Frequently Asked Questions


General FAQ

Make reservations early! Because space is limited, and some days fill more than six months in advance, it is best to make reservations as early as possible. However, if you should wish to join a trip on short notice, please give us a call, for there may be an opening.

To reserve your desired lesson time you can call our reservations center at 808-987-6094 9 am to 5 pm mon-sun or click on the "Book Online Now" button to book your reservation online.

We will send you an email that details where the surf lesson location is. It will tell you how to get there and where to park.

We offer private, semi private and group lessons.

Our rates are posted on the lessons page.

We limit groups to four people per instructor. For groups larger than four, please allow us some advance notice as we will need to arange for enough instructors to accomodate everyone.

The minimum age varies according to what type of lesson you would like to book. For a Group lesson the minimum age is 12. Children under 12 usually require more attention therefore a private or semi private lesson is recommend. If you have a young child ages 6 and under a tandem lesson may be the best depending on their size. Private or Semi private lessons are always the best for young children.

If you have small children who will require extra attention, call ahead, or let the booking staff know when you make your reservation. Please include their age and weight.

Anyone can surf! Although we recommend participants have at least a moderate level of physical fitness because surfing can be physically demanding depending on ocean and weather conditions. Surfing requires a lot of paddling and will require both upper and lower body strength.

Non-swimmers: Non swimmers are required to take a Private lesson for safety reasons. Flotation will be provided. Medical Conditions: We do not recommend people with heart conditions, neck or back problems participate in this activity. Pregnancy: Talk to your doctor before surfing. If you have any particular concerns about any of these issues, please feel free to call us at 808-987-6094.

If you have any particular concerns about any of these issues, please feel free to call our reservation center at 1-808-987-6094 8 am to 9 pm (HST) 7 days a week.

It can vary from person to person. Surfing is a very physically athletic sport and those who are adept at other sports tend to do better. One of the factors that can increase the potential for success is using the right equipment and getting proper instruction on it's use. We have an array of options for surfboards to make sure that everyone gets the best board to ride.

Our experienced guides will teach you the basics including everything from how to paddle your board, how and where to orient yourself in the lineup and how to paddle for, catch and ride a wave. You will be taught surfing etiquette and how to read the ocean conditions.

You'll meet your lesson kumu (instructor) at a pre-designated surf location at a pre-determined time. There are two different sites for surf lessons, Kahalu’u Beach Park and Honokohau National Park. The best location is chosen based on the swell conditions for your scheduled day. We will contact you prior to your lesson with directions to the designated beach.

At the surf location you will be sized with gear and then given the surf and safety briefing. The instructor will ask you a series of questions to determine your specific needs and will then distribute equipment such as surfboards and rashguards.

You will then be given verbal and physical instruction on things such as how to paddle the board, how to sit on the board, how to go from a prone position to a standing position on the board. You will be taught the terminology of surfing. You will be taught the etiquette of surfing.

Once it’s time to get in the water your instructor will guide you into the water handling the board for you every step of the way. In between the water's edge and the lineup, there will be a second briefing where you will be taught how to sit on your board, how to rotate your board and different techniques on how to go through breaking waves and or whitewash. Once everyone feels comfortable your group will all paddle out to the surf break together. A safety buoy will be anchored to the bottom off to the side of the surf break in the designated rest area which will be available throughout the lesson if you need to take a break at any time.

Next you will arrive at the lineup. At the lineup you will be instructed on how to read the ocean. You will be instructed on how to determine when to position yourself to catch a wave. You will be given cues on catching and riding your first wave.

All lessons are two hours in the water. Friends and family are welcome to watch from the beach. After the lesson there will be an opportunity for photos with the instructors and surfboards and there will be complimentary waters available.

Surf shirt and surf shoes are provided. It is recommended to apply reef safe sunscreen before your lesson. You will need to bring your swimsuit or surf shorts, towel, sunscreen, gratuities for instructors are not required but always greatly appreciated. Any personal items like bags, wallets or back packs can be locked in the surf truck during your lesson if requested.

Sunscreen: Use sunscreen, especially on your more horizontal surfaces, including the tops of your shoulders, back of neck and top of nose. However don't put sunscreen on your stomach area or the front of your legs. It may cause you to slip off your surfboard. Protect your forehead and face and back of neck with a hat secured by a chin strap for extra sun protection.

An independent photo company shoots most of our lessons and normally you will have an opportunity to view and purchase these after your lesson. You are also welcome to shoot your own photos, videos, etc.

Our instructors work hard to provide you with the finest possible surf lesson. If you feel their service have been extraordinary, a gratuity would be greatly appreciated. This can be given directly to the instructors, or added on your bill if you prefer. As with all tipping, this is of course optional and solely at your discretion.


Pricing Policies

Deposit, Payment, and Cancellation Policy

To secure your trip, the full amount is due when your reservation is placed. We have a 24 hour cancellation policy.

Please understand that, due to the limited number of available space on our trips, we must strictly adhere to our Payment and Cancellation Policies. Once your reservation is placed, the space you've reserved is off the table for other interested parties. In the rare event Ohana Surf Lessons is unable to provide your lesson, a full refund will be issued.