For whatever reason, I was actually a bit nervous about the semi-private surf lessons my wife and I scheduled during our honeymoon. I've never surfed and figured Hawaii was a good place to learn as any. Our surf instructor's name was Spencer. He actually must have noticed us waiting prior to our lesson in the hotel lobby bar and came over and asked if we were with the group lesson or semi private. When we told him we were the semi private he lit up and introduced himself as our instructor. The lessons and in water surfing experience were great - but if you don't like tough love, Spencer might not be for you. My wife got scared after getting turned over on her first try in the water and didn't want to try again. Spencer was a bit hard on her - urging her to keep trying, but she was done and that was that.
So he spent almost the entire rest of the time with me. I caught maybe 8-10 waves and surfed most of them until they died down, or I turned out of them. Spencer would consistently reiterate points of the lesson during our time in the water - telling me what I did wrong and what I can do next time to do a bit better - which is good and which is what an instructor should do. His tips helped and by the end I was surfing pretty well. The only negative remark I can say is that every wave I caught, he pushed me into and so I'm not confident I could go out surfing alone successfully.
Instead of just having me catch waves with his assistance time after time, I think teaching my the technique to catch the waves on my own (paddling technique and positioning tips) would have been good use of the time. I'm not complaining though because I had a great time. Oh and did I mention a Surf School representative sits on shore and takes pictures of you surfing? The pictures are available for $35 (I think) and they even put them on an SD card I had with me so I was able to upload them to my iPad right away!
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