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Meet Martin Squires of Kapowui in Venice beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Martin Squires.

Martin, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I fell on hard times and was living in an RV in Santa Monica. I started by helping other surf lessons operators with lessons, then slowly venturing out on my own. I started with 1 beat up board and a few old ratty wetsuits, 7 years later and I now I have 5 vintage VW buses that I operate my business out of, I buy about 100 new boards and 400 new wetsuits each year and run the #1 surf school in Venice and one of the top surf schools in the world.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Some of the obstacles I have encountered has been dealing with the jealous competitors, Venice beach locals, and learning how to operate a business.

Please tell us about Kapowui.
Whether surfing is a 1-time bucket list item or a new sport you want to pick up, we will have you up and riding waves your 1st lesson or your next lesson is free. Your lesson will take place on the border of Venice and Santa Monica, where the sandy bottom is safe and perfect for beginner lessons. Your lesson includes surfboard, wetsuit, and instructor. We offer 1 hr., 1 1/2 hr., and 2 hr. lessons. The first 30 minutes of each lesson is done on the beach, covering board design and dynamics, wave dynamics, ocean safety, surfing safety, surf etiquette, pop-up technique, and form. The remainder of your time is spent in the water, surfing with your instructor. Everything is included, you only need to bring a positive vibe, however people often like to bring sunscreen, towel, and water.

Kapowui is not your average surf company, we live, eat, and dream surfing. We teach surfing because we want to share our love and stoke for the sport. All of our instructors are imbued with the Aloha spirit. All of Kapowui’s instructors live within blocks of the beach and surf every day. This is a life choice for us. We are not a corporate machine grinding out massive quantities of sub-par lessons with nonsurfing employees. Kapowui is a locally owned business with a soul that only hires real surfers who are professional surf instructors. When we are doing a lesson, we are 100% focused and in the moment with you. At Kapowui we truly care about your experience. In the short time, we have together we will immerse you in the surf culture, giving you the opportunity to feel the true surfer vibe, and gain a skill you can use forever. That is why many of the 4 and 5-star hotels in Los Angeles call us to service their guest (i.e. Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Beverly Hills Hotel, Shutters, Loews, Viceroy, Chateau Marmont, etc.)

Kapowui was awarded best surf school in Venice beach the last 3 years. Kapowui is one of the very few LA county permitted, licensed, and insured surf schools. We are the standard others TRY to imitates. If you want your lesson to be a surfing experience that you will remember for a lifetime, we are the company for you. We make a conscientious effort and pride ourselves in going the extra mile to make your surfing experience special.

Due to city regulations, we are allowed to do a finite amount of lesson each summer. The last 2 years we maxed out on our quota, So make your reservation as soon as possible to guarantee a lesson with us, the Icon of Venice Beach, Kapowui

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Bite your tongue, you can’t please everyone. Some people are looking for any reason to complain.

Be a positive role model for your employees.
Set the rules and standards and never compromise them.
Work smarter. Know your and your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and use them to your advantage.
Treat your clients like family.
Give 100% always.


  • Surf Lesson price varies depending length of lesson and how many participants are in the lesson. 1 person 1 hour is$90 1 person 1.5 hours is $110 1 person 2 hours is $130. the price drops by $10 per person each addition participant.
  • Surf board rental, $10 per hour. Wet suit rental $5 per hour.
  • Gopro video package $50
  • Package surf lesson, 3-5 lessons 10% off, 6-9 lessons 15% off, 10 or more 20%off.

Contact Info:


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