James Donnelly Waikiki Surf Instructor

James has been surfing for over 20 years and teaching lessons for more than 10. He was formerly a general manager and surfing instructor for one of Hawaii’s — and one of the world’s — largest surf schools. It was there where James first connected with the Make-a-Wish foundation, a charitable organization that arranges unforgettable wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions and their families. A recurring Make-a-Wish foundation request is to visit beautiful Hawaii — and surfing is often a big part of that wish.

James, along with other members of Team Ohana, have participated in the Make-a-Wish surf lessons with these amazing kids. However, James felt called to become a full-time staff member of Make-a-Wish Hawaii, dedicating his life and talents to this worthy cause. As you might have guessed, James has huge heart and is known for his friendly, outgoing nature. And he’s never happier than when he’s in the water surfing and teaching.

FLUENT JAPANESE