P.O. Box 388, Westport 7866

027 930 1434 surf@wavewise.co.nz


Surf Sessions – Life Lessons

The WAVEWISE Mission

WAVEWISE teaches our youth and adults a practical tool to deal with life’s personal challenges through learning to surf. By utilising experiential learning in surf sessions as life lessons WAVEWISE helps to enhance and sustain mental wellbeing and overall satisfaction in life. To sustain this mission financially WAVEWISE runs as Social Enterprise: One adult session covers one youth session! All profits from adult surf sessions are used to sustain youth surf programmes!

What we do

We want to help our youth to feel more confident, to be more resilient and to learn problem solving skills – with WAVEWISE they gain a tool that helps them to prevent and overcome personal challenges whilst doing something so enriching and fun: Surfing! To provide this to our youth, we offer an adult specific programme with the same outcomes which finances the youth sessions!

What we don’t do

We don’t require your personal thoughts to be shared (unless you want to) – we inspire and guide you to apply the taught tools the way you need it as expert for your own life! We use experiential learning methods in the field of Personal Development applied to a medium that offers a huge amount of metaphors: The ocean.

Our qualifications

WAVEWISE combines years of experience in personal development in Social Work with evidence-based therapeutic modalities and with years of experience in Surf Instructing. Having worked a lot with experiential learning methods with groups in other outdoor and indoor settings, WAVEWISE brings the expertise and methods it needs to successfully run an enriching personal development programme.

What past participants say about Wavewise

Youth participants

“Wavewise has taught me to get back up and try again when I fall and that we can’t always change what is going to happen but we can change what we do!” – Youth participant, 14 years old

“It was fun but also helpful so I enjoyed it! I learned that waves start from a storm and if you try too surf to close to the storm you normally fail (…) so I look at it as to go away from the problem and give it time and then go back and try to sort it out (when things have calmed down).” – Youth participant, 15 years old, male

“I really liked that we got to work together and also learn something new every day! I learnt that there is always a choice of ways that you can deal with different situations!” – Youth participant, 16 years old, female

Adult participants

“I’m back out in the waves more motivated than ever. The opportunity arose when I was facing some challenges at work and needed to reflect & clear my head. Meeting Pana & understanding the Wavewise mission and concept was a turning point. Meeting and discussing my life & work goals and relating them to the challenges of surfing have been life changing. Knowing when times seemed uncertain, that it was just a set rolling in and I could get through it with the strategies she had empowered me with which proved invaluable. Combining business & personal direction with surfing strategy in and out of the water has been life changing. It’s something I never thought I would encounter and I recommend this unique experience to anyone of any gender or age. Pana’s professionalism and engagement in this programme is exceptional. The added bonus of these sessions is that with each adult lesson you take on, you are enabling a youth to be part of the Wavewise programme and you are supporting this incredible non-profit cause. Thx Pana.” – Adult participant

“Today, I had an awesome time in the sea. Pana did set goals with me, and I was able to reach my goals. Wavewise did support my learing regarding surfing skills but offers more. Pana figured out what was my barrier, used a great tool to explain, and then, supported me to achieve my goals. As a result I feel a lot more confident and safe in the water, so that I can practice further. During our session I enjoyed being in the moment and having lots of fun. I feel stronger!
A wonderful personal experience, and at the same time I am knowing that a child will profit as well. Loved it, will book another session, Pana, thank you so much!” – Adult participant


By attending a WAVEWISE Adult Surf Session you are not only enhancing your own life by giving you the chance to learn a new way of dealing with your personal challenges, you are sponsoring one surf session for one young person! WAVEWISE helps you to become more calm, to be less frustrated and it gives you a tool to face lows and difficult times in a very practical way.

WAVEWISE Youth Surfing Programmes aim at our youths very personal need of guidance through adolescence which can be one of the toughest times in life. In just a little amount of years society expects our youth to grow from a child to an adult. A challenge in which WAVEWISE can support our youth.


Support us

WAVEWISE is constantly seeking for donations to secure a quality programme to our youth and provides great sponsorship opportunities with the support of a great cause! Have a look how you can contribute…


Latest News


“Having seen Pana present her idea at a Co-Starters course, and suggesting the idea of corporate sponsorship, backing this up was an easy decision. Pana’s passion and commitment to surfing and youth will, we are sure, produce long-lasting and worthwhile outcomes and we were only too pleased to have been able to help get this underway.” – IT@Work // Sponsorship Surfboard

“Our 7 Day Makeover Crew is incredibly honoured to help sponsor the WaveWise initiative. This is a non-traditional approach to working with young people, and helping them ride the waves of life, and I am sure it will be incredibly successful. Congratulations to Pana, and all the others involved, in helping make this world a better place. To all potential sponsors, for a very small price, you can make a massive difference, so jump on board!” – 7 Day Makeover Crew // Sponsorship Surfboard

„Electro Services Limited are proud to support WaveWise helping Buller’s Youth through the lessons of the sea.“ – Electro Services Limited // Sponsorship Surfboard

“A Wild Peace Wellness centre are super excited to support WaveWise on its new journey. Its such an inspiring initiative to give back to our tamariki. Nature has many lessons to offer that traditional education does not provide, and to see WaveWise using the lessons from the ocean is super cool. Kia Kaha to all those involved in WaveWise” – A Wildpeace Center // Sponsorship Wetsuit

“West Coast Rewards is very pleased to support WaveWise. The concept of surf lessons paying for youth lessons is brilliant and shows the importance of giving back. Pana is great at what she does, she’s a very calming person who can relate well with young people and we believe combining her social work experience with surfing sounds like a great match. We wish Pana all the best for the future.” – West Coast Rewards // Sponsorship Wetsuit