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. More often than not tend to merge and  include professional surf guide/live performer/guest relations and FOH manager.  Be it one-on-one  personal guiding, exclusive boutique resorts /yacht charters to corporate outings my general focus is always the same, making sure my guests feel important, safe and are ideally having the time of their lives. I go about accomplishing this through clear communication, awareness of expectations, personal attention and a genuine enjoyment towards working with others. 

          I consider myself very fortunate to say that for over two decades I have found fulfillment doing what I love. Most recently, ( 2018 season) I have been the wave guide/ live performer and guests main point of contact for the luxury surf resort company Pegasus Lodges at their  "Pinnacles on Telo" location located  in North Sumatra- Indonesia as well as their newest property Tenggara Point Lodge, in Sumbawa.  

          "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.  For the 2017 season I held the position of surf guide/entertainer/guest relations on the privately owned  120 foot yacht charter "Ocean Divine" located in the Maldives. A few additional  previous locations of residency include Maho Bay Eco Resort- St. John, U.S. Caribbean, Hawaii Lifeguards -Kona Hawaii, Magnific Rock-Nicaragua and Californias leading ocean activities company La Vida Laguna. 

        For the past 6 years, (when not aborad )I have held the position of lead surf guide for the adventure activities company La Vida Laguna based out of Laguna Beach, California.  LaVida Laguna holds contracts with the highest end local resorts/hotels from Pelican Hill, Montage to the Ritz Carlton and many boutique hotels. My long standing position with the company offers me the flexibility to travel when the opportunity arrises.  

 

Please see below for more info or visit the  "About" section to see my credentials and bio.  

 "PINNACLES ON TELO". North Sumatra, Indonesia

"PINNACLES ON TELO". North Sumatra, Indonesia

                 QUOTES

    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 instructor. 

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

  
 
 Performing  on the top deck of Ocean Divine in the Maldives -aka Sunset Lounge. 

Performing  on the top deck of Ocean Divine in the Maldives -aka Sunset Lounge. 

surf-charters-Maldives-ocean-divine-27.jpg

Ocean Divine Yacht Charter - Maldives

 Nias -photo Sueng Photogrpahy

Nias -photo Sueng Photogrpahy

 Yoga time- photo Andrew Shield

Yoga time- photo Andrew Shield

 Pinnacles on Telo- Andrew Shield 

Pinnacles on Telo- 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

 Telo Islands - photo -Andrew Shield 

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