There’s no more quintessential Hawaiian outdoor activity in popular consciousness than surfing, of course. And these days, stand-up paddleboarding—which also has at least some of its roots in Hawaii, by the way—is just about ubiquitous in Maui. At Goofy Foot Surf and Stand Up Paddle School, you can learn how to do either activity—or hone your already-established skills.
Situated in Lahaina Harbor—one of the finest places to learn how to surf on Maui, thanks to forgiving and reliable breaks—Goofy Foot’s been teaching aspiring wave-riders since 1994. Founded by the “Stoke Broker” Tim Sherer, the company gets its name from long-standing surfing lingo. A “goofy-foot” surfer is one who rides with his or her right foot forward on the board. The name allegedly derives from the Disney dog Goofy, who rode in that stance in the 1937 film Hawaiian Holiday.
Goofy Foot teaches beginners on the friendly Breakwall surf break, which furls as a placid roller over shallow, crystal-clear water. The school is supremely confident in its top-tier instructors: It guarantees that anybody taking its two-hour beginner class will stand up and ride a wave during that time, or the lesson is free.
The school teaches beginner-level sessions for small groups, as well as a range of private lessons for experience levels ranging from newbie to intermediate. Also available is the full-day beginner Surf Camp. Founder/owner Tim Sherer himself—or, if he’s unavailable, one of Goofy Foot’s senior instructors—leads a two- or three-hour Master Surf Lesson.
The 1.5-hour stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons offered by Goofy Foot are also high-quality. They kick off with the nuts-and-bolts on the beach, then ease into patient (and fun) practice on a lovely, calm blue water lagoon.
In both cases, Goofy Foot’s classes appeal to young, old, and everybody in between. They might be a kid’s first steps toward becoming an ace surfer, or an opportunity to finally—maybe in your 50s or 60s—check off Maui surfing from your bucket list.
Along with public and private classes, Goofy Foot offers surf or SUP group-package instruction for various special events, from bachelor/bachelorette or birthday parties to corporate retreats.
Through a partnership with We Paddle Maui, you can also go through Goofy Foot to experience a Lahaina-area Cultural Tour aboard a canoe. Some of the proceeds go to support Maui Cultural Lands. Another option is a 1.5-hour Surfing Canoe experience courtesy of the same partner.
Finally, Goofy Foot Surf and Stand Up Paddle School also rents surfboards and SUP equipment if you already know your way around them.
With skillful and warm instructors and a great location, Goofy Foot Surf and Stand Up Paddle School is a top option for learning the ropes of surfing (or SUP) on Maui!
Goofy Foot has a photographer who can snap pics of your surfing exploits, proving you got upright on a board on your Maui getaway!