Hawaiian Islands

“Internationally acclaimed Surfing Champion Nancy Emerson with her personal technique will teach you how to surf and will have you experience one of your finest experiences of your life.”

New York Times

“If there’s anything you want to know about the art of surfboard riding, Maui’s First Lady of Surfing, Nancy Emerson will certainly have the answer.”

Gerry Lopez
Hawaii’s World famous Surfing Legend, Mr. Pipeline

“She has businessmen, doctors, lawyers and students. There are more women now than ever before learning the sport of surfing from the famous”Nancy Emerson School of Surfing” in the Hawaiian Islands”

Los Angeles Times

“Nancy Emerson’s experience gives her a keen eye for the subtle aspects of form that have a profound effect on how well you surf. The benefit of her insight will be a valuable and enlightening experience for any surfer.” Looking forward to taking some lessons in Hawaii sometime soon!”

Stewart Carl

“Team building activities are integral to our business. We all know the benefits of increased productivity and the development of more open communication channels, but in 2005 I was challenged by my staff to find a fresh, creative, and stimulating avenue for our annual team building activity. Nancy Emerson’s Corporate Surfing Clinic provided the angle I was looking for. Learning to surf was the ultimate leveler, providing a fun, relaxed and educational environment that also offered a skill for life – ocean awareness. My staff have requested (for the first time) to repeat Nancy’s clinic in 2006. I would definitely encourage other organizations to choose this as a team building activity because I know how much they would benefit from it.”

Heather Domain
Corporate Relations Unit, GTE.Net

“I attended my company’s sales conference in Hawaii back in 1996. As a team-building event, Nancy and her staff conducted a surf clinic for those who were interested.

Nancy and her team of instructors were professional, informative and experienced surfers. They taught us proper techniques and stressed safety, but at the same time, made it a very enjoyable experience, especially for those of us who have never been on a surfboard.

Whether it’s one-on-one or as a group, you can always count on Nancy for high quality instruction. Her experience as a professional surfer, effective instructional techniques and respect for the ocean make her lessons a valuable and unique experience.”

Carla Gavalakis
course developer Vmware

“Joao Marco was awesome. He was patient, practical, kind and helpful. And, given the time between sets, I found him to be a very good conversationalist. I’m not sure if JMarco told you, but he was my 4th instructor in as many years and this was the first time I felt I actually got a good ride standing up. He taught me a lot.”

Greg Tjosvold
Canada March 2014

“Dear Nancy.

Happy New Year! Hope you and all your wonderful instructors had a great holiday. Thank you so much for making our trip to Hawaii such a blast. We’ve been to the islands many times and this last visit was, by far, the most fun for everyone, thanks to you and Geraldine.

Peter is still talking about how he “shredded” and very time he tells someone about it, the waves get bigger and bigger. I figured by the end of this year, he’ll be telling everyone he surfed the Pipeline. Alison, on the other hand, has a much more realistic recollection of the trip…”Dad, we were surfing in foam, for God’s sake.” Strange how people interpret the same situation so differently!

Anyway, the enclosed check is a little “thank you” to Geraldine for making Alison’s vacation so memorable. She really is a fantastic instructor and I can’t thank her enough. And thank you, for making a middle-aged man feel like a kid again. It really was the highlight of the year for Peter.
If you ever need a recommendation, please feel free to call us. I can’t say enough about you and your school. Mahalo, Mahalo, Mahalo!

Nancy, Peter & Alison Anguar
Mill Valley, California

“Thank you so much for your lesson in Oahu, Hawaii 30 Dec. 1998. It was a great experience for me. After the lesson, I bought a new long board at Hi-Tech Surf Shop, where you recommended and ship it to Japan. Now I have return to Japan and would like to try surfing at Kochi shore. Thank you again.”

Shinichi Ikegawa
Doctor, Japan

“I have safely arrived at Tokyo yesterday and gotten back to the hectic job again. I earnestly thank you very much for your support and hospitality, which made my stay in Oahu most enjoyable and unforgettable. Through the clinic at your surf school, I have realized surfing is far more interesting than I had anticipated and have determined to keep doing that. Please send my many thanks to David as well. Looking forward to seeing you soon and have KATSUDON at Arakawa’s again, I really am. Mahalo!!!”

Hiro Sawada Hiryuki
Banker, Japan

“We have been bragging about you to everyone. Maybe you will be seeing some of our friends soon! At any rate, we hope to get back soon and for sure we will look you up. It was nice meeting you… hope this isn’t the end. Thanks again for being a great teacher.”

Georgianne Nienaber
New Jersey, USA

“Dear Nancy, I wanted you to know what a great experience I had at your school this past February. My instructor David made my first surfing experience very enjoyable. Thanks to them surfing turned out to be easy and as much fun as I had imagined it would be. My wife’s Christmas surfing gift certificate to me was well worth it. Though I must admit two things, first, it is tiring paddling out thru the waves and second, I cannot wait to try it again. I wish we could have made our stay in Hawaii longer so I could have surfed more. My wife is convinced we should move there. Anyway, I thought you should hear of the positive image your staff promotes for your school. I would be the first to recommend your school to others and plan on using it again upon my inevitable return to Hawaii. Please thank David again for me.”


Greg Lang
Upstate New York

Learn from an international surfing champion who is in the Hawaiian Women’s Hall of Fame for the Ocean

International professional surfing champion, Nancy Emerson was born and raised in California and Hawaii and has corporate experience working for Warner Bros, Disney, Sony and Universal Studios, to name a few.

Nancy’s passion is sharing her knowledge of the ocean and surfing to empower others to achieve what they want in life.

A natural at improvisation, Nancy colors surfing activities with her native language to give people a taste of authentic Hawaiian surfing language.

Film Producer, Hollywood, California

“My wife and I were on our Honeymoon on Sept. 12 of this year in Hawaii. We decided to take surfing lessons, she had never tried it before, and I had tried unsuccessfully. There was another couple that was also taking surf lessons at the same time. The gentleman was 50 and had promised himself that on his 50th birthday he wanted to be surfing, his wife watched him from the shore. David was an excellent and entertaining instructor. The morning was worth every dime and more!! There isn’t a person I know that goes to Hawaii without us recommending your school. People love the Certificates that you give out. We have ours framed in our den.


Kevin Stanley

“Nancy gives you the Freedom to Learn with the personal tips to keep you trying. She works with your personal style instead of trying to teach you her style. A Great Experience, a must for everyone”.

Matthew Van Hoose
Little League Coach

Dear Nancy Well, I’ve been home long enough for my skin to peel, my arms to stop aching and my brain to sputter into gear sufficiently to comment on my surfing lessons last week. I want to say something about the sport, the school and the superintendent The basic idea was simple; I was coming to Hawaii to answer a question: would surfing be part of the second half of my life? Forty years old, living in a Midwestern grain-break and twenty-nine years removed from a California adolescence featuring no surfing instruction leading to no surfing technique, I wanted to determine if surfing itself, rather than just the clothes or the magazines, could be a genuine part of my life. What I needed was a dollop of instruction atop an entree of encouragement. Fortunately, this is America. I chose your school for three reasons: (1) nice glossy ads in major surf publications; (2) prompt and courteous, nay genuinely interested replies to my inquiries; (3) Hawaii location. I was in no way disappointed. Great spots, great organization, great equipment and, fortunately, great conditions for learning, combined to make for a week of solid instruction and modest but substantive improvement. Of course I never doubted I could get up and ride a wave… provided I could muster the courage and capacity to paddle out! That’s where the teaching really paid off. As they say, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and I’m sure it’s easier to instruct a novice than to try and correct the faults of someone like me who knows just enough to get into trouble. I mean, I never doubted that if a dog could surf so could I, but could I look as good as Apache doing it? What I really appreciated was your ability to combine tolerance for my faults (which after all, and despite their severity, had sustained my enthusiasm for decades) with specific guidance for eliminating them (eg. where to sit, where and how to paddle, where to look, how to kick out, etc.). It’s true I was pretty hopeless at implementing your all-important Rule #1 (Relax), but my deep-seated predilection for tension and anxiety could hardly be undermined in a week. I should also mention how much I appreciate your efforts to inculcate respect and concern for Hawaii’s natural environment, efforts refreshingly at odds with the prevalent Hawaii-as-amusement -park mentality. My main goal in taking some lessons was to determine whether I could surf the rest of my life.. Whether I could master the techniques requisite for paddling out in moderate surf and catching a few waves.. Or whether I should simply be content with my childhood memories of taking off on and riding (but never pulling out of!) a handful of waves. My goal was completely realized: I can surf”.

Mark P. Jenkins
Chicago, USA
Retired Stock Broker, currently Freelance Writer

“When it comes to Nancy Emerson’s surfing instruction, the eagle has landed at its best”.

Mark Hogge
Virginia, USA Federal Attorney


Hawaiian Islands

“Fantastic 5 Days on Maui”

“Just wanted to say what and awesome time I recently had surfing for 5 days with instructor Loea on Maui! Been surfing for a year and wanted to focus on improving a few specific things with some solid practice. Loea’s tips were really great and I’ve been able to put them into practice back home. Learnt a lot, had a lot of fun and what a beautiful place! 

Nancy was also incredibly helpful with regular communication and tips on where to stay and how to get about the island. Very happy to have booked through Nancy and would highly recommend to anyone thinking of booking a surf trip soon!! Mahalo!”

Melbourne, Australia, August 2016


“My childhood friend Nancy Emerson always could surf. She shredded at our home break at Makaha and was fearless in the water. Always gave the boys a challenge for the biggest wave in a 12- 15 foot set and earned their respect. She went on to trail blaze and win surf contests all over the world creating a path for the girl surfers of today in a then male dominated sport.

There are some folks you’d never go out in a dingy on a flat lake with and there are those you trust as consummate watermen. Nancy is one of the later. And now you too can learn to surf! Nancy has assembled some of the best surfers Hawaii has to teach you. She guarantees with her “learn to surf in one lesson” system you will be standing on your board and riding the waves in no time.

Located on Oahu Nancy can accommodate groups, families or single surfers. She also offers a special coaching sessions for experienced surfers looking to reach another level. The original “soul surfer,” call my friend Nancy now, and experience Hawaii from the water. It’s a Hawaii you will not forget”.

Chenoa Ellis
Stunt Professional

**********!!! I would give Nance ten out of five stars if possible!! She is one of the most knowledgeable, positive, and constructive surf teachers both in and out of the water. As an avid surfer and traveler, I would recommend Nance and her surf school to anyone at any level: whether you’re a seasoned professional or it’s your first time ever paddling out. Nance will physically as well as mentally help you to the best surfer you can be. I am so blessed to have worked with her and truly believe she is the epitome of the aloha spirit.

Suzy Skarulis
Singer song writer, actor and comedian 2014 March

“Nancy Emerson pushed me into my first wave in 1986. 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 surfing’s all about.”

Nia Peeples
Actor May 2009

We wanted to thank you again for being such a patient surf instructor and helping us create a memory that we will have forever. We had such a great time and we owe that all to you.

We appreciate your water safety and surf expertise and if we were to return to Hawaii, we would want to try again. You helped put my husband’s mind at ease, relax and enjoy the moment. It was a big deal for him to overcome his apprehension of open water.

Mahalo again,

John, Amy and Abby Mickle
August 2013

“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

“I feel that I learned a lot these past few days. I know what to work on now, and Nancy is an inspiring teacher with incredible patience. The week was very motivating, and made me want to continue surfing as much as possible. Thanks for an amazing week!”

Elisa Mosler
College student, London

Hi! Nancy

I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your great customer service and for setting up the surf clinic with Steve. Steve was an excellent coach but even more important, he was really fun to chat and share experiences.

It was more fun than I expected and I gained a few tips that will be crucial to my future surfing. Things like the line up, proper boards, more weight on back foot for turns, and backside drop were all improved during the trip. And I definite plan to do a couple more within a year. If I can manage well, I am hopeful for at least one clinic per 6 months. I will definite be in touch.

Again, thanks very much for your kind support during the entire process.


Victor Souza
San Francisco

“I’ve known and worked with Nancy Emerson for many years. I’ve seen her teach 100’s of people to have a safe & enjoyable surfing experience. She is a True water person whose knowledge & experience is a product of more than 35 years in the surfing industry. I’ve surfed with Nancy all over the Hawaiian Islands & the South Pacific (Fiji-Namotu & Tavarua) so I speak from firsthand experience. I highly recommend her as a surfing teacher or partner. She helped me on many occasions……… Mahalo Nancy.”

David Millen
Chief at Roy’s in Hawaii

I support Nancy Emerson & recommend her Surf Clinics

It was in April of 1966 when I became aware of Nancy Emerson and her exceptional surfing ability. I was the Manager of the Hobie Surf Shop on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica and had learned of her success at the D&W Surf contest. She had just missed 1st Place by one point and was the youngest competitor competing with the older gals. I invited her to visit the shop, which she did, with her really great Mom (no driving license yet). I invited her to join the Hobie Santa Monica Surf Team, first girl on the team.

Upon getting to know Nancy better and better and realizing what a great surfer and person she was, I invited her to the Malibu Surfing Association meeting. After three visits to MSA meetings, the rest of the membership was equally impressed and she was voted into the Malibu Surfing Association. She and Davy Hilton were voted in at the same time, the youngest ever to become members.

Nancy continued to surf in competition and became one of the first Professional Women Surfers. Her familiarity of numerous surf spots throughout the world gave her knowledge unavailable to most. She turned this awareness into helping younger surfers on the way up by coaching them to contest success.

Nancy offers her Surf Clinics to devoted clients from all over the world. She makes sure that water safety, awareness and appreciation is part of the program. I recommend Nancy Emerson Surf Clinics to water enthusiasts at any stage of surfing capability. The results will be improvements at all levels of performance and an increased enjoyment of the ocean. As they say in The Islands….Garans……

With Aloha

Baby Dave Rochlen

“Aloha! Nancy I loved Sasha and my lessons!!! She is wonderful instructor, I had the best time & I did pretty well. My ribs are just so sore! I am nothing, but happy & grateful for wonderful experience.” “I loved every minute. Being in the ocean feels so wonderful. If I get back to Hawaii soon, I’ll call and try again. I am very pleased with how well I surfed & Sasha definitely gets credit for that. Its all good Nancy… Mahalo!!”

Cindy Byrne
Montana, USA Feb. 2014

Hello! Nancy

I had a great time with your chief instructor for my surf lessons. I loved it and I am so happy I found your surf school. I want to book lessons again next time I am in Hawaii!

 Jane Stoller
March 2012

“First I want to thank you for your Ohana Aloha Welcome. I had such a great experience.

Nancy’s welcoming Aloha spirit, and genuinely felt she really wanted me to have a positive experience with my surfing. She took the time after I had filled out the on line registration, I thought was a very thorough questioner, for her to understand my experience with the ocean, and use as a teaching tool. I had hit a plateau with my surfing and need some guidance I had met Nancy a few months back in Fiji. I have been surfing for approximately 8 years, and am an instructor at a surf camp in the summer, here in Southern California.

My first was a clinic in San Clemente that a group of my friends participated in. It was there the beginning of working out some bad habits. The next weekend I went to San Onfre, I had such a great session, and more confidence with the new techniques I had learned.

Two weeks later I was in Hawaii, I had schedule private 1 on 1 with Nancy. She took my back to the basics. I was in a new spot, with new information. Nancy focused on my positive abilities first, and led into constructive instruction, that led to more confidant, controlled rides.

She takes the time to write out affirmations for each student based on her observation and information with each student. That I believe helps her to better connect with the individual. A very personal way for the breakthroughs I experienced. I’m grateful to Nancy, her experience is defiantly a positive improvement to my surfing, and has taken me to a new level, I feel ready for.”

Kiki Foley
California Surfer Girl

“Internationally acclaimed Surfing Champion Nancy Emerson with her personal technique will teach you how to surf and will have you experience one of your finest experiences of your life.”

New York Times

Aloha Nancy,

Now that I’ve come down a bit from my Hawaiian high I’m finally able to reflect on my trip and write you this letter. As corny as it sounds, words really cannot adequately express what an extraordinary time I had when I took my series of surfing lessons from you. As you know, I hadn’t surfed in almost 25 years and was feeling a lot of anxiety and self-doubt. All of that vanished at the beginning of my very first lesson. You provided instruction in a way that was clear, supportive, patient, positive and most of all, fun, I was formerly a teacher and I know what it takes to impart information and skills and, believe me, you have all of the special qualities that teaching requires. You bolstered my self-confidence and made me feel successful (and I did ride waves the first day as promised!).

Life experiences are priceless to me…more important than money and material possessions. The experience I received from you and your wonderful staff – Dave, Doug and Geraldine – will stay with me always. I’m looking forward to getting out into the California surf and applying all of the things you taught me. I know now that I can do it!

Mahalo and love to you,

Jim Trombella
Santa Barbara, California
Social Worker

“Great with kids and grown-ups!

I booked a 2-hour private surf lesson for myself and a 2-hour private boogie boarding lesson for my 8-year-old daughters in Hawaii. The experience was fantastic from start to finish. First, when I called the School, Nancy personally answered. She was meticulous in thinking about how to structure the lessons and which instructor(s) to use, given our ages, abilities, and needs. This was incredibly valuable, since I didn’t have a clue about surfing. For example, my instruction took place at one beach and my daughters’ at another, tailored to our differing swimming abilities and objectives. Then, the lessons themselves were excellent. Jimmy instructed both me and my daughters, and placed a high emphasis on safety and understanding the ocean’s potential dangers and how to manage them. At my lesson, after a good stretch and instructional phase, we went out into the water and Jimmy gave me first-rate, specific instruction on how to spot the waves, ride the waves, and get up on the surfboard. It was easier than I expected! When it came time for my daughters’ lesson, Jimmy was wonderful with them. He provided age-appropriate instruction and made it really fun. They, too, learned about managing the ocean and waves, along with good boogie-boarding technique. They later told me that this lesson was the highlight of their trip! I would have to agree.”

Sue Provenzano
Chicago, Visited June 2015

“Perfect for Teens!

My teen daughter was fired up about her 3 days of surf lessons, I haven’t seen her so excited all year. She quickly bonded with her instructor Raquel, a college graduate who was a wonderful role model as a young woman. She is an accomplished surfer and athlete, and it was clear the surf school had made safety and proper instruction a priority. By the end of 3 days of lessons, my daughter who had only surfed one time previously was walking up and down her board and catching wave after wave. She could even roll upside down with her board to go under big waves! To see her get great surf skills so quickly was wonderful but even better was how much fun she had, while I knew she had an expert with her to keep me from worrying about her getting swept out to sea! Overall it couldn’t have been better and we will enroll her again next trip so she can work on more advanced skills. I highly recommend!

5 star Surfing one of the things That’s especially difficult to learn with no or the wrong instruction.  Do it with Nancy’s people.

Have no regrets.”

Jill Reingold
Arizona Visited March 2015

“Private Surf lesson at Waikiki Beach

I had a private surf lessen with Sasha of Nancy Emerson School of Surfing in March 2014. We fixed the appointment one day in advance and all went very well, Sasha called me and at the day and time of the lesson it was easy to find the spot, Sasha was on time and before we went into the water we had a short introduction on the board at the beach. I was nervous and a little scared and she took all this away from me. We practiced 2 hours and in the end I stood on the board and rode a wave. It was awesome and I had a lot of fun. I had a great time and Sasha was very nice and kind. I would definitely book a lesson with her again.”

Thank you.
Visited March 2014

Uma boa escola de surfe, sobretudo para iniciantes, professores muito atentos e capacitados, é um prazer frequentar esse local, recomendo muito!

A good school of surfing, especially for beginners, very attentive and trained teachers, it is a pleasure to attend this place, highly recommend it!”

Flory G
Salvador, BA
Visited November 2014

“I had a great time with my private surf lessons booked through the Nancy Emerson School of Surfing on Oahu. The process for scheduling was incredibly easy and painless. Nancy provided an immediate and very personalized response to my request. We had the opportunity to discuss what my goals were and my level of experience and level of physical fitness. In anticipation of the lessons, Nancy provided good advise on preparation and some simple exercises to get the ball rolling early. My instructor was Sasha. She was fantastic. She’s an experienced surfer and has a background in education so her instruction was clear, focused and easily understood. Her relaxed and cheerful style was so perfect for calming nerves and building confidence. I highly recommend her as well as the school for surfing instruction and will likely use their services to teach my children when they are ready!??”

Ryan Hagino

5 star
“Nancy taught me to surf umpteen years ago and I will be forever grateful! She is a legendary water woman and yet, when teaching, is extremely sensitive to all of her clients, including the most fearful novice. She makes her lessons challenging, fun and certainly rewarding! Consider yourself lucky to be in one of her clinics!”

Stephanie Reynolds
October 2014

5 star
“Everything from my initial email inquiry to the last day of surfing was handled very professionally. I have surfed a little before but decided to pay for some coaching to create a solid foundation for the future. I expressed this in my initial email and Nancy couldn’t have put me with a better coach. Joao Marco is a wealth of surfing knowledge, but he only gives you the pointers and tips you really need. I never felt overwhelmed with things to think about or do when I was surfing. In five days of two hour sessions I was able to learn a few new surf spots, gain some good local knowledge about the area, have a TON of fun, and progress my surfing more than I ever have. This is the way to go if you are looking for lessons or coaching… at any level. Thanks Nancy and Joao Marco, see you next fall.”

Matt Lancaster
Canada October 2013

5 star
“I did quite a bit of research when I decided to take surf lessons on my trip to Hawaii. I saw the Nancy Emerson Surf school listed on Frommers travel website in their list of top 10 surf schools in the world! I use Frommers as a trusted resource when I travel so that started my process. Nancy & I corresponded back & forth and she asked lots of questions about my wants, physical abilities, etc.. I was still healing from past shoulder surgery; she even gave me some exercises to build shoulder strength prior to my trip – which helped! I booked 3 days of privates with Sasha. Sasha was amazing! We had a great time, I actually got up on my first wave. I had a lot of good rides! I had the best time! I will surf with them again when i return. Great experience – I highly recommend it!”

Cindy Byrne



“I went to Australia and It was the best choice I could have made. Nancy took my skills up to the next level. Nancy was a wonderful teacher and tour guide. I was traveling by myself, so she introduced me to some really nice people and showed me all the entertainment spots and eateries. I feel the Gold Coast is a wonderful choice for surfers. I have been to Hawaii, Fiji and of course Malibu, but from my own experience the Gold Coast has many more choices than any place I’ve been, and the breaks are more consistent. When I arrived in Australia, I had some poor surfing habits and did not know about all the hazards and the safety precautions one must take in the ocean. After my lessons, I feel a lot more confident and I am a better surfer. I had a great time, not only with my surfing, but with the Australian culture. I admire how everyone treats everyone else with respect. Anyone looking for a good surfing safari outside of the United States should not look any further than Down Under and Nancy Emerson should certainly be the surfing guide.”

Jennifer Chapman
Professional Dog Trainer
Malibu, California

“To Whom It May Concern,

I would like to comment on the status and reputation of Nancy Emerson in the international surfing community. I met Nancy for the first time in Hawaii. My friend and I took a semi-private surf lesson from her. I found Nancy’s surfing school from the Internet. Her web site attracted me because it was professionally done, informative and fun! I was impressed by her alumni, from famous movie stars to surfing champions.

Being an instructor myself (since 1986, teaching in the computer industry) I value high quality instruction. Nancy’s school is high quality! She has vast experience, emphasizes safety, as well as respect for the ocean, and her instructional techniques are extremely effective.

This experience motivated me to look Nancy up when I was in Australia for business reasons. I took a special trip up from Sydney to the Gold Coast to take another set of lessons from her. Nancy not only instructed me, but she also took me around the area, showed me different surf sites, and basically was a “tour guide” for me. I really appreciated that.

I am looking forward to my next lesson with Nancy. Her talents, experience, and instructional techniques are a great asset to the surfing community.” Nancy No Ka Oi!”

Carla Gavalakis
course developer @ Vmware

“I have known Nancy Emerson for a period of 30 years+. Like myself, Nancy Emerson was a founding member of professional surfing and a pioneer in the area of surf instruction.

Nancy was a passionate believer in the destiny of women’s surfing and she made a huge contribution to the development of professional surfing world wide. Official acknowledgment for this achievement came in the form of induction into the women’s Hall of Fame of the Ocean in 1998.

It is in the area of surf instruction that Nancy distinguished herself on the world stage. Beginning in 1973, Nancy established a school of surfing that was a source of primary introduction and instruction for both novice and advanced enthusiasts worldwide.

Nancy was one of the first to incorporate surf safety, ocean awareness and ocean respect as a part of the criteria. Nancy and her appointed instructors practiced ‘duty of care’ to the fledgling aspirants long before this term became a mandatory composite of any ‘Level 1? sports coach.

As a former National Coaching Director for Surfing Australia I am aware of the high standards that Nancy is famous for. Nancy has impeccable credentials. Her work ethic is first class, and just as importantly, her personable nature and warm spirit makes Nancy an excellent teacher.

Nancy Emerson has many attributes. She is a highly respected and much loved figure in the international surfing community. She did a wonderful job promoting tourism for Hawaii and Nancy not only brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience, but a certain class and worldliness that will benefit her work in Australia.

Nancy is a dedicated individual, driven in her vocation by a pursuit of excellence an a love of the ocean. It is this kind of unfaltering service and devotion that I most admire in this remarkable woman.”
Wayne Rabbit Bartholomew
CEO/President ASP
Association of Surfing Professionals International Ltd.:

“Ms Emerson, Hawaiian star, lectured Miami High School students on water safety, learning to surf and the Hawaiian Culture. The joy she gives in her teaching, you don’t want to miss if you meet her.”

Gold Coast Bulletin Sports

“Thank you Nancy and Mark for 2 world class, holistic lessons in all things surfing!

If you are thinking about getting a lesson from Nancy or from one of her team, stop thinking, and do it!

I bought my wife a private 2 hr lesson with head coach, Mark. My wife is a beginner, 2nd time ever attempting to surf and was very intimidated by the ocean. Mark put her at ease instantly with his positive, relaxed attitude and knowledge of the ocean and what to look out for. By the end of the 2 hr session, Christina was catching waves and standing up on 10-20 second rides. Her confidence levels soared and we are now 1 month down the track since the lesson and have surfed every weekend together!

I decided to book myself in with Nancy at the same time Christina was having her lesson. I class myself as an intermediate beginner with bad habits and my main week area being the initial stand up in a flowing motion. Nancy started by talking me through the oceans characteristics and then proceeded to look at my take off/stand up technique. Straight away she picked up on some “bad habits” and helped me work through them. Since the lesson, I have not struggled with my take off at all. My surfing has improved more in this last month than ever before!

Nancy and her team are definitely worth every dollar. Each lesson is personalised to each individual and the training continues even after the lesson has ended as Nancy is now helping me to pick out a new board and checks in from time to time to hear about Christina’s and my progress!

Thank you Nancy and Mark for everything!”

Much love,
Andrew and Christina!


I want to share with all the people who are going to learn surfing my great experience with one of the best surfing teacher in the world, Nancy Emerson.

The first day I meet her we had a pleasant hour talk in a cafe in Palm beach, Gold Coast just to know each other and to prepare the upcoming two days of lessons. She wanted to know everything about my surfing experiences and skills. I had surfed before, but the few times I surfed a wave was something so occasional that I didn’t know what I was doing.

We talked also of our life just to be more confident. Nancy was really a friend from the beginning ‘cause she helped me to find a safe accommodation for the night.

The first day we met at Rainbow Bay Coolangatta at 7 am, after a patient check of every spot we decided to start from Snapper Rocks, cause the waves were long and good for a beginner practice and no one else was out, which rarely happens there. Before touching the Ocean we had 30 minutes an unforgettable talk on the beach on the basic surfing techniques and the most important Nancy’s five principles that a surfer should never to forget.

After this surf introduction we start paddling to the best know Snapper Rocks spot just in front of the Quicksilver Pro ASP stage. Nancy was always looking at me while moving into the water and always correcting me with my position on the board. The first wave I tried to catch was a success, I surfed it all the way in and with Nancy’s instructions it went so natural. I surfed many other waves during that session, and Nancy was always by my side giving me advices and insisting on my position and paddling technique that is fundamental for a good surfer. At the end of the morning I was confident with the Ocean and waves and ready to start on the next day. I was given a positive affirmation for the night coming, which consisted to repeat down on a paper a series of errors I was doing during that day. This was really helpful the day after ‘cause I was remembering that errors and trying to avoid them while paddling in the Ocean.

The second morning we started at Rainbow Bay, the waves were good, but current was really strong. After a brief summary of the five principles, studying the waves and currents and a bit of warm-up, we went into the water. The condition s were difficult, but it was really helpful for me ‘cause I had the chance to exercise how to contrast the wave impact zone. Nancy taught me the best way to look at the waves and avoid the waves while paddling back out surrounding them. I had a moment where I was not concentrating and Nancy noticed it immediately, and she decided to take me out of the water for a couple of minutes to show and explain to me what I need to look for when I am in the ocean. With those few words Nancy shared I understand the errors I was making and I was ready to hit the Ocean again.

When the lesson was finishing we had a long talk on Rainbow Bay, we discusses about the two days, the big principles and after those two days of intensive lesson with Nancy I now can say, I’m a surfer. I have the basics to handle a surfboard, jump on it with the proper movement, and surf waves in an elegant style and I have learned all in a super simple way. Nancy gives you all the necessary basics to be a great surfer, without un-useful techniques, ‘cause surf movements have to be natural. And this is how I feel now while surfing, I feel confident in the Ocean and perfectly conscious on the surfboard.

These days for me were not just a surfing lesson, they were a lesson of life. Nancy was a teacher, but also a friend and I will get in touch with her as soon as I need some professional tips for my surfing progress.

If you want to learn surfing dudes, go for Nancy Emerson you’ll never regret!”

Alessandro Mazzi
Italian Law student at University of Queensland
Feb. 23rd 2014

Nancy Emerson is a very good at board riding and especially an excellent surf coach. I have known her for many years and after going back to Hawaii, where she also has surfing schools.

With Best regards and all my love”

Phyllis O’Donell
Surfing’s 1st World Champion 1964

“Hi Nance!

OMG, it went so well with Mark! He was a topnotch coach, and a super nice person. He was very generous with his time and knowledge, I really can’t imagine a better 2 days of coaching. He worked on some fundamentals with me: wave knowledge, helping me read the wave- both from the point break and beach break- so many subtleties- I learned so much. He thinks my paddle strength is fine, the short board is fine for me, it’s being in the right place, and reading the wave, and staying in the right place. We surfed the Pass the first day (it was 6 ft that day and gorgeous, and many amazing surfers out), I learned a lot wave placement- as the second day, at Cabrita, on the beach break where the current was pulling left at one place, and pulling right on another such a good lesson… Then onto some surfing fundamentals, such as I finally get looking at the wave and ROTATING- that’s the biggest thing I get… and what a difference in getting into the wave, so simple, but I finally got it…! Then also I was riding the short board in a long board stance- so fixed that- and then learned about getting through the flats- pointing with both knees… and then what was such a great take away, was we worked on the skateboard for rotation, and the Indo board for controlling the board…these will be great things to continue when I get home… makes a huge difference. The 2nd day my friend from Brisbane came along too, and we all had so much fun…. Mark as a tour guide too was incredible, so many places I got to see… and lunch of course- all so good. Nance, thank you so much for setting this all up, it was an amazing experience, I had such a good time, and most important, I’ve learned so much, and have some lessons to continue on my own… and some new things to apply. I’m so happy that you were able to set this up and for setting up two such great days with Marc. He’s a sweetheart, and a good coach for sure.”

Gidday, Cheers, Aloha!

“Nancy Emerson! Thanks so much for all the personal time and effort you gave to us, both in and out of the water to improve our surfing and enjoy our Australian holiday. Getting long rides in uncrowded conditions, meeting local surfers, and visiting different surf locations made the surfing experience memorable. Your emphasis upon ocean awareness, paddling, and wave catching techniques have helped to make surfing easier and more fun for us. We also appreciated the local arrangements you made for transportation and other activities. Everyone involved was genuinely courteous and helpful in making our holiday most successful. Based upon our experience, we would highly recommend you to anyone seeking to combine surfing with other Australian holiday activities.”

Robert and Shelley Danforth
Los Angeles, California

5 star
“Having fun with Nancy at her Gold Coast Australian School of Surfing. Nancy taught my brother Dylan (7) and I (11) how to read the surf and ocean currents. She shared how to relax and keep our heads up so we have good balance. When Nancy asked my brother now he was feeling he said “I’m freaking out”. But Nancy calmed Dylan down and He did really well. And now I want to go again and have Nancy teach us how to surf now on a surfboard.”

Robyn Maddalena
Queensland, Australia