I highly recommend Kai's pro surf school. I had previously taken one surfing lesson on Maui, originally thinking I would try it once and cross it off my bucket list. I had some success, but wiped out a lot. I decided to give it one more shot with a professional surfer/instructor to see if I could do any better. I picked Kai over dozens of other possible choices because 1) he's a pro who has "been there, done that" 2) from the reviews it sounded like he had a systematic approach to teaching first-time/beginner surfers 3) he appeared to have success with a wide range of students of all ages from kids to middle-aged adults. Since I fall into the latter category, I didn't want to be the only middle-ager, among teen-agers.
The lesson started out in their space at the Marriott. Kai explained safety procedures and paddling techniques and outlined detailed steps to stand up on the board. He then had us each practice on a board. Then we were off to Kai's secluded surf spot. Our group had a total of 3 students, which worked out well. While one person was surfing, one person was on deck and the other was paddling back. Kai was a great instructor and everyone in our group was able to stand up on their boards. Kai's clear instructions and critiques helped me immensely and thanks to him I was able to stand up more than I wiped out. I enjoyed it so much I decided to take a couple more lessons. The second day I was with Geoff who is also a pro and a wonderful teacher. Our group consisted of four people, which made it a lot slower with more time waiting and less time surfing. The lesson left me wanting more time on the waves, so for my final lesson, I opted for a private one. This turned out to be a great decision. With Geoff's expert instruction, I was able to improve exponentially! He also taught me how to find my own waves, techniques for waiting for the wave on my board (and quickly turning around), more efficient paddling, and many other details that built my confidence and will enable me to hit the waves on my own.
I still have a ton to learn, but Kai and Geoff jump-started my learning process. Their love for the sport is contagious; what I thought would be a one-time experience, is an activity I will enjoy for years to come.
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