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Hawaii Surf Lessons

Surf lessons on Oahu may provide the very best places to learn to surf.

There are 25 tours in this category with adult prices that range in price from $25.00 to $699.00 Skip Directly to Tours.

Oahu Surf Lessons

Our 'Surf Lessons Oahu' category shares the fun of the sport that was invented in Hawaii.

Surfing on Oahu has a quite different connotation to most people than surfing on any of the other Hawaiian Islands.

  • There is no question that 'Surf Lessons Oahu style' have become much more famous over the years probably because of the large surfing events that are held here.
  • Oahu's North Shore provides some of the very biggest surf in the world, often in excess of 50', and they have over time drawn the very best names in surfing from all over the world to compete in these huge Oahu surfing contests.
  • Even the casual "arm chair" surfers are familiar with the immense Oahu surf simply by watching TV and almost everyone is familiar with the surf breaks named Pipeline, Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach. These surfing locations are carved into the surfing lexicon with images of fearless surfers challenging the mightiest waves in the world.

Surf Lessons Honolulu

For beginner surf lessons Honolulu is a great place to learn.  
  • Don't for a minute believe that Oahu doesn't have waves that are suitable for all types of surfers including beginner surfers looking for Oahu surf lessons. Generally speaking the big surf you read about is only found on Oahu's North Shore and only during the winter months. The surf on the North Shore in the summer months can in fact be great surf for beginning surfers because the surf heights are quite reasonable at that time of year.   And some days in the winter are also suitable for beginner surfing as these giant waves only come in periodically.
  • The Oahu surf on its south shores such as off the coast of Waikiki is almost always much smaller and is incredibly consistent throughout the year and is mostly suitable as a surfing location at all times of the year. This Oahu surf found in Waikiki is also famous as well as this was the training grounds for many of the pioneers of the sport of surfing such as Duke Kahanamoku the famous Hawaii waterman, surfer and Olympic champion. These gentle waves off Waikiki are some of the very best in the world to learn on as they fill the waters off the shoreline with perfect size waves that have a seemingly endless surf break from hundreds of yards off shore in the shallow areas along the coast.
  • Waikiki and other areas, particularly along the southern shores, are where you will find the majority of surfing schools giving instructions for their Oahu surfing lessons. Sometimes you will meet the surfing instructors right on the beach but most often they will arrange to pick you up at your Waikiki hotel and take you to the best surfing spots of the day. Obviously every surfing day is different and ideal surfing locations for surfing lessons will vary so these surf schools have the luxury of taking you to the best waves on any specific day.
  • The actual process of learning to surf is actually fairly easy, particularly on the larger foam boards that are often used in these lessons and it is not at all unusual to have you standing up on your board and surfing on your very first surf lesson. Most of the time your surf instructors will begin by giving you instructions on the beach with your board on the sand but will shortly thereafter take you out into the surf breaks where the real surfing will take place. These surfing instructors have very often been professional surfers on the surfing circuit but they are all professional in the sense of teaching surfing lessons as their occupation. They realize that surfing may seem intimidating to the beginner surfers and they are very patient and extremely encouraging and are almost always able to coax the beginner into a position of being able to stand up on a couple waves for a surf ride into the shoreline.

Look for this symbol in the tour descriptions below to indicate if it is Pride of America compatible.

Surf Lessons Sorted by Specific Tour


Surf Lessons Sorted by Company

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Buttons Surf School

4 Activity Options

North Shore Surf Lessons

Buttons Surf School offers you the unique opportunity to experience the world-famous North Shore with a company that was founded by one of Hawaii's own legendary surfers. Button's surf school has programs designed to accommodate surfers of all levels, with a focus on safety, fun and great waves. Buttons Kaluhiokalani was a Hawaiian surfer whose energy and radical maneuvers in the 70s made him an innovator of modern day surfing.
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E Noa Tours Honolulu

1 Activity Option

Sightseeing tours, Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri and other highlights

Offering land tours on the island of Oahu with a variety of incredible places to see with lots of options for your family or special group to choose from, E Noa Tours wants to show you Oahu.
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Girls Who Surf

2 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons

If you think it might be a good idea to have your surf lesson taught to you by a beautiful girl, you might want to think about taking a lesson from Girls Who Surf. Actually, although most of the instructors they have are girls they do have some male instructors as well.
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Holokai Kayak Adventure

1 Activity Option

Kayak off Kaneohe

Blessed with some of the most calm, clear and beautiful snorkeling waters in the state Kaneohe Bay is the location that is visited by Holokai Kayak and Snorkel Adventure. You will enjoy the bay and the sea life but will also get a chance to kayak out to the film location of Gilligan's Island. These guided kayak tours are wonderful but if you would like to rent a kayak on your own, that can be arranged as well.
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Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks

2 Activity Options

Kayak Tours, Beach Day, Surfing Lessons

Kailua Sailboards and Kayaks is located on the windward side of Oahu about an half-hour drive from Waikiki. They provide a variety of kayak tours which are either guided or self-guided and they have an interesting kayak/boogie board option as well. In addition they offer instructions in the 'hottest' new ocean sport of 'stand-up paddling'.
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Keawe Adventures

2 Activity Options

Keawe Adventures

Keawe Adventures is a private island tour and activity guide service company. They officially opened their doors in 2008, and have been conducting tours state wide. They are a Hawaiian and veteran owned business that provides visitors and locals a unique experience in a private setting.
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Pro Surf School Hawaii

4 Activity Options

Learn From a Pro

Whether you are a first time or experienced surfer Pro Surf School Hawaii offers a fun, safe and rewarding learning experience for everyone. Owned and operated by a champion surfer, Kai Sallas. Growing up in Waikiki, Kai was taught how to surf at a young age on the rolling waves in the area by his father, who was one of the original Waikiki Beach Boys. His father has been teaching surfing for over 35 years, and that's where Kai gained his propensity for teaching his lifelong passion.
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West Oahu SUP

3 Activity Options

West Oahu SUP

West Oahu SUP and sport's mission is to be the premier ocean sport activity center on the Waianae Coast which is a beautiful coastline area where you will see nature at it's finest. This is the real country of Oahu. Away from the lights, noise of crowds from Waikiki and the North Shore.
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Windward Watersports

6 Activity Options

Kite, Surfing, SUP, Board Lessons, and Kayaking Tours

If you are wanting to try any one of a number of water sports while visiting Oahu's windward side, a good choice for you would be Windward Watersports. Located in the town of Kailua just about 30 minutes from Waikiki, this Watersport shop will offer you a variety of Kayak tours, Surfing lessons, Stand-Up Paddle board lessons, and they specialize in a full range of Kite boarding lessons too.
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So if you're coming to Oahu, you might want to consider doing some surfing.

Or if you've got some kids, to bring the kids out and have them have a lesson and learn how to surf. After all, Hawaii is the birthplace of surfing, certainly the birthplace of Hawaiian big wave surfing. It's probably the most famous location in the world for surfing and has generated so many of the major, major, surfers that we have in the world. They come continuously here to compete in the large surf that we find in Hawaii, but particularly on the island of Oahu. It certainly could be said that, on the island of Oahu is where we really had ... This was the birthplace of the big surf on the north shore.

Before we get into actually surf lessons and that sort of thing, which is more available to general people coming and wanting to appreciate the surf that they can get involved in on a smaller level, let's just mention this for a moment because it's kind of unique timing actually, right now. The north shore is right here. This little stretch of beach line is one that you're probably familiar with Waimea Bay or Pipeline or Sunset Beach. These are popular names for big surf that comes in along this coast, and it happens during the winter season. Usually fairly flat in the summertime, but in the winter it's big. Right now, actually we're ... February 23rd right now, 2016. We're having a big swell this very moment. This is a Tuesday and we're expecting big things to possibly happen on Thursday. We'll see if anything happens by the 15th. Or excuse me, by the 25th of February.

But one event, a tournament that happens intermittently, is called the Eddie Aikau. It's named after a famous surfer, a famous lifeguard in Waimea Bay up here, who was also helped pioneer the big wave surfing up there. He died, unfortunately, trying to save the Hokule'a, I believe it was 1978. A Hawaiian canoe that was sailing to the South Pacific ran into some trouble, he took off on his surfboard to try to save the people, turned out that the boat was able to survive but he was lost at sea.

So there is this famous tournament that is held in his honor when the conditions exist. It's held between December 1st and the last day of February each year, but only on occasions when you have swells of 20 feet, which actually translate to maybe 30 foot faces, that happens continuously for a period of time. It has actually only occurred I believe eight times since it's beginning. So it's not held every year. But we're on the threshold right now of possibly having this happen this year. There's only a few more days left to the end of February but it looks like it might be happening then. We're probably gonna know not until the morning of Thursday. Decisions will be made based upon the heights of the waves at that time and what they anticipate the waves doing throughout the day. But probably on Thursday is gonna be the Eddie Aikau. We'll see what happens.

I think it's 28 major surfers are invited to this event. They've got something like 12 hours once they decree that it's gonna show up to come from wherever they are to show up on the north shore and participate. It's some of the most amazingly huge waves that you could ever see ridden. And these guys in this particular tournament have to actually paddle out through on their own steam. They can't use any other vessels to pull them into the surf, so it's got it's own specific set of rules. In any event, this is part of the lore and legend that has brought Oahu to some kind of a real famous place with regard to surfing. All the little kids that grow up here aspire to be surfers that are world class, and many of them do turn out to be that way.

But if you're coming to Hawaii and you're interested in doing some surfing, we have lots of surfing that can happen for you. We have lots of surf schools and lots of types of groupings. We can go from private to semi-private to more of a group lesson. But by and large what happens is, you'll sign up for a lesson which would be about two hours in length. You'll either meet at the beach or maybe you'll be picked up at your hotel and taken to an appropriate location. What you're looking for for beginner waves are smaller waves, obviously, but well formed and consistent, ones that can be done on most days. There are waves that are found throughout Oahu that are like that.

So they're gonna take you to the ... The company, the surf company's gonna take you to the location that's gonna be really the best for you that day. You'll probably start off on the beach. They'll have surfboards. A lot of the first part of your training is just gonna be on dry land, learning how to stand up and how to paddle through waves, how to jump up on the board appropriately, and kind of things that you do before you get out in the water. Then you're gonna be taken out into the water and you're gonna try your skills, your newly found skills, and see what you can do. Most people can get up really quickly. Children unbelievably do this really well, and it's great if you have kids to take them out for a beginner surf lesson when you're in Hawaii because it really instill ... They're kind of a natural at it. And once you, sort of like riding a Bicycle, once you can kind of do it you're good to go for many years and you just build on your skills.

But you're out there for the next hour or so with your instructor, going back and forth and continually going out and catching another wave. So that's the way it works. If you want to spend a little extra money, instead of having a group lesson, which may have six people in it or something like that, you can get into a semi-private, which is maybe just two people which is really nice, you got a lot of personal attention with your instructor, or you can do a private, and that would be just one on one, you're really learning how to do it.

So there are many different surf schools. Everybody's gonna be definitely qualified to assist you with these. Some of the surf schools actually have really famous surfers that are either a part of the staff or the owner of the surf school, and they're gonna be around to ... Sometimes you have to pay extra to get those guys, but they sort of spearhead the way their particular training is done, kind of like schools of surf.

That's a thing that's definitely available for you, the surfing on the island of Oahu. But in terms of surfing, you've also have other types of activities that are similar and related to surfing that are available for you on Oahu. There's windsurfing and kitesurfing. Those are generally held on this side of the island. Kailua where you got beautiful beaches, for one thing, but you've got wind that comes in a regular format so you can actually use it to your best advantage and go out here and do that.

And we also have the stand up paddling, and that's become a big thing really over the last 10 years. You can do that really on both sides of the island without a problem. It's usually a little bit easier if you're in really flatter conditions without any waves, without any winds. You've got these giant, giant surfboards, long ones and then very wide that you stand up, kind of flat-footed on a way, kind of straightforward, and you have a paddle, and you just kind of can work your way along. That usually doesn't take too long to learn that skill. It's something you could actually do as exercise throughout your life if you're near a place where you can be in water. That's a really, really good one. Very good for your core muscles and developing your shoulders and your arms. It's also a lot of fun. You see a lot just being up on these boards looking down at the coral heads or whatever below. You're right on top of the ocean. Kind of like a Kayak, but you're actually even higher so you get a little bit more of a visibility.

Anyway, these are the surfing activities and related activities to surfing that we have on Oahu. These are something you should probably consider and once again, particularly if you've got kids involved, they will love doing this. They will be developing a skill that they'll be able to use throughout the rest of their life.

So if you have any questions about Tours or Activities in Hawaii, just give us a call or check out TomBarefoot.com. We're here to help.


Hawaii surf schools offer surf lessons in Hawaii, Maui, Oahu and Kauai. The popularity of these schools is becoming even greater with every passing year as new surf schools open up and older surf schools expand to include more products.

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Kauai is a great place for surfing in general but for surf lessons in particular. The surf on Kauai is usually very consistent and there are a number of areas that have a sand bottom which makes for an ideal learning area.

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Hawaii and surfing are inseparable to many people. After all, it was the sport of the ancient Hawaiians and is even more popular today. Maui's abundant coastline offers big waves for veteran surfers and spots suitable for beginners.

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A surfing company may boast that anyone can be riding the surf in just one lesson and that, indeed, was the case when my son Jake tried it the first time.

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