Teacher: Look at these great photos of kids just like you surfing. (points to a picture of a kid about 7 or 8 years old riding the waves like a pro)
Youngest: I don't want to go.
Teacher: I can take you if you want. You and I can go on the board together, and you won't even get wet if you don't want to. See? Just like this guy. (points to a picture of a 4ish year old kid on the front of the surfboard with an adult behind him).
Youngest: No. I just don't want to go.
Teacher: Well, okay. No one is going to make you go. But we can't leave you on the beach by yourself, so you gotta come into the ocean with us.
Youngest: (thinking) Yeah, okay.
Teacher: And we'll get you a board so you have something to sit on while you hang out with us there.
Youngest: (thinking again) Oh. Yeah. Okay.
And off he went into the ocean with us. We had two teachers for the four of us, and one of them took Youngest straight out to catch a wave. And he did it! The teacher held the board steady the whole time, but Youngest stood up on the board, then knelt back down when it was over. I was watching the whole thing and cheering, and the other teacher told me that they see this all the time so they take reluctant kids out immediately before they know what's going on, and then it's all good after that. Which is exactly what happened. :) Youngest came over to me and said he loved surfing and wanted to go again! It was so cute.
DH didn't grow up swimming, but he still had fun and managed to stand up on the board quite regularly. Oldest, of course, took to it immediately. He wiped out, of course, but he got right back up and tried again and again until he was doing everything almost by himself (the teachers would give him a shove to make sure he had enough initial momentum). He wants to go surfing again, and wishes Lake Michigan had bigger waves. :)
So do I, for that matter. I loved it! We were out there for an hour and a half at least, and I was not ready to come in when our lesson was over. Toward the end, everything finally clicked into place and I managed to make it almost to the beach without wiping out. FUN!!! Here's some pictures.