Summer Schooled

No More Pencils, No More Books but Still Lots to Learn

Who says learning has to end with the school year? Here on the East End, we’re always ready to try something new – and (lucky us!) we’re surrounded by experts who are eager to show us how. Whether you’re looking to take up a new sport, expanding your culinary repertoire, or exploring the pristine scenery of the island on horseback, these pros are ready to show you the ropes. Here are five of our favorite ways to keep your brain as active as your body this summer:

It’s summertime. The ocean is calling. And that means it’s high time you booked your first outing with CoreysWave Surf Lessons (; 516.639.4879). Pro Corey Senese grew up surfing Southern California and Montauk; today, he is a master instructor with experience demonstrating everything from short board to long board to stand-up paddleboard. He started informally teaching visitors that he noticed on the beach in Montauk, and quickly found that he had a knack for explaining technique. These days, he’s as stoked to teach others how to love the waves as he is to ride them himself, and the enthusiasm of his expert staff of instructors is infectious. Worried you won’t have what it takes? All you need is a bathing suit, sun block, a towel, and a change of clothes. CoreysWave provides the board, the wetsuit, surf booties as needed, and all the tips and techniques that you’ll need to “walk” on water.

The horseback bona fides of Montauk’s Deep Hollow Ranch (8 Old Montauk Hwy., Montauk, 631.668.2744) run deep – we’re talking established-in-1658, oldest-cattle- ranch-in-the-country deep. They offer rides across 3,000 acres of trails, from 30-minute trail rides for riders age 6 and up to 90-minute trail rides that include waterfront beach riding. Their well-behaved horses make even first- timers feel comfortable in the saddle, and their expert ride leaders are happy to answer questions as you make your way down the trail. They also host a summertime Pony Camp for kids, where young riders can learn how to groom, tack, brush, and ride. In other words? Even if you really don’t know your stirrup from your gallop, they’ll help show you the way. (And heck, if you fall off on your first ride, chances are, you couldn’t ask for a more comfortable landing spot than the soft sand of the Montauk strand!)

It’s known as “the sport of kings,” but you needn’t have a royal pedigree to learn polo at Southampton Hunt & Polo Club (206 Millstone Rd., Watermill, 516.729.6154). As one of the largest polo clubs in America, they’re uniquely prepared to school you in the art of hitting a ball on horseback: each summer, their Polo School graduates first-time players into bona fide riders. The $2,000 program is 10 hours long and runs the gamut from basics of hitting to the finer points of strategy, culminating in a real match with players of comparable experience. Your tuition includes expert instruction, polo pony, tack, groom, mallets, and facilities. BYO boots, helmet, and gloves, and you’re ready to ride.

Ready to up your game in the kitchen? Place yourself in the talented hands of Chef Arie Pavlou of Bistro Eté (760 Montauk Hwy., Water Mill, 631.500.9085). The Cypriot-born chef not only designs the restaurant’s enticing menus, but also brings his culinary talents to bear on their forward-thinking beverage program. He’s been a professor in the Culinary Arts program at nearby Suffolk County Community College for the past 20 years, so he’s as adept at teaching technique as he is at executing it in his own kitchen. For $125 per person, you’ll enjoy a cocktail demo at the bar, followed by a cooking demo behind the scenes in the restaurant’s kitchen. Then, savor the flavors you’ve created with a delicious dinner and wine pairing surrounded by your new cooking-class pals.

If your fond memories of sleep-away camp have you longing to return, consider the adult version offered by 27tennis (2145 Montauk Hwy., Amagansett, 631.260.1480). Sure, you could take a private lesson (starting at $200 an hour) – or book some open court time ($100 an hour) and try taking a few swings on your own. But nothing compares to the level of attention you’ll receive from your instructors as a participant in Adult Tennis Sleepaway Camp, where you’ll eat, sleep, and breathe tennis until you’re sending screamers at the net like a Williams sister. Oh, and did we mention that their five courts are also conveniently beach-adjacent, so you can cool off after your day of lessons? If that doesn’t motivate you to leave it all on the court, we’re not sure what will.