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“GWS are top notch!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Surf HNL

Surf HNL
1020 Auahi St., Building 4, Suite 4, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96814 (Formerly Girls Who Surf) (Ala Moana - Kakaako)
+1 808-772-4583
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Ranked #31 of 281 activities in Honolulu
Type: Water sports
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Have ever dreamed of you and your family surfing while on vacation in Hawaii? Get surfing today with our lessons at Surf HNL! We specialize in serving families and guests of Waikiki and Ko Olina, and those staying around Oahu. Each of our programs helps you access real open ocean surf. Surf HNL focuses on teaching: at uncrowded beaches, beginner surfers, intermediate surfers, athletes, children, families, and multi-lesson programs. Improve your performance and decrease the risk of injury with our fun and knowledgeable instructors. Advanced reservations are required.
Chicago, Illinois
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
“GWS are top notch!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 5, 2012

My wife and daughter booked private lessons with Girls Who Surf for our trip to Disney’s Aulani. Alison was very helpful and agreed the private lesson would be better and more hands on. They were very flexible on the time, and the lesson was 10 minutes from Aulani on a public beach. My wife and 11 year old daughter shared the lesson with two even younger girls. At first, I was concerned as we were sharing our “private” lesson for the on-shore portion, but that quickly dissipated as GWS had no less than 3 instructors in the water for all four persons (better than the 1 on 2). My 11 year old was up by her 3rd run, and the smaller girls had no issue getting up (I guess it’s a lower center of gravity thing). The instructors were VERY encouraging and VERY praising. Although, I was surprised when one of the instructors was a young man (um, girls who surf?), my 11 year old was thrilled as he virtually became her own private instructor (she said he was “Oh my god hot,” thanks again Ross!!!!) and he even did goofy things like surf on his head. The instructors stayed out for the entire 2 hours.

Big tip. The water at Kalaeloa Beach is a bit rocky (reason the surf is good). You need to be aware and prepare to get beat up a little. GWS will provide long sleeve surf shirts, shoes, and surf pants. I recommend either getting ankle length pants, or putting on HEAVY sunblock on your calves as both ladies got pretty fried on their legs.

All in All, I highly recommend GWS. They were patient, reasonable, and a lot of fun!

Visited March 2012
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119 reviews from our community

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English first
Arlington, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Great first time surfing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 21, 2012

Great experience start to finish. Worked with Alison before left home asking questions and scheduling my surf lesson. Alison was great and answered all my questions completely as well as covering things I hadn't thought to ask. She also kept in touch and kept me updated on changes to my planned lesson due to weather. Originally lesson was scheduled for the morning of Friday 3/9/12, Oahu (Honolulu in particular) was having some unseasonal storms (including hail in some areas) . Before left on trip looked like the weather was going to clear in time for lesson on 3/9 and was scheduled for a beach near the Hilton Hawaiian Village (HHV), 3/8 Alison informed me my lesson was moved to a beach near Diamond Head due to the weather and a lot of runoff making the beach they use near HHV not appealing for 3/9. However the morning of 3/9 the storms picked up over night and continued well into the day on 3/9, causing Girls who surf to have to reschedule my lesson (due to weather) and ensure safety. Fortunately had scheduled my lesson for first full day in Oahu so had time to reschedule. Chose to move lesson out to Thursday, 3/15/12, by this time we were going to be at a different hotel so the lesson was moved to another beach closer to the hotel we were staying at. Was a little bummed wouldn't be taking the lessons on Waikiki near HHV, had originally hoped to take 2nd lesson near the other hotel so could surf two different beaches.

The morning of Thursday, March 15, 2012 Girls Who Surf instructor (Suzy) arrived at our hotel on-time (possibly early) as we hadn't realized the hotel had a designated pickup point different from where we were waiting. Suzy was great, very friendly and nice. I'd payed for private lesson and ride along for my g/f to go and watch. We arrived at the beach for the lesson (forget the name of the beach). Suzy had told us not many people used this beach except on the weekends (has a campground attached to it. When we arrived the only other people on the beach was another surf school. They have an arrangement with Girls who surf and each keeps to a section of the beach and they finished before us. When they left it was only Suzy and I out on the water (never would have gotten that anywhere on Waikiki. Suzy was a great teacher and was very patient and helpful. I had to work through some balance issues, wiped out quickly and often on many of my attempts. Really was quite a workout. In the end I finished with a pretty good run and was able to finish on a high. I had told Suzy before that attempt if I ended up near the beach on that run that I was going to want to take a break. When we got in, turned out good timing my time was up, Suzy asked if wanted to go again and I think would have let me go longer if wanted to but after 2hrs I was pretty tired and surfing made me realize just how out of shape I am, so decided it was best to call it a day. Always good to end on a high. Could have taken me another 2hrs to end up finishing on the same type of high.

Really no complaints, start to finish totally a great experience. Loved the experience and glad I did it. Not sure I'll ever be a "good" surfer but definitely glad I tried and will definitely try again when I have another opportunity to do so.

i was also very glad I'd chosen to pay the extra money for a private lesson ($169 for 2hrs of private lessons), well worth the money in my opinion. i don't think i would've had the same success had I taken the lessons in a group.

P.S. In the end glad the weather postponed my lesson and caused beach change and forced me to only have one lesson instead of the two I thought I was going to take. Not sure my body could have taken two lessons. Next day my knees were sore and bruised and muscles hurt I didn't know I had. Suzy warned me muscles would be sore that I didn't know I had and she was right. Still well worth it, looking back even the wipe outs were fun! :)

P.S. The beach I took this lesson was a campground and had bathroom facilities including shower but not sure if the other beaches used have this. My understanding is Girls Who Surf teach surfing lessons at three beaches one near HHV, a 2nd one not sure where and the one I took this lesson at which is near the JW Marriott & Disney Aulani. Also Suzy brought drinks assume this was normal but not sure if that was something she does all the time or Girls Who Surf does all the time.

Visited March 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Top Contributor
130 reviews 130 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Great lessons and experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 2, 2012 via mobile

My wife and her best friend took lessons with Kamika and it ended up being a private lesson since it was the slow season. My wife and her friend were bitten by the surfing bug after their first wave. They were both able to stand and ride after minimal coaching and had smiles that could light up night. They said it was the best experience they had ever had and both of them had small war wounds from the reef and urchins but that just made them even more happy and proud to show them off! The location of the lesson was in a very good small sized surf location outside waikiki so ot wasn't too crowded. If you take a lesson bring some extra cash for photo cds especially if you get the photographers that head out into the water with you for some closeups!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
18 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Great fun!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2012

We had an amazing time learning to surf! The company went out of their way to make our experience amazing.

Visited January 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“More fun and more successful than anticipated.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2011 via mobile

Having always been a casual surfing fan from a place where I could never have an opportunity to try it, one of my goals on a vacation to Oahu was to have a go at it. I found Girls Who Surf from this forum and choose them over the ones recommended by my booking company. I could not be more pleased with the outcome. My expectations were low that I could even manage to get up. Our instructor had my two sons and I doing well enough for several long rides. Logistics were easy, excellent follow up, and very pleasant to work with. A free lance photographer comes along and gets some great action shots to offer you after. I was skeptical I would even want a record of the event but was wrong about that. The one surprise: our instructor was a dude!

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