We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Great first time surfing”
Review of Surf HNL

Surf HNL
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Oahu Shore Excursion: Small-Group or Private Surfing or Stand-Up Paddleboard...
More Info
and up
Pokai Bay Stand-up Paddleboard Lesson
More Info
and up
Waikiki Stand-up Paddleboard Lesson with Round-trip Transport
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
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 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.
Arlington, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great first time surfing”
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
1 Thank CRobin78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

210 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Jacksonville, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
237 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Great lessons and experience!”
Reviewed February 2, 2012

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!

3 Thank Spicoli76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level 5 Contributor
82 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great fun!”
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
1 Thank michele n
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
“More fun and more successful than anticipated.”
Reviewed December 19, 2011

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!

Thank dzucci
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon, United States
1 review
“Good teacher = Good times”
Reviewed December 12, 2011

GWS is an interesting experience. By interesting I mean really fantastic! Go get a surf lesson. They include the basic information like how to stand up, lots and lots of safety, and help with wave catching. But what's more is that they give a lot of extra tips and information so that you can get better and better with each wave or each surf session. It's more personalized like that.

They are great with groups, I went with some friends then by myself a few times. One thing is that the experience can differ depending on the instructor. Some are really basic and let you figure out stuff then some are really technical and give you loads of info. But all of the teachers have the goal of making sure you have FUN.

Visited December 2011
Thank Reggie541
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Surf HNL also viewed


Been to Surf HNL? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing