Kauai provides some of the best surfing opportunities in all of Hawaii. Much like the rest of the Hawaiian Islands, the weather is ideal almost year-round and the water stays warm and comfortable. You can also find favorable ocean and surfing conditions for beginners and experts in different areas of Kauai, especially in the summer.
For those looking to learn how to surf, be sure to check out Kalapaki Beach in Lihue. This is a great spot because there are walls in place to ensure waves break favorably. Since it is near one of the most populated areas, you’ll be in good company and feel safer.
Hanalei Bay is another prime spot, and the more intermediate surfers will want to check it out in the winter for the larger swells. Like Kalapaki Beach, this coastline is quite famous and will have plenty of other surfers enjoying the waves.
If you’re new to surfing and want to get surfing lessons, there are plenty of knowledgeable surfing guides available to help you drop into your first waves.
Likewise, if you’ve learned the basics, a good instructor can help take you to the next level and give you local tips. Check out the following list of lessons you can sign up for at surf schools in Kauai.
1. Kauai Beach Boys
Kauai Beach Boys is located in Kalakapi Bay near Lihue, the heart of Kauai. Their location is a beginner-friendly stretch of beach guarded by walls to reduce swell size. This provides a good area for the experts of Kauai Beach Boys to give you a great introduction to the wonders of surfing.
Anyone over the age of 10 who can swim is eligible to get lessons from them. A small class size ensures that every student can get the attention they need, but if you’d like to get truly one-on-one teaching, you can opt for private lessons instead.
All surfing equipment necessary is provided as part of the fee and includes the use of a board, leash, and rash guard. If and when you’re ready to go out alone, you can also rent a surfboard and other equipment from them, including snorkeling gear and kayaks.
In addition to offering surfing lessons, Kauai Beach Boys has sunset cruises, outrigger canoe rides, and stand-up paddleboard lessons. If you’re planning a beach day, you can also rent beach umbrellas and chairs from their store.
2. Hanalei Surf School
The north shore is home to Hanalei Bay, with some of the best surfing for beginners. Hanalei Surf School is located on the shores of this picturesque bay and was founded by professional surfer Evan Valiere.
All classes at Hanalei Surf School are private sessions to provide the best possible chance for success. During your 90-minute class, you learn all of the fundamentals of riding your first waves. You’ll utilize the sandy, soft-bottom waters of Hanalei Bay as the beginner’s paradise that it is.
For a one-of-a-kind lesson, you can even book a session with Evan Valiere and get one-on-one instruction from a professional. This is an excellent option if you’re looking to improve existing skills and receive pointers on existing or new techniques.
If you’re ready to explore or surf on your own, Hanalei Surf School offers equipment rentals with discounted rates. Pick up a soft-top or hard-top surfboard, SUP, or a performance surfboard for experienced surfers.
3. Endless Summer Surf School
Endless Summer Surf School promises year-round surf lessons in the beautiful and calm waters of Poipu Beach, specifically Kiahuna Beach. Classes are available to adults and kids of any age, with those 8 or below requiring a parent present.
The groups at Endless Summer Surf School are limited to 4 people per class, lending a private lesson feel to the whole experience. You can also request one-on-one sessions for you and your loved ones. All sessions include the use of a board, leash, and rash guard.
The surf school offers 4 and 6-hour sessions, so select the most convenient choice for you. Cruise ship passengers might prefer shorter sessions. You’ll get a full suite of land lessons followed by training in the water with refreshments included throughout the day.
Learning to surf with Endless Summer Surf School is a way to integrate surfing into your overall enjoyment of your stay on Kauai, as the sport is a huge part of Hawaiian culture. The surfing school is family owned and operated.
4. Hawaiian Surf Adventures
Hawaiian Surf Adventures is found along the shores of Hanalei Bay on the north shore. They have more than a dozen surfing instructors from all walks of life.
Surf lessons at Hawaiian Surf Adventures are 90 minutes, with the first half hour being a discussion of safety, understanding the waves, and beginning to learn how to paddle and position yourself on the board.
After that, you can get out onto the water and make your first attempts to surf, along with helpful advice from the staff. They always have a 4:1 student to instructor ratio.
If you want to enjoy a long day of surfing during your Kauai vacation, check out their Surf Safari. This package provides their local expertise for a 4 hour long surfing adventure.
Depending on your skill level, the professionals at Hawaiian Surf Adventures can find you the easiest or most challenging waves available.
For anyone who is already experienced, Hawaiian Surf Adventures offers a full range of rental equipment, including soft-top surfboards, standup paddleboards, and kayaks. Pick up what you like and get out on the water. The school also has SUP lessons.
5. Poipu Beach Surf School
Poipu Beach Surf School is run by pro bodyboarder Doug Muraoka. You’ll find their instructors teaching students how to surf at Sheraton Beach. Groups are limited to 8 students, with one instructor for every 4 students.
This small class size will provide semi-individual attention for all students as young as 6 years old. Each session is an hour and a half in length and provides at least an hour of time on the water catching your first waves.
If you’d like to take lessons to the next level you can attend private surfing lessons with just you, the instructor, and the waves of the day. Or, if you have a small group, choose a semi-private session for 3 people and get the best of both worlds.
There are classes for intermediate and advanced-level surfers who have already been out on the waves a few times. This provides advanced surfers with the knowledge of the local experts at Poipu Beach Surf School to find the day’s best waves as well as get some pointers on their technique.
The Surf Tour gives surfers a half-day on the water and the best waves that can be found that day.
6. Hawaiian Style Surfing
Another great option in the town of Poipu is Hawaiian Style Surfing. Visitors can choose from private to group lessons depending on their preferences and budget. The surfing school location on Kauai’s south shore in Kiahuna Beach is a prime spot for beginners looking to try their hand at surfing.
This area has favorable ocean conditions year-round for beginners and the proximity to Poipu means there is plenty to do out of the water once you’ve called it a day.
Group lessons are still fairly intimate, with one instructor for every four students. The semi-private lessons provide an impressive one-instructor-to-two-student ratio, and of course, private lessons are one-on-one.
Once you’ve taken a class or two, Hawaiian Style Surfing offers board rentals of various sizes. If you’re looking to get into the water for a scuba diving session, this location also serves as a great spot.
Dive Kauai is on-site and can arrange any gear you may need. There are also snorkeling, boat, and whale-watching tours worth checking out.
7. Titus Kinimaka’s Hawaiian School of Surfing
One of the oldest surfing schools on Kauai, Titus Kinimaka’s Hawaiian School of Surfing started as a family tradition in 1960. This tradition continues to this day thanks to Titus Kinimaka and his wonderful family, all of which are professional-level surfers.
The Kinimakas bring their expertise and a little bit of the aloha spirit to every student who joins in on a lesson. After 30 minutes of work on the shores of Hanalei Bay and some brief safety information, students get out on the water and find their first waves for the remaining time.
Online reservations are available for group lessons, and you can call them for more personal options. If you’re interested in picking up some stand-up paddleboard skills, there are SUP classes as well.
Or, if you’re interested in spending a day with Titus Kinimaka and his family surfing, you can arrange for a private expedition. It’s a good way to get some of the more challenging breaks if you’re experienced.
8. Kauai Surf School
Kauai Surf School is another offering on the south side of Kauai, located on Poipu Beach, a perfect spot for new surfers looking to get their feet wet.
Group lessons provide students 12 and over who can swim with a small class size of one instructor per 4 students. The lessons begin with a brief discussion of safety and the basics while on dry land, and then it’s time to hop in the water. The warm waters that break on Poipu Beach are an ideal place to ride your first waves.
If you’re ready for the next thing or want to improve upon your surfing skills, check out Kauai Surf School’s 3-Day Surf Clinic. This is three days of surfing experience around the south end of Kauai with expert local guidance.
If you’d like accommodations directly on Poipu Beach, check out the Kiahuna Plantation Resort which boasts 35 acres of beachside property. It comes highly recommended by Kauai Surf School (and us) and would serve as an excellent base for a surfing getaway.
9. Pacific Surf School
While not exclusively local to Kauai, the Pacific Surf School provides you with all the gear you might need for their classes, including a wetsuit. With safety in mind, their instructors are all CPR-certified.
Like many other options, you can select from the group, private and semi-private options. Each session lasts 90 minutes and no experience is required since they teach you everything from how to get and stand on your board to how to smoothly ride the waves.
Most of their classes start around 9 am with offerings until 3:00 pm. They also offer surf camps and after-school lessons in other locations.
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