Strong in the water and sweet in her heart, Mari has been an incredible asset to our Surf Instructor team. She has a smile that can be seen from across the beach and presence you can’t help but gravitate towards. If you’ve been to any of our events, you can see the affect she has on our AccesSurfers.

We can ramble on an on about this wonderful woman, but we’ll let you hear it in her own words:

Tell us a little about yourself?

My name is Mari and I was born in Tokyo, came here long time ago… in 1999. I am a realtor and love my job – my job also allows me to be very flexible with my schedule, and that makes my passion and dreams come true .. to travel around the world. Life is good!

How and when did you hear about AccesSurf?

I think the first time I joined AccesSurf was in 2015. I always wanted to volunteer and give back to community but didn’t know where to start, but my friend told me about AccesSurf where you get to assist people who also love surfing, so I thought.. perfect! I remember showing up to the first event by myself not knowing what to expect, but people were very friendly and I made a lot of friends immediately. Everybody had positive and humble souls where I could relate and felt very comfortable. I started coming to events when I could and fell in love with surfing with participants, making new friends, and sharing the same passion with people from different backgrounds.

What does AccesSurf mean to you?

AccesSurf means: it’s a place where I can come back to the very basic foundation where people are just here to enjoy surfing and each other’s company. At AccesSurf people have nothing but enthusiastic and supportive spirits. I’m always smiling at the events and so is everyone else. I really miss the events and can’t wait to go back!

What is your favorite memory at AccesSurf?

It’s hard to come up with one favorite moment at AccesSurf, but I would have to say when I first caught a wave with Meimei from San Francisco because she was the first person I surfed with at an event. It was her first time surfing as well! Since then, we have become friends and have been keeping in touch and we catch up with each other when she comes back to Hawaii. We caught a wave together on a huge board with a motor and Beau paddled for us. That was such a special moment for both of us, and I really cherish our friendship.

Anything you want to say to our community?

I think a lot of people are thinking they want to participate but hesitate to come by themselves, or don’t know how to. I just want to let them know that they can just show up to the events, and they always have a place to be even if they don’t surf.

Thanks for everything Mari!

2021 staff collage