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Meet the Instructors


Ryan Augenstein (Auggy) was born and raised in Santa Cruz where he worked as a Junior Guards instructor and lifeguard before surfing professionally. He’s travelled the world as a sponsored surfer and has also competed on the Big Wave World Tour. Notably, he did stunt work for the movie Chasing Mavericks. He enjoys instructing lessons while giving students the confidence and knowledge to go out on their own. Ryan loves teaching lessons at Surf School Santa Cruz but loves chasing swell even more- the bigger the better!


Sam is a Santa Cruz native that grew up in a surf-centric home. As a junior lifeguard he became water savvy at a young age as he continued through being a Juniors Guards instructor and lifeguard. A competitive surfer since age 10, Sam has been supported through sponsorships with O’Neill (2014-2019) and currently Buell Wetsuits as he takes on the World Surfing League’s men’s qualifying series. Take a lesson from Sam, who is currently ranked 17th in the United States for surfing, known for sick airs, and is the first SSSC instructor to incorporate headstands into his lessons!


A lifelong Northern California surfer, Griffin has been teaching at Surf School Santa Cruz for over five years. While enjoying all types of surfing from long boarding to high-performance, Griffin’s ultimate goal is to get barreled. With a laid-back teaching style, taking a lesson with Griffin will have an emphasis on safety, having fun and enjoying the ocean. He is great with all ages and skill levels, book a lesson with Griffin today!


Koa Depuydt is a 16-year-old surfer born here in beautiful Santa Cruz. Over the past 16 years, his whole life has revolved around the ocean. Before his earliest memories he was already riding one-footers with his dad’s help. Today, Koa is a sponsored surfer traveling all around, surfing some of the world’s best waves. When he’s home, he loves sharing the stoke of surfing to the students at Surf School Santa Cruz! Koa’s been a surf instructor for 5+ years, and the party has just begun! He hopes to see you surfing soon with us here at the best surf school out there, yeww!


Mairin was born in Pleasure Point and has grown up surfing with her family and friends. Travel, massage therapy, and surfing are her passions and have led her to many beautiful places. She participated in Junior Lifeguards as a student and an instructor which has given Mairin strong water safety skills and ocean awareness. Mairin has worked with Santa Cruz Surf School for 7 years—safely introducing students to the incredible experience of riding a wave is one of her greatest joys!


Miles is an energetic 18-year-old who was born and raised in Santa Cruz. He’s grown-up surfing and skating and enjoys sharing the stoke with people as a surf instructor. He loves working with our “rad surf school” and the comradery between all the instructors. Take a lesson with Miles and not only learn how to surf but expand your vocabulary to include some of the newest/coolest words!


Alo has been surfing since age 3. His dad would take him out every weekend until the point, and age, where Alo could surf independently to which he began his daily surfing routine. At age 14, Alo was taken out to the local big wave, Mavericks, by mentors of his. He’s now not only addicted to local surf breaks but pushing his limits in big waves! Catch a lesson and wave with Alo, he’s also fluent in Italian!