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“Newbies up and surfing right away, Had a fantastic time!”
Review of Maui Wave Riders

Maui Wave Riders
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: MWR is a family owned and operated business dedicated to providing surfing lessons to each student with a fun, safe and unforgettable surf experience. We adapt our style of teaching to the ability of each student. We will go that extra mile to make your surf experience the most memorable highlight of your vacation!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Newbies up and surfing right away, Had a fantastic time!”
Reviewed August 13, 2014

After doing about 10 surf lessons over the years, including going by myself to Maui Wave Riders last year, I convinced my wife and three kids (6, 9, and 12) to join me this time. We had a class just for the five of us, with Keoki as our instructor. While things were a bit busy at the shop, we got outfitted and prepared pretty quickly, and Keoki then did the dry-land instruction with us, covering some key safety issues for this location (always jump in feet first!) and basic practice for getting up. We then headed down to the water, waded out, and gave it a try. While there were quite a few folks out there, the overall beach was wide enough for room for all, plus we were in a section that wasn't as popular with the more experienced surfers. The slope of the beach was such that everyone but my 6-year old was able to stand the entire time, which made getting out easy and waiting for a good wave easy. While Keoki didn't do much more than give a push at the right time and offer encouragement, it was exactly what my kids needed, and they each were up and surfing on their very first try. As the lesson went on, he offered some extra things to do like jumping to switch feet and walking around on the board, again always picking a good wave and giving the right push in the right direction at just the right time. My wife had a bit more trouble getting up, and he worked with her, including having her start kneeling and then giving her a really big push, and she was up and surfing, too. Given the circumstances, I just stayed close-by, catching waves by myself and getting some great views of my family. Keoki was happy to answer my questions and give some advice, too, but for me it was so much more about seeing my family have a great time. My youngest, 6, did get tired out before the lesson was over, but the photographer helped her out, and she just happily played on the sand while we finished the lesson. While most of the family was ready to be done when the 2 hours were over, it was a nice set-up in that we could just keep the boards and keep going if we wanted, which I really appreciated. We did the earliest lesson, getting there at 7, which I strongly encourage for the least amount of wind, really smooth water, and a bit less of crowds. It can be hard to get the family up, but take advantage of your mainland jet-lag. I'm really glad they were able to accommodate my 6-year old, and my a bit fearful 12-year old was treated really well by Keoki and I think had the best time of all the kids, wanting to keep going after the lesson was over. I also appreciate the pictures the photographer got - while not exactly inexpensive, he filled a CD with close to 100 shots of all 5 of us. I'm really looking forward to doing it again next trip!

Visited August 2014
Helpful?
Thank EricSchreiber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Calgary, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Amazing surf school.”
Reviewed August 5, 2014

This school was amazing. Both my boys were up and surfing within 2 tries. My oldest 9 was up and surfing with his first try and my youngest 7 was up in his second try. Their instructor was perfect a true surfer and a true Hawaiian from many generation's. Mother's blood line from the 900 and father's blood line from the 1700 he also had 19 siblings. Thank you so much for having patients and being such a great instructor Ola. (sorry if I got any of the info wrong), I would recommend this instructor and surf school to all.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Sandra M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Incredible experience for my 11 (semi private)and 13 year old(private) lesson. One of the highlights of our trip”
Reviewed August 1, 2014

My 11 year old daughter did a semiprivate lesson (surfing), while my 13 year old son had a private...Ben was their instructor. They were both able to surf some easy waves by the end. The next day they went back for a semiprivate paddle boarding lesson with Ron. They really enjoyed it and want to go back.

I booked online. But, if you are a repeat customer they discount you. I only found that out later. So, I would call to reserve if it's a repeat, so you can get a discount.

Also, there is so wine taking pictures (while they are surfing) that are really good, that you can purchase afterwards

I hope we get to try them again

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank LouisvilleWildcatfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“Andrew is awesome”
Reviewed July 31, 2014

Andrew is an awesome instructor. He was wonderful with our son and got me and my husband up on lots of waves. I highly recommend Andrew for your surfing lessons in Maui.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Tina5108
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Negative experience...could be much improved”
Reviewed July 29, 2014

This is in reference to the Lahaina location. I was hesitant to post a negative review, but thought it was only fair since I rely so heavily on Tripadvisor when making my own travel plans.

My sister and I signed up for the beginner group lesson, and we were placed in a group with two other people.

The lesson consists of about 10-15 minutes on the sand, during which you’re taught how to lie on the board, when to stand up, etc. And then you’re out onto the water for the remainder of the 2 hours to try and catch some waves. In total, we got 3 turns at trying to catch waves.

The biggest problem occurred when my sister mistakenly thought that our instructor was waiting for me out in the water, and told me to paddle out to him. This area in the water is VERY crowded with other groups (both from MWR and other surf schools), and it can be difficult at times to find your instructor because he swims out to where the waves are, and signals for students to paddle over to him one at a time when he is ready for you. I paddled out, but was unable to find him. I decided to catch a wave so that I could return back to the group. Obviously as a beginner, I was not very successful at riding the wave and nearly crashed into another instructor and his student (also common because it is so crowded).

At this point the instructor found me and began yelling at me, saying that he hadn’t signalled for me to come out, that I needed to wait for his signal, and that I could have knocked out all of his boys when I tried to catch a wave. I explained that my sister had thought that he was signalling to us, and that I mistakenly thought it was my turn to paddle out. I apologized over and over, and tried to explain that I did NOT deliberately disobey his instructions, but that it was a misunderstanding.

My apologies didn’t seem to matter, because the instructor continued to berate me: “For you this is a vacation, and after this you get to go home. But for us, we could lose our jobs!”

I felt that his comments were very inappropriate and upsetting given the fact that it was an honest mistake. I did not and would not deliberately jeopardize my own or others’ safety just so I could have a little fun on my vacation. If it was so important that we only paddle out on the water when Patrick was ready for us, then perhaps he should swim back to students individually and take them out on the water like I saw other instructors doing. That eliminates confusion about whether it is time to go out or not, especially since the waters are so crowded. I feel that the instructor should have assessed the situation (the crowd) and made adjustments for safety (i.e., taking students out individually), rather than expect his students to know how to behave in a completely new situation and flip out on them when they misunderstand.

In conclusion, I think that the experience you get with Maui Wave Riders is highly dependent upon the instructor you get. I found that instructions regarding safety and appropriate procedure were unclear. My experience was very negative and overall, I cannot recommend this surf school.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank WK_YYZ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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