The Company

Stoke Drift is an after school ocean-recreation program that makes kids happier, healthier, more social, and confident. Our program is the safest way to experience surfing.

We take students of all experience levels and help them improve. All students will learn basic safety practices, ocean condition fundamentals, and respect for the cultural significance of surfing.

We partner with local schools to make our program available to as many children as possible. We provide partner schools regular feedback on student attendance and progress.

The Name

The name Stoke Drift is derived from the science term Stoke’s drift and the adjective in the surfing world Stoke (meaning excitement or euphoria).

The science term describes the process by which objects at sea come to rest on shores. Stoke Drift is how the fulfillment of surfing spreads around the world.

Our Mission

Our mission is to make the life-changing experience of surfing available to every child in Hawaii.

The Team

Cody Sawyer

  • Born and raised in Kahaluʻu.
  • A lifetime of experience in the water.
  • A decade of teaching surf lessons.
  • DLNR Certified Surf Instructor.
  • Operational Manager at Koa Beach Services — Waikiki’s largest beach service.

Nathan Wade

  • Born and raised in Ohio.
  • A decade of surf experience.
  • Surf instructor through college (working for Cody).
  • DLNR Certified Surf Instructor.
  • Licensed attorney.
5 year old surfing waikiki shortboard

Our Story

This is the story of how two surf instructors decided Hawaii needed better surf programs for kids in Hawaii.

We’ve been giving surf lessons for decades. It’s a great life—hanging at the beach, playing in the water, goofing in the waves. But that’s not the best part.

The best part might surprise you . . .

It’s the smile on a kid’s face when they catch their first wave.

That smile is priceless. It’s simultaneous joy, surprise, confidence, and pride. Children are very skeptical students. They think “there’s no way I can do this…” Twenty minutes later, they’re up and riding, and they can’t believe it!

Children learn that exercise can be fun! In a world where children don’t exercise enough, surfing turns real life into a video game. They leave the surf lesson invigorated by the rush.

But surfing gives children more than 10 seconds of adrenalin. Surfing teaches kids to aim for the impossible. It teaches them to be gritty, and take small steps toward their goals. And surfing gives kids the confidence to try new things.

We used to only give surf lessons to tourists. But when we realized this was the best part of surfing—we started thinking of ways we could do this for the children of Hawaii.

We love living in Hawaii. And we want to give every kid in Hawaii the opportunity to experience surfing, and all the joy and confidence that come with it.