One thing that’s been on bucket list for a long time is learning how to surf! All I really knew about it I’d learned from tv shows and movies, but it seemed like something that could be fun. And hey, even if I hated it, at least I tried!
There have been a few opportunities for me to learn how to surf that have fallen through the cracks, but I was determined to make it happen on our trip to Hawaii.
Which lessons should you go with?
Before we left I researched a ton of surf schools and it is hard to decide!
In the end, we decided to go with the North Shore Surf Girls for three reasons.
- Their prices were some of the cheapest. $75 per person for a two hour surfing lesson was the cheapest rate we found for group lessons.
- Girl Power! There was something fun to me about learning from all female instructors and embracing the girl power of the north shore surf girls.
- The lesson price includes use of the surf board afterwards. If you want to keep surfing after the 2 hours are up, let them know and they can arrange for you to keep the board for longer.
We don’t regret our decision at all but we did learn something about the company: They have male instructors too!
Their site says all female instructors, but our instructor was a man. Luckily this wasn’t a big deal to us, but it is a bit disappointing when they get you all ramped up on the idea of rockstar female surfers.
If that odd marketing mess up bothers you, I have heard that Uncle Bryan’s Sunset Suratt Surf Academy is the highest rated surf school on the north shore. Ok, that was from one of their employees, but the google reviews agree!
Before the surfing lesson they’ll let you know where to meet. The location can change daily depending on surf conditions, they want to make sure you’ll be safe while catching the best waves for your ability levels.
The two hour lessons include a half hour or so of time on the beach going over safety, line up and procedures. They’ll walk you through how to paddle, catch a wave, fall off (it’s important! I fell off the wrong way and hurt my foot), and get back out there safely.
Then you get to go out on the water! I was really nervous, we had a bad experience with the ocean the day before and were hurting a little still. Having that surf board there with you is great though. My husband is not the greatest of swimmers and he did really well.
It’s like having your own little life raft out there in case you get tired!
As much as we enjoyed it, we barely even used the full 2 hours. It is exhausting doing all that paddling if you haven’t done it before. The instructors said there isn’t really a way to work out to prepare for that, you just have to surf until you get used to it.
So a warning: Make sure you have more of a rest day after your surf lessons! You’ll probably need it.
A few tips
- Bring Yoga Pants. While the rash guard they provide will cover most of your abdomen, if you have yoga pants you don’t mind getting salty, wear them! Sitting on the board for a while can rub the inside of your knees raw. Mine were hurting after those 2 hours. It’s part of why I had to go in before the lessons were up.
- Sunscreen, Sunscreen, Sunscreen! This is good advice for your time in Hawaii daily. However, when you’re surfing, parts of your body you wouldn’t usually put sunscreen on get a lot of sun time. The backs of your legs and arms, the top of your thighs and knees will get burnt if you don’t slather them up well!
- Buy the Pictures. On our lessons they had a photographer taking pictures from the shore. While at first I thought they would be a waste of money at $30 per person, we ended up buying them. I mean, really, when else are you going to have the chance to get great shots of you surfing?! It’s definitely worth it in my opinion. All of the pictures in this post were taken by their photographer except the one on shore.
Not a tip but a fun note: Where they surf a lot of times there are sea turtles! While we were paddling out one swam right under my husband’s board. It really adds a neat element to the lessons if you see them.
We had a great time.
Both of us were able to stand up in the first few waves that we caught. Even when we weren’t catching waves it was relaxing to just float on the board. I felt confident after the first surfing lesson that I could get out and catch a wave on my own.
My husband was a little more ambivalent about it than me though, I fell in LOVE with surfing! I wish we lived somewhere that I could go out and do some surfing every weekend.
We actually started looking at houses in places with good surf spots nearby, just to dream.
Have any of you tried surfing before? If so, how did you like it?
For more posts on our Hawaii adventure:
How We Flew to Hawaii for $22.40!
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