The Hawaiian Islands are top of the line when it comes
to most watersports, and no sport is more identified with
the islands than surfing. And while the North Shore
on O'ahu might be the most famous of all Hawaiian surfing locales, dedicated
surfers know that some of the best waves are located off
the coast of Maui. This is
why, for years, hundreds of professional surfers have
lived here, spending their days navigating the Maui surf.
But you don't need to be a pro to enjoy what Maui
surfing has to offer - in fact, nowhere is learning
to surf easier than here.
Learning to Surf
In Hawaii, it seems that everyone knows how to surf,
like lessons were given form birth. And, like any
skill, it takes years to master - but don't
let that dissuade you from heading into the Maui surf
for the first time. The most popular spot
on Maui is just off the Hana
highway at Ho'okipa Beach Park. Ho'okipa
hosts year round competitions and is the training ground
for some of the finest surfers in the world. The
light winds and pristine shorebreak make this park the
height of Maui surfing. And while there are more
than enough people who learn how to surf here, it might
not be the most accommodating surfing location in Maui.
Those are usually found along the western coastline, where southern swells are gentler and easier for one's first time on a surfboard. Surfing lessons are at their most popular in the summer months (not to mention spring break), so you may want to book ahead if you are planning to visit Maui at this time. Some of the more prestigious hotels on the island can set you up with a few lessons through a local surf school, but for the most part you are usually on your own. Western beaches like Lahaina and Ma'alaea are considered near the top for learning to surf, though numerous spots along the Pali highway are nearly as good.
What to expect when learning how to surf? Well first, expect to get mouthful after mouthful of salty seawater for the first few lessons. Depending on the different surf schools, which are ubiquitous in most popular surf towns, you will be joined by four or five beginners such as yourself. Maui surfing lessons are a little more competitively priced than on some of the other islands, but each lesson will still cost anywhere between $50 and $100 (or so, again it depends greatly on which school you choose) and last for one to two hours. Private lessons are also available, and recommended if you want a head start in picking up the often difficult sport. Frustrating as the initial lessons might be, there are estimates that over 20 million people surf at least once a year, meaning that learning to surf must be sticking pretty well with lots of beginners. Why not you?