Some info about how great our instructors are...
Marion is a Managing Partner and Beach Programs Director for Surf Academy and The Surf Bus Foundation, and is the daughter of both programs' founder, Mary Setterholm. She runs the show -- managing and scheduling private and group lessons, organizing Surf Bus Days and writing grant proposals, and in her spare time, she team coaches Lincoln and John Adams Middle School Surf Teams with Surf Academy favorites: Moshir, Blake, Jimbo, and Maddie.
Marion learned to surf 13 years ago at our first Wild Woman Waterday! She is a founding member of Surf Academy's Surf Team: The Foxy Bangers. Since getting up one knee, her surfing journey has taken her up and down the coast of California: from the big winter waves of Santa Cruz to the summer swells down at Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Her favorite place to surf are the Islands of Oahu and Kauai, not only because the waves are amazing, but so is the weather!
Marion takes both a holistic and step-by-step approach to the sport. She has a knack for relating surfing to something that her students already love -- she helps to gives them a way to connect with an otherwise foreign idea: balancing on a board on water! Marion is also a yoga and pilates teacher at various studios around the South Bay. You can find her at Harmony Yoga in Redondo Beach, YogaLoft in Manhattan Beach, and Ofie's Elite Physiques in Palos Verdes. Her intimate knowledge of the human body helps to inform her teaching style out in the water. Marion believes that immersion in surf culture (and the ocean!) is one of the fastest ways to get STOKED and stay that way! If you ask her, she'll tell you, "Surfing is not standing up on a board. Surfing is finding yourself in harmony with the wave...with the ocean." She gives all her students a copy of The Surfer Code and, if they want it, homework to help maximize their next surfing experience. She is a versatile teacher, and appreciates all manner of student: from groms and grommettes to Silver Surfers. Marion is available for year-round surf lessons at all three of our locations: Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Santa Monica.
Jamie is one of Surf Academy's finest! Teaching for our school since 1999 and now a Managing Partner, Jamie's surfing has grown up in the waters of the South Bay, even though she hasn't--Jamie stands at a tiny yet mighty 4'll". Don't be fooled by her small stature--she's fierce in the water, have no doubt! Her favorite place to surf is Costa Rica, but she settles for the epic waves crashing on Huntington Beach and Manhattan Beach. Jamie is a true soul surfer, turning all holidays into a chance to honor the Sport of Kings. If you're lucky, she will invite you on her never-ending quest for the perfect after-surf burrito!
Jamie is a founding member of Surf Academy's honorary surf team, The Foxy Bangers, a collective of early SA instructors who helped shaped our private surf instruction protocols. Her teaching style could be described as chameleon-esque. She has amazing rapport with children (she's their size, after all!), women of all ages, and of course, she can hold her own with dudes of any size. Jamie has a gentle, practical, and nonsense approach to the sport, allowing the waves to be the real teacher. She is available all year for lessons in Huntington Beach, and is on call for our Manhattan Beach location.
Jason is the manager for Huntington Beach Kids Camp and our resident mechanical engineer. His wagons on wheels help all Surf Academy staff set up and take down our camper villages of tents, tables, and surfboards in record time! Jason's skills in the work room translate to skillz out in the line-up. He is a fun and respectable surf instructor. Jason does an amazing job of conveying the essence of surfing: FUN. He works well with boys and those new surfers hitting Surf City, USA for a summer vacation, or locals who are finally giving surfing a try. He is available for lessons during the months of June through September at our Huntington Beach location.
Moshir learned to surf eight years ago with Surf Academy's surf class at Santa Monica College. You can bet, a lesson with Moshir will have all the components of a solid first surfing experience: board handling skills, ocean awareness, swim skills, and surf skills. He is a lifeguard at the local Santa Monica YMCA and a Boys Surf Camp instructor in the summer months. While Mo loves all kids, he has a special place in his heart for the kids of Surf Bus. He loves working with children and adults that see life as a journey that never ends. Mo has a huge heart for special needs children whose families turn to surfing as a way toward healing. "I feel like these children are a mirror for me. I look into their eyes and I can see my own fears and my joy reflected back to me," says our poetic surfing powerhouse. You can find Mo available for surf lessons all year 'round at our Santa Monica site.
Jimbo is our most recent addition to Team Surf Academy and we are in such gratitude to have him! He brings his sense of humor with him everywhere, and if you have a lesson with Jimbo, you'll learn a great lesson about life: You should laugh at least twenty times a day, and half of those should be at yourself. Be sure you listen well to Jimbo's stories: he is schooling you in the art-form that is "talking story". He's a versatile surfer, enjoying both long and shortboards and proving savvy at both styles. Jimbo's got the stoke of a young grommet, and you can find him at Bay Street in Santa Monica every morning by 6:30am. If he's not getting his own early morning fix, he's helping Surf Academy coach both Lincoln and John Addams Middle School Surf Teams along with Marion, Blake, Moshir, and Maddie. Jimbo is adept at working with children and adults, and shows special talent at working with children who have special needs. He is available to teach in Santa Monica.
Ian is a self-proclaimed "Surf Academy Lifer." He started surfing with our Ohana Nalu surf club back when he was just a grom, and has sure come a long way from his days of being scared of seaweed! Ian is a versatile and stylish goofy-footer, enjoying both short and longboarding, and he is adept at helping students achieve their goals on both types of boards. Currently, Ian is studying at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and if he's not in the library with his books, he's braving the frigid water temps of Northern California. In the summer time, you can find Ian managing the Boys Camp at our Santa Monica site in Ocean Park. Ian is available to teach lessons in Santa Monica during the Summer months of June through early September.