The 10 Best Surfing Lessons & Surfing Schools In Maui

Maui is undeniably a beautiful place and a real paradise for surf-seekers – but finding the right surf school with so many available can be a real headache! Not sure where to go or what to take with you can drive you insane.

We’ve taken care of all that. Below you’ll see our list of the 10 best surfing schools in the majesty of Maui, along with some top surfing vacation essentials you’d best not forget. Aloha!

Hawaiian Paddle Sports

A real favorite for those wanting to hit the waves. With a multitude of choices, why wouldn’t you consider Hawaiian Paddle Sports? In such a popular area, surfing in Maui can seem as if you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. 

So, how do you fix that? Simple! Book a private lesson.

The surfing instructors will complement your booking with a comprehensive package. Learn surf etiquette, wave choice, and paddling, board positioning, how to jump onto the board (and what to do after!) plus plenty more.

Not too confident in the water? Not a problem! The experts here will help you every step of the way. Even better – they guarantee you’ll surf in one lesson!

Best For

  • Beginners

Includes

  • Photography

Maui Wave Riders

Enhance your surfing experience with Maui Wave Riders! There’s plenty of things to think about here! Beginner or more advanced surfers are welcome with packages to suit most needs.

Semi-private lessons (better for couples or kids) allow you to get a detailed and personal experience with your own instructor. Remember though, you can’t go alone. Semi-private lessons require 2-12 surfers from your party!

Maybe you’re looking for more of an individual experience? That’s great! Try their private lessons – perfect for advanced or beginner surfers. This package is highly recommended for younger or more wary boarders.

Or, if you’re already an adept surfer – then go Surf Safari which is catered to the more advanced boarder. Hit the waves and show them what you got with this package.

Best For

  • Larger groups.

Includes

  • Rashguard, reef booties, surf equipment.

Maui Surf Clinics

An established surfing institution with plenty of experience with a real focus on the experience of surfing, not just the basics! 

Looking for more than a day surfing? Book multiple-day surf clinics! Want an adventure with your surf? Book a full day of surfing and an eco-cultural adventure!

Maui Surf Clinics offers it all from beginners to the pros. They also offer VIP or specialist packages for those wanting to make it an unforgettable experience.

Best For

  • Adventurers, beginners, advanced.

Includes

  • Soft/fiberglass surfboards (depending on surfing level).

Maui Surfer Girls

Maui’s ONLY female-owned surf school. But men, women, and children are all welcome here. 

What makes Maui Surfer Girls a little different is they offer women and teen girls an overnight surf camp, last-minute bookings (before 5 pm) for their next-day surf school, and live availability on their website!

Located at Ukumehame Beach Park (between Kihei and Lahaina) means you shouldn’t encounter huge crowds. Sounds like a great way to spend a 2-hour surfing lesson, right?

Best For

  • Beginners-intermediate, those wanting to avoid big crowds, newly-weds, couples, women, teen girls.

Includes

  • Surfboard, rash guard, and booties.

Waves Hawaii Surf School

Beginner surfers will be taken to the calmer waters of Kalama Park, whereas the more confident surfer is encouraged to take in a 3–4-hour surf safari. Which one are you?

One of the greatest ways to boost your boarding experience is to take in the beauty of the surroundings. This school gives you that and more!  If you like the idea of a surf camp, then look no further. The school offers a progressive 3-day camp including daily surf coaching and a water photographer.

The local guides here grew up surfing these waves, so you know you’re in safe hands!

Best For

  • Surfers looking for a comprehensive and progressive experience.

Includes

  • Board, reef shoes, and rash guard.

Soul Surfing Maui

Owned by surfing enthusiast Brian DeCook whose dedication to you enjoying your surf is unmatched. He even backs that with a guarantee! 

Away from the big crowds with packages available for a 1 to 1, a couple of surfers, or even a family. It’s no surprise Brian’s been going since 1992.

Best For

  • Families, individuals, all levels, those wanting to avoid the larger crowds.

Includes

  • Floatation jackets (if required), board, and basics.

Rivers To The Sea

Created by Maui-born twins Tide and Kiva Rivers who are always looking to get better and better. Which means better for you. 

RTTS was the first exclusive surfing school for Maui and it continues to focus on giving its surfers a real VIP experience (kind of explains how it attracts celebrities like Andrew Garfield and Zac Efron!)

So, if you’re looking for more of the Hollywood surfing experience without the hassle of the paparazzi, then book with the twins!

Best For

  • All surfers aged 7+ and those hoping to snap a celeb on the waves!

Includes

  • Long-sleeved SPF 150 rash guard, surf shoes, and a state-of-the-art beginner soft-top board.

Zack Howard Surf

A world-class surfer with over 2 decades of surfing experience – what more could you want from a surf school? Shortboard, longboard, or paddleboard, Zack Howard Surf has what you need.

Maui’s locally known surf spots can be revealed to you in a unique experience. A few hours with a lifetime of memories.

Best For

  • The serious surfer and tourists looking for the lesser-known surf spots.

Includes

  • Booties, rash guards, and board.

Hang Loose Surf Club

Located across from the Banyan Tree in the heart of downtown Lahaina, Hang Loose is for those who want to get to know surfing more intimately from the start.

With all staff coming first-aid trained, your safety is paramount here! Private, semi-private, and group bookings are all available to you – enjoy a safe, calming, and above all, fun experience.

Best For

  • Beginners and families.

Includes

  • Surfboard, long sleeve rash guards, high-quality water shoes.

Swell Maui Surf Lessons

Dedicated to the individual. The owner Enzo will ensure you’re being looked after! All lessons include digital photography (you’ve gotta get those pics on Instagram right?) with surfing along the west and south sides of Maui. 

This is where the waves are better for the beginner. Not packed with surf school students, calmer waters, and tailored for your perfect surf.

Best For

  • Complete beginners, keen photographers.

Includes

  • Private tailored lessons, sunscreen, rash guard, soft-top board with a leash, and digital photography. 

Ready to book? Don’t forget the essentials that may not be included! Check out some of these and make your surfing excursion 100% perfect!

Sun Bum Original SPF 15 Vegan and Reef Friendly Sunscreen Spray 

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You’re out on the waves, you’ve had a fantastic time and suddenly your vacation is ruined by severe sunburn! Well, make sure that doesn’t happen by buying the best.

Pros

  • Vegan friendly.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Cruelty-free.
  • Perfect for saltwater.

Cons

  • Contains alcohol which may cause discomfort in open wounds/cuts.

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Kansing Full HD 2.7K 48MP Underwater Camera, With Dual Screen, 16X Digital Zoom And Self-Timer

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Want to add to your social media? Show the world the amazing time you’ve had? Even if photography is included in the package, you can keep snapping pics when you’re out on the waves after the lesson!

Pros

  • 10ft depth for an hour without the need for extra casing.
  • High-resolution photography and video.
  • Continuous photos/LED Flash.
  • SD card slot.
  • Self-timer.
  • Dual screen.

Cons

  • Short battery life.
  • Not compatible with a selfie stick.

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SUN CUBE Surf Poncho Changing Robe With Hood 

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When the time finally comes that you’ve got to leave the waves – you’ve still got your wetsuit on. Anywhere on this beach to change into something more comfortable? NO!

This dual beach towel/changing robe gives you the ability to change out of your wetsuit discretely whilst also acting as your normal towel. What more could you ask for?

Pros

  • Machine washable.
  • One size fits all! Suitable for men and women.
  • Storage pockets are sewn on.
  • Easily stored in your bag.

Cons

  • Pockets don’t have a zipper.

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Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook

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It’s all fine and well to use a search engine for some information but what happens when you get to Maui? Take some tips from the ultimate experts of Maui.

Written by best-selling author Andrew Doughty (who lives in Hawaii by the way!) giving you all the best tips and secrets of the island.

Pros

  • “Off the beaten track” information for those seeking adventure.
  • Reviews of surfing areas, hotels, and more.
  • Critically acclaimed by the likes of Hawaiian Magazine and USA Today.

Cons

  • The complete guide requires a smart device to download an app.
  • No guarantee if certain areas are still for tourists (no “live” updates).

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Dramamine Motion Sickness Less Drowsy, Travel Vial

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Prone to seasickness but really want to get out on the waves with everyone else? It’s recommended by Maui Surfer Girls to go along to a class with a non-drowsy medication – because nothing is more embarrassing than throwing up on your instructor!

Pros

  • Suitable for adults and children 12+ (younger children should take the Kids’ medication).
  • Relieves sea sickness/motion sickness for up to 24 hours.

Cons

  • Most medications are subjective (so there’s no 100% guarantee it’ll work for you)
  • It’s advised to avoid alcohol whilst taking this. No late-night Hawaiian parties for you!

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SUUKSESS Women Wrap Bikini Set Push Up High Waisted 2 Piece Swimsuits

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Before and after your wetsuit, you’ll need to wear something beach appropriate – probably not the best idea to wear jeans on a 70-degree beach! Don’t worry guys, we’ve got you covered too… but we’ll get to that!

Pros

  • Huge selection of colors and patterns.
  • Adjustable straps.
  • Sizes 4-18.
  • Built-in padding.

Cons

  • Not suitable for the heavy chested.
  • Some lighter colors have been known to run in the wash.

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Goodstoworld Men’s Swim Trunks 

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Told you we got the guys covered too! When in Hawaii, why not do as the Hawaiians do? Don something that says surfing in Hawaii. With a tropical look, comfortable fit, and perfect for most other occasions – it’s time to say Aloha to some new threads.

Pros

  • 36 different patterns/designs.
  • Perfect as a gift (buy it for a friend or family member for vacation!).
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • Some people found these swim trunks weren’t true to size, so it’s best to order one size bigger than usual.

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Wavestorm 8′ Surfboard, Sunburst Graphic

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You go surfing – you love it but as soon as the lesson’s over, you have to give back the board! So why not take your own? Wavestorm is the most recognized surf brand in the US and has years of experience with making ideal surfing products for beginners.

Pros

  • High quality.
  • Removable leash.
  • Strong bolt-thru components.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Better for beginners, advanced surfers may prefer another board.

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SeaSpecs Classic Floating Polarized Sunglasses With 100% UVA & UVB Protection

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Being in the sea is amazing – but getting saltwater in the eyes can sometimes be a problem. Prevention is key! Guard your eyes with some top kit, super for surfing!

Pros

  • 10 different colors to choose from (personalize your eyes!)
  • Lightweight
  • UV protection

Cons

  • Not a “one size fits all”
  • If you lose them in the water, they might sink

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Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle

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The power of the Maui sun can be unforgiving. It’s important to remain hydrated and take some water to the waters. Fill up before hitting the waves and keep it nearby!

Pros

  • Huge selection of colors.
  • Suitable for all drinks.
  • Easy to screw on the lid.
  • Clip to your bag!

Cons

  • Breakable.

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Buyer’s Guide

To make your surfing lesson as enjoyable and stress-free as possible, here are some golden rules you need to follow. 

  • Identify your surfing strength – if you’re not a strong surfer, don’t book an advanced class!
  • Confirm your group – what kind of vacation are you planning?
  • Plan ahead on the day –  don’t forget the basics before heading out on the waves.
  • Keep yourself protected – always remember sun protection and water above all.

These are pretty simple things to do but they’ll certainly help you enjoy everything surfing in Maui has to offer!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone go to these surf schools?

Each of the schools listed above accommodates for most skill levels (beginners, advanced, etc.) but please check for age limits and group sizes. If you have a disability or requirement, it is best to contact your chosen school before booking.

Do I really need all these things for surfing?

It’s advisable to remain safe on your vacation – why would you gamble with your experience?

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