For many Hawaii visitors, learning to surf is a major part of their vacation experience. It may even be a so-call “bucket list” item. The Ohana Surf Project has been teaching people to surf in Waikiki for years.
It’s easy enough for anyone to find a surfboard rental in Waikiki and head out into the waves to try their luck. But surfing is hard, and all too often visitors return to the beach winded and defeated without ever having ridden an actual wave. Worse, they can injure themselves or someone else due to their inexperience.
That’s why surf schools like Ohana Surf Project are the best way for visitors ensure a safe and rewarding surfing experience. Each of its more than a dozen instructors are Red Cross certified in Lifeguard, CPR, and First Aid training. They’re lifelong surfers. These are the folks you want next to you for your first surfing experience.
As its name implies, Ohana Surf Project is a family business. OSP’s Sean Anderson is a former professional surfer. He’s been a surf coach for competitive surfers and a surf instructor for 20 years. Also a Kung Fu and martial arts trainer, Anderson has been sharing his love for the ocean and his extensive knowledge and experience for a long time. His daughter Jenna grew up at the school and became an instructor at the age of 14.
Ohana Surf Project has embraced its community and has been embraced in return. It operates at Public’s, a reef break far from the hectic crowds a half-mile away at Canoes, where most beginners go to rent boards or take lessons. It mentors young surfers considering competitive surfing, in addition to offering individual, group and family lessons in surfing, SUP, bodyboarding, and physical fitness. OSP also offers equipment rentals.
Ohana Surf Project doesn’t simply put someone on a surfboard and push them into a wave. Ohana Surf Project teaches more than just how to stand up on a rapidly moving piece of foam in the ocean. Paramount is a respect for and appreciation of the ocean and all the life in it.
There are countless nuances that make up the art of surfing. Subtle things like economy of movement when paddling, gauging the positions of other surfers in the water as well as your own are important. The movements of currents, tides and swells are essential to the surfing experience and are the foundation of OSP’s lessons.
And rather than wait for aspiring surfers to come to the beach, Ohana Surf Project reaches out to the community. OSP partners with organizations like Make-A-Wish, the Wounded Warrior Project, the Maui Ola Foundation, and Access Surf to bring surfing to people of all ages who may face physical, cognitive or physical challenges that would otherwise keep them out of the water. It’s an act of love. OSP offers free Waikiki pickups at 5 locations for those who may have trouble getting to the beach.
It involves a great deal of work to run a surf school with the passion, integrity, and environmental responsibility of Ohana Surf Project. Like the best surfers in the world, they make it look easy.