Our Waikiki Surf Story


Ohana means family, and at the Ohana Surf Project, we pride ourselves on our family-oriented approach. Whether you’re a first-time surfer, a return customer or one of our professional surfing coaches and guides, the Ohana Surf Project aims to improve the lives of those we care about and those who come to us for care – just like family. Find out more about our Waikiki Surf Story today.

Our Inspiration

Ohana Surf Project was inspired in part by a sad event. A surfer, father, and guardian of the main spot where we teach passed away and left a void in the surfing break called Publics. The thought of this surfer’s family not feeling as comfortable in the surf without his strength and knowledge of the ocean created a deep empathy in the hearts of the founding members of the Ohana Surf Project. Sean Anderson, co-owner and co-founder of the Ohana Surf Project couldn’t stand the thought that if something happened to him that his own children might not feel comfortable returning to the surf. It became his motto that no child should be left behind when it comes to the surf. So at the Ohana Surf Project we paddle out everyday with the aim of making it possible for as many people as we can to experience the ocean and the surf in way that is safe, inspiring, empowering, invigorating, and fun.

Our Philosophy

Some see the surfing business as a way to make easy money but we see it differently. We see it as a way to provide access to the ocean for as many people as possible while providing our staff professional jobs as surfing coaches and guides.  You can hire just about any old surfer or kid looking for a part time or summer job as cheap labor, then charge people for a lesson and give them in return either a fairly or barely decent experience in the water. Or you can, as OSP does, hire professionals and provide them with a career and salary that they can be proud of knowing that in turn they will provide your clients with much more than just a surfing lesson.

To make surfing accessible for all ages and abilities, our instructors work and volunteer with the Make-A-Wish® Foundation, Wounded Warrior Project®, Mauli Ola Foundation, AccesSurf and our own organization, Ohana Surf Project’s Foundation. It’s part of our dedication to making each experience safe, memorable and fun for all who come to us.

More Than Just a Surfing Lesson

Ohana means family and Aloha means love and the Ohana Surf Project is a way to improve the lives of those we care about and those who come to us for care. As owners, the Project provides us with a way to take care of our crew and provide them with a way to showcase and share their talents and knowledge and provide them with a real career in surfing. For our customers who come to us for our care and knowledge of the ocean, we can provide them with an exceptional experience and introduce them properly to the surfing world and community with aloha. And in doing so provide much more than just a surfing lesson. We take this approach with every aspect of our business. It reminds us daily by its very name that we are a family taking care of other families, providing more than just a job, more than just surfing gear and equipment, more than just a lesson and that the Ohana Surf Project is much more than just a surfing company.

Our Founders

Sean Anderson, CEO & COOscreen-shot-2020-02-25-at-7.25.53-pm

In addition to his extensive experience in management and operations, Sean surfed professionally, coached, and has taught surfing for over 30 years.  He also practices and teaches Kung Fu and other martial arts.  He incorporated his martial arts-based philosophical and technical approaches into his surfing and coaching fundamentals to develop a system of surf instruction called “Level Up”.  Having managed and operated surf schools for the last 20 years, he saw the demand for a higher quality, personalized surf instruction experience.  The key to that is creating a true and sustainable profession for the instructors by offering better pay, benefits and work atmosphere.  Ohana Surf Project was created to provide such an environment.  As a result of this, all of our staff are passionate about surfing and coaching others and teach with the goal of creating a love for our sport, our environment, and each other.

Susan Geraci, CEO & CFO

It is a long way from Wall Street to the beaches of Oahu, but after 38 years, Susan found herself surfing for the first time on the beautiful waters of Waikiki. Having graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, working on Wall Street for many years and then operations in nonprofit institutions, surfing was not even a thought until she arrived in Waikiki.  On those waters, she discovered an outlet and therapy she never knew could be so powerful. After being in the 9/11 attacks at the World Trade Center, she dealt with mild PTSD for many years, not realizing how much it was impacting her life. The sense of strength, serenity and release from anxiety she experienced while out on the water helped heal her spirit. Through Ohana Surf Project, she wants as many people as possible to experience the healing nature of the water and the power of surfing.

Say Aloha to Our Ohana

Learn what makes instruction at the Ohana Surf Project so much more than conventional Waikiki surfing lessons. Contact us today by phone or via online form to speak with a friendly member of our Ohana.

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We offer free pick-up in our Surf School Bus vehicles from Waikiki!



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