I’ve lived on Maui for nearly 30 years and one thing most every resident owns is a surfboard. I originally moved to Maui to windsurf but when there was no wind, surfing became the natural thing to do while waiting for the tradewinds to re-appear.

Fast forward 25 years and now I’m 50+ years old but I still have a rack of boards in my garage. Sailboards, surfboards, paddle boards and even a kayak. So when my brother arrives on Maui with his kids, I load up the Silverado with all the toys and head to the beach. My niece’s boyfriend from England is excited to surf so I head out on the paddle board with him on my 9 foot longboard. I give him some basic instruction and he is able to stand up several times on the small waves at Launiopoko beach park just outside of Lahaina, Maui.

My 18 year old son who is more of a field sports kid knows how to surf but hasn’t done it in several years. It’s never been his passion, but when he sees his friend out in the line up he grabs my board and heads out. They catch several waves together and he remembers how much fun he used to have surfing. I tell him that he only has a couple months left to surf before he heads to college on the mainland. He knows the first question he will get when his new friends find out he is from Maui… “do you surf?”

With my surfboard being used, I stick to my paddleboard and am able to have as much fun as the surfers catching many of the larger waves of the day. After Kayaking, surfing and paddleboarding, the kids are worn out so we head to Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie shop in Oluwalu for an early dinner.

Visitors to the islands may not be so lucky to have a relative or friend with a garage full of boards so I recommend taking a lesson or renting a board. On Maui, Soul Surfing Maui is highly recommended for surfing lessons. They have much better boards than I do and they are made for beginners with soft tops and smaller fins. While I stood on a paddle board and yelled out instructions, Soul Surfing Maui’s instructors are in the water with you calmly giving you pointers and an occasional push into the wave. They know the tides, wind and wave directions so they can take to to the best spot for beginning surfers to have the best chance for success. More advanced surfers will enjoy their Maui surf camps and multi day lessons. Tell Brian that TikiRob sent you!

I like to island hop and bringing boards isn’t always possible. Especially when renting a car and staying in a small condo. Plus traveling through airports with 12 foot paddle boards isn’t an easy task. When I visit my second most favorite Hawaiian Island of Kauai, I always rent from the Alapa family at Hanalei Surfboard Rentals they have a variety of boards for me to choose from. Although they offer beginner boards I am able to rent more high end boards that match my abilities and the days conditions. I do the paperwork at their shop and my board is waiting for me at the beach at Hanalei bay. They also offer lessons through Hawaiian surfing Adventures.

Whatever your age or skill level, surfing is a great way to get into the water and enjoy the sport the Hawaiians invented many years ago. Have fun and stay safe!