Marion is the Beach Programs Director for Surf Academy as well as The Surf Bus Foundation, and is the daughter of Surf Academy and Surf Bus founder, Mary Setterholm.
learned to surf 12 years ago at our first Wild Woman Waterday!
She is a founding member of Surf Academy's Surf Team: The Foxy Bangers.
Since getting up one knee, her
surfing journey has taken her
up and down the coast of California: from the big winter waves of Santa Cruz to the summer swells down at Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
favorite place to surf are the Islands of Oahu and Kauai, not only because the waves are amazing, but so is the weather!
takes both a holistic and step-by-step approach to the sport.
has a knack for relating surfing to something that her
students already love -- she
helps to gives them a way to connect with an otherwise foreign idea: balancing on a board on water!
Marion is also a yoga and pilates teacher at various studios around the South Bay.
You can find her
at Harmony Yoga in Redondo Beach, YogaLoft in Manhattan Beach, and Ofie?s Elite Physiques in Palos Verdes.
intimate knowledge of the human body helps to inform her
teaching style out in the water.
believes that immersion in surf culture (and the ocean!) is one of the fastest ways to get STOKED and stay that way!
If you ask her
, she?ll tell you, "Surfing is not standing up on a board.
Surfing is finding yourself in harmony with the wave...with the ocean.
gives all her
students a copy of The Surfer Code and, if they want it, homework to help maximize their next surfing experience.
is a versatile teacher, and appreciates all manner of student: from groms and grommettes to Silver Surfers.
is available for year-round surf lessons at all three of our locations: Huntington Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Santa Monica
Mary is the owner and founder of both Surf Academy and The Surf Bus.
personal relationship to The Sea is the driving force behind both programs.
She has a need to bring people closer to nature, specifically, to bring children and the ocean together.
has numerous wins to her
credit, including first place in the U.S. Open in 1972, first place in The West Coast Championships in 2001, and a fourth place finish in Surfing America's Championship Pro/Am in 2008.
has been surfing for 40 years now, and she
STILL out-surfs and out-stokes us all!
Surfing isn't about having and doing more or less than the next person in the line-up, and Mary
is the first one to say, "The ocean is equal opportunity.
The ocean doesn't care what color your skin is, how much money you make, what gender you are, or how athletically talented.
You're still a part of the food chain."
It is this humble attitude that informs Mary's teaching style.
has a unique ability to "see" a student, and give them just what they need in a surf lesson, be it a one-time event for a vacationer, or a series of lessons for a local.
Being around Mary
makes you want more of what she
has -- STOKE!
You'll walk away from a lesson with Mary
feeling both empowered and grounded.
If you're lucky, she'll even talk story with you about what it was like to be one of the only women out in the water back in the 70's, and what it's like to be a Silver Surfer out in the water today.
Currently, Mary is earning a Masters of Divinity at Harvard University in Boston, MA.
shortboards with her
to keep her
motivated for Surf Academy
's Summer Season (and maybe take a weekend trip to surf Martha's Vineyard)!
See that woman covered in head-to-toe neoprene paddling down The Charles River?
That's Mary Setterholm
, keeping in shape and being herself: Our Fearless Pioneer!