The 5 Best Surf Lessons on Big Island

Aloha, fellow wave riders!

Let me tell you about the time my boyfriend and I decided to conquer Hawaii’s Big Island on a surfboard. It was an unforgettable experience that brought us closer to nature and each other. And guess what? You can do it too!

You see, the Big Island has everything a surfing enthusiast could ask for volcanic landscapes, stunning views, perfect waves…you name it. As someone who has spent countless hours chasing the best surf lessons around the globe, I can confidently say that this magnificent island is second to none.

Now, learning to surf can feel intimidating – trust me; I’ve been there. But fear not! With my years of experience and endless research into local surfs schools, I’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about finding your perfect surf lesson on the glorious shores of Kahalu’u Bay.

Warning: Once you catch your first wave at these epic Hawaiian spots, you may never want to leave the water again!

So strap on your board shorts and sunscreen – let’s find you the best surf lessons on Big Island so you can ride those waves like a true pro!

Big Island Small Group Surf Lesson

Your surfing adventure should ideally begin with small group lessons, as they give everyone individual attention and hone your skills. So take this surf lesson with Kahalu’u Bay Surf and Sea, which offers the best surfing equipment for their lessons, and tailors the experience according to your ability.

The lessons last two hours and begin with surfers getting fitted with reef booties and rashguards. Then, with a single instructor working with only three people, you’ll learn how to paddle and pop up on land, good surfing etiquette, and how to wipe out properly. 

After getting the hang of the basics, you’ll hit Kahalu’u Bay’s gentle waves, with the instructor guiding your direction in the water and giving a gentle push so you can catch every wave. 

My boyfriend and I love the instructors at Kahalu’u Bay Surf and Sea, and here’s why theirs are the best surf lessons on Big Island. 

  • Instructors offer advanced surfers tips on turning and riding larger waves. 
  • You’ll receive a high-quality board that makes surfing a smooth experience. 
  • The lessons are great for kids learning to surf as well. 

Group Surf Lesson in Kona 

Surfers with some skill or prior experience should opt for a group surf lesson, as it combines beginners and amateurs who can learn from each other and the expert surf instructor. These terrific surf lessons place you in groups of eight with one guide that teaches you the basics before heading to the beach to test your skills. 

The lesson begins with a group meetup at a surf shop opposite Kahalu’u Bay, where you’ll get fitted for an SPF rash guard, reef shoes, and your board. Next, the instructors provide brief safety tips, plus how to paddle and stand up on your surfboard properly. 

The next thing you know, you’ll be testing your skills out on the water, riding any wave that comes your way with help from the instructors, and enjoying the gentle, rolling waves of Kahalu’u Bay. 

We highly recommend taking this group experience as their instructors offer terrific group surf lessons on the Big Island. 

  • You’re guaranteed a fee return if the lessons get canceled due to bad weather. 
  • The guides are invested in your progress and offer tips on improving even as you’re on the waves.
  • The classes are great for people with no prior experience as well.

Private Surf Experience in Kailua-Kona

Whether it’s your first time surfing or you’ve done it plenty before, a private surf lesson is the best way to learn surfing anew and hone your skills. Fortunately, you can take this private surf experience in Kona on the Kahalu’u Bay with an experienced instructor for a personalized lesson according to your skill level.

The private class is also ideal for younger children, who get undivided attention from the instructor and learn the ropes well. Like most lessons, you’ll don gear and get a brief lesson on land before hitting the Bay’s waves, where you can test out standing on the board and practicing the best way to avoid wiping out. 

In addition, you’ll get pointers along the way and some pro tips to help improve your form from the instructor, who stays in the water throughout the lesson, making the process easier and less daunting. 

My boyfriend and I take these one-on-one sessions each time we visit Kona, as they’re a great refresher course and one of the best surf lessons on the Big Island. 

  • Even experts can take these private lessons as they expand your existing skills. 
  • They allow you to change dates if the waves are too calm for surfing.
  • The instructors ensure you get to ride a wave standing for a thrilling experience.

Surf With The Pros on Big Island

A small group surfing lesson from the Big Island’s best professional surfers is arguably the best way to get the hang of this sport. So hop on this incredible surfing opportunity on the Kona coast, where surfers of every level can perfect their skills and learn great tricks along the way. 

Unlike most surfing lessons, the instructors won’t accompany you in the waters on this one, choosing to observe you from the beach instead. This technique ensures surfers get confident on the waves and try new things on their own. 

Of course, you’ll also learn the basics of surfing from these lessons, followed by some great skills like how to wipe out safely and ride waves independently for a long time. 

My boyfriend and I took these lessons a few years back, and it was incredible learning from professionals who give the best tips. Here’s why we consider them one of the best surf lessons on the Big Island:

  • The lessons are for small groups of up to three, so you’ll get individual attention. 
  • The lessons provide surfers with boards, reef shoes, and surf shirts. 
  • You don’t need any prior experience in surfing to take these lessons. 

Guided Private Surf Lesson in Kona

Learn the fundamentals of surfing and improve your technique from these terrific guided surf lessons on the Kahalu’u Bay Beach Park in Kona, one of the best beginner surfing beaches in Hawaii. You’ll be one-on-one with an experienced instructor in these private lessons, who’ll also accompany you in the waves.

The 2-hour lesson starts with the instructor teaching you proper technique and surfing etiquette with a hands-on demonstration, followed by learning the pop-up method and paddling. In addition, you’ll get a detailed on-shore and in-water safety briefing before riding the waves solo. 

The lessons ensure you’ll be able to ride a few waves easily, and if the waves are too calm for surfing during your session, the instructor waits it out with you until you get the perfect one. 

We recommend these lessons to surfers of all skill levels, as they’re some of the best surf lessons on the Big Island. 

  • All lessons include a foam top surfboard, reef walker surf shoes, and an SPF surf shirt.
  • The instructors guarantee you’ll ride your first wave standing up in no time. 
  • Private lessons ensure you get an experience tailored to your skill level.


Can you learn to surf on the Big Island?

Absolutely! You can learn to surf on the Big Island in Hawaii, which has one of the world’s best beginner surf beaches. So even people with no previous experience can take sessions with expert instructors in private and group lessons. 

How much are surfing lessons in Kona?

Surfing lessons in Kona cost between $80-190 per person, depending on whether you booked a group, small-group, or private lesson. The lessons offer you nearly two hours of expert guidance, plus surfing equipment such as rash guards, surfboards, and reef booties. 

Where can I learn to surf on the Big Island of Hawaii?

You can learn surfing on the Big Island from surf schools in Kailua-Kona on the leeward coast, which has the calmest shores. There are also surfing opportunities for more skilled surfers in Hilo, but due to unstable weather conditions, beginners should stick to the Kona coast. 

Where can I learn to surf in Kona?

The Kahalu’u Bay Beach Park is the best place to learn surfing in Kona. The Bay has calm waters and gentle, rolling waves, which are ideal for riding your first waves, particularly from December to April before cyclone season begins. 

Winding Up The Best Surf Lessons on Big Island

Surfing isn’t just a water sport in Hawaii; it’s a part of the island’s history, as Polynesians have been surfing for ages. So you’ll find the best shores for surfing on the Big Island, where expert and championship surfers with years of experience offer lessons to teach the sport to beginners.

In addition, you can book lessons with the island’s many surf schools and private instructors, which guarantee a tailored experience according to your skills.

Looking to learn surfing from scratch on the Big Island? Book small-group or private lessons which offer one-on-one sessions with expert instructors. 

Want to renew your surfing skills? Try group lessons which teach up to eight people at once. 

So surf your trip away with the best surfing lessons on the Big Island!

Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Brigitte