Beach Life Instructors- Dedicated, adventurous people

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 beaches and lifestyles. We maintain a rotating staff of 4-5 Beach Life Instructors and staff throughout our full camp sessions.  In a lesson setting, we maintain a 1:4 ratio of staff to student, providing necessary attention for adequate surf technique and stoke.


Aarin Hartwell

SPI Sessions Founder

Aarin Hartwell is a passionate athlete and ambassador of South Padre Island. After spending much time traveling and pursuing her athletic career competing in pro/am surf and kiteboarding contests, she built multiple businesses and returned to SPI. Hartwell is at her best when she is working with children and in her expertise field of water sports.

Gaines Burns

Surf & Skate Instructor

He might work just so he can take surf trips- and that's cool with us. Gaines, is a retired Art teacher who enjoys teaching people of all ages how to surf. He's quite a skateboard legend as well- he'll definitely school you in a skate bowl!

Christina Thompson

Camp Coordinator, Surf & Skate Instructor

Avid surf-skater and surfer, Christina is a licensed realtor with a love for Christ and sharing her passion for surfing with the community around her. Christina brings organization, creativity, and a business mind-set to our crew.


Surf & SUP Instructor

Traveler, photographer, and action sports enthusiast, Simone joins us from his home town in Tulum. As a full-time kiteboarding instructor back home, Simone loves taking a break to coach surfing and stand-up paddle boarding .


Surf & SUP Instructor

Chef, surfer, and action sports enthusiast, Sebas joins us from his home town in Tulum. As a full-time kiteboarding instructor back home, Sebas loves taking a break to coach surfing and stand-up paddle boarding .

Dylan Zuegar

Surf & SUP Instructor

Traveler, carpenter and professional Machinist, Dylan worked with us part-time while supplementing his long hours at SpaceX building parts for the rockets. In his time here, skating, surfing, and learning to kite board were high on his list of to-do's.

Our Commitment to Safety- Certified, Professional, Experienced

Safety is our first priority as proven by our six years of camp operations and safety record. We follow guidelines and training from both American Red Cross and United States Lifeguarding Association to ensure the safest and most rewarding experiences. We always keep a student to instructor ratio of 4:1 and all of our instructors have certifications in First Aid, CPR, and are Open Ocean Trained. We also carry a comprehensive insurance package.

We do take a significant amount of time in our water related programs to share our knowledge of the ocean. We teach about how to safely swim in open ocean, how to avoid and escape rip currents, how to respect other water users, and awareness of marine life. Campers will learn so much about the ocean that it will increase their comfortability and maximize their amazement and experience in the ocean.

We are very proud to have a strong staff of vetted individuals eager to share the joy of surfing and eco-awareness.

   CPR/First Aid Certified  

   Open Water Safety Trained  

  Experienced Action Sports Coaches