10 Surf School that Will Help You Carve Maui in Style
Maui is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and as the waves tend to be quite mild, it’s the perfect place for a grom to cut their teeth and catch their first wave.
As such, there are tons of surf schools offering surf camps around the coast, and I’m about to show 10 of the best!
10 Best Surf Camps in Maui
Welcome to the only female-owned and operated surf school on the entire island.
Anyone can sign up for lessons with Maui Surfer Girls’ dedicated and talented instructors, but they specialize in introducing women to the waves.
They provide two week-long camps, one for teen girls and one for adult women, their base of operations is Ukumehame Beach on the west coast, and from time to time, Luna the surfing dog joins students for a carving session in the water.
2. Go Surf Maui (Waves Hawaii Surf School)
Offering surfing lessons for ages 1 through 5, Waves Maui believes you’re never too young to start learning how to ride the waves, making them an awesome choice for surfer families.
Instructing in the tame waves of Kalama Park, they run 3-day surf camps, and you can pick whether you want your 2-hour lessons to be private or semi-private.
Soul Surfing Maui offers the full surf and stay experience. They put you up in an ocean-front resort, they teach you to surf at gorgeous Thousand Peaks Beach, and they provide you with all the necessary equipment.
What I love most of all about Soul Surfing Maui is that you can customize your surf camp experience.
Their most popular package is a 6-day stay with 5 surfing lessons, but you can increase or decrease this to suit your wants and needs — perfect!
Established in 1994 by Tim Sheer, Goofy Foot has been helping new surfers find their stoke for decades now.
Located on the coast of Lahaina, Goofy Foot is the perfect place for beginner surfers to build their confidence and catch a few easy-going, crystal clear waves.
In terms of camps, Goofy Foot brings something really refreshing to the table.
Rather than the standard 3-5 day camp, they offer a single “all day” camp that starts at 8am and runs all the way through to 2pm. That’s 6 hours of surfing action!
Hawaiian Surf Lessons 101 must be doing something right because their Maui-based organization is their second school in Hawaii.
Catering to all skill levels, they can teach you something as rudimentary as the basics of paddling out, through to advanced stuff such as how to keep your cool when pitted in a ferocious 6 footer.
Unfortunately, their official surf camp is held by their Oahu school, but the Maui-based school offers 5-day surfing masterclasses that are by and large the same thing.
Centered around the Cove located at the southernmost end of Kalama Park, Surf Club Maui offers one of the most comprehensive camp experiences on the island.
Spanning 3 days, the kids camp is intended for ages 10 and above and teaches all the essentials for staying safe in the water and catching some lush waves.
Focused on getting beginners out in the water for tons of fun, Surf Yoga Maui may be just the school you’re looking for to get the most out of your Maui getaway.
Offering a 3-day surf progression camp for 8-year-olds and above, owners Summer and Eddie provide an ideal foundation for young shredders to build from.
8. Surf Clinics (Nancy Emerson)
Nancy Emerson bases a large part of her lessons on enhancing focus and reading the ocean. Famous for her “Learn to Surf in One Lesson” techniques, she’ll take you from landlubber to sea shredder in no time.
There aren’t any surf camp options on her site at the moment, but she is known to host them from time to time, so keep your eyes peeled, and hopefully, you’ll get a chance to learn under this brilliant surfer.
Big wave surfer, Tyler Larronde, was born and raised on Maui’s north shore, so he knows these waters better than anyone. The only thing that matches his passion for carving the barrel of a monster wave is teaching others, so they can experience the water as he does.
His surf school offers a unique 2-person, 3-day progression package perfect for a pair of friends or a couple to take their skills in the water to the next level.
Maui Sports Unlimited considers what they do a service to the community. By showing youngsters the ropes, they specialize in lighting the surfing spark that turns into a lifetime obsession.
Their 3-day camp is for kids between 6 and 13 years old and takes place on Kalama Beach.
Groups will often be partially made up of local kids, giving them the opportunity to see some new faces and make some friends.
Preparing for a Trip to Maui Surf Camp
Surf trips may be full of carefree fun and relaxing hangs at the beach, but those good times are made up of weeks of stringent planning. That’s why I’ve composed this brief yet comprehensive guide on things to consider before boarding the plane to Maui.
- Cost of Food and Drink in Maui
There is some truly awesome food to be had in Maui, so you’ll want to bring enough money to visit at least a couple of nice restaurants on your surfing trip.
The average cost of food and drink per day is normally around $75, with a single evening meal costing something to the tune of $30.
That’s pretty steep for a snack or two, but if you know what you’re doing, you can eat amazingly well on a budget. Here are a couple of tricks I’ve picked up over the years:
- Fill up on Breakfast – Granted, you don’t want a bulging tum out on the waves, but breakfast is a lot cheaper than lunch or dinner in Maui.
- Follow the Locals – Eating where the locals eat is the best way to enjoy a beautiful meal without paying premium “touristy” prices.
- Enjoy the Street Food – Maui street food is delicious and cheap!
- Eat Locally Grown Fresh Produce – A lot of basic groceries in Maui are imports, which accounts for the expense, but fresh fruit and veg from the island has a much more reasonable price tag.
- Equipment Rental
Much like the cost of food and drink, the price of equipment in Maui varies from school to school. It’s likely that many Maui surf schools include the equipment rental fees in the price of their surf camp admission, in which case, you won’t need to worry about renting a board.
If yours doesn’t include rental fees, depending on the camp you’ve chosen, you can expect to pay anything between $17 and $30 per 24 hours of board rental.
These fees will almost always be reduced if you opt to book them out for the entire week.
- Prepaid Sim Cards
If you’re traveling to Maui from another State in the U.S., you won’t need to worry about buying a prepaid Sim card for your journey. Your usual carrier should cover any roaming within the States.
If you’re heading to Maui from another country, purchasing a prepaid sim card is a great way to save some money on communication on your surfing expedition.
Buying one in Maui will be cheaper than ordering online beforehand, but the difference isn’t too steep if you’d rather have a sim locked and loaded before you set off.
- Public Transport
The busses in Maui are the cheapest way to get around, with a general fare of about $2. If you need to travel a longer route, that figure will likely increase, but not by much.
Hailing a cab is a faster way to get around, but as is the case almost anywhere in the world, it’ll cost you.
On average, visitors to Maui spend roughly $50 on public transport per day, but that’s assuming they’re doing a lot of sightseeing in the far reaches of the island. As you’re going to spend most of your time on the beach, you’ll be able to keep transport fees to a minimum.
- Gas Fees
Gas in Maui is can set you back anything between $3.2 and $3.8 on the gallon at the minute.
You don’t necessarily need to rent a car to get around Maui, but it is a handy way of ferrying your gear without accidentally slapping locals in the face with your board when you get on a bus. For a basic economy vehicle, you’re looking at about $50 a day.
Types of Risks
Maui is renowned for its low-key, easy-going surf, boasting more beginner surf breaks than any other Hawaiian island. You won’t have to worry about the three Rs: reefs, rocks, and rip tides.
Having said that, Maui has the largest tiger shark population and highest shark attack statistics in the state, but a professional instructor will not know exactly how to keep you well away from those toothy tigers.
Stepping out of the water, Maui is considered a very safe destination for both locals and visitors from all over the globe, but there are a couple of things to be wary of.
Some insects in Maui can be pretty scary, especially the foot-long centipedes. Be warned, they do bite, and will often rather die than let go.
Beware the terrifying, the horrifying, the blood-curdling…falling coconuts. I’m having fun with it, but this is no joke. Falling coconuts kill more people in Hawaii than sharks.
Another bit of advice. BRING MOSQUITO REPELLENT. Dengue outbreaks do occur in Hawaii.
My last warning is to protect yourself against the sun, especially as you’ll be spending a significant portion of your trip in the water, which can intensify the sun’s rays on your skin. Sunblock is your best friend!
How to Prepare
American surfers won’t have to worry about visas of any kind. In fact, as long as you keep your stay shorter than 90 days, nobody needs a visa to visit Hawaii. What you will need to do is apply for a VWP pass (Visa Waiver Program).
The National Travel Health and Network center recommends you get a rabies and tetanus jab before traveling to Hawaii.
- Language and Currency
As a U.S. State, Hawaii uses the American dollar, and English is the primary language, but Maui celebrates its cultural roots, so there’s every chance you’ll hear some beautiful Hawaiian words and phrases, perhaps even a song or two if you venture out in the evening for a drink.
- Checking Surf Forecast
You can check the surf forecast in Maui simply by opening this website: Maui Surf Forecast and Eyeball Surf Report.
It gives you a weekly breakdown of the surf conditions across Maui, and even offers details such as swell strengths, so you can always find the perfect surf for you.
- Travel and Surf Insurance
While travel insurance isn’t strictly necessary to explore the Aloha State, I’d recommend securing at least some sort of policy in case of emergencies.
If your standard policy doesn’t cover surfing, it’s a good idea to pair it with a surfing-specific insurance policy too. Then if the worst happens, and you get injured in the water, your healthcare will be covered.
Anything Else You Should Know?
- Sunblock – Maui gets incredibly hot, even in the milder seasons, so don’t skimp on the sunblock.
- Rash Guard – A guard will offer extra protection from the sun.
- Booties – Some camps do not provide booties.
- Accommodation – The average cost per night for a single person in Maui tends to be around $108.
Did any of these awesome Maui-based surf camps appeal to you? There really isn’t a bad choice among them. Some are perfect for kids, others are great for the whole family.
The standard in Maui is a 3-day course, but others are far more flexible, so you can shape seamlessly around your holiday plans. Enjoy!