Every mainlander headed to Hawaii dreams of catching the perfect wave and hanging 10 in the legendary surf of the islands. But where is the best place to take your surfing dreams from fantasy to reality? Walk anywhere on the beaches of Waikiki and you can find a place willing to rent you a board and send you out to sea, but if you want extra special treatment-especially if you are looking for surf lessons for a kid-you’ll want to head out to the North Shore. The North Shore of Oahu is known for its big surf and big surfers, but there is more to the North Shore than just gnarly waves. The pace at the North Shore is free and funky, and matches the vibe of the typical surfer dude. It’s the perfect place to get the best lessons, conquer the waves, and head back to the mainland feeling like you have conquered the sea.
If you are looking for lessons on the North Shore, particularly lessons for kids or for the family, you will find the best experience Hans Hedemanns Surf School at Turtle Bay.
- Kids under 14 are offered a private lesson with a dedicated instructor. Let me tell you these instructors work hard to be sure the kids have a great first surfing experience and that they are having fun. The instructors do a great deal of the paddling and positioning for the kids, so that they can focus on having a great time.
- Lessons take place just steps away from the main hotel and right next to the pool. You can enjoy all the conveniences of the hotel, like a place to change and shower, and easily fit a super surfing lesson into your vacation.
- Lessons in the Bay mean you have a front row seat to the action. Parents and other observers can be right next to the action with by sitting in the curve of the bay above where the waves break. The first time your kid catches a wave, you won’t want to miss the smile on their face and they can easily look up and see and hear the applause from their biggest fans.
- They provide everything you need, and then some. Just show up with a swimming suit and you will leave a surfer. The surf shop will provide you with rash guards, boards, sunscreen, and any other needed supplies. They go the extra mile and offer a professional photographer to capture your surfing adventure and give each kid a Hans Hedemann T-shirt at the end of their lesson. My son is still wearing his T-shirt as a badge of honor.
- You will get top notch instructors whose enthusiasm is catching. Not only are the instructors experts, but they are excited about what they do and their passion is contagious. The lessons begin with instruction on land where the technique and skills are taught. Not only do they explain thoroughly and clearly, but it is clear from their attitudes that they expect every student to succeed. Once you hit the water, the instructor’s positive encouragement is all you need to catch that first wave and become a surfer.
~Turtle Bay Resort provided complimentary lessons during our visit. They did not require that I express any particular viewpoint and all opinions are my own.~