About Us

SPI Sessions is based on South Padre Island and operates as a surfing school and summer camp. Our summer camps promote healthy lifestyles, surfing culture, "environmentality" and family friendly experiences through water sports and science-based curricula. 

Every day is a new adventure and we are happy to share our stoke with you. Much of our experienced team are seasoned surfers with loads of knowledge and experience to help guide your lesson. 

Our Team

SPI Sessions has a unique approach to our staff. We call ourselves ‘beach life Instructors’ because we believe we share more with the student than just a surfing lesson. We are well-rounded individuals with love for all things friendly to our beach and lifestyle. We maintain a rotating staff of 4-5 Beach life Instructors and 3-5 Science Specific Trainers.  In a lesson setting we maintain a 1:2 ratio of staff to student to the attention necessary for adequate surf technique and stoke. We are very proud to have a strong staff of vetted individuals eager to share the stoke of surfing and eco-awareness.

Aarin Hartwell


Aarin Hartwell is a passionate athlete and ambassador of South Padre Island. While Aarin pursues her athletic career traveling and competing in pro/am surf and Kiteboarding contests, she is also an entrepreneur and proprietor of events. Hartwell is at her best when she is working with children and in her expertise field of water sports.

Anissa Garza


Anissa Garza is a playful lover of children and the beach. Her spirit is rich in joy and energy to surf and share the smile she wears daily. Garza is in her second year of studies at University of Texas-Pan American and works as a pharmaceutical assistant in her other time.

Shawn Cooksey


Shawn Cooksey is a local South Padre Island surfer and skateboarder. With over 20 years of surfing and coaching experience, Shawn is an asset to the Surf Instructors at SPI Sessions. Cooksey reigns as the 2016 Texas Men's Champion short boarder and Overall Points Champion.

Tony Peña


Tony Pena is a photographer, graphic design and website developer specialist. Tony enjoys surf photography and design especially related to the beach life. Tony is also an experienced surf instructor and surfer.

Heather Lynn


As a lifetime educator and outdoor enthusiast, Heather is on a continuing mission to reach and shape the youth of her community. With degrees in Psychology and Elementary Education, she has spent over a decade positively influencing youth, in and out of the classroom. Notable community involvement has included being an ABA Therapist for Butterfly Effects and having her two dogs certified as therapy animals with Creatures and Kids, Inc. for use in the VA hospital, local schools, libraries, and VBS programs. Heather is thrilled to partner with SPI Sessions to help form and implement the 2017 Summer Science Academy.



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