It is safe to say that if anyone visiting Hawaii wants to learn how to surf this is the place. There are many different places to take surfing lessons while on the island of Maui. My favorite is located in the town of Lahaina. Lahaina is just a short drive from the Kanapali resort area that is the temporary home of many tourists like me. I took a four hour lesson at this cute little place called goofy foot. They came highly recommended by the concierge at the hotel, and I was not disappointed. The surf school required that all students wear a rash guard, which is just a long sleeve neoprene shirt.
The rash guard is to protect your chest from the sand and wax on the board, not to mention the fact that it will also protect you if you happen to be pummeled by a wave into coral. Coral is prevalent in these waters; in fact, the coral actually contributes to the making of those long beautiful waves.
The surf school provided the rash guard, as well as these goofy aqua socks that everyone had to wear… Maybe that’s why they call the school goofy foot. But seriously, it is important to wear the aqua socks because they protect your feet from the coral. The instructor also explained that it is important to fall shallow rather than deep in order to avoid hitting the dreaded coral.
The next required piece of paraphernalia is the board itself. They gave me this twelve foot foam surf board that I actually had to balance on my head to carry. That was really the hardest part of the lesson. Once equipped with my surf gear, I was ready to hit the waves. But my instructor stopped me in my tracks. Did I mention that the instructor was extremely hot? Anyway, he said that we had to practice on the beach a few times, so we did. We lay on top of the board in the sand and pretended to paddle. This seemed pretty stupid to me, but who was I to argue.
By the time that we finally got in the water, I was ready. My really hot instructor stood behind me and actually pushed me into the wave. First I climbed up onto one knee, and then the next thing I knew I was standing. This took a couple of minutes, but that’s the good thing about these great Hawaiian waves. You have plenty of time. The waves are long and even, giving beginners ample time to actually stand up. Once standing, I was a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, there was no way I could control that big board, I just held on and enjoyed the ride.
Now, I have to mention that this was not my first attempt at surfing. I have actually tried many times on the east coast. The waves are much shorter and less predictable. The waves in Lahaina seemed to break at the same spot every time. Throughout the remainder of my four hour lesson, I was surfing. I felt like my very own modern day version of Gidget.
Another great thing about the goofy foot surfing school is that they have a photographer on staff taking pictures of the lessons. Alas, I have documented proof of my surfing skills! It was a great experience, one that I believe to only be available on one of those long waves readily available and waiting for you in Maui.