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VCSS Surf Instructors

Assisting the VCSS is a group of accomplished and remarkable surfers. All instructors share the VCSS philosophy of safety, ocean appreciation and fun! They share a common purpose to provide the student with the tools and skills necessary to be able to pursue surfing on their own. Each instructor also brings their unique knowledge and styles to create an all encompassing, well-rounded experience for the student. Each instructor is personally trained by Van and holds their first-aid and CPR certifications.


Gabe Gazolla

Gabe Gazolla
Gabe and Van have been friends for decades of free surfing and competing along the California coast. Gabe is a central coast native and has been surfing the area since the early 1980's. Gabe is a father of three beautiful children and understands the importance of proper tutelage to maximize one's enjoyment of surfing and the importance of safety. We are all stoked to have Gabe working as one of the head surf instructors for Van Curaza Surf School.


Jaime Hannula

Jaime Hannula
Jaime is 20 years old and from San Luis Obispo, California. She started surfing when she was 10 years old and competing at age 15. Jaime has been competing on the Association of Surfing Professionals Women's World North America Qualifying Series for the last three years traveling around California, Hawaii and the East Coast. This year is Jaime's first year surfing internationally on the WQS tour. She recently returned from a three month stint of contests in Australia and will be following the rest of the 2009 tour to South Africa and Brazil. Jaime's spunky and upbeat enthusiasm for the sport of surfing has followed her around the globe and will continue to shadow her when teaching you how to surf!


Eric Soderquist

Eric Soderquist
Eric is a world class surfer and an amazing artist. His paintings are as impressive as his surfing abilities to all of us here on the central coast. He is very passionate towards surfing, teaching and sharing the love we all have for the sport. Eric (along with Chris Burkhard) has just released a book entitled, The California Book Project. It's about surfing and finding adventure traveling in a 1978 VW bus along the coast from Oregon to the Mexican border. Eric's energetic personality and passion for surfing is directly reflected in his teaching skills and style and he is a wonderful addition to the VCSS instruction team!


Shane Stoneman

Shane Stoneman
Shane and Van have been friends for over two decades. Shane has been actively teaching students of all experience levels for over 20 years. He is an accomplished artist and musician who’s passionate about his work and his love of the surf. He is the owner and shaper of Shane Stoneman Surfboards. Shane is a world class surfer who's skills and modesty have served to inspire Van and the surfing community of the Central Coast.