charge knowing we were safe to do so. To be able to surf 17 of 24 sessions by ourselves is unheard of!!! I appreciate your knowledge of the breaks and reefs as you put us in perfect position every time and we could not be happier about our wave count during the trip.


We also really enjoyed your early evening performances on guitar as well as the sunset cruises which really set the tone for a great evening after a long epic day of surfing. You truly are a very talented musician, singer and songwriter!!!
Tara and I still can’t get over the amazing cultural village ceremony song & dance and the romantic dinner for two that you did for us under the stars. To have you play your finger style guitar for us as we wined and dined next to a bonfire while on staying on a private island in paradise will be something we will remember for the rest of our lives. My wife Tara couldn’t of been anymore happier as she honestly said that was one of the best days she ever had. Talk about Stoke!!!

Again, we can’t thank you enough for everything you did for us........ A Truly Epic Surfing Honeymoon!”

Tom and Tara Addison- Florida
IMG_8317.JPG
“In particular among the crew on Ocean Divine, our surf guide Derek Thomas is the standout. He is knowledgable about the breaks and conditions, a pleasure to be with, and a natural with the locals. He is also a gifted muscian and provided us with much appreciated music under the stars on several evenings.”

Cathleen and Greg Pecchia
Corona del Mar, California
During a recent surf holiday experience up in the Telo Islands, Indonesia I had the pleasure to meet & be treated to the unparalleled services of Derek Thomas. I found Derek to be a relational professional, having confidence in his knowledge of the ocean & how to provide our group with exactly what our needs were.
Nathan Hodge- former WSA tour surfer
surf-charters-Maldives-ocean-divine-27.jpg

Ocean Divine Yacht Charter - Maldives

 Nias -photo Sueng Photogrpahy

Nias -photo Sueng Photogrpahy

 Yoga time in Panama at Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort- photo Mike Phillips

Yoga time in Panama at Sansara Surf & Yoga Resort- photo Mike Phillips

 Sunset cruises with acoustic guitar jams and cold beverages after a long day at Pinnacles on Telo- photo Andrew Shield

Sunset cruises with acoustic guitar jams and cold beverages after a long day at Pinnacles on Telo- photo Andrew Shield

 The dream is real- photo Andrew Shield

The dream is real- photo Andrew Shield

 Telo Islands, Indonesia - photo Andrew Shields

Telo Islands, Indonesia - photo Andrew Shields

 Just us and our guests in the Telo Islands - photo -Andrew Shield

Just us and our guests in the Telo Islands - photo -Andrew Shield


Surf Lessons in Laguna Beach

DETAILS

Time: Changes daily depending on tides - check calendar
Duration: 2 hours
Location: La Vida Laguna Surf Shop - 1257 S Coast Hwy
Inclusions: surfboard, wetsuit, bottled water
What to bring: swim trunks, sunblock, towel
Ages: 8 years old and up
Price: $125 pp 2 Hr Lesson

Our semi-private lessons are limited to 3 students to every instructor. We teach at Thalia St, Laguna's best location for beginner waves. Our 2 hour lessons allow you ample time to learn paddle out, wave judgment, etiquette, and pop-up techniques. Our instructors are experienced professionals who pride themselves on getting you up, and keeping you safe. We have a very high ratio of students standing up the first time, and launching into a lifetime of passion for surfing and surf culture.

We love beginners. No prior experience necessary though you must be able to swim and have a healthy love of the ocean.

Please be sure to request Derek Thomas by name when signing up for a lesson/tour. You can do this by clicking on the how did you hear about us icon while scheduling your activity and clicking on Derek Thomas- Soul Water Music.  If he is available he will be stoked to be your guide!


SUP Lesson & Ocean Paddle + Sea Lion Viewing

Details

Time: morning tours daily
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Fisherman's Cove - 631 Cliff Dr
Inclusions: kayak, paddle, life jacket
What to bring: swim trunks, t-shirt, sunglasses (with strap), hat,
sunblock, water, towel
Ages: Anyone at least 5' tall and fit can paddle
Price: $85 pp for 1.5 Hour Paddle

Paddle Laguna's amazing and pristine marine reserve - bustling with sea life along the most beautiful coastline in Southern California. La Vida’s expert instructors will have you up and paddling in no time, with safe launch and landing techniques off Laguna's calmest, most wave-protected cove. Then explore the North Laguna coastline, with hidden coves and beaches, and a very special visit to Seal Rock, a sea lion sanctuary.

We meet on a private beach in North Laguna, where your guide will cover paddle basics, including sitting, kneeling and standing positions. Then we launch into the calm, protected cove and out to sea, where we hug the dramatic coastline and see incredible coves and beachfront mansions. We’ll paddle though Pacific kelp beds and learn about the precious eco-system,over hidden reefs, and see marine life such as Garibaldis, the California
state fish. But the highlight will be a visit to Seal Rock, a sanctuary for California Sea Lions. We are the only outfitter to use actual touring paddleboards, meaning you'll go faster and go further.

 Please be sure to request Derek Thomas by name when signing up for a lesson/tour. You can do this by clicking on the how did you hear about us icon while scheduling your activity and clicking on Derek Thomas- Soul Water Music.  If he is available he will be stoked to be your guide!


Ocean Kayak Eco Tour + Sea Lion Viewing

Details

Time: morning tours daily
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Fisherman's Cove - 631 Cliff Dr
Inclusions: kayak, paddle, life jacket
What to bring: swim trunks, t-shirt, sunglasses with strap, hat,
sunblock, water, towel
Ages: 8 years and up can paddle in a tandem with an adult. 
Children 3 - 8 can ride for free in the middle with 2 adults
Price: $85 pp for 1.5 Hour Tour

Take a guided kayak tour along one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world, filled with hidden beaches, contoured cliffs, crystal clear ocean, abundant sea life (home to sea lions, dolphins and whales), and Technicolor excitement.

We meet on a private beach in North Laguna, where your guide will cover paddle basics. Then we launch into the calm, protected cove and out to sea, where we hug the dramatic coastline and see incredible coves and beachfront mansions. We'll paddle though Pacific kelp beds and learn about the precious eco-system, over hidden reefs, and see marine life such as Garibaldis, the California state fish. But the highlight will be a visit to Seal Rock, a sanctuary for California Sea Lions. And if we're real lucky, we could see dolphins and whales. 

Kayak tours are for everyone who can swim and have a love of the ocean. No experience necessary.

Please be sure to request Derek Thomas by name when signing up for a lesson/tour. You can do this by clicking on the how did you hear about us icon while scheduling your activity and clicking on Derek Thomas- Soul Water Music.  If he is available he will be stoked to be your guide!


Bike Ride - Back Roads Laguna Tour

Details

Time: morning tours daily
Level: Intermediate with some hills
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Pavilions Parking Lot (rear) 600 North Coast Hwy
Inclusions: 21 speed mountain bike, helmet, water
What to bring: shorts, tennis shoes, sunblock, sunglasses
Ages: Anyone at least 5' tall and fit can hike
Price: $85 pp for 1.5 Hour Ride

Experience the sublime beauty of Laguna Beach on this safe and historic loop that bypasses the busy streets. Pedal the quaint Craftsman neighborhoods and gardens, access amazing view corridors, stop at Heisler Park to see the magnificent public art, experience the charming downtown commercial district, and many artists residences.

We start our ride in North Laguna and head north past historic Pyne Castle, with elevated ocean views in the bucolic neighborhood. Then we head down to beautiful Crescent Bay beach park, with the best panoramic view of the Laguna coastline down to Dana Point. Then its south through Heisler Park to view some of Laguna's amazing public art. We'll cycle through the downtown village and onto the Oak St neighborhood, home to early California Craftsman bungalows. Then deep into Bluebird Canyon to experience the deep hills buffeting Laguna. Then we turn and head though more quaint neighborhoods, past Laguna High School before pedaling through the village once more and returning to our starting point.

Please be sure to request Derek Thomas by name when signing up for a lesson/tour. You can do this by clicking on the how did you hear about us icon while scheduling your activity and clicking on Derek Thomas- Soul Water Music.  If he is available he will be stoked to be your guide!

DSC_0141.jpg