• Report: #737177

Complaint Review: Tony Silvagni Surf School

  • Submitted: Sun, June 05, 2011
  • Updated: Tue, July 22, 2014

  • Reported By: EJOY — Saratoga Springs New York United States of America
Tony Silvagni Surf School
719 Grand Banks Drive Wilmington, NC Wilmington, North Carolina United States of America

Tony Silvagni Surf School Expensive, Over priced, Not Military Friendly, A Rip Off, A Total Monopoly, Not Worth the Money, Corporate Scam Wilmington, North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: Opposite Experience

*Consumer Comment: Tony Silvagni

*Consumer Comment: Nothing But The Best

*Consumer Comment: Raleighmom2

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Bottom line up front: Any savvy surfer can tell you that Silvagni's is a rip off. Find someone else to teach you how to surf. You can teach yourself how to paddle board instead of paying some kid 60 bucks for ten minutes worth of instruction. Just go on U TUBE, Get a board and then stand on it. Its practically a kayak. Anyhow, if you care to read about the extent of my experience with Tony Silvagni surf school, keep reading. 
If not, just heed my warning and go elsewhere. 

First, let me start by saying that I've read some negative reviews online about this business, but wasn't sure about the veracity of other reviewers claims. I've concluded that it's sufficient to say that the negative reviews were on point, as no rebuttals can be found anywhere on the website. This is because A. the owner is stupid or B because they are truthful.  Due to the highly corporatized nature of Silvagni's surf school, I'd say B, other reviewers are totally justified when they say that this place is a RIP OFF. 

Tony Silvagni Surf School has a monopoly in Carolina Beach and Wilmington, NC. Every single shop in the town has his brochure and if you ask any one in this town, they will tell you Tony Silvagni is THE surf school to go to in town. They say its a two students to one instructor at a rate of 60 bucks each for a two hour session. We told them we didnt need that many instructors for a paddle board instructions in the inter coastal waterway (which is just a bunch of docks, still water, and boats) and yet they STILL charged us 60 bucks each for four students.

We got some kid who gave us ten minutes of instruction for 240 bucks.  Then, we asked if we could hold onto the boards for the rest of the day (it was 1 PM). They intially wanted to charge us 30 bucks a board for four hours. We asked  the owner to give us a discount, since usually surf schools let you keep the  board for the whole day for FREE. Even at Ron Jons in Cocoa Beach did that for us. Nope, not here, they offered us 20 bucks a board for four hours. What Samaritans, right?

I have a lot of experience hiring instructors for surfing in  (Aqua East and Ron Jon's) Florida, Costa Rica (Witch's Rock), Indonesia(some dudes that didnt speak English) and Barbados (Melonie). All of my experiences the people were very cool and genuinely were trying to give you a good deal. All of these instructors were honest hard working people who went above and beyond to earn your business and refer them to other people.

My husband and I tipped very generously. We liked them and felt like they treated us fairly. This is the first place I've been to where I realized that the "cool surfer" dude owner is just another corporatized money grubbing blood sucker. Don't be fooled by the "surfer" vibe- anyone can talk like Crush (the turtle from Finding Nemo). "Saw the whole thing, dude. First you were all like "whoa", and we were like "whoa", and you were like "whoa..."  


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/05/2011 08:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Tony-Silvagni-Surf-School/Wilmington-North-Carolina-28412/Tony-Silvagni-Surf-School-Expensive-Over-priced-Not-Military-Friendly-A-Rip-Off-A-Tot-737177. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Opposite Experience

AUTHOR: Dad with kids - (USA)

 I am currently staying in Carolina Beach with my sons. We have had the exact opposite experience. Before we came, Tony was very helpful on email. His attitude and fast responses helped convince me that Carolina Beach was going to be a good destination. The first day we were here, we had our first lesson. It was the first time on a board for all three of us. We had 2 instructors for the three of us. They charged us a group rate, even though I essentially got a private lesson while the other instructor taught my boys. Today we had our second lesson. I cancelled for myself at the last minute because I'm sun burned. They had no problem with it. As a result, they had 2 instructors for my 2 boy. They charged for a group rate anyway. Moreover, the owner supervised and jumped in to give each of them personal instructions when he saw something from shore that the in-water instructors couldn't see. I expect to do another lesson before the week is out. My kids are having a great time, mostly because of the positive, friendly attitudes of Tony and his team. I've also seen two other surfing schools as I walked through town. I can't disagree with the original poster about his experience; I simply wasn't there. But his statement that Tony has a local monopoly is simply not true. I hope everyone has as awesome of a time learning to surf as we have had. With love, Wm

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#2 Consumer Comment

Tony Silvagni

AUTHOR: sobx - ()

I met Tony this weekend for the first time, and he is about as warm and welcoming as one could ask for.  i was asking for advice and he was eager to provide including no pressure to participate with his school or pushing his gear.  I enjoyed talking with him and from my brief experience, I would say he is a great guy and is making a business of what he loves.  I'm not sure what is wrong with that.  The terms are clear, in my opinion very fair, and it is a business.  I hope he is doing splendidly well.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Nothing But The Best

AUTHOR: Koifishmama - (United States of America)

We've been going to Tony Silvagni's Surf School since last year and have had nothing but positive experiences. Tony runs a professional, safe, clean, and ethical family-run business. I would never consider it to be a "monopoly" in any sense- there are several other surf schools in the Carolina Beach and Wilmington areas. Tony was raised in neighboring Kure Beach, and he is a bit of a local hero. He is a nationally ranked longboarder (the first ever from NC), and competes Internationally. I don't think that in any way constitutes a "monopoly"- he is just locally known, admired, and loved. And you get what you pay for. Tony runs a tight ship, and oversees his surf school operations as much as humanly possible. If anything isn't 100%, he fixes the problem. If a consumer in any way has a problem with Tony and/or one of his Instructors, he is extremely approachable, honest, and genuine. He wants to do the right thing! We've been going to see Tony and his Surf School for over a year- and although he needs to run a business to pay the bills, he is in no way solely driven by profit. He does a lot of charity work- and is truly committed to sharing his love for surfing with everyone- especially children. My daughter is disabled and cannot swim, and yet Tony has taken her out surfing time and time again. Sometimes we just show up to the beach with no appointment, and he will always make time for my daughter. I have to force him to take money from us- often hiding it in his backpack, or giving it to his Mother or office manager. He's a true professional, and I'm really surprised that there is a complaint out there. I really urge the consumer to talk with Tony- I promise you he will make it right.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Raleighmom2

AUTHOR: Raleighmom2 - (United States of America)

My daughters took 2 group lessons with Tony Silvagni's Surf School in July. They said it was the most fun they have had this summer!! In fact, they begged for a repeat trip to Carolina Beach for more surfing lessons.

My kids are military kids. Their father has returned from Afghanistan earlier this year. I state that because of the previous report about Tony Silvagni Surf Scool is not military friendly. We have only experienced excellent, friendly and professional service. They have bent over backwards to accommodate us! Their surfing instructors are young, patient, fun, helpful, drug-free kids.

We returned this weekend (Labor Day) and the girls took lessons from Micah. They were able to surf really well with his guidance. We have signed up again for lessons. We have consistently been pleased with Tony Silvagni's Surf School. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in learning to surf or want to improve their surfing skills.
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