Surfrider Hilo believes in public beach access, a clean ocean, and supporting environmental efforts on the Big Island.

You can think about us with three concepts.

  1. Protection and enjoyment

    We don’t want to put a velvet rope around a beach and tell people to keep off. We’re surfers, we’re beach goers, we’re watermen… We enjoy the coasts.
    We’re a user group.

  2. Oceans, waves and beaches

    Think coastlines, we’re engaged with environmental issues that affect our coastlines.

  3. Powerful activist network speaks to how we go about this mission. We are a grassroots organization. We’re local in many coastal regions.

We’re moms, we’re surfers, we’re kids and teens… we’re you. We’re engaged to protect what we love: oceans, waves and beaches.

We support the community effort to Save Papaikou Mill Beach.
Over 4,000 people have signed a petition from Global HOPE, and Surfrider stands behind this beach access issue.

We believe in preserving public access to all the beaches in Hawai`i, and this movement demonstrates the importance of that issue.

In partnership with NOAA, we will begin a two-year beach cleanup/survey to monitor the impact of Japanese tsunami debris on the eastern most point of the entire state of Hawai`i.

The clean up and surveying will take place every 28 days for 2 years. We’ll also begin an epic project of water quality testing in the same area that has been needed for almost 50 years.

We’re active in beach cleanup efforts for the Big Island.

We’re proud partners with the Hawai`i Wildlife Fund and join efforts in beach cleanups on the East and West side of the island.

We’re working with the Palace Theater in downtown Hilo to show screenings of movies to our community concerning all things beach, surfing, and water-related.

We’ll update our calendar with upcoming movies, so be sure to check back.

We’ve joined Stan Lawrence from Orchidland Surf and the movement to clean the lighthouse area in downtown Hilo.

The movement is called “Malama Kaipalaoa” and we’ve been happy to volunteer in that effort.

We’re meeting at Crossfit Big Island, across from Ken’s House of Pancakes.

The entryway is at the turn-off from Banyan Drive.
1717 Kamehameha Avenue, Hilo

Crossfit Big Island

We meet the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm.

For meeting details, contact the Chair of the Surfrider Hilo Chapter, James Kuriyama at Crossfit Big Island

Chair James Kuriyama


James Kuriyama is a student at UH Hilo, having experience and connections with ocean-related organizations. Moving from Washington state, he now resides on the East side of the Big Island in the Puna District.

Joel Tessier

Vice Chair

Growing up in south Florida near the ocean and waterways led Joel to a passion for the outdoors and love of the ocean at a very young age. His obsession with surfing and the outdoors has brought him to one of the most beautiful places in the world and he feel a deep sense of responsibility to keep it so.

Joel says “We must be proactive in our efforts. There are some amazing folks on our island that deeply care about the ocean and the aina and its so cool that organizations like Surfrider allow us to stand together and stand up for good cause. Let’s keep or coastlines accessible and clean!



Charlotte moved from California and is training to be a lifeguard. She’ll be putting her degree to use with the NOAA tsunami debris project.

Niels Christenson


Niels Christenson owns a surveying company in Hilo. He’s been a surfer his entire life, and taught Oceanography at UH Hilo. He has been instrumental in public beach access, especially regarding Papaikou Mill Beach.

Mike Purvis


Mike Purvis is a returning student to UH Hilo studying Computer Science. He frequently bikes down Keaukaha, and digs the ocean.