I've surfed in a wide variety of places, each with different conditions. Having never surfed reef waves (as opposed to beach waves), I decided to take a lesson from a local school on Maui where I was vacationing.
I chose MWR (Maui Wave Riders) "surf school" after reading a few very positive reviews about them here on TripAdivisor.com. I paid in full and joined a group lesson at 10:00 a.m. As we were only 4 in our group, our pedagogically gifted instructor Todd had plenty of time to give us individual help. The waves near the harbor in Lahaina are small and roll onto shore consistently – so, there's no other waiting than for your turn to be instructed before attempting to master the next wave. Be prepared to share these waves with a bunch of others, though. Especially during the Christmas/New Years holidays.
The equipment included in the lesson (rash guard, booties, softtop board) is of good quality and the staff at MWR are very friendly and helpful. I had a fun learning experience which I contribute to Todd's easy-going, easy-to-follow instructions.