I have wanted to learn to surf ever since I saw Blue Crush back in University. Yes, I know that must sound super cliché, but as a Canadian girl growing up with more snow than surf (well, zero surf) that movie was my first experience with the sun-soaked sexy and athletic world of surfing. Ever since my husband and I started dating, I have been throwing out suggestions of vacation spots that could incorporate surfing. He has slightly more experience than I having lived in Australia for a year, but was totally game to give it another go. When we booked our honeymoon on Maui, I knew that surfing was an absolute must, and the first thing we booked.
There are so many places that offer surfing rentals and lessons, and it could have overwhelmed us to do research on what company would be best, but friends referred us to the Maui Surfer Girls with the words, “Just book them now. Do it.” So we did, and man are we sooo happy with the choice.
We drove about 25 minutes North from our condo in Kihei to Ukumehame Beach Park where we were met by the owner, Dustin Tester. She is an absolute spark plug; so much energy and natural enthusiasm, and such a nice person. She surprised us by bringing along a professional photographer to capture our lesson as part of the Honeymoon Package. That was very cool, especially since our Go-Pro battery died in the car on the way there 🙁
We started with 20-minutes of land instruction for technique, safety and a bit of oceanography – making sure we were comfortable with certain aspects of the ocean before we jumped in.
After the land-lesson, we immediately grabbed our boards and paddled out to catch a wave. Paddling is no joke. I made it through the first 2-3 paddles due to sheer excitement and adrenaline. After that, my upper body was really not happy with me. However, I paddled on because there was no way I was going to miss out on a wave during this experience.
I’m thrilled to say we both stood up on our first wave!! Though I’m sure she has taught hundreds of lessons, Dustin really made us feel like we were special in some way and was genuinely excited when we stood up. See evidence below, lol.
Even though we were on 12 ft learners boards (school bus boards, my dad called them) and the “wave” we were catching were teeny tiny compared to anything we saw along the other shorelines, it was such a rush to get up on my first try, and on a few after that. I also bailed super hard on two of the waves which I thought was amazing. Seriously. You need to learn how to fall properly and get up again. I really felt like we got the full experience 😉 Unfortunately, the photographer deleted the pictures of me getting my ass kicked by the wave – something I would have loved to see.
Our lesson lasted about 2 hours and we celebrated afterwards with a bottle of prosecco and guava juice; Hawaiian Mimosa. We drank it very classily – from the bottle, lol. I could have sat out on the beach all day watching the water and having a cocktail. But, it was the one day of our honeymoon that we had places to be. So, we sat and let ourselves recover for 30 minutes, relived the best parts of our lesson, and went for lunch at a nearby cult fave, Leoda’s.
We had an absolute blast hanging with Dustin for the morning. My only regret is that we didn’t have enough time to squeeze in another lesson before departing for Kauai. A cool thing to note is that MSG is the only surfing company with a permit for lessons on that stretch of beach. So if you see other companies teaching along the same shore, know that they are not doing it legally. Stay above-board with Maui Surfer Girls, pun intended.
A semi private lesson with Maui Surfer Girls costs around $125 USD per person, and group lessons are $85 per person. They even run surf camps for girls and women during the summer – the women’s camp has officially been added to my lifetime must-do list. Surfing made me feel strong and empowered, I’m not sure if it’s like that for everyone, but I felt like I had superpowers for the few seconds I was up on the board. So I’m not sure when, but I will for sure be back.
Have you ever tried surfing? Is it something that interests you? Let me know in the comments!