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Waikiki Beach Surf Lessons Waikiki Beach Services

Written by Lauren Adelman

Quiet, humble and unassuming, beachboy manager Mike, is the fearless leader of our Waikiki Beach Services (WBS) Sheraton Waikiki location, our largest beach & pool operation, overseeing over 40 employees at a time. He is a quiet force, preferring to remain out of the spotlight. Over the last 17 years, his steadfast leadership has had a tremendous impact on countless beachboys and beachgirls and is an integral part of the fabric of what makes up Waikiki Beach Services today. 

Mike is one of our most seasoned surf instructors at WBS and has held his blue card (surf instructor certification) for over 2 decades.  He has been pushing guests onto waves all along the shores of Waikiki, from inside Publics to Baby Royals to Puakenikeni (baby Pops) for over 20 years! It was in 2005, after working for other surf schools along the beach and getting a nudge from our canoe first captain and surf instructor, Russell, that Mike found his home with us at Waikiki Beach Services. 

Mike was born and raised in Nuʻuanu, Oʻahu. His passion for surfing was ignited when he was around 10 years old: on the weekends and in the summer, he and his crew would walk all the way from Nuʻuanu to Waikiki with their longboards, usually with one guy at the front, and one at the back in order to share the weight of the board during their long, hot walk. To maximize their day in Waikiki, they would not only haul their ʻlogs’,  but bodyboards, shortboards– basically whatever wave riding vehicle they could get their hands on and whatever would float! After walking about 4 miles on foot to make their way to Waikiki beach, Mike and gang would set up shop all day from just after sunrise to sunset. They would fuel their sessions with cheap eats from Burger King or McDonalds, in the days when you could get a burger for under $1.

Once the first guy in Mike’s friend group got his driver’s license, the days of hauling boards on foot from Nu’uanu to Waikiki were numbered and Mike’s surfing horizon greatly expanded. He and his buddies would pile into his friend’s Honda Civic, and with too many boards to be considered safe stacked on top of the car roof, would surf anywhere from Makapuʻu to Sandy’s to Kewalos to the North Shore. 

Nowadays, you are most likely to find Mike surfing at Pops in Waikiki (if he has the time and IF there is a south shore swell!) Mike’s knowledge and familiarity with the Pops surf break comes in handy as this is where the majority of our WBS guests learn to surf. Mike is especially hands-on and takes the lead during all of our surf lessons with Make-A-Wish Hawaii: he has been teaching Wish children to surf for the last 7 years and is fulfilling life long dreams for many children and their families who have suffered through heartbreaking illness and loss. 

Mike’s unpretentious, genuine and charitable nature is a great quality for both a surf instructor and as a leader of our Waikiki Beachboys Sheraton crew. If you are lucky, you may spot him on your next surf sesh at Pops.


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