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“Best day of our vacation!”

Big Wave Dave Surf Co
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Surfing Lessons On Waikiki Beach
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Aloha,We are a FULL SERVICE SURF SHOP. Lessons, rentals, tours, outrigger canoe rides, accessories, local designs. Located in the heart of Waikiki, one block from the beach, directly behind the Hyatt Regency. Our building is the Hale Waikiki.
Rohnert Park, California
Level Contributor
59 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Best day of our vacation!”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

My first impression wasn't a good one when I had some difficulty trying to make a reservation. I contacted them several times without a response. Soon they contacted me and apologized for the trouble. They were professional and I received an email confirmation as well as a text reminder of lesson reservation the day before.

They provided us with a locker for free and were very friendly. We had a land lesson at their business location which was nice since the hundreds of people on the beach we not staring at us practicing. Next we took a short walk out to the beach where the boards were ready.

On the water our instructor (Cody or Kulee maybe sorry don't know for sure) and the other man were always aware of all 7 of us and if we got tired and couldn't paddle all the way out they would help which was great for the kids and myself after a long 5 mile kayak trip the day before.

They were so encouraging and helped you get started on a wave and told you when to stand up. They were so patient and even with the wide range of ages between the people in our group, they gave us all a lot of attention and instruction.

We also did a canoe ride which was fun. At first the canoe captains seemed intense, but it was only for the safety of every one in the boat and the hundreds of people on the beach and in the water. Very fun and once in a lifetime type ride with a gorgeous view of the Waikiki coastline. Also, this was included in our Groupon with a surf lesson. I felt that the value wasn't great if you paid for the canoe ride separately since it is about $30 each for a one wave ride.

There is a photographer who got some amazing shots, however my husband and I felt it was priced a bit high for the images. $25 for one picture or about $60 per person plus $20 for each additional person. She even arranged a slide show that you watch with your group at the end of the lesson. So fun!

There are showers and bathrooms on the beach where you surf that you can use for free.

Visited October 2013
2 Thank Nicole_Serna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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235 reviews from our community

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English first
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Ready for the North Shore next!”
Reviewed October 13, 2013

The guys at Dave's were great! They were really helpful even though I am older and overweight, they even got my fat butt up on the board! They got my 2 boys and wife surfing like pros! Great people, great time, great service! Great pictures from their photographer. Mahalo!!!!

Visited October 2013
Thank SSchwartzFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New Jersey
Level Contributor
66 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Really fun, and I would do it again.”
Reviewed October 7, 2013

My family of 4, 2 adults, and 2 boys ages 12 & 10, did the canoe ride and the surf lesson. We booked the Groupon deal, and this was the first time for all of us. It was so much fun! The people were all really very nice. I felt safe in the water with them. My husband and I are not great swimmers. We did the group lesson and they really kept an eye on everyone. When I floated off to the side a bit (without knowing), they would call me to come back, so I would be back with the group.

I felt my kids were under good supervision, too. My kids did awesome. My husband and I did so-so! lol. We all stood on the board several times. The people who worked there were caring and considerate and would even pull us (our boards) back out with their feet, so we can do it again. They were so strong! My husband and I were exhausted after 3 tries!!

AND they have an awesome photographer who took so many photos of us in the water. I don't know how she did it but she got close up shots of each person standing on the boards. I never saw anyone standing there with a camera. They did mention that our photos will be taken, but if I knew how close and nice the pics were, I would have tried harder to stand up more! lol. Tip,I recommend buying the photos on the CD, especially if you have kids. They charge per person, with the first person charge much more. We bit the bullet and bought for all four of us, and I am glad we did. They are beautiful pictures, and they really captured the fun we all had with our first surf lesson. Pricey but really worth it. I was able to load the impressive pictures (of my kids) onto our Facebook for family to see. I think next time we go back to Honolulu, we will definitely do a surf lesson again, and most likely with Big Wave Dave because of the positive experience!

We also rented a rash guard for me and husband. My kids had their own already. The canoe ride was also a lot of fun!!

Visited August 2013
Thank LavaJava96
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pacifica, CA
Level Contributor
58 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed September 17, 2013

Our family planned on having a Hawaiian surf experience before we started our Hawaiian vacation. We chose Big Wave Dave because of the positive reviews on Yelp. Nothing could have been worse.

My wife and I and two kids (13 & 17) signed up for an outrigger canoe ride, and my daughter and I for beginner surfing lessons. We got one of three rides in the outrigger canoe before it sank. I mean COMPLETELY SUBMERGED, far from shore. "Big Wave Dave" was the "captain" and just yelled at everyone, telling us all to row the canoe into shore. The boat is literally 2 feet under water. It took us 20 minutes to get the boat to shore and our feet were cut up on the coral.

After finally catching our breath, my daughter and I tried to laugh it off and continue with our surfing lessons. The beginner surfing lessons consisted of a guy pointing at the water and telling us to follow him. They gave my 4'8" daughter a 10' surfboard that she could not manage. Our "instructor" paddled away in front of us, caught a wave on his own, and went back to stacking surfboards on the beach. We yelled for any Big Wave Dave instructors to help us in the crowded water, but no one helped. Not knowing what to do, we paddled back to shore and left our surfboards there.

Big Wave Dave REFUSED to not charge us for either the terrible canoe experience or the complete lack of instruction or assistance for our surf lessons. This is not a case of dissatisfaction with the service, there was no service!

I'm glad that others have had better experiences, but Big Wave Dave RUINED our Hawaiian vacation with no sense of compassion or aloha spirit. Stay away from Big Wave Dave! There are a lot of more reputable surf shops in Honolulu. Would you really want to take that chance?

Visited July 2013
5 Thank jguillet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Awesome experience”
Reviewed August 30, 2013 via mobile

I debated surfing lessons for the first few days we were in Hawaii because I didn't want to go by myself (my husband is not a wave person!). I'm so glad I found Big Wave Dave who added me to a group, and they all made me feel welcome. The instructor, Uncle Neil, was excellent and very encouraging. After a quick land tutorial we headed for the waves. Once out there I felt totally comfortable and after a few attempts I was up and surfing. As an added bonus they have a professional photographer sitting on the beach taking action shots. For an additional $60 I got 40 images and video on disk of me out in the water. I don't usually go for the gimmicky tourist photo things, but Py did a great job putting them into a slides how with authentic Hawaiian music to add to the cinematic experience when I play it to my family when I get home. All-in-all i highly recommend Big Wave Dave if you're considering taking surfing lessons while in Hawaii.

Visited August 2013
Thank Natty1596
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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