Hawaii Surfing Clinics & Lessons

Hawaii's first surfing institution in Hawaii, Nancy Emerson started “Nancy Emerson School of Surfing” and has been teaching people of all ages to surf since 1973. Focusing on the complete surf experience with Nancy's Hawaii surf lessons and surf clinics.  Nancy Emerson surf schools in Hawaii place a strong emphasis on water safety, ocean awareness and surfing etiquette. Coaching with a keen eye to the subtle aspects of form and style, with a specialty in developing a proper foundation for the beginner and first-time surfers, as well as providing the tools and techniques to help hone the skills of even the most experienced surfer.

We want you to feel as comfortable as possible on your surfboard prior to getting in the ocean and this briefing gives you time to ask any surfing related questions you may have. After paddling out to the break together, your surf instructor will be there to coach and guide you into the waves. Their focus in the water will be on your safety as well as proper wave knowledge, surfing style, and technique.

Nancy guarantees that with her teaching techniques you will transform and progress your surfing ability to new heights of confidence and precision. This is based on Nancy and her instructors reinforcements, level of dedication, passionate, patient and sensitive style of coaching and teaching for over 35 years world wide. Nancy has a keen eye to the subtle aspects of form for the first time beginner to the experienced surfer and is endorsed by the Association of Surfing Professionals

One on one surf lessons will gives you a private surf lesson.  You will receive personalized instruction, customized to help you achieve your surfing goals.  Private, one on one lessons are perfect for the first time beginners who want to learn the fundamentals of surfing.  And for the intermediate surfers who want to improve their skills, practice catching bigger waves or work on their bottom turns, round house cutbacks, staying in the tube longer and walking the nose if you are a long boarder.  Our classes and surf clinics are done with an instructor by your side throughout your entire two or three hour class.

They offer Semi-Private classes and surf clinics, which is made for two to three people.  This is a perfect way to learn surfing techniques with someone you enjoy learning with.  You do have an ample amount of individual attention during your surf lesson or surf clinic and share your fun surfing experience  which will make it memorable for both of you.

They also offer Private Group surf lessons for your whole family and friends.  Here you will enjoy sharing surfing in a Easy, Fun, and Safe comfortable environment. Nancy has trained all her surf instructors personally and we keep a 4 to one ratio per surf instructor.  If you have five or six family or friends learning we add another instructor on to your class to keep your class very personal in your learning.

Nancy’s instructors and coaches are passionate and dedicated to teaching, sharing knowledge and providing a quality experience to each and every one of our clients who travel from all around the world to learn the sport of surfing here in its birthplace of Hawaii.

Ms. Emerson has had schools of surfing and surf clinics also in Japan, Malibu, California, Florida, Dominican Republic, Namotu, Fiji,  Marshall Islands and Samoa.

Nancy Emerson School of Surfing will take you to some of the most beautiful beaches and surfing spots along Oahu and other Hawaiian Islands, which will take your breath away.  

You can also enjoy a late afternoon after surfing on Oahu for a leisurely sunset with Nancy’s favorite Hula dancer at the Halekulani Hotel, or cruise down to The Moana Hotel and listen to beautiful Hawaiian Music.  Or pick up some yummy food from Diamond Head Grill or Whole Foods and have a picnic on the Surf Beach at Kaimana Beach near Diamond Head on Oahu, Hawaii.

Most Sundays at the Outrigger Hotel out at Dukes on Waikiki Beach You can enjoy dancing to Henry Kapono’s music till sunset and then enjoy a yummy dinner watching the waves.

Private Group Lesson or Clinic

Maximum 4 students per instructor

Adults and teens and children from 10 years plus welcome to come surfing. Children 9 years and under are requested to take a private surfing lesson to ensure safety and the best results.  If there are few children the same age, you can make reservations for semi-private classes or private group surf clinic.

This is the destination you long for, and the place that beckons you back time and time again. The good news is that there’s no bad time to go to sign up for Oahu surf lessons or Hawaii surf clinics & lessons in Hawaii. You can expect a little more rain between November and March, but temperatures hover in the mid 70's to mid 80's all year round.

The surfing lesson starts on the beach, getting you suited up with the appropriate rash guard and surfboard, followed by instruction on ocean awareness, water safety, reading the conditions and surf etiquette.

Nancy or one of her instructors will present a detailed demonstration on the beach of how to:

  • safely enter and exit the ocean
  • paddle out through the waves or channel
  • judge the timing of when to paddle for a wave
  • position yourself to catch a wave, stand up and ride the wave


Your instructor will then paddle out and demonstrate these techniques you have just learned. This is extremely helpful to be able to visualize all you will be doing before entering the ocean.

Your surfing instructor will then take you out, guiding you through the channel or breaking surf and into the line up to get the best rides of your life.

You have plenty of time to practice and go at your own speed.

Each Nancy Emerson School of Surfing instructor is patient, sensitive and passionate. All in all the lesson will be filled with excitement, fun and knowledge and is guaranteed to be one of the best experiences of your life

I have a much greater understanding and awareness of surfing now. I have learnt what to aim for and what to correct. It was a great privilege to be taught by Nancy, and all in all the week proved to be a memorable, encouraging and extremely fun experience!

Elena Vidal
Art Consultant, Spain


Mahalo Nancy for teaching me the techniques of surfing



Nancy Emerson pushed me into my first wave in 1986, when we were working on the film North Shore together. I stood up on every wave and fell in love with the ocean. If you want a beautiful relationship with surfing, spend some time with Nancy in the water. Share in her expertise, her oneness with the ocean and her kind and joyful spirit. It’s what surfings all about.

Nia Peeples
Actor May 2009