Can you recommend a surf guide on Maui?


Anyone you can recommend as a surf guide?


We’re in San Francisco near Ocean Beach.  My wife is a beginner but pretty athletic and a real water person (I’d say water dog but don’t want to give wrong impression). We’ll be staying in Ka’anapali. It looks like the surf is pretty mild there and she will likely be comfortable doing that alone but it may be boring for her. I was thinking of something that would push her comfort zone and give her more confidence and a slight challenge in the end (I think that will be a better experience.) I know her though and at this point she wont be comfortable by herself and its probably better to have someone give the info and local pointers.


Also it’d be better there than here. Ocean Beach can be pretty tough – not many really good days for someone at her level and the water is always colder than Maui. So it could be a lesson and maybe board rental. I was looking at Hookipa (depending on the conditions) for an hour because we’ll be down that way and it looks like it may be something she could handle (?). I haven’t worked out details was just kicking it around and looking for info. Thoughts are appreciated.


Thank you, Bill


Aloha Bill!  Ok, before anything, you need to realize that there are some dangers that you may not be ready for.  Hawaii surf has:


  1. More powerful waves than you’d think
  2. Freak sets that can come in much bigger than when you looked at it before paddling out
  3. sharp and shallow reef
  4. difficult entry and exit points to the shore
  5. heavy localization
If your wife is a beginner, than surfing Maui‘s smaller, easier waves is going to be enough of a challenge with the above differences.  Even if the waves are small, it won’t be boring to her because of the beauty and warm of the water.  Trust me.


I assume that she longboards, and if this is the case, she should stick to surfing the west side.  There are plenty of breaks that have fun rolling waves (just look for people paddling out on longboards and ask them about the break.  Make sure to go in and come out where others do.)  If she shortboards, she’ll probably want to surf in Lahaina at Breakwall.


Ho’okipa is NOT for beginners.  It’s very shallow, is large and heavy, and the currents make it very difficult to get back in (you have to enter and exit at one very narrow area.)  I’ll tell you right now, if I see a beginner out at Hookipa, I’ll chase them out of the water.  Dangerous for them and dangerous for me.


One thing that upsets me is when beginners try to take on more than they can handle.  Hawaii is VERY dangerous at many spots.  You should stick to small waves.  Even on the south and west side, large swells can come in.  Just remember that it’s almost always bigger than it looks.


As for board rentals and lessons, you should check out some Maui surf schools listed at the Maui Information Guide.  They can rent boards and/or do lessons.  You can also explain your skill level and ask them for private surf safaris.  Most will do that for you.


Have fun and BE SAFE!!  Your wife will have a blast.  You should consider rent a board and joining her!  Aloha!

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