The 10 Best Surfing Lessons & Surfing Schools In Hawaii

Hawaii – paradise on Earth. We all know what Hawaii is best known for and that’s surfing. No matter if you have been there or not, we all associate the Island with its gorgeous beaches, with crystal clear waters. Their year-round warmth and sunshine, which simply make it the most desirable place to catch some waves.

Whether you are just beginning or an experienced surfer, we recommend soaking yourself up in the Aloha spirit by getting yourself surf lessons with the best surf schools in Hawaii. We know how difficult it can be to try and find the best surf lessons and schools in Hawaii, especially when you are new to the Island. 

So, to take the weight off your shoulders we have put together the 10 Best Surfing Lessons & Surfing Schools in Hawaii. Check them out below!

Maui

Catching your first wave in paradise on the Island of Maui. Maui has a lot of great surfing spots to discover, and it is the perfect place for beginners to start their surfing journey.

Or, one of the coolest things to do is watch the big wave surfers tackle 50ft+ waves at some of the most famous surf spots, including Ho’okipa Beach Park, Peahi also known as Jaws, and Honolua Bay.

Obviously, as a beginner, we don’t recommend taking on the challenge of paddling out with the pros! There are many beaches and breaks in Maui that offer perfect conditions for beginner and intermediate riders, but to strengthen your courage we recommend booking a surf lesson with the best surf schools on the Island of Maui.

Maui Surfer Girls

Maui Surfer Girls was founded in 2001, to encourage young surfers to build their self-confidence through the sport of surfing. Despite their name and being female-owned and operated, lessons are open to all – men, women, and children who are aged five and older. 

Their lessons take place at Ukumehame Beach Park intending to keep you away from the crowds. If you are feeling extra adventurous, they run all-inclusive surf camps, with oceanfront accommodations, surf lessons with fully qualified and trained coaches, 3 healthy meals a day, and a bunch of fun activities along the way.

Hawaiian Paddle Sports

Hawaiian Paddle Sports is committed to sustainability. Their passion for surfing is contagious, they offer private surf lessons in Maui to avoid crowded breaks by taking you to secluded surf breaks, where the instructors teach you how to surf efficiently. 

They cover a variety of topics during the lessons such as surf etiquette, where waves come from and how they form wave selection, how to catch a wave, and what to do once you’re up on your board. A bonus is that digital photography is included for each lesson, so your first wave will be caught on camera. How exciting!

Rivers To The Sea

Founded in 2002, Rivers to The Sea are rated to have the best instructors by The New York Times in Maui. Whether you’re brand new to surfing or you’ve had a few lessons, their friendly surf instructors will teach you everything you need to know to get on your board and start catching waves. 

They are always ready to help you take your surf game up another level. Your Maui surf lesson will take place on the surf break “Guardrails” which is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers. 

Rivers to The Sea approach surfing with authentic Maui-style instructions meaning your lesson will be relaxed with a thoughtful process to help you maintain your focus and achieve your surfing goals. You will leave your lesson feeling confident and proud!

Big Island

Big Island is the largest island in the Hawaiian chain. People say to always expect the unexpected on this island, the diversity is simply breathtaking. From enchanting green forests, black lava fields, the ocean to the rain.

You will find yourself extremely fascinated by this Island. Despite all its beautiful nature, there are many cool activities that you can do on this Island and Surfing is most definitely one of them.

The surf on Big Island offers a magical experience as you will encounter eccentric coral life, fish, and the magnificence of the reefs.

The Island especially in Kahalu’u has many coves that are perfect for beginner surfers to practice. If you are afraid of sea life, then not to worry because the rock walls keep predators and strong currents from reaching the shore.

Kahaluu Surf & Sea

Kahaluu Surf & Sea will provide everything you need to enjoy a day of surfing on the Big Island in Kona. They have made their surf lessons flexible to fit every surfing level and have proven techniques that will have you catching your first or bigger waves in no time. 

There are many spots in Kona where their lessons take place with it all depending on your level of skill, some of these beaches are Kahalu’u Bay, Honl’s beach, Banyan’s beach which has been voted with the best waves in Hawaii by Freesurf Magazine, and Kohanaiki Beach.

This surf school inspires you to make your dreams a reality. They offer One on One instruction, Two to Three people lessons, or group surf lessons. The decision is yours, but no matter what you are guaranteed a 2-hour lesson full of fun and adventure.

Kona Boys

Kona Boys Surf School has been around since 1996. Alongside their passion for water sports, they are also extremely passionate about the community, culture, and natural beauty of their Hawaiian home.

Safety is their priority when it comes to their surf lessons, so each session begins with an onshore orientation that covers surfing etiquette, ocean awareness, and the fundamentals of surfing. 

The Kona Boys take pride in being consistent in their efforts to make your surfing experience a memorable one and ensure that you have the perfect level of control before you start catching waves.

Oahu 

Oahu is also known as the heart and gathering place of Hawaii. The home of the world-famous Waikiki Beach which is the most popular place to swim, sunbathe, and surf.

Oahu is the place for water enthusiasts to be – it’s the place where surfers started riding huge waves in the North Shore’s Waimea Bay in the 1950s!

For ocean lovers, Oahu has many options for you to experience surfing, whether this is dipping your toes in the water and surfing yourself or watching the pros catch the biggest waves of the day.

Whatever the weather, you can always learn to surf in the calm waters of Waikiki beach. After all, it is the most perfect place to be for those who have their hearts in surfing.

Sparky’s Surf School

Sparky’s Surf School is available to teach surfing 6 days a week. They are fully extensive with their lessons, as all lessons include land practice then 60 minutes in the water surfing.

They are a school that specializes in lessons for children, teens, and adults. They have your best interests at heart and want to help those of all levels to improve their surfing ability.

There is no better person to learn to surf with than Sparky! Born and raised in Hawaii where Waikiki has been his playground for 40+ years.

Learning to surf with Sparky is more than just learning the techniques of how to become the best surfer, he will help you expand your knowledge on understanding the ocean and teach you where to be in the line-up, and guide you into knowing which waves to go for and when.

Hook Up Surfing

Hook Up Surfing is known to have some of the best and most experienced surf instructors around. All instructors are highly qualified and advanced Lifeguard Certified Instructors, who are all passionate about sharing and encouraging others to surf. Hook Up Surfing swear by quality over quantity. 

They do not tie themselves to a specific surfing spot in Oahu, instead, they take you to the best and least crowded surf breaks, with the best conditions for your surfing ability on that day.

They teach longboarding, shortboarding, and stand-up paddling with an emphasis on safety. Most importantly, they aim to make sure you enjoy the ocean.

Having some of the best surf instructors in Hawaii, they teach all ages and skill levels and are enthusiastic to help you achieve and exceed your surfing goals.

Kauai

Kauai offers untouched beaches, picturesque views, and some of the best surfing and hiking opportunities ever. Many of the champion surfers were born and raised in Kauai and that is no surprise because the offshore winds ensure that Kauai gets excellent swell all throughout the year.

Poipu Beach Surf School

Poipu Beach Surf School offers year-round surfing lessons on the South Side of Kauai. Their main aim is to pay attention to your personal needs, to do this they limit the size of their classes.

If you want to have a little one on one time with an instructor to really expand your growth in surfing, then they always offer private surf lessons too. They are always committed to providing each guest with a safe, fun, and friendly surfing experience. 

They are dedicated to making your safety their number one priority, so your instructor will stay with you during the full lesson, ensuring to never leave you alone in the ocean. Each lesson is 1.5 hours long at Sheraton Beach in Poipu.

They always go above and beyond for their guests and each surf lesson starts with a brief instructional video to educate you about the surfboard you use, how to paddle, stand up, and an introduction to surfing etiquette.

Endless Summer Surf School

Endless Summer Surf School’s main aim is to teach the Hawaiian tradition of surfing to everyone from around the world. Their passion is to spread the Aloha Spirit in the hope to impact you to keep a piece of Hawaii in your heart forever. 

Their lessons are based in Poipu beach where you have the choice between having a group lesson, semi private or private lesson – as long as you surf your heart out in Kauai then that is all that matters. This is your one-stop shop to receive surfing lessons in Hawaii, with the best instructors and equipment in hand.

Lanai

Lanai is Hawaii’s most secluded island and is often known as the Pineapple Island. Lanai has 18 miles of secluded beaches and will make you feel like you are vacationing on your own private island.

Due to its adventure-seeking and relaxation, Lanai has become a dream destination for many people across the world. There is no doubt that Surfing is the best ocean activity on the Island.

Lanai Surf School & Safari

Learning to surf at Lanai Surf School is a golden opportunity. You will have the chance to surf on a secluded beach which is perfect for those who are nervous about the Hawaiian crowds. Lanai Surf School guarantees that you will surf and catch your own waves in one lesson. 

They provide lessons for all surfing abilities with the promise that their fully qualified instructors give you their personal attention and share the surfing experience with you.

They want to ensure that you are safe and well informed before entering the ocean, so each lesson is given basic water instructions and a land demo.


10 Best Surfing Products

There are so many factors to think about when you surf. Of course, you need the typical wetsuit, surfboard with the leash, and wax. But, what about the other little things that can help you on your journey of becoming the best surfer you can be.

We know the feeling, the feeling of being unprepared or slightly nervous about where to start. You have had your first surfing lesson, or maybe even a few. And now you are ready to go solo!

So many questions and so many products to choose from. It can often feel so overwhelming to pick and choose the products that you need for yourself – but that’s why we are here!

We have made a list of the 10 Best Surfing Products that are high-quality and durable to help you in any surfing conditions. No matter what choice of accessory you decide to buy, you will be left feeling confident and ready to tackle the waves all by yourself.

Putty Buddies Floating Earplugs

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Putty Buddies ear plugs are perfect for those who have sensitive ears, or simply want to protect their ears from the water. The soft silicone with the tacky texture ensures the earplugs stay in one place – they are easy to use and mold to the ear. 

Putty Buddies are the only floating soft moldable silicone earplugs that float on water if dropped or dislodged. Not to forget, they are much more comfortable than any average earplugs.

There is no doubt about it that you are guaranteed ear protection. Especially considering these were invented by an ear, nose, and throat physician. You can enter the ocean with peace of mind knowing that these are the best prevention to catching “surfers’ ear”.

Pros

  • One-Size-Fits-All design – From kids to adults, no matter what size these earplugs are guaranteed to fit you.
  • Reusable – As a surfer, you understand the importance of sustainability. These earplugs were invented to last longer than other earplugs and are reusable.
  • Floats – If one falls out for whatever reason, rest assured that it will float so you can recover it easily.

Cons

  • Leaves residue  –   Due to their stickiness,   these earplugs can leave residue on ears and hair. 

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Waxhead Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Stick

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The safest sunscreen on the market yet!  Waxhead scored  #1  by the  EWG Sunscreen Guide as it is perfect for those with sensitive skin – it is 100% non-toxic. We all know that feeling too well when sunscreen gets in our eyes, well with Waxhead Zinc Oxide Sunscreen you will face that issue no more!

It is super durable, and it doesn’t run or sting your eyes, instead, it is promised to give you true UVA UVB coverage. With sustainability being its number one priority, this sunscreen is coral reef safe and only made from 4 organic ingredients that are cruelty-free, gluten-free, non-greasy, and hypoallergenic.

Pros

  • Water Resistant – Stress-free. It provides full protection inside and outside of the ocean.
  • Non-Toxic – Safe for all ages. Only made from 4 organic ingredients which are safe for the skin and the ocean too.
  • Longer shelf life – Each stick-on sunscreen lasts up to a maximum of 3 years.

Cons

  • Tinted – Depending on your preference this Sunscreen will leave a white tint on your skin.
  • Difficult to Apply – As the consistency of the Sunscreen is thick, it can often be harder to apply on the skin making it feel more like a chore.
  • Price – It is a lot more expensive than other sunscreens on the market which makes it less affordable.

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SUN CUBE Surf Poncho

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Your own pack-away portable changing room. Surf Ponchos  are so necessary when you are surfing especially in colder climates.

They are a fantastic way to keep warm before and after a surf and if you are a little more on the adventurous side, then you can just throw your surf Poncho on and drive to your next surfing spot.

Sun Cubes Surf Poncho is made from 100% Microfiber Polyester. It doubles as a fully absorbent towel that is perfect to dry off with after surfing, ensuring that you are cozy,   warm,  and dry.   

The Poncho comes with a hood making it appropriate for all types of weather. Their one size fits all design is super convenient and it is foldable. It even has an added kangaroo pocket for your phone, wallet, and keys.

Pros

  • Unisex – it comes in a variety of different colors to suit your preference.
  • 100% Microfiber Polyester – is the best material around especially for your surfing needs. Quick-drying and super effective especially for those colder days.

Cons

  • One Size Fits all – Obviously, we are all made up of many different shapes and sizes, so for some people, this poncho may be a little too tight on the neck.

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Rinse Hanger

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The worst part about surfing is cleaning and drying your wetsuit. It is a hard task that nobody wants to face. Wetsuits have a very specific care routine – you can’t put them in the washing machine, or tumble dry them.

You must be super careful about the way you hang it up as it can stretch over time and then your wetsuit may no longer fit you.

These Rinse Hangers are a fast and effective way to remove salt and sand from your wetsuit. The body of the hanger is wide, so it opens your wetsuit for air circulation which results in faster drying.

Whether you are at home or not, this hanger is designed to be with you wherever you go, the removable hook makes it convenient to travel with.

Pros

  • Easy to Use – super convenient for cleaning and drying your wetsuit.
  • Uses less water – an environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Fast Drying Time – helps ensure your wetsuit is ready to go when you are. 

Cons

  • The nozzles don’t rinse the shoulder area of your wetsuit – Instead, you must rinse them manually.

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Wave Tribe Eco Premium Leash

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Your number one priority while surfing should be safety, and therefore owning a surfboard leash is mandatory. Surfing in strong currents or high swells can be dangerous, for you and others around you.

Owning this Wave Tribe Eco Premium Leash will prevent your surfboard   from hitting and injuring you or others, potentially saving a life in the process. 

Designed to be good for you and good for the environment, this Wave Tribe leash is made with recycled plastic which is sourced from the best quality eco materials that are available. 

To ensure that they are at their highest potential, they have been LeashTested at surf breaks like Mavericks which is why Wave Tribe has succeeded in receiving the title of The Best Surfboard Leash in the World.

Pros

  • Eco-friendly – ideal for the environmentally-conscious surfer.
  • Durable & Stylish – ensures your board stays attached to your body.
  • Perfect for all surfing skill levels – suitable for novices and professionals alike.

Cons

  • Only available in black – this isn’t a huge issue for most people, but if you like to inject a little more personality into your surfing equipment you may want to choose something more colorful.

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Santa Barbara Surfing SBS Surf Fin Key

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Fin keys are the last thing on your mind when it comes to surfing. Sometimes in life, the little things are what matter the most and that is exactly the case when it comes down to these fin keys. They are a must for all surfers.

This combo pack includes 3 Future fin keys and 12 Future fin screws. They are perfect for Future fin boxes as they are designed longer to reach the fin box. Santa Barbara has created these fin keys with premium quality material to ensure that it is comfortable in your hand.

Pros

  • Durable – High quality steel hex key with plastic molded handles

Cons

  • Not multipurpose – you must buy separate fin keys for FCS fins

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O’Neill Reactor II 3/2mm Wetsuit

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Depending on where you live, a wetsuit is an essential item for surfing. Wetsuits play a fundamental part by protecting you from the temperature of the water, reduce injury during a wipe-out, improve your coordination, and aid you with mobility.

The O’Neill Reactor II 3/2mm Wetsuit is the perfect summer suit. The Ultra Stretchy  neoprene body means you can stay warm but also gives you the flexibility you need to maneuver in your suit.

The wind-resistant suit is seamless and includes Krypto knee pads which are perfectly designed to protect your knees while catching those waves.

Pros

  • Comfortable – made from ultra-stretchy Neoprene and features seamless paddle zones for unrestricted motion.
  • Wind Resistant – helps keep you warm even in high-wind conditions.

Cons

Adjustable back zip – has the potential to allow more water to enter in through the suit.

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Mr. Zogs Sex Wax

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Wax is an essential part of your surfing journey. From a foamie to an epoxy, you’ll need the best wax for your board. By using surf wax, you will have good traction meaning it will make popping up on your board much easier. 

Mr. Zogs is the most popular surf wax around, which is favored by many surfers including the pros. There are five available scents that are all suited for different climates such as cold, cool, warm, and tropical.

Pros

  • Long-lasting – helps save money as you won’t need to worry about purchasing again too soon.
  • Affordable – ideal for any surfer trying to stick to a limited budget.

Cons

  • It is made from Paraffin

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GoPro Hero 8 Waterproof Action Camera

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Record your waves with GoPro’s Waterproof camera and start showing the world what the inside of a barrel looks like. A compact device with a streamlined design that is smoother than smooth. This GoPro Hero 8 has three levels of stabilization so you can pick the best option for whatever you do. 

Thanks to the HyperSmooth mode, you will be able to record your gnarliest waves with the best stabilization yet.

Pros

  • Small and compact – won’t weigh you down or get in the way while you surf.
  • Quality videos and photographs – features 4k video capabilities.

Cons

  • Due to its size, it can be difficult to handle – especially with wet hands.

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Surfboard Mount Kit

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Your eye is on the prize. These Surfboard mounts are everything that you need to ensure that you are capturing your favorite waves with the highest quality.

The camera tethers and adhesive anchors enhance the security, so whether you are surfing in mild or extreme conditions you are guaranteed that your GoPro will make it through.

The best thing about this Surfboard Mount Kit is that it is compatible with all GoPro Hero cameras. So, if you ever feel like switching your camera up then you know you are all ready to go with these mounts. 

Pros

  • Perfect for all water sports – use it for surfing, paddleboarding, or simply catching family memories in the pool. 
  • Adhesive anchors for security – keeps your camera firmly in place.
  • Quick-release buckle – allows you to quickly and easily remove your camera as needed.
  • Compatible with all GoPro Hero cameras – ideal if you like to switch between recording equipment. 

Cons

  • There is a possibility of the adhesive mount falling off over time

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be a good swimmer to go surfing in Hawaii?

You don’t need to be the best swimmer to go surfing in Hawaii, but if you can’t swim at all it would be best to take some lessons beforehand. The ocean is unknown territory – anything can happen. We always say to expect the unexpected. From riptides to gnarly waves, there is always the possibility that you could lose your board.

Obviously, in a bad situation, you can always rely on the buoyancy of your surfboard but that doesn’t mean you should be completely dependent on it.

It is always important to bear in mind that you can become detached from your board and if this does happen, you need a decent amount of skill to keep yourself afloat or swim to the safest/closest area.

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