Our Surf Lesson Coaches

Brian Calder – Co-Founder/Coach

Brian loves to rip on longboards, shortboards and fishBrian grew up in Florida where he was basically born with gills, he spent most of his time boogy boarding at the beach with his friends and family. At 14 he got off the sponge and started surfing. Surfing became a passion that has led him to 5 continents and thousands of hours surfing and paddling into some of the heaviest breaks in the world. In 2007 Brian came to Washington to teach snowboarding at the Summit At Snoqualmie, and through a fellow instructor, got connected to the surf community in Westport. Since then Brian has spent nearly every weekend between May thru October surfing Westport and exploring surfing spots throughout the Northwest.

Brian loves to share his passion for surfing and when approached with an opportunity to help co-develop a surf lesson progression for military veterans and their families in 2010 he jumped at the opportunity. “Getting invited to help introduce the sport-of-kings through surf lessons to our veterans and their families was a no brainer. Surfing has created so many positive experiences for myself and friends that I was excited to get others especially veterans in the water. Who knew sharing the surf stoke could be so fun and rewarding.”

Brian believes Westport is the perfect place to surf because of its three unique surf breaks that work in different conditions. (See our Westport Page for more information) “Westport produces great surfers because it’s got something that can challenge every level of surfer, you can learn at the Jetty and then take those skills to a more difficult wave like the Groins or the Cove, or as a matter of fact any where on the planet that has a surf break.”

A Fun Fact – Brian has four surfboards: two in Florida, one in California, and one board was recently lost flying from Indonesia to Australia. Good thing fellow instructor Shaun shares his quiver of classic longboards, hybrids, fish and shortboards or Brian wouldn’t have a board to surf on.

Take our word for it, this fun-loving, travel addicted surfer is one excellent and patient teacher.


Shaun Wolden – Co-Founder/Coach

Shaun loves the classics surfboard shapersShaun grew up right here in the South Puget Sound cities of Shelton and Olympia, WA. He caught the surf bug at the age of 15 in Malibu, California while visiting his Aunt on a summer vacation. Shaun was hooked immediately and the surfing stoke traveled back with him to Washington where he’s been surfing every weekend from May thru December since 1989.

Shaun has been teaching in the Westport waters since 2002, but beyond his love of the water, Shaun is also an award winning certified snowsports instructor and coach since 2001 at The Summit At Snoqualmie. In 2010, he was connected with a friend who was interested in tapping into his experience coaching to bring the therapy of surfing and fun to military veterans and their families. His years coaching snowsports clients and instructors was the impetus for co-developing the BigFoot Surf School’s surf lesson progression based on the Gradual Release of Responsibility that has been so successful in the ski and snowboard industry. Taking this proven model, he and Brian have created a progression that will hook you within the first hour and a half and leave you yearning for your next time in the water.

In every conversation, Shaun conveys a sincere respect for the heritage of the local surf community and the personal connections he’s made from Al Perlee, the owner of the Westport Surf Shop (the first in the state of WA to open a surf shop); to his first unofficial coach, the late and well respected Barry Esty; and his professional relationship with the owners of the Steepwater Surf Shop, Matt and Danielle.

“Westport is a melting pot of people who have a very centralized passion for surfing and the ocean. There’s a high surf-IQ in the local surfing community that embraces the “dedicated” weekend surfers visiting from all over the Northwest. It’s a place where you can hone your waterman and surfing skills, and are challenged every time you get in the water.”

Fun fact about Shaun you ask? He owns 14 surf boards and will tell you they aren’t just surf boards, they are 14 pieces of surfcraft art shaped by some of the greatest artisans in surf history.

He loves it when you say you’re just looking to mark an item off your bucket list because he knows he’ll see you next time and the time after that, and then you’re part of the Westport surf family. He looks forward to meeting you and sharing the stoke! Mahalo, NW style!