We conduct our surf lessons at Ukumehame Beach on the western shore of Maui along HWY 30, also known as Honoapiilani Highway. Located between the towns of Maalaea and Olowalu, this location offers perfect conditions for beginner surf lessons with consistent easy-to-ride waves. Also known as “Thousand Peaks,” this wide beach has many available surf breaks and plenty of available parking. Please note: the sandy parking areas are easy to get stuck in if your vehicle does not have 4-wheel drive; be sure to park carefully on the firm dirt rather than the deep sand.
Please see this map for the specific location:
Alternative Location - Puamana:
If weather conditions are not favorable due to excessive wind, we may move the lesson to our alternative location near Launiupoko Beach Park, known locally as “Guardrails.” This spot, also located along HWY 30 (Honoapiilani Highway – Mile Marker 19) is found just north of Launiupoko Beach near Lahaina. Parking is limited at this location, with spots located on the Northbound side of the road. Please use caution when parking and walking along the highway here. Be sure to check traffic carefully before crossing the highway.
Please see this map for the specific alternative location:
Our lessons are only offered in the mornings to ensure we can surf in the best possible conditions on any given day. Maui is known to be a very windy island, with strong gusts typically starting around noon each day. Once the wind starts, surfing can become difficult due to the wind moving you and affecting the shape of the waves. To avoid this, we start our first lesson at 7:00AM, and the last lesson offered each day ends by 12:00PM. Wind can still be high early in the morning, and if so we may change the location of the surf lesson accordingly. If wind and wave conditions are not suitable for a safe lesson, we may notify you before a scheduled lesson to reschedule or offer a refund if rescheduling is not possible.
Each surf lesson we offer includes all the equipment you need to stay safe and comfortable. A properly sized foam-topped surfboard is provided depending on your height and weight. All our boards are equipped with a leash to help you get back to your board after a potential wipeout. A long-sleeved rash guard is also provided to protect your chest and arms from friction while paddling. The rash guard also doubles as sun protection reducing the need for sunscreen. We do not allow walking on our delicate reef ecosystems. However, we do provide water shoes to protect your feet should you accidentally kick the reef. If needed, we also provide reef-safe sunscreen. Please provide accurate information when booking your lesson so that we can bring the appropriately sized gear for your party.
Also included in each lesson is a photo package we create from GoPro cameras mounted to your surfboard. These photos are organized into an album after your lesson and sent to your provided email address.
Already have a rash guard or water shoes? Great, bring them along to your lesson and we can check to ensure they are adequate for use during our lessons.
Reef-safe sunscreen does not contain chemicals that are harmful to coral, fish and other ocean animals. Many non-reef-safe sunscreens available for purchase both on and off Maui contain chemicals such as avobenzone, oxybenzone and octinoxate that work with your body’s hormone system to prevent damage from UV rays. Though the state of Hawaii has banned certain chemicals from being sold, sunscreen manufacturers have created new chemical formulations that may still cause damage to our ocean ecosystems. Some of these products may still be labeled with “reef safe” or “reef friendly,” even though they are not.
True reef-safe sunscreen will list “Zinc-Oxide” or “Titanium-Oxide” as their main active ingredient. These products use tiny bits of metal that remain on top of your skin to reflect UV rays. Because of this, they can leave a white layer on top of your skin that is easily washed off when you are finished with your activities in the sun. Don’t be embarrassed! Sporting reef-safe sunscreen is a sign that you care about protecting the ocean and its inhabitants.
Reef-safe sunscreen brands we recommend:
- All Good
- Raw Elements
Learn more about reef safe sunscreen at the links below:
We only offer surf lessons at beaches where the conditions are suitable for beginners and where we are permitted to conduct lessons. These locations include Ukumehame Beach and south of Launiupoko Beach Park. The beaches near Wailea, although beautiful, do not offer consistent easy-to-ride waves due to the shape of the reef, the direction they face and the ease of access to surf breaks.
We do not provide transportation to and from our surf lesson locations. If you do not have a rental car to use on your trip, you can utilize a taxi or car-service like Uber or Lyft to get to the beach. Please see our “Where do we meet?” section for specific directions to our lesson location.
We do not rent surfboards. Our lessons include a provided board for each booked student.
If conditions are not appropriate to conduct a safe and successful lesson we will attempt to notify you before the lesson begins. We will offer you the opportunity to reschedule your lesson to another day. If rescheduling is not possible for your party we will offer a full refund of your booking.
We do not recommend surfing for non-swimmers or those inexperienced with swimming in the ocean. Surfing requires strong paddling skills and swimming is the best way to prepare. Swimming also gives you the muscle memory skills to understand the physics of water and how to propel yourself. We do not allow students to stand on the fragile coral reef at our surf location, they must swim back to their board and paddle.
Children as young as 7 can take a surf lesson but it is only recommended if they are strong swimmers, comfortable around ocean waves, and self motivated to surf on their own.
The locations where we conduct surf lessons can sometimes be a habitat for some smaller reef sharks which do not pose a major hazard. However, other species of sharks may roam nearby. Should a shark be sighted or a warning be made by a government agency we will cancel the lesson.
We do not recommend surf lessons for children under the age of 8 due to the physical nature of this activity. A surf lesson may also not be appropriate for younger children without ocean-swimming experience. Please use your best judgment about your child’s ability to be comfortable in the ocean and paddle their own board for the duration of the lesson. For children under 8 years old, it is advisable to sign them up for a one-on-one lesson which will give them the undivided attention of the instructor. Smaller children may also benefit from a tandem surf lesson where they would ride on the same board as their instructor. This can introduce them to the joy of surfing without the physical strain of paddling their own board.
Our surf lessons are only sold as one-on-one or private group lessons. We do not offer public group lessons for more than one booking party. We also do not coordinate creating groups of individuals for our private-group lessons. If you do not have a group to surf with, we offer one-on-one surf lessons here.