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Review Highlights
Great trip, great lessons

Aloha Karen, Sitting here at the airport heading back to the mainland. This was my second time... read more

Reviewed July 30, 2018
ajpaulsen5
,
Olympia, Washington
via mobile
Outstanding experience at Acqua Sport Maui kiteboarding

I called Karen (the boss) after being disappointed with hiring a free lance instructor who sort... read more

Reviewed July 27, 2018
Mach78
,
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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Reviewed September 16, 2013

Having done my research on kiteboarding on Maui well in advance of my trip, I got in contact with Maui Aquasports. Karen returned my emails very promptly and with very helpful responses, so I had great expectations from Maui Aquasports; I was looking to rent kit/have a supervised kite session (I already had IKO L3), and to buy a 7m kite and new board.

I turned up at the beach without having confirmed my lesson times in advance and was flexible as to when I went out on the water. Karen was extremely helpful in fixing me up with an instructor quickly, and getting me out on the water as soon as possible.

From thereon, the lessons were distinctly average and the effort/enthusiasm/interest I received from my instructor was somewhat minimal. My expectations were high based on both Karen's helpfulness, as well as the standard set by my previous kite school [LEK in Cabarete], and so I left quite disappointed, particularly after my second afternoon session, when I got the impression the instructor would have rather been kiting, than having to deal with the hassle of teaching me!

As I kiter, I am more competent than I am confident. I was worried about kiting in a new area, in higher winds than I am used to, and with different hazards. That said, I was really, really up for giving it my best shot and improving my kiting.

My instructor made no effort to find out about me, my previous kiting experiences, or my goals for my sessions (should any lession in any discipline not start out with this?!). He had ample opportunity to do this on our initial hike upwind, but instead marched on ahead of me, without even turning back! From thereon, he watched me, and provided me with some useful pointers, but was not really active in providing instruction (i.e. I got the pointers when I happened to arrive on the beach. I wasn't really "instructed" to do anything specific!). Again, when I got into trouble and had to self rescue to within about 30 yards from the beach, he waited for me to get completely washed up rather than making any attempt to help me, or even ask if I was OK!).

In summary, what I think was most lacking was what I needed most - a bit of encouragement and confidence building, along with some technique practice. What I got was someone who didn't seemed fussed whether I ever kited again.

Date of experience: August 2013
3  Thank CarolineMHG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
karenkites, Manager at Aqua Sports Maui, responded to this reviewResponded September 22, 2013

So sorry, Carolina,
We absolutely guarantee that your lesson is awesome , not so,so. Please accept a full refund for your lesson. Your instructor has been reprimanded , I am going to personally work with him to help him improve, (he is the youngest and newest member of our team). He means well, but just doesn't have the experience of the rest of our team.
We only used him that day for you because it was such short notice to get you a lesson. Just walking up to the beach and getting in is usually not possible. In retrospect I should have had you wait till the next day and scheduled one of our regular guys, but was just trying to help.
So again, please accept my apologies and refund.
Aloha,
Karen

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2013

I have nothing but good things to say about my kiteboarding lessons with Aqua Sports Maui. Karen was very responsive to my emails and calls. She would get back to me in minutes, in most if not all cases. All in all, the company ran a very tight ship. I agree with the other reviews that I have read, namely- that the most important thing is to have a high quality instructor. My instructor (Alex) was excellent. He moved the lessons at exactly the pace I needed and got me out and on the water as fast and as safely as possible. I had an outrageously fun day and can't wait to do that again. Most importantly, I feel like I received a very solid base in safety, self rescue and wind theory/reading, so that I can build on that foundation in the future. I will be taking this sport up. No doubt. Thank you Karen and thank you Alex for a great day. I think that now- (2 days later) the adrenaline is finally wearing off. Mahalo!

Date of experience: June 2013
Thank FunWho-Re
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 10, 2013

I took several lessons with Aqua Sports. This company was fine but you will probably do fine with any of the three main schools that meet on the beach. Regardless of which school you go with, the important thing is to get an instructor that meets your needs.
There are two instructors that I worked with that were excellent. Both Dennis and Mark were patient, knowledgeable, and really wanted to see me succeed. They both communicated very well, describing what I needed to do in perfect detail. Not so much detail to overwhelm you but, great suggestions to move you to the next level. I understand Dianna is quite good as well but I did not take a lesson from her. I thought their equipment was very good as well. You can't go wrong with Dennis or Mark!!

Date of experience: February 2013
1  Thank PjChicag0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

Having read up on a number of the different kiteboarding outfits on Maui before my trip, I decided to go with Aquasports due to their great pricing and responsiveness to my initial requests--email requests to some of the other outfitters were not returned. When I showed up for the first of my 3-day lessons in late February, the conditions were a bit difficult as a large amount of mud had accumulated in the shores of the southern part of Kite Beach and there was a pretty big crowd on the Northern side. Nevertheless, Corey did a great job with the lesson and finding a way to get me out on the water while keeping me at a safe distance from the numerous other kiteboarders entering/exiting the beach. Great value and had me up on the board by the end of the third day - highly recommended!

Date of experience: February 2013
2  Thank Paul K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

kiteboarding maui was a grrrreat experience. set up, instructor, equipment worked well. i did the intro class followed by a three day class. always felt like i was learning something though i had expected to progress faster. the instructor corey was good. i was the limiting factor to progress. but it did happen and things started to click. corey was good at setting me up and taking me to the next level, though he did make it look way too easy! looking back i, i would have liked to have a radio helmet.. i will ask for one next time. i could not always hear instructions well.

Date of experience: February 2013
Review collected in partnership with this attraction
Thank brian d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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