Cowgirls and Cowboys Learning to Surf in Hawaii

Cowgirls and Cowboys Learning to Surf in Hawaii
Student Irina & surf coach Beccy  showing how to turn on the wave

Student Irina & surf coach Beccy showing how to turn on the wave

Cowgirls & Cowboys Learning to Surf in Hawaii


You know Cowgirls and Cowboys make great surfers! Learning to surf in Hawaii on the islands of Oahu or Maui is easy when you pick a great surf school, teaching you ocean awareness and water safety. Its like making sure when you want to break your horse in, you pick and spend the time researching to find a horse trainer to break your horse in. It really makes all the difference in your surfing progress who you learn to surf from and that they give you a very outstanding foundation to learning to surf. Living on Maui in the early 1970’s there was super amazing horse trainers. And Nancy Emerson was very lucky to find a great Ohana (family) in Pauwela, Haiku to help with her horse being broken in and trained. Nancy had purchased her horse when her horse was just 14 months old.   And so it was so important to Nancy to have the best horse trainer, because that would mold Nancy’s horse’s future. So, really do your research and find the best surf coaches or instructors when you are learning to surf in Hawaii.


When you are learning to surf on Oahu or one of the outer islands in Hawaii, one of the most important factors in learning to surf anywhere is to know and learn how to read the ocean and waves. Many people go to the less experienced & less expensive surf schools and never learn how to read and understand the ocean or about the waves. Most surf instructors don’t teach people how to read the currents, each surfing spot you ride has totally different personalities, tides, timing and waves to learn to understand.


To be the best surfer and have the most fun surfing, you need to learn about reading the ocean. One of the first things to understand in learning to surf in Hawaii or where ever, you maybe playing in the ocean, is taking the time onshore to be able to learn about undertows and rip currents. You should always take ten (10) to twenty (20) minutes onshore to be able to see the different currents and understand what you need to know before going out to play in the ocean. In this time on the beach you should also watch the timing of the waves coming in the sets (a number of waves coming every so often) and see if the waves are best for your level as a surfer. Or if you are learning to surf make sure it’s not above your level of feeling OK in those waves. If you don’t know or have any doubt, go to another surfing spot that you do feel much more comfortable in the waves you will be riding. Also talk to the local surfers that are good surfers or the lifeguard at the beach, but never go surfing by yourself. Always let someone know your plans for surfing.


An undertow is normally close to shore where the waves or water comes up the shore and runs back down into the ocean. Your undertows are & can be much stronger with a higher tide in spots and they can be very strong as well in other spots with a low tide.   If you get caught in an undertow or rip current, 1st thing to do is relax, relax & relax. Second thing to do is think what is going on and have a plan quickly and third then react with your plan.


When caught in an undertow, its best to swim under the waves as deep as you can swimming out towards the ocean and get out past the waves, until its safe to come in. Don’t stress, try to relax as much as possible. With a rip current you can see rip currents from shore as well. The rip current is created by the wind, waves and sea currents, but its on top of the water and can be very mild or very strong. So it’s very important to truly take the time to learn to surf in Hawaii with a surf school that takes the time to teach you to learn to read the ocean first!   With a rip current you need to go with it and not fight the rip current. The more you relax and focus on how can I go with this rip current and get out of this situation is best. Rip currents can be helping hands for all surfers to get back out to the waves and your surfing instructor should be teaching you this on your 1st day.


Also if you want to progress quickly with learning to surf or get past your habits that are holding you back, sign up for a surfing clinic that is going to truly help you learn to read the ocean, waves and how to line yourself up, so you can really make head way with your surfing. In Hawaii pick a school of surfing that has professional and very experienced surf coaches that can work with all levels of people learning to surf in Hawaii. Nancy Emerson has been running her surf schools in the Hawaiian island’s since 1980 and teaching since 1973.


Check them out in your research of learning to surf in Hawaii. or email: for all Hawaiian islands

rachael:Girl paddle Chris D surfing

A little more about Nancy Emerson...

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