Hawaii is synonymous with surfing. From famed surf breaks Banzai Pipeline and Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore to Peahi (aka Jaws) on Maui, the Hawaiian Islands offer some of the world’s most excellent waves to catch the surf world’s best do what they do best. This is especially so during the winter wave season when Hawaii surf is at its largest and most impressive. Surfing is also deeply ingrained in Hawaii’s history and culture. Known in some circles as the “sport of kings,” surfing was once reserved largely for Hawaiian royalty, including King Kamehameha I who enjoyed taking to the waves. Today, surfers of all levels paddle out on Hawaii’s surf breaks in search of the perfect ride. Whether your client is a newbie to surfing or an experienced wave rider, the surf is up pretty much year-round somewhere in Hawaii. Ocean safety experts recommend that surfers and beachgoers new to any of Hawaii’s beaches and surf breaks check in with lifeguards before entering the water for any activity. Lifeguards welcome inquiries and will explain potential daily hazards like rip currents and dangerous shore breaks. After that, you’ll be ready to experience the majesty of our surrounding Pacific Ocean the way we do — with reverence and respect for its awesome power. Check out our below list of some of Hawaii’s top surf schools and invite your client to hit the waves safely on their next visit!
One of the best ways for Kauai-bound clients to get their feet wet in the sport of surfing is by visiting a local surf school. Kauai Beach Boys, one of the island’s first surf schools, offers surf and stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) lessons, outrigger canoe rides, beach gear rentals, boat cruises, waterfall hikes, tours, and more. For clients visiting Kauai’s south side, Poipu Beach Surf School offers year-round surfing lessons for all levels of surfers. First-time surfers will enjoy the school’s beginners lesson while advanced surfers can take on the adventure of a half-day instructor-led trip to island surf spots largely unknown to visitors.
From the wild winter waves of north shore Peahi to the year-round calmer waters of west side Kaanapali and Lahaina, Maui offers clients a diversity of surf breaks and opportunities for surfing and SUP. If your clients are beginners looking for a complete surf experience, have them check out Maui Surf Clinics, where they’ll receive a surfing lesson and also learn about water safety, ocean awareness, and surfing etiquette. The island’s only female-owned surf school, Maui Surfer Girls offers lessons primarily led by female instructors, with co-ed classes on the waves of west side Ukumehame Beach Park, away from crowds. Clients interested in SUP should look into the offerings of Hawaiian Paddle Sports, an environmentally-conscious adventure company with a variety of surf, SUP, canoe, and kayak lessons and tours. The company is known for its SUP tours, including two-hour ocean adventures at Makena, Olowalu, and Kapalua Bay.
From Waikiki in the summer to its world-famous North Shore during winter, Oahu is a surfer’s paradise year-round. Encourage your clients interested in surfing on the island to check out surf schools like the one run by Hawaii Surf Guru Kimo Chung, who offers beginning, intermediate, and advanced private surf and SUP lessons, and shares knowledge of Oahu’s local surf scene and culture. Got seasoned-surfer clients looking for surfboards or paddleboards to rent for their visit? Hawaii Surfboard Rentals offers competitive daily and weekly rental rates on a variety of boards, with free delivery island-wide. Located in Waikiki, the company also rents out car racks, beach chairs, umbrellas, and coolers.
Island of Hawaii
Surfing-inclined clients visiting the west side of the island should check out Hawaii Lifeguard Surf Instructors (HLSI), a native Hawaiian-run surf school founded in 1998 and located in Kailua-Kona. The HLSI team is committed to, in its own words, “perpetuating the heritage of surfing and the Hawaiian culture with aloha and a safety-first attitude.” The surf school’s two-hour lessons happen at Kahaluu Beach, just south of Kailua-Kona in Keauhou, and are led — as the name of the business implies — by professional lifeguards and watermen.