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Hawaii Surf Lessons

Maui Surf Lessons are a big part of Maui fun.

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Maui Surf Lessons

Thinking about taking one of the Maui surf lessons?  Maui's "Surf" is the reason many people came here to begin with.

Maui is considered to have some of the best surfing in the world. In fact Maui's surf break called "Jaws" has some of the largest waves in the world.

Although Maui is a "Mecca" for professional surfers it is also a great place to learn how to surf and to surf for recreation.

You can easily find a Maui surf school on the island as they are abundant and surf lessons on Maui are among the most popular activities on the island.

What does one of the typical Maui surf lessons look like?

  • Maui surf classes are usually small in size and are dependent upon whether you enrolled for a private Maui surf lesson or a group surf lesson. Group surf lessons on Maui usually instruct no more than 5 or 6 students and if you sign up for a private it could just be you or yourself and a friend or your small family of friends.
  • The first thing you will usually do on your  surf lesson is to spend some time on the beach with your surf instructor doing some "dry land" work. Here you will sand on your surfboard while on the beach and learn how and where to stand. You will also lay down on your board and learn the technique for catching a wave.
  • Next you will actually go out into the surf with your instructor and try the real thing. You will learn in just small and simple waves and before the class is over you will probably find that you were able to get up on a wave and ride one in a few times.

Where will you surf on your Maui Surf School?

  • One very popular beginner surf location on Maui is the "Lahaina Breakwall" just off the southern end of Lahaina Harbor. The waves here are usually small and usually very consistent.
  • Another popular beginner Maui surfing location is the surf break at Launiupoko State Wayside Park. This beautiful park setting often has small and ride able waves.
  • A popular beginner surf break ideal for teaching surfing lessons is the Maui surfing break at "The Cove" on the south coast in Kihei. "The Cove" can be seen easily from Kihei road and the adjacent "Kalama Park" so it is an ideal location for family and friends to watch and cheer-on the surfing participant.

Windsurfing

Windsurfing has been perhaps the fastest growing of all the types of surfing in the previous decades.

Windsurfing requires a bit more skill and determination to learn than Maui wave surfing primarily because you not only have to deal with the ocean and sometimes waves but also have to deal with and understand the wind.

  • Windsurfing lessons are usually taught on the windward side of the island in the area known as Kanaha Beach. This is a beautiful sandy beach that almost always has consistent winds for learning to windsurf.
  • Just as with Maui surfing lessons the first part of your Maui windsurfing lesson will be taught on the beach where you will stand up on the windsurfing equipment and learn where to stand and how to maneuver the sail.
  • Next up will be practicing "water starts" in the water which is the art of actually standing up on the board and catching the wind in the sail. This usually requires a bit of practice but is the fundamental move that is necessary to actually successfully windsurf.
  • Lastly, you will be able to actually windsurf on the ocean and learn to make turns.
  • There are many advanced classes you may take after learning the basics that could involve you in day or two of learning the sport of windsurfing and you can even take a class in learning how to jump and loop your windsurfing board.

Kite Boarding

Kite Boarding is probably the most exciting Maui surf boarding sport of all.

You essentially ride on a wakeboard and are pulled into the sky (sometimes as high as 20 or 30 feet) by a kite that you hold by a rope.

  • Kite Boarding lessons are usually longer in length with a minimum of 3 hours.
  • Kite Boarding lessons are almost always private lessons
  • As with Maui surf boarding lessons you will begin with your kite and kiteboard on dry land to learn the essentials.
  • The next step in Kite Boarding will be getting into the water to learn how to launch and to steer.
  • Next you will learn how to get up on the board using the kite's power.

Without a doubt the absolutely fastest growing of the surfing sports is the stand-up paddle boarding.

It has caught the curiosity of even the most famous surfers in the world and world renown Maui surfer Laird Hamilton has gained even more notoriety by stand-up paddle-boarding the entire length of the major Hawaiian islands from the Big Island though the chain all the way to Kauai on a stand-up paddle board.

Stand-up paddle surfing appeals to many people because it is such a great workout and makes great use of your body's core muscles.

Pride of America Cruise Ship:

Your Maui surf school will not pick up at the cruise boat pier but these surf schools can be reached via a Rent-A-Car that can be arranged through Tom Barefoot's Tours and you can be picked up by the Rent-A-Car shuttles right at the cruise ship dock. These Maui surfing adventures are available on the Sunday and Monday of your Maui cruise itinerary.

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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Royal Hawaiian Surf Academy

4 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons-School, Kids Surfing Lessons

One of the all time surf school favorites is Royal Hawaiian Surfing Academy. Kimo, the owner and founder of the company, had the vision many years ago to provide the whole gamut of possible surf lesson options to anyone staying in the Lahaina or Kaanapali areas.
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(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Action Sports Maui

14 Activity Options

Kiteboarding, Surfing, Windsurfing Lessons/School

The arts of surfing, kite surfing, wind surfing and stand-up paddling are all taught at Action Sports Maui, which is by all measure the most extensive and complete extreme water sports company on the island of Maui. Extremely experienced instructors teach a wide variety of water sports classes which are targeted to both novice and expert students alike.
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(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Outrageous Surf School

6 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons-School

If you think that it would be Outragous for you to learn to surf on your next vacation on Maui think again! Outragous surf school teaches surf lessons in the warm sunny waters of Maui and they guarantee that their students will be able to stand up before the end of their lesson. Outragous operates out of Lahaina town and offers a variety of different surf lessons.
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(1 Review, 5 Stars)

Maui Ocean Sports

1 Activity Option

Maui Ocean Sports - SUP and Kayak Rentals

Maui Ocean Sports is conveniently located on Front Street in Lahaina and offers Kayak adventures - Whale Watching and Snorkel tours in the winter months and SUP Stand Up Paddle lessons.
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(7 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Maui Waveriders - Kihei

4 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons - Kihei Surf School

Maui Wave Riders is one of Maui's oldest and most respected surfing companies that is known to specialize in teaching surf lessons to beginners, cowards, and thrill seekers. Owner Tommy Castleton, has over twenty-five years of experience in the surf industry and as a professional surfer has even been featured on the cover of Surfer Magazine.
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(3 Reviews, 4.7 Stars)

Island Style Adventures

4 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons-School

Everybody loves Kaanapali Beach. This is where everything seems to happen. Everyone congregates on the beach to enjoy the sun and to partake in the ocean sports that abound there. On any given day you'll see parasailers, Jet skiing, sailboats, body surfers, snorkelers, swimmers, windsurfers and a variety of ocean going cruises taking people out to have a great time on the ocean.
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(2 Reviews, 4.5 Stars)

Kelii's Kayak Tours

1 Activity Option

Kelii's Kayak Tours

Keli'i has been operating his company Kelii's Kayak Tours for years. He's made quite a reputation for himself from his kind nature and attention to detail. If you are looking to do some kayaking when you're on Maui then it would be in your best interest to take a look at the various tour options that are offered by Kelii's Kayak Tours.
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Big Kahuna Adventures Hawaii

2 Activity Options

Kayak and Surf School Lessons

South Maui usually has near perfect conditions for learning to surf and the conditions for stand-up paddling and kayaking are generally glassy and calm as well. Big Kahuna Surf Adventures has long been taking advantage of these ideal conditions to give surf and stand-up lessons and kayak tours to Maui visitors.
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Island Scuba

1 Activity Option

Beach Dives, Surfing Lessons

Island Scuba is a dive company you might gravitate toward if you are interested in diving from the beach as all their dives are beach dives. They offer a wide variety of beach dives including intro and certified dives, and certification courses. Island Scuba operates from the Marriott on Kaanapali Beach.
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South Pacific Kayaks

2 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons-School, Kayaking, Hiking and Surfing Lessons

One of the oldest and most seasoned of the Maui kayak touring companies is South Pacific Kayaks. Their list of kayak tour options is larger than most as they extend from Makena and La Perouse Bay on the south side to Honolua Bay on the north-west end of Maui and they even offer whale watch tours from kayaks. In addition they also offer surfing lessons as well as the popular Stand-Up Paddle lessons.
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Surf Shack

5 Activity Options

Reserve a surf lesson at the Surf Shack!

Do you think it would be fun to learn to surf when you're in Hawaii? Well come on down to the Surf Shack. The Surf Shack is South Maui's source for learning to surf in the waters off of Maui's Southern Shore. The Surf Shack has a variety of lessons to choose from.
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Aloha Surf Clinics Nancy Emerson

5 Activity Options

Aloha Surf Clinics Nancy Emerson

Aloha Surf Clinics Nancy Emerson your personalized surf lesson includes an ocean awareness, water safety briefing, learning how to begin to read the ocean, a demonstration on paddling techniques and learning how to stand up with a smooth Nancy Emerson "Learn To Surf In One Lesson" technique, how to turn, tips on how to get into waves, and of course, practice on to standing up and stay standing up! We want you to feel as comfortable as possible on your surfboard prior to getting in the ocean and this briefing gives you time to ask any surfing lessons related questions you may have
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Aloha Surf School

3 Activity Options

Surfing Lessons on Maui.

Conveniently located for those visiting South Maui - students meet at Kalama Beach Park. Ideal for young and old, families or experienced surfers looking for a little more adventure.
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Aloha Kayaks Maui

2 Activity Options

Aloha Kayaks Maui

Aloha Kayak Maui is one of Maui's premier ocean activity providers. With years of ocean kayak and snorkel experience offering PRIVATE or GROUP kayak tours, whale watching, and Maui snorkeling.
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Maui Waveriders - Lahaina

4 Activity Options

Maui Waveriders - Lahaina

Learn to surf with Maui Waveriders convenient west side location in downtown Lahaina.
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Freedive Hawaii

1 Activity Option

Freedive Hawaii

Join Benjamin Zyons and his staff for some Spearfishing and Free diving in Hawaii's proving grounds. Surfers can improve their standard with the surf survival course. Learn to hone your ocean exploration skills one breath at a time.
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Recent Reviews


Top Activities
Customer Favorite Tours Based on Reviews

So this video segment is about surfing on Maui. So surfing has always been a big deal on Maui.

Lots of major surfers that live and compete here. Lots of major surf breaks that are world renowned. And in fact you probably heard of Jaws. Jaws is on the North Shore here. One of the biggest wave breaks that you'll find anywhere in the world, depending upon the particular year that the surf is happening. We have definitely had the biggest surf of the year probably many, many times. In fact just a couple days ago there was a huge swell that came in, some friends were telling me about it that they were down there and the swells were at 60 foot at Jaws. And it was packed with people wanting to see it. Lots of major surfers out there.

Extremely dangerous, but one of the most exciting surf breaks in the world. It actually only happens during the winter time and only on certain days. It's not a normal swell, it breaks over a reef that you actually have to have a huge swell come in before it even breaks at all. Otherwise you wouldn't even know that there's a break there. But when it does break, it's immense.

Anyway, Maui is very popular among surfers and it's an important place in Hawaii for surfing. But aside from the fact that we've got these giant waves that happen, and the super professional surfers that come from all over the world here to enjoy the surf and to do competitions here. The surfing that we primarily are dealing with here at Tom Barefoot's Tours, is surfing for people, surf lessons for people who haven't really surfed before who would like to try it, and find out what all the fun is about. This is the place to do it. Hawaii was the birthplace of surfing, and we've got surf all around the island.

So if you have an interest in doing this, we've got quite a few surf schools that will be able to assist you and get you up on your first waves with great success I might add. Most people that do these, take these surf lessons, get up within the hour and are actually surfing. So that being said the surf breaks that we teach you on are certainly nothing like Jaws or anything even close. And whereas Jaws is a very special break that does a certain special thing, in a certain way, the same thing is true of the breaks that we're looking for for the beginning surfers. So it has to be a special wave that is small but consistent, and that happens on a general basis, so that we can operate these surf schools. And there are a couple of breaks like that that we have on the island. Basic areas are Lahaina, and Kihei.

So the way these work, these surf lessons, are that you're gonna have a lot of dry land training to begin with. You just start off on the grass, or the sand, in front of the surf break. And the instructor will just give you the general idea of how to get up, and what you're supposed to do. You practice it a few times on the grass and then when he feels you might be ready, he takes you out into the water. And you go out with him, and you get out to where these waves are, and you give it a try, and usually fall down, and try it again, and fall down. And before you know it within three or four times you're standing up.

One thing is really amazing is that kids are so good at this. Older people, not so good. Not as good as the kids. The skills, maybe it's just being lower center of gravity and closer to the water or something, but so many children have their first lesson where they are just able just to get up right away. That's the way it was with my son. He just got up like on his first lesson. And I was like falling over all the time, never really, it took me a long time to be able to even stand up a little bit. But I think that I was a little bit of a lost cause. Most people are a lot better than me.

But anyway, kids, you want to get em in there while they have an interest, and as soon as they get up on a wave that's it. They're surfers for life. So you're out there then, mostly these lessons are like two hours. Like 45 minutes maybe on the beach, and then an additional, the rest of the time out enjoying the waves. And really that's enough time for most people that are just doing it. It can be tiresome paddling out and paddling back. But it definitely is fun.

You can do this a couple ways, the very best way is to do a private lesson where you've got one guy that's teaching you how to do it, he's watching everything you do, you're making adjustments continuously. That's the best way to do it. But, you can also do semi-private lessons, which is usually a couple people. And those are good too. Or you can do group lessons. And those are maybe six people with an instructor. So you get all the basic tools that you need, just not the individual attention. But of course it's a lot less expensive. It's definitely just more affordable.

So that's surfing. But we have other kinds of surf type activities that are available too that you can be taught. We have windsurfing here on the island, particularly on the North Shore. We've got surf, but we also have wind. And that's a little bit trickier, but we have lessons that you can learn those. That is a fun thing to do. People that do these lessons oftentimes get hooked on em and end up buying these windsurfing equipment and so on. You have to have a place back home where you can surf, but there's lakes and that sort of thing. Anyway that's one of the activities that's related to surfing that you can do.

Another one is kite surfing where you actually just lift off from the ocean and fly in a kite with the wind. And this is usually done in Kanaha area of the island which is kind of in Kahului, perfect little area with constant wind and that sort of thing. And another related surfing activity is standup paddling. This has become really, really big over the course of time since it, I'd say in the last ten years. It's really become a giant thing. So you're actually on flat water, or an area that's flat on the ocean, and you're standing up on the kind of a much larger surfboard, much wider. And you're just paddling one way, and you're just moving in a certain direction.

This is kinda neat in the sense, like Kayaking in a way, that you can actually get out to experience the sea life and so on, on one of these. But also it's incredibly good for you as an exercise. Really excellent for your core and people can get really, really buff doing this. Anyway there's a few tricks to it you need to know, and we have some lessons that will help you learn how to do this.

So that's basically it for surfing on Maui and especially if you've got kids, bring em out, let's get em in the water, let's teach em how to do it.

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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Surfing fans and observers flock to Oahu's famous surfing beaches every year for the best waves in the world. Don't feel that you have to be a pro surfer to enjoy the fun.

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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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