Our mission at Pillar Point Surf School is to offer people of all ages an opportunity to ride waves in a fun, safe, and encouraging manner.

Pillar Point Surf School is located in the bay area, in the coastal town of Half Moon Bay. We have a permit to legally operate within the city limits. Our staff are knowledgeable surfers who know the coastside well, providing a safe, exciting, and most importantly a fun experience.Open year-round, we provide experienced instructors, surfboards, and wetsuits based on request.

Janeene Wilkinson is the new owner for Pillar Point Surf School. The previous owner Matt Wilkinson will continue to oversee the business as a manager. Matt has many years of teaching experience in the bay area. Since 2014, he has decided to expand his teaching from the classroom to the Pacific Ocean.  Being a Coastside resident for over 30 years he knows how to customize your surfing experience to make it most enjoyable. In addition his 31 years of surfing experience will help you stand up in no time.


Nick Modar – Instructor

Nick first learned to surf in Ventura, California. He graduated from University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in meteorology. Currently, he is in the geoscience graduate program at San Francisco State University where he focuses on salmon restoration in the San Joaquin River. He also teaches an introductory oceanography lab at SFSU. He is looking forward to surf camp this summer and can’t wait to see everyone out in the water!

August Howell – Senior Instructor / Writer

August’s earliest ocean memories are from Surfer’s Beach, where he attended surf camps in elementary school. He’s a self-diagnosed surf nerd and watches (too many) surf clips regularly. August graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism and is always looking to combine his passion for writing and surfing. He’s been surfing for more than a decade and taught lessons in Half Moon Bay part-time for the last five years. He also has experience surfing abroad in Hawaii, Spain, Portugal and Australia. 

Molly Schoberl – Lead Surf Camp Instructor

Molly grew up surfing and playing in the ocean on the East Coast before moving to California with her family during high school.  She loves everything about the ocean and is passionate about cleaning up the coasts so future generations can enjoy it the same way she has.  During the year Molly is a college student at Humboldt State University earning her bachelor’s degree in social work.  She hopes to earn her masters in social work as well before joining the field and working in palliative care social work.  At school, Molly is also the director of the Environmental Education club and is the captain of the Women’s Crew Team.  This will be Mollys 5th summer working with Matt and the rest of the Pillar Point Surf Camp team!

Ethan Schoberl – Surf Camp Instructor

Younger brother to Molly, Ethan loves to be outside and enjoys any adventure he can have in nature.  He is an avid skateboarder and can often be found in skate parks around the Bay Area.  As a highschool senior Ethan is currently applying to colleges and hopes to attend a University and study something involving the outdoors. At school Ethan enjoys art class and is on the football team.  Ethan loves animals and in the future hopes to own at least 100 dogs but for now he is happy with his dog Harlow who loves to eat seaweed at the beach.  This will be Ethans 2nd year working with Matt and the rest of the Surf Camp Team.

Molly Pomeroy – Instructor


Molly first remembers learning to surf right at Pillar Point through various surf camps as well as junior lifeguards, definitely a perk of growing up on the coast. Molly loves everything the ocean has to offer and deeply cares about keeping our beaches and oceans clean as they are such a privilege for us to enjoy. Molly graduated last year from the University of Michigan where she studied biology and entrepreneurship and hopes to pursue a Master of Public Health in the near future. Right now, Molly is working with an Emergency Services Company to re-open K-12 schools during the pandemic and loves being able to spend her free time surfing, teaching lessons or just being in the ocean in some way shape or form!

**This page will be updated regularly (Last Update 1/28/21)**: YES, PILLAR POINT SURF SCHOOL IS OPEN & RUNNING PROGRAMS

We hope this notice can ease some concern for our clientele. This is an extremely difficult situation for us all. We appreciate your flexibility and know we can all work together to get through this!  Nature is healing for us all – let Pillar Point Surf School help you get out there and enjoy it!


Social Distancing

Instructors will be instructing participants to remain separated by 6 feet at all times per CDC recommendations. We have restructured all our programs and decreased class sizes to ensure this is possible and does not adversely affect the quality of programs.


Instructors will be wearing masks at arrival for all programs. Customers of PILLAR POINT SURF SCHOOL MUST ARRIVE WITH THEIR OWN MASK.  Arriving without a mask will be grounds for immediate excusal and forfeiture of funds.

Temperature Checks

All participants will have their temperature taken (no-touch forehead thermometers) upon arrival.  In accordance with the same procedures being used by TSA at the airports, you must have a temperature below 100.3 to participate and remain on site.

Heightened Sanitation Measures

In addition to our normal protocols, we’ve equipped staff with  sanitation products and when collecting gear from clients, employees sanitize wetsuits, surfboards, etc (just about everything that gets touched in the classes with bare hands and is a surface which could have virus living on it for an extended period of time). Hand sanitizer will be available for use each day.


Zero Tolerance Policy

Zero tolerance for attendance at any program with fever or symptoms. Clients and employees are asked to take their own temperature before arrival (this is mandatory – if you are enrolled in a program with us you must take your temperature before arrival). Anyone with a fever or other COVID‐19 symptoms may not participate and Pillar Point Surf School will reschedule clients to a new date at no charge so as to encourage customers to report symptoms and reschedule without penalty.

Where to Meet?

We meet in the dirt parking lot across the street of 531 Obispo Road, Half Moon Bay CA 94019 (Look for the skate ramp as a landmark). Text or call your surf instructor upon arrival

What Should I Bring?

Come dressed in your swimsuit. We recommend bringing sandals, sunscreen, towel, and a change of warm clothing.

What Is Your Cancelation Policy?

You must cancel at least 48 hours prior to the lesson. Then we can reschedule or offer a refund.

Do I Need to Book In Advance?

We suggest booking at least a day in advance for lessons. We can try to accommodate the same day but are often booked.

How Do I Pay?

You can pay for the lesson by card via Paypal.

How Good of A Swimmer Do I Need To Be?

You need to be able to swim with your head above water and must be able to swim to shore. Smaller kids and weak swimmers will be kept in shallow waters and our instructors are always with the students at all times!

How Early Should I Arrive?

Please come 15 minutes before your surf lesson starts. There can be a lot of traffic on the weekends so please leave early. 


What Should I Do If I Wear Glasses?

I would recommend wearing disposable contacts

Can We Rent The Gear After The Lesson?

Unfortunately not, our equipment is needed for other surf lessons. Rentals are available at  Mavericks Surf Shop, Cowboy Surf Shop , or Half Moon Bay Board Shop.

Should I Tip My Instructor?

Our team works hard to exceed your expectations and ensure that you have an unforgettable experience. If at the end of your lesson you are pleased with the performance of your instructor, a gratuity is never expected but would be greatly appreciated.

Will I Get Up My First Time?

Everyone is different. It depends on you athleticism, your aptitude, fitness level, and the surf conditions. During your first surf lesson, you will learn the skills needed to stand up on the surfboard. Some people stand up from first wave to last wave, others get up only 1 or 2 times. Everyone is different. The waves play a major factor – the ocean is always changing; sometimes the waves will make it either easier or more difficult to stand up. While getting to your feet is a major goal, that is not what learning to surf is all about!! You will learn a lot about the sport of surfing, the waves and the ocean, and will walk away having had an awesome and adventurous experience and for some, a spiritual awakening.

Meet in the dirt parking lot area across from the beach. You will see parked cars and a skateboarding half pipe.

Traveling From The Peninsula (San Mateo County)

Head west to Highway 92, next turn right onto northbound Highway 1, then turn right on Santiago Ave, take an immediately turn left on Obispo Rd. The destination is on your left. Travel time is about 30-60 mins.

Google Maps


Traveling From San Francisco

Follow US-101 S and head for I-280 S toward Daly City, then take CA-1 S/Pacific Coast Highway to Pacifica, continue on Highway 1 for 20 minutes, after traveling through the tunnel continue driving through the small towns of Montara and Moss Beach. When you arrive in El Granada/ Princeton Harbor turn left at the stoplight on Capistrano Road, take an immediate right onto Ave Alhambra, drive for about 1 mile and turn right at the fork onto Obispo Rd.  The destination is on your left. Travel time is about 30-60 mins.

Google Maps

• If driving from Santa Cruz head north on Highway 1 for about 45 minutes, then travel through Half Moon Bay north to EL Granada, turn right on Santiago Ave, take an immediately turn left on Obispo Rd. The destination is on your left. Travel time is about 60 mins.


Traveling From Santa Cruz

If driving from Santa Cruz head north on Highway 1 for about 45 minutes, then travel through Half Moon Bay north to EL Granada, turn right on Santiago Ave, take an immediately turn left on Obispo Rd. The destination is on your left. Travel time is about 60 mins.

Google Maps

General Info

Pillar Point will be subcontracting Surf Instructors and assistant for spring and summer of 2021, starting March 1st. 

If you know anyone looking for a summer job please share this with them.

The sun, sand and sea will be your workplace and the hours are flexible. Email me @ pillarpointsurfschool@gmail.com with resume, photo, a paragraph on your qualification, and why you would be good for this job. If you do not know how to surf, do not apply. If do not have an open schedule, do not apply. If you are always late, do not apply.

It’s beneficial to live close to the Half Moon Bay (but not Mandatory) and speak another language.

Those who stick around through the slower spring months will be given the larger lessons during summer as compensation. So you will make more money than the new hires. Must have a flexible schedule (many bookings are last minute). 

You will be trained on the Pillar Point’s lesson plan and must be able to teach this plan. You will be trained. This is your trial period. 

Surf instructor pays is $20 per hour plus tips. Paid Weekly. You only get paid when you are doing lessons. Average $0 to $400 per day with tips. The harder you work the more you make.

It is your responsibility to claim your income for tax purposes. 

You must have at least 1 former employment reference. 

Job Requirements

We only hire people with the following abilities & traits.

  1. Must be able to carry up to 40 lbs.
  2. Must be able to surf.
  3. Must have a smart phone.
  4. Must be professional, reliable and honest.
  5. Must be punctual and friendly.
  6. Must be able to swim.
Roles and Responsibilities

All these requirements will help you be a better instructor, increase your tips, create a team atmosphere. These are the minimum requirements to keep your job. I will remember and reward you for towing the line. More lessons, Bigger lessons, etc.. Have a watch to keep up with your lesson time. If you are having trouble with clients’ beach lesson, ask me to help if I am available.


1. If you are on Vcita block out times you are unavailable.


2. Reply to email ASAP(1-6hours) or they will be reassigned

3. When answering Vcita email, always check condition before accepting appointment time if conditions are not good at their requested time offer 2 alternative times.

4. If your lesson no shows or reschedules remove original time from calendar.



1. Show up on time (5 minutes before your lesson).

2. Clean your  boards unless you have back to back lessons.


3. Be professional at all times. (never pick up on your lesson, no cussing, never show up intoxicated).


4. If you don’t have back to back lessons, try to up sell your lesson to a longer lesson.


5. Give feedback and / or encouragement on every wave.


6. Never finish your lesson early unless they ask to, don’t give up on them so easy. Keep trying to get them to continue.


7. The 1st time your lesson is walking in water with board, HELP THEM.


8. Give 100% or your attention to your lesson.


After the lesson:

1. If you know Your lesson had a great time, ask for review on Yelp, google, FB, or Trip advisor.


2. At the end of the day help stack boards.



To make it easier for our clients and PPSS, we are now using Docusign.

Please email us at pillarpointsurfschool@gmail.com to have a virtual waiver sent to you.