My husband and two children just had their first surfing lesson a few days ago. We asked around Lahaina on Maui and Opelu was THE one mentioned for being friendly and safe.
Opelu Keahi has been teaching surfing in Maui since the 1950's. He keeps his lessons personal, friendly and Hawaiian. Opelu is a living legend and he has surfed with other legends such as Rabbit Kekai and Clyde Aikau.
Instructors all have knowledge of First Aid and are CPR certified.
He's known as one of Lahaina's original Beach Boys.
Opelu has two locations...their surf school on Front Street in Lahaina as well as another teaching location on Kaanapali Beach between the Marriott and the Kaanapali Alli Resort (look for the Red Umbrella).
Opelu himself is very friendly. Corey was the instructor my family had. He was very nice and patient, as well as very friendly. The lessons are two hours long, starting out on the beach with the basics and safety rules.
By the end of the two hours, not only was my husband standing and riding the waves to shore, so were my ten year old daughter and nine year old son. They are all HOOKED!
Since the waves weren't all they could be, they actually gave amy family another 1.5 hours FREE for another day. They did this two days later and had Kapule. My husband could not say enough good things about Kapule. He taught them very well and gave them a lot of good tips of where to go on the island as their skills went from beginning to more advanced. We're set for years to come!
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