Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Maui

If you’ve always wanted to ride the waves in style, why not start your experience while visiting Maui? The beginner surf breaks are perfect for new surfers, and you cannot beat the perfectly pleasant weather in paradise. Ready to make your surfing dreams a reality? Here’s everything you need to know about surfing in Maui.

Where to Take Surfing Lessons

Surfing in Maui, people surfing in the water

There’s a lot to learn before you can ride the waves like the pros. Your journey starts with learning to stand on the board and pop up without falling over. Once you get that down, it’s time to master entering the wave and doing cool moves.

While that might seem like a lot, you don’t have to go it alone. There are many excellent surf schools on Maui, such as:

Sea Maui Surf

Located on Kaanapali Beach, Sea Maui Surf offers both private and group surfing lessons, both of which include all the gear you’ll need. And they have rental equipment, too, for when you’re ready to go out on your own.

Their lessons are 1.5 hours each and go all throughout the day, starting at 7:30 am. Group lessons max out at four students per session, and their private lessons are one-on-one. Each session begins with an overview of ocean safety and surf etiquette, and then you’ll get to work on your beginner surfing skills.

Surf Shack

When you’re in Kihei, you can go to Surf Shack for surfing lessons, gear included, and any rental equipment you’ll need later on. Their classes cater to first-time surfers, ensuring you’ll learn all the basics by the end of the two-hour session.

They’re so confident that you’ll learn all you know in one session, in fact, that they offer your next lesson free if you’re not surfing by the end of the first one. You just have to choose between their private and group lessons to get started and then arrive on the beach ready to learn.

Outrageous Surf School

In Lahaina, you’ll find Outrageous Surf School ready to help you learn how to surf your heart out. They have semi-private, private, and group lessons available for beginning surfers of all ages. Their classes run every day except Sunday and usually start at 8 am.

When you sign up, your instructor will bring all the gear you need, including water shirts and water shoes. Your lesson will last two hours, giving you plenty of time to learn the basics and get up on your board with ease. They have rental gear as well for when you’re ready to head out on your own.

Must-Have Maui Surfing Gear

surf boards lined up at a surf shop

For your initial foray into the Maui surfing world, you’ll want to get all your gear from a nearby surfboard rental shop, like:

  • Surf Shack
  • 808 Boards
  • Maui Mike’s Beach House
  • Island Surfboard Rentals
  • Maui Surfboards
  • Boss Frog’s

Just let the rental company know you’re going out on the water for the first time, and they’ll help you get geared up appropriately. Ideally, you will rent a surfboard, leash, and rashguard. In addition, bring a towel, reef-safe sunscreen, polarized sunglasses, and a sunhat. If you don’t have a way to get your surfboard to the beach, ask about delivery services.

Top Places for Surfing in Maui

surfing in Maui, lady surfing in Maui

Although there are over 30 miles of beaches ready for surfing on Maui, not all are suitable for beginner surfers. For the best results, you must hit all the spots with easy surf breaks that allow you to build your skills over time. Here’s a look at three great spots you can visit.

Puamana Beach Park

Puamana Beach Park is the place to go when you want to work on popping up and riding the waves through to the end. You can find this beginner surf spot near Mile Marker 18 on the Honoapiilani Highway. The waves are typically short and break all at once, making it an excellent spot for mastering staying standing on the board while the waves take you on a wild ride.


About 10 minutes south of Lahaina is Launiupoko, a popular surf spot for beginners. To get there, just travel down the Honoapiilani Highway until you reach Mile Marker 18. No matter when you arrive, you’ll likely see surfers tackling the waves and showing off their sweet moves. At this spot, beginner surfers get to rub elbows with the greats, allowing them to level up their skills fast.

Olowalu Beach

A West Maui favorite, Olowalu Beach has beginner to intermediate surf breaks perfectly suited for surfers with the ability to pop up and stay standing. Look for this beach at Mile Marker 14 on the Honoapiilani Highway. Once you arrive, take a moment to assess the waves and confirm they’re small enough to tackle. If so, you can count on them staying pretty steady during your visit, allowing you to practice your skills over and over again.

Maui Surfing Tips for Beginners

People paddle boarding at Olowalu Beach

Whenever you head out on the water on your own or with a group, keep these things in mind:

  • Always check the weather and surf conditions to verify that it’s safe to go out on the water
  • Chat with your fellow surf enthusiasts at each site to get a feel for the conditions ahead
  • Stick to areas with waves under three feet to avoid getting overwhelmed by huge swells
  • Practice sitting on your board and popping up a few times before getting into the water
  • Find the line of surfers waiting to enter the wave and patiently wait for your turn
  • Don’t be afraid to back out if you’re not feeling confident about the waves ahead
  • Practice makes perfect, so don’t feel discouraged about your failed attempts

Now that you have the details on how to start surfing in Maui, it’s time to start your journey toward hanging ten. Each time you hit the water, you’ll learn new skills that will eventually help you surf alongside the pros with ease. So, give it a try, and then keep at it to see what great things you can do out on the water.