The 8 Best Surfing Lessons in Oahu

Aloha, fellow wave riders!

Let me tell ya, I’ve been obsessed with surfing ever since my boyfriend and I first learned in the magnificent waters of Oahu. From beginners to seasoned surfers, Oahu’s beaches have something for everyone. Allow me to share my personal experiences and guide you through finding the best surf lessons on this beautiful island.

Now, as a beginner surfer myself not too long ago, I know how intimidating it can be to get started. The fear of wiping out or making mistakes is all too real. But trust me when I say that learning at one of Oahu’s top-notch surf schools will ease your worries and set you on track for success!

Through heaps of research and countless lessons, my boyfriend and I have truly discovered the cream of the crop when it comes to surf lessons on Oahu. So whether you’re a newbie like we were or an experienced shredder looking to up your game, stay tuned – we’ve got you covered.

Look: You’re obviously here because you want to learn or enhance your surfing skills under expert guidance while soaking up some sun in paradise. And who wouldn’t want that? Our mission is simple: We aim to connect with our fellow ocean enthusiasts by sharing our love for this exhilarating sport.

Warning: After taking these epic lessons with us virtually tagging along, don’t be surprised if you become addicted to chasing waves in no time – just like we did!

Now let’s dive into the world of Oahu’s finest surf schools already!

Private Surf Lessons in Waikiki with Ohana Surf Project

Whether you’re a first-timer or have experience in surfing, private surf lessons are a great way to build your skills under a trained surf instructor’s supervision. So take these 1-on-1 private lessons with the Ohana Surf Project held at Waikiki beach, where the calm waters are ideal for teaching surfing.

The 2-hour lesson begins with a fitting for surfing equipment in the school’s comfortable minivan and receiving basic safety instructions. Afterward, you’ll receive an on-land demonstration from your professional surf instructor on surfing essentials and etiquette, followed by testing your skills on the water. 

By the lesson’s end, you’ll know how to paddle out and stand on your board to catch waves. In addition, experienced surfers can target the bigger waves past the surf break and hone their skills even more. 

My boyfriend and I loved taking classes with the Ohana Surf Project, as they deliver the best surfing lessons on Oahu. Here’s why you’ll agree:

  • The lessons are great for families and people of all ages and skill levels. 
  • You can purchase photos and videos of your lesson after it’s over. 
  • There’s hotel pickup and dropoff included in your lesson package. 

Group Surf Lesson in Waikiki with Hans Hedemann Surf School

There’s no better way to learn surfing on Oahu’s shores than from surfing legend Hans Hedermann’s surfing school. They offer small group lessons and private surf lessons to people of all skill levels on Waikiki beach and the North shore beaches, delivered by professional surf instructors. 

Beginner surfers should take their small groups surfing lesson, which places 3-4 students of similar skill levels with one instructor so everyone can get individual attention. The group lesson begins with a basic safety overview and learning proper surfing etiquette, then practicing on your board for 20 minutes before heading out to the surf break.

With these hands-on lessons, you’ll learn paddling techniques and how to turn, stand up, and maneuver around the waves. In addition, the instructors accompany you in the water to ensure you get plenty of guidance and feel comfortable.

My boyfriend and I took some of our earliest surfing lessons at the Hans Hedemann Surf School, and their tailored sessions are undoubtedly some of the best surf lessons in Oahu.

  • The instructors ensure you ride a wave standing by the lesson’s end. 
  • You can choose between morning and afternoon lessons according to your schedule.
  • Students get sized up for reef shoes and surfboards before the lesson. 

Surfing Lessons On Waikiki Beach by Big Wave Dave

Learn surfing from the calm waters of Waikiki beach, where the sport began for old Hawaiians many years back with Big Wave Dave surf school. They offer surfing lessons for beginner and advanced surfers on the Waikiki beachfront, where shallow waters and gentle, rolling waves make an ideal spot to ride your first wave.

Their 2-hour surf lessons are delivered by experienced surf instructors who give each student individual attention. You’ll start by receiving a 20-minute hands-on demonstration on proper water safety and etiquette, paddling techniques, turning the surfboard, maneuvering over waves and positioning to stand up and ride them.

The remaining lesson takes place on the water, where you get the hang of standing up and riding the waves, which every student can accomplish by the end. 

We love taking refresher surf lessons with Big Wave Dave in Waikiki, as they have some of the best surfing lessons in Oahu. 

  • The lessons get delivered in small groups, ideal for beginners and first-timers.
  • They provide long table boards, making learning to surf easy. 
  • The surf school in Waikiki is close to great eateries in Waikiki, so you can grab a delicious bite after your lesson.

Group Surfing Lesson on Waikiki Beach with Surfer Girl Academy

Learn the art of surfing from the calm waves on Waikiki beach with Surfer Girl Academy, whose certified instructors offer the best surfing lessons in Oahu. Their small group lessons pair four students with one instructor on an uncrowded part of the beach for a secluded session. 

The 2-hour lesson includes 20-30 minutes of dry-land instruction on the basics of surfing, along with general ocean safety and directions on standing up properly on your surfboard. Next, students head to the water to test their newly acquired skills for over seventy minutes.

These lessons are suitable for people who want to refresh their surfing skills or simply try the sport out for the first time, as the instructors structure each lesson according to your ability.

My boyfriend and I loved taking lessons with Surfer Girl Academy, as their dedicated team delivers the best surfing lessons on Oahu. Here’s why you’ll agree:

  • The lessons provide surfboards, rash guards, reef shoes, wetsuits, and the Academy’s sticker. 
  • Students can relax on a quiet part of Waikiki beach that’s reserved for the lessons after they’re done.
  •  You can purchase high-quality pictures of your lesson after it’s over. 

Surf Lesson for 2 People at Kahu Surf School

Enjoy a semi-private surf lesson with a close friend or partner at the Kahu Surf School’s surfing classes for two under the supervision of a professional big-wave surfer. Their lessons ensure each person gets the instructor’s undivided attention and learns to ride waves effortlessly, following the proper technique. 

The 1-hour private lessons take place at Waikiki beach, whose slow-breaking waves make it the perfect spot to learn surfing, and you’re guaranteed to ride 10-12 waves standing by the end of your lesson. The lesson begins with a short introduction targeting all the basics, plus special techniques so you can stand on the board, paddle and wipe out properly.

After the detailed demonstrations, you’ll head into the water and put your newfound skills to the test in your instructor’s company, which targets areas to help improve your technique and progress.

My boyfriend and I love the Kahu Surf School and their dedication to surfing, and their beginner classes are some of the best surfing lessons in Oahu.

  • The lesson gets videotaped, and you can watch it afterward to track your progress.
  • The instructors are incredible, and make sure you enjoy surfing with them.
  • The lessons are also great for children learning to surf.

Ala Moana Surf Lessons with Surf HNL 

Learn to surf with one of the best schools in Oahu, Surf HNL, which offers small-group and private lessons with professional surfers at Ala Moana Beach near Waikiki. The school has operated for over two decades, and their certified instructors build on your skills and improve your form and technique during the hands-on lessons. 

Their lessons last 1-2 hours and keep students at a 4:1 ratio with the instructor for maximum attention to each person. During the session, you’ll learn the proper spot to lay on the board, paddle efficiently, and duck under the waves. After getting familiar with the sport, you’ll paddle out to the gentle rolling waves of Ala Moana Beach with the instructor beside you, pushing you into the waves and offering tips on standing up, falling and steering on the wave.

In addition, the instructors keep the lesson engaging by narrating the history of surfing and its roots in Oahu. Near the end of the lesson, you’ll ride your first few waves standing without any help and truly appreciate this terrific sport. 

We’ve always appreciated Surf HNL’s focus on cementing surfing skills among beginners, as they have the best surfing lesson in Oahu.

  • Your time in the water will reveal fantastic views of the Diamond Head volcano close by.
  • They offer private lessons for younger children wanting to learn surfing. 
  • Their instructors are trained lifeguards, so you’ll learn from the safest hands.

North Shore Surf Lessons with Sunset Suzy’s Surf School 

Head to Haleiwa in North Oahu for surfing lessons on uncrowded beaches with Sunset Suzy’s surf school, run by the North shore’s only female lifeguard. The school offers lessons for all ages (3 and up) and skill levels in their semi-private, private and group surf lessons. 

Suzy’s family-friendly lessons include a safety briefing and on-land instruction on surfing essentials. Next, students will hit the beach’s calm waves and practice paddling out, popping up and riding the waves smoothly with help from their instructors. 

The best part is that you’ll have some furry friends accompanying you on land, Kaya and Coco, the instructor’s dogs, and spot Hawaii’s native marine life while in the water, like green sea turtles common to the area. 

My boyfriend and I love the laid-back North shore and Sunset Suzy’s incredible school, which delivers some of the best surfing lessons on Oahu. Here’s why you’ll agree:

  • Their 2-hour surf lessons are designed for beginners to ace the techniques with just one session.
  • Their private lessons are customized to each student’s skill, providing individual attention.
  • The school also offers surf camps, including safaris, hikes, snorkeling and island tours. 

Family Surfing Lessons in Waikiki with Ohana Surf Project

Enjoy learning to surf without being stuck in a group with strangers from the Ohana Surf Project’s family surfing lessons. You can prearrange the lesson according to your family’s size and skill levels with the school and engage in a great class tailored to the whole family’s skill level. 

The 2-hour classes are held on Waikiki beach, where instructors deliver a hands-on demonstration on land on how to stand up, pop up and paddle your board properly. Afterward, you’ll take boards out to the waves and test your newfound skills on the warm tropical waters of Waikiki. 

Families can also lounge in the Ohana Surf Project’s tents after their lesson and enjoy watching the incredible waves they’ve just conquered. 

My boyfriend and I have taken these lessons with our family, and they’re a great bonding activity and of course, some of the best surf lessons in Oahu.

  • You’ll get hotel transportation and high-quality surfing equipment for the lesson.
  • Students can buy pictures and videos of their lessons from the school’s professional cameramen.
  • You can choose between multiple premade family surfing packages according to your group. 


Where can I learn surfing in Oahu?

The best place to learn surfing in Oahu is Waikiki beach, which has gentle rolling waves, ideal for riding your first wave. Plus, there are many great surf schools on the beach offering professional surfing lessons for people of all skill levels, such as the Hans Hedemann school, the Ohana Surf Project, and Big Wave Dave. 

Where is the best place to learn surfing in Hawaii?

Beginner beaches with calm waves are abundant in Hawaii, which is also ideal for learning surfing. For example, Waikiki beach in Oahu, Kahalu’u Beach in Kailua-Kona, and the South and West shore beaches in Maui are the best places to learn surfing in Hawaii.

Which side of Oahu has the best surfing?

Oahu’s North shore has the best surfing on the island, as its towering waves are ideal for experienced surfers during the winters, and small and gentler summer waves are perfect for beginners.

What makes surf lessons in Waikiki unique for beginner surfers?

Waikiki surf lessons are perfect for beginner surfers due to the gentle, rolling waves and availability of professional instructors. Thanks to numerous surf schools in Waikiki, students can find a variety of group lessons or private lesson options tailored to their skill levels and needs.

How does a semi-private surf lesson differ from other Oahu surfing lessons?

A semi-private surf lesson typically involves two students paired with one instructor, which ensures personalized attention while experiencing Oahu surf lessons. This format balances individual guidance with the camaraderie of learning alongside another student.

Winding Up The Best Surfing in Oahu

If you’ve made it this far in the article, you’ll know that Oahu offers the best surfing lessons in Hawaii, which are tailored to the students’ skills and experience. So much fun awaits you on terrific surfing beaches in Waikiki, Ala Moana, and the North shore, whose calm waves make the ideal setting for learning this sport. 

Want to take private surfing lessons in Oahu? Try lessons with the Ohana Surf Project and Kahu Surf School. 

Looking for surfing lessons on the North shore of Oahu? Go for Sunset Suzy’s and the Hans Hedermann surf schools. 

Need a family-friendly surf lesson or one for the kids? Take the Ohana Surf Project and Surf HNL classes. 

The best surf lessons in Oahu have something for everyone!

Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Brigitte