I have tried surfing about half a dozen times in the last 15 years. Despite the fact that I have been out on all kinds of waves, I have never been able to catch a wave on my own. Determined to overcome this, I booked a private lesson for myself and my brother-in-law Kerry with Maui Surf Lessons (a sister company of Hawaiian Paddle Sports). And I finally caught a wave all by myself! In fact, it was so easy, I wondered why I hadn’t been able to do it before. But that’s the advantage of having a skilled instructor who can coach you in knowing when to paddle and which waves to go for.
Most of the lessons I had done previously had been group lessons. Kerry had done one group lesson before as well. We both preferred the private lesson as we had similar experiences of generally being ignored during the group lessons. If all you want to do is stand on a board in whitewash after your instructor pushes you into the wave, a group lesson is fine. But if you have surfed before or you want to learn some skills so you can get out on the water alone, private lessons are the way to go. The two person lesson was great because we were able to learn from each other as the instructor pointed out what to do, or not to do, while the other person was surfing. We were able to ask questions, test our skills, and try new things with an instructor who was encouraging and friendly.
Maui Surf Lessons are usually held at a beach south of Lahaina with a small reef break great for beginners. The day we were out, we didn’t get many rides (which was actually ok because paddling out is exhausting), but the waves were smooth and, more importantly, long. You had time to get up, find your balance, and still get a nice ride. If I had thought of it, I would have totally gone to hang ten. Best of all, we were the only ones on the water which meant we didn’t have to worry about sharing waves, or crashing into, other surfers.
Even if you’ve never surfed before, there’s no need to worry as Maui Surf Lessons guarantees they will have you surfing. We didn’t test this out with Laura who has poor balance, but it would be almost impossible not to get a ride on a long board with the waves we had. That being said, Kerry and I both did fall once.
I got perhaps a little over-confident and asked to switch boards with the instructor. His board was about two feet shorter than mine and didn’t have fins which made it a lot more difficult to control. I fell off the thing before I had even climbed on. Despite it being way more unstable and harder to steer, I did get a feel for it and caught a wave for a few seconds on our last ride. I don’t know if I could catch a wave on my own on a board that short (the shorter the board, the faster you have to paddle), but if I ever do I know I will be carving like a pro (yeah right).
More About Maui Surf Lessons
There are plenty of surf companies on Maui, but why we liked Maui Surf Lessons is because of their contribution to the environment. They believe it is a privilege to be able to play in the ocean and with that privilege comes responsibility to care for it. It seems obvious that we should take care of the environment so that we can continue to use it. Still, there are companies out there who neglect to educate and let their customers walk on the reefs. If haven’t watched Chasing Coral yet, you should. Our reefs are fragile living things on which the ocean depends and deserve respect.
Each month, Maui Surf Lessons participates in an activity to help keep Maui beautiful and clean. Last month, they paddled for six hours to a nearby island to help plant indigenous grasses. They also support the Hawaii Ecotourism Association Principles of Sustainable Tourism, sell reef-safe sunscreen, and provide water in reusable water bottles for their customers.
This lesson and all photos were provided by Maui Surf Lessons.
Save to Pinterest!