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“Incredible time” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Waves Hawaii Surf School

Waves Hawaii Surf School
Kalama Park, Kihei, Maui, HI
+1 808-879-4525
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Owner description: Welcome to Waves Hawaii Surf School. We are the only Billabong Surf School in Hawaii! We offer the most private and the best choice for surfing lessons in Kihei Maui. Surf with our world class instructors, and we also offer girls surf camps with Billabong all ver the world. We look forward to making your dreams of surfing come true!
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Incredible time”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2010

Had my first surf lesson with them...incredible time!!! Surf instructor was extremely friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and fun. Not only did I get a great lesson, but my instructor told me all about surfing on the island. Got up on my first attempt! I wanted to have another lesson with the same instructor the following day, but because of rain I couldn't do it. Next time I am in Maui, I will definitely book another lesson with them!! Worth every penny.

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107 reviews from our community

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English first
Ottawa, Canada
1 review
“Wailea Watersports: Great Surf Lessons”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2010

My wife and I just returned from a trip to Maui and wanted to say how much we enjoyed our surf lessons. We have both always wanted to take surf lessons so we booked some with Wailea Watersports (now called Waves Hawaii Surf School) because of some of the reviews we read. We booked the semi-private lessons, just me and my wife. We had Val, who is the owner as our instructor along with another instructor who was in training. The instructions was awesome, we were both up riding within the first two waves. There was also a photographer named John who was taking pictures of us while we were surfing. John and his wife own "John and Sol Photography" and the pictures were awesome. We bought a CD of us that had about 70 pictures. John was also very helpful in giving us ideas of what else to do while in Maui. I would definitely recommend bringing the extra money and buying the pictures....well worth it! The surf lessons were the highlight of our trip and my wife and I are already talking about our next trip to Maui and taking more lessons with Val. Next time we are going to book the surf safari, we can't wait!

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Seattle, Washington
1 review
“What an amazing experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 17, 2010

Our family had a lesson a year ago with Wailea Watersports and the reason I was looking them up again is that we want to book another lesson with them for this years trip. I discovered there were many reviews and figured I might as well add our thoughts. I was very hesitant to sign up for a surf lesson for our family as my boys were only 6 and 8 years old, but their constant prodding wore me down. We did the on-land lesson and then headed to the water. We had hardly been in the water when all of a sudden my 6-year old went surfing by all the way to the beach. I still get teary-eyed when I think about it. One of the instructors headed off to get him and he was ready for his next wave with a big smile. I soon discovered the low center of gravity works in their favor, it wasn't quite as easy for me, but I couldn't stop smiling either. Anyway, it was a great trip and the photographer was great too, not pushy......

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3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great time! - Excellent Surf Lessons!!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2010

My son's dream, since he was seven years old, has been to go to Hawaii to learn to surf. So we made surf lessons and surfing our number one priority for the trip. My son and his friend had never tried surfing before, so I didn't know how difficult it would be for them to learn. They both have spent many summers water skiing and wake boarding at the lakes here in the midwest, but they had only been to the ocean one time, and that was in the carribean where there aren't many "waves" to speak of.

I called around to several surf schools, and many were less than helpful with answering my questions. Some never even returned my calls. However, Wailea Water Sports was extremely helpful, friendly, and patient with answering my questions. Their prices were the same as the other surf schools for regular lessons. While looking thru their website, I noticed that in addition to offering regular surfing lessons, they also offer Surfing Safari's which are private surfing expeditons lasting 3 - 4 hours. The website said that the lessons are given by people who grew up surfing the waters around Maui , and they know the conditions and seasons that will best fit your surfing abilities. They also provide a picnic lunch on the beach.

We booked the surfing safari for the first morning we were there. The surfing safari costs more than regular lessons, but the safari was worth every penny. The boys had a blast and learned to surf very quickly. The surfing instructor, Val, is an excellent teacher. The boys were up and surfing their first waves within 20 minutes of arriving at the beach. Val took them to the beach known as "thousand peaks" because waves continually roll in there and are great for beginning and intermediate surfers. (Note: if you go to this beach, do not walk around barefoot, because thorn trees are growing next to the road and there are long thorns that fall into the sand. My son had a huge thorn stuck in the bottom of his surf bootie. So glad he had on shoes!)

After a couple of hours surfing at thousand peaks, the boys and Val took a break, and ate the picnic lunch Val had brought for them. The boys said that surfing was the funnest thing they have ever done. They said each wave feels different, which was amazing and not something they had ever expected. After lunch, Val drove us around to a couple of other beaches, giving us a site seeing tour while we drove. She made us feel like family, telling us about her dog, and living in Maui .

The boys had so much fun, and so did I. The surfing safari was definitely one of the best memories of our trip.

After the surfing safari, we made arrangements with Val at Wailea Water Sports to rent surfboards for the boys for the rest of the week. It worked out great. Every morning after breakfast, we'd head over to Kalama park (by the giant whale statue on Kihei road) where the Wailea Water Sports van would be parked in the parking lot, along with other surf school vans, and the boys would grab a surf board and a rash guard and surf booties and head straight for the water. The crew at Wailea Water Sports greeted the boys like old friends each day, and allowed them to trade out their longer boards, for shorter boards as the boys confidence grew throughout the week.

Wailea Water Sports has a professional photographer that went out into the water with the boys and took lots of wonderful close-up photos of the boys surfing. At the end of the week, he provided us with a CD of photos he had taken throughout the week and it only cost $25 per surfer. The pictures were great. He was one of the nicest folks we met on our entire trip, along with Val. The photographer also has his own photography business called John and Sol Photograpy - Maui Surf Shots. We got to meet his dog too, and he was a sweetie. He hangs out at the beach with John. I told my husband that I have never seen so many happy dogs as I saw in Maui . I guess they realize they are in paradise too!

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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Surf Lessons Not Great”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 3, 2010

I'll acknowledge that when it comes to surfing my wife and I were starting from zero. Never tried it before. We are not completely inept. We ski, skate, bike, snorkel, swim . . . . you get the picture.
We were looking forward to giving surfing a try and read positive reviews here at tripadvisor. So we paid a little extra for semi private lessons to get some extra space and attention. Our instructor was a pleasant enough young guy that had been surfing for many years but only teaching for about 6 weeks.
After some dryland instruction in, I believe, Kalma Park we went down to the beach. We were learing in very shallow (knee to thigh deep) water. Sandy bottom with many rocks. When we went out to the area for the instruction there were many other instructors and students. Too many. We struggled to get up on the board (my wife did better than me), and in addition to falling off many times onto rocks just below the surface (we had many cuts, scrapes and bruises as reminders) we also had to dodge other novice surfers. This made whatever extra we paid for semi-private a waste of money.
The couple of times I got close to standing all the way up I had to bail out because someone was walking across my path. On one of the couple of times my wife did get up another student with another instructor ran into her with his board.
I can't really fault them for the rocks under the water (maybe there are sandier spots), but had I known better I would have insisted on them taking us to another section of beach so at the very least we did not have the addtional challenge of dodging other surf students.
We love Maui and have had many terrific excursions (on this trip Randy's Hike Safari, and the Seafire Molokini excursion were both excellent). I just cannot recommend these surf lessons based on our experience.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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