FAQS

Lesson Times & Types

1 & 2-hour lessons are available at 9 am, 12 pm & 3 pm daily, 365 day a year. We also have a 1 hour 7 am lesson available for private, semi-private, exclusive groups & family packages with 24-hour notice. We are open rain or shine. Rentals are available daily between 8:30 am & 5:30 pm. Phone lines are open from 7 am & 7 pm every day Hawaii Standard Time.

Yes, we surf every day, rain or shine. Conditions here in Waikiki are almost always good to get in the water and ride some waves! Rain is not an issue. If on the rare occasion there is a reason for us to cancel due to the conditions, we will inform you at the earliest convenience and either reschedule or cancel at a full refund.

No, we do not. We are open 365 days a year.

We do not offer 1 hour group lessons at 7 am, therefore if you would like to do a group lesson at that time you may if you ‘bring your own group’, and sign up for an exclusive group.  Or you can join a private, semi-private or family package at 7 am.

The 7am lessons are for surfing only, however you can call to see if we can accommodate a body board or stand up paddle board lesson at that time.

For every 4 students there is 1 instructor.  In addition, we always have an extra instructor in the water taking photos & assisting.  The instructors work together & all students will have lots of opportunities to catch waves.  The group lessons are not typically very big, on average there are about 4-8 people in total, at maximum we have 12-14 people in the water at one time.

The private lesson allows for more one on one attention from the instructor, more assistance in general, more assistance paddling out, the opportunity to catch more waves, the opportunity to surf further out than the group lesson and work on progressing your skills, etc.

Location

We surf out in front of Queen’s Surf Beach at a surf location called Publics.  In Google Maps GPS 2699 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, or on Apple Maps GPS 2709 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 9615.  This is located between the Honolulu Zoo & the Aquarium, across from Kapiolani Park, near lifeguard stand 2F & the Barefoot Beach Café.  To find us look for our Surf School Bus™ vehicles, our Black Mercedes Sprinter van, and the OSP tent set up in the beach park.

Our office is outside of Waikiki, therefore we pick up our customers from Waikiki or arrange to meet at our regular surf location.  They will be picked up in our Surf School Bus™ vehicles and taken to our Black Mercedes Sprinter Van (ie. our mobile office) parked at Queen’s Surf Beach.

Our mailing address is: 140 Prospect St. Honolulu, HI 96813.

Please meet at our surf spot by Queen’s Surf Beach.  In Google Maps GPS 2699 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815, or on Apple Maps GPS 2709 Kalakaua Ave, Honolulu, HI 9615.  To find us look for our Surf School Bus™ vehicles, our Black Mercedes Sprinter van, and the OSP tent set up in the beach park.  For all rentals we require a credit card for security deposit and must be arranged with our office.  Our rental hours are from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm daily.  All rentals are first come first serve. If you would like to rent a short board or performance long board please call the office to arrange ahead of time.

Our regular surfing location is by Queen’s Surf Beach, across from Kapiolani Park, in between the Honolulu Zoo & the Aquarium.  The surf spot is called Publics.  We are able to teach all levels at this location.  If a more experienced student desires to surf elsewhere this can possibly be arranged ahead of time for an added fee, dependent on our schedule and conditions.

Equipment

Yes, you may bring your own equipment.  Our passenger van has a rack on top that can transport the equipment if needed.  There is no discount for bringing your own equipment & please inform us ahead of time if we are also picking up the equipment so we are prepared to do so.

For surf boards, we have NSP hard tops from 11ft to 6’8, 12ft soft tops & hard tops, plus we have Channel Island short boards, fun boards, and performance longboards.  For stand up paddle boards we have 9’8, 10’2 & 11ft NSP’s.  For body boards we have Triads in various sizes & BullyBoards.

Yes, you may RENT the board after the lesson if the boards are available.
½ day surf boards / body boards are $20, full day $35; and ½ day stand up paddle boards are $30, full day $50. If it is your first time, most people are fairly tired after the lesson and may require more lessons before going on their own.

Abilities, Ages, Etc.

Yes, young children under 13 can certainly take a surfing lesson, we do require that they take a private lesson (one on one) or a family package with the mom and/or dad. For safety reasons only students 13 years and older may join our Open Group Lesson. The family package was designed to be more affordable for families with young children while still maintaining the highest level of safety. The family package does require that mom and/or dad accompany the young kid(s) in the water. If you feel your child will need to be on the surfboard with the instructor (aka tandem surf lesson) then you will need to sign them up for a private lesson. Often children 2-6 years old feel most comfortable doing a tandem lesson for the first time. We leave this call up to the parents and the child. The youngest we have taken out on a family package is 4 years old. In order to take a Family Package, children must feel comfortable enough to go on their own surfboard.

Yes, we can certainly take you surfing. We do require for safety that non-swimmers take a private lesson one on one. To join the Open Group Lesson, students must be able to swim comfortably in the ocean without assistance or a lifejacket. We do have life jackets available that non-swimmers may wear for their comfort during the lesson.

Yes, you can take a surf lesson. If the disability requires extra attention, you will need to take a private lesson. If the disability makes it difficult to walk to the pick up location we can also arrange a special pick up.

Yes, it is okay, our instructors are accustomed to working with non-english speakers. We use visual aids to help explain surfing.

We have instructors who speak Japanese, Korean and Spanish and the rest know what we call ‘surf instruction’ Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Sign Language, plus surf instruction basics in multiple languages.

No, we can teach all ages. We require that children under 13 are on a private lesson one on one or with their parents on a family package. If the students are young children, around 6 years old and under they will often need to be on the board with the instructor (tandem lesson), and this will be a private lesson. If the students are around 70 or older and feel they need the extra attention, a private lesson is advisable.

Cancellation Policy

You may reschedule your lesson at any time, however rescheduling within the same day of your lesson may be subject to a rescheduling fee. If you cancel your rescheduled lesson you may be subject to a cancellation fee.

Our cancellation policy is 24 hours. If an emergency arises and you cannot make the lesson please call us as soon as possible.

If you are going to be late for the lesson or the pick up, please call us as soon as possible and we can always start your lesson late and if we are picking you up we can send the driver back to get you after the other pick ups.

Hotel Pickups

We pick up from 5 locations in Waikiki (the Ilikai Hotel, the Ambassador Hotel, Don Ho Lane Van Depot, Hyatt Regency Hotel, Waikiki Beach Marriot). The locations are within a few blocks of most hotels in Waikiki. We try to keep our pick ups limited to these locations as much as possible to keep things running as smoothly & timely as possible.

We pick up from 5 locations to minimize the amount of delays & possible mistakes. If there is a good reason to pick you up directly from your hotel, then we may do so with 24 hours advance notice. If your request is within 24 hours please call and we will check with the manager to see if we can arrange this for you.

Extra riders may come along for no extra charge, however if the van is full, we will come back and pick up the extra riders after getting the surfers to their lesson.

Yes, we can pick your teenage children up and take them to and from the lesson unaccompanied. We will need a parent or guardian to sign the waiver form ahead of time online or at the van when we pick the children up. Children 12 & under should be accompanied by a guardian. Guardians do not need to go in the water or stay on the beach, but must be there at the beginning and the end of the lesson.

Discounts

We have multi-session packages for 2 and 3 sessions, and if you prepay for one of the packages, the price per lesson is reduced.

Lesson Preparation

We provide a long sleeve surf shirt and protective reef shoes to wear during the lesson, the equipment is provided and an instructor will be with you for the entirety of the lesson time. Tax, photos, and gratuity are NOT included. We also have life jackets available, but are not required or recommended unless necessary.

You will want to arrive wearing a bathing suit, and please bring a towel & sunscreen. We are able to lock your items up safely so you may bring your valuables and whatever you need: wallet, phone, camera, change of clothes, etc. You may want to bring along extra money for photos or gratuity. If you are getting a pick up and needing to bring larger items, please inform us ahead of time as there may not be room in the van.

It is best to call at least 24 hours in advance, but lessons occasionally fill up ahead of time, so the sooner the better. We are often able to take same day bookings, but to ensure we have space for you and the correct number of instructors we typically need a few hours notice & of course there is a higher probability of lessons not being available if you are booking last minute.

You are certainly able to wear contact lenses, but we do not recommend wearing prescription glasses. You can lose your contact lenses in the water, but as long as you keep your eyes closed underwater it is not a huge risk. You may wear prescription goggles. If you cannot see well without your glasses it is okay, you can still take the lesson. We are even able to teach blind students.

Yes you certainly can, you will want to wear a tampon. And don’t worry you will not attract sharks.

We totally understand that the reef can be intimidating and knowing the layout of a surfing area including its reefs and channels can be the difference between fun and fear and so our instructors are carefully trained to manage them and to maximize the safe and fun aspects and minimize the fearful ones. There are always pros and cons to each surf break and counterintuitively the reef, despite the intimidation factor, is one of the reasons that makes where we surf so safe. Unlike sandy beach breaks where the waves have a lot of downward pressure that can cause compression injuries, our reef breaks produce gentle waves that have very little downward pressure and because of this we don’t get the more serious types of injuries that occur at beach breaks. The unique set up and reef breaks create the easy, long, gentle, rolling waves that the south shore of Oahu is famous for and that are perfect for learning and teaching surfing. The ocean, the reefs, and the surf should be respected and so we teach safe surfing practices, from the proper warm up, to safe paddling, all the way to the proper and safe way to end the ride even if that includes falling. We pride ourselves on taking extra measures to keep our students as safe as possible so they can be as successful as possible.

Anything you take in the water is at your own risk. We do not recommend it, but if you do decide to bring a camera with you, you will want to ensure that it can float and attach to you in some way that doesn’t interfere with the ability to paddle. A secure zipper pocket may work if you do not have another method.

We do not have mounts on our boards, however you are welcome to bring your own mount and put it on the board to use during your lesson or rental, afterwards we will remove it from the board. All personal GoPros are mounted and taken in the water at your own risk, we are not responsible for loss or damage of your GoPro.

Yes, however you might get a little seasick during the lesson, so we recommend taking a remedy ahead of time that your doctor recommends for you.

No, sharks are not a concern. We understand the fear, but it is highly improbable to see a shark, let alone be attacked by one. Statistically speaking, you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice or hit on the head by a coconut than you are to be attacked by a shark. The area we take our students surfing is over reef where an adult human can stand with their head and shoulders above water. These shallow waters are not where sharks tend to be found or even like to swim as they like to stay further out in deeper waters.  Sharks will also not attack a human on purpose as we are not a food source that they are interested in which is why it is very rare to be attacked.

Check these guys out: http://hawaiisharkencounters.com. They offer tours on island to swim with sharks in open waters. Part of their mission is to try to help change people’s opinions on sharks.  This page on their site may provide some new and interesting information about sharks: http://hawaiisharkencounters.com/index.php/shark-conservation/.

No, it is very unlikely to be stung by jellyfish or anything else in the water for that matter. You may occasionally see sea turtles, seals, and other small fish in the surf area. It is possible, but very rare to encounter jelly fish & even rarer to see sharks. If you’re lucky you’ll see dolphins further out or whale jumping on the horizon during winter season.

Gratuity is completely up to you. Tips are accepted and always appreciated but not expected. A standard tip is 15-20% of the lesson price, but whatever you feel inclined to give is totally acceptable.

We do take photos during the lesson using a GoPro. The photographer is also an instructor and provides an added service of helping the other instructors coach and from different angles. They are able to provide on wave coaching and post wave coaching, and help to keep the lesson organized. In order to keep this service feasible for us, we have photo packages available for purchase after the lesson. You may also prepay for photos, but this is not required. We sell the photos per party and do not share your photos with other parties.