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{USA} Surfing with Goofy Foot Surf School in Maui

Here we go!” says Kevin. I felt a push and then “Paddle! Paddle! Now get up when you’re ready!” yells Kevin as I paddle with all my might! I got on both knees and turned my face to look at the wave as it came towards me at full force. Facing forward again, I quickly but steadily put my right foot forward in a lunge position as though I was ready to sprint. I exhaled all the air from my lungs then popped up on both feet as I felt the wave picking up the back of my board.

Claps and shouts of “Woo hoo! You did it!” floated through the air as I suddenly realize I was riding the wave to shore! Kevin (our surf instructor), Jeremy and Stanley (another student in our surfing lesson group) were cheering. Needless to say, I too was rather ecstatic and proud of myself! This was my first try on our first day learning to surf with Goofy Foot Surf School in Lahaina, Maui!

Learning to surf with Goofy Foot Surf School

Ready to hop up on my feet as the waves caught my board. (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)

Riding the wave!

In disbelief that I was actually surfing! (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)


That’s me, celebrating that I was able to stand and surf on my first try! (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)

In 2004, I took a 2-hour surfing lesson in North Shore, Oahu. After the 2-hour lesson, I was not able to stand on my board and surf. Not even once! I was disappointed of course and wondered if I’ll ever be able to surf.

On our recent trip to Maui, Jeremy encouraged me to give it another go. I was skeptical that I’d be able to surf but decided to give it one last shot!

Goofy Foot has a “You will stand and ride a wave in one 2-hour lesson or it’s free!” guarantee. “Hah! They haven’t met me yet!”, I laughed as I joked to Jeremy about how this lesson will be free!

We signed up for the mid-morning group surfing class and was rather delighted to find out that the class consisted of only 3 students to 1 instructor. We were equipped with a rash guard (long-sleeved shirt with SPF protection), shoes and a surfboard. The water shoes are great because as we get closer to shore, the water is rather shallow. The shoes protected us from the rocky sea bottom. The school also provided the services of a professional photographer to capture your experience at $20 per person. We think it is worth the money!

We had Kevin as our instructor. He’s been surfing since he was a kid, is a competitive surfer and now judges at surfing championships. In short, he knows his stuff!  After a quick 20 minute practice on shore, we were ready to hit the waves!

We’re told to wait by the buoys where it was safe from surfer traffic and only paddle over to the instructor when he signals for you. We took turns paddling to the instructor and then surfing. This way we each had 1:1 attention from the instructor. I welcomed the wait because as easy as it looks, it is quite tiring! It is also great to be able to cheer for your classmates! All in all, we probably had about 8 rounds each!

Jeremy, who’s a snowboarder, was of course a natural at this. I’ve not yet seen him be “bad” at any new sport we learn! Is he really that good at everything or just lucky? He thinks it’s the former!

Jeremy, riding the wave

Jeremy’s a natural at surfing! (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)

Jeremy, riding the wave

Snowboarding skills definitely helped here! (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)


“You are guaranteed to stand up in the 2-hour lesson or your lesson is free!” guarantee makes it worth a go! (Photo Credit: Derek B. Photography)


Jeremy, riding the wave all the way till the end. I’m impressed at how he’s still able to stand on his board even though the waves have died down!

We had an absolute blast learning how to surf with Kevin. He was patient, encouraging, provided good feedback and was always looking out for our safety. I was surprised at how “easy” it was to surf (I was able to stand EVERY time I went out on the waves during the lesson) compared to my experience in 2004! I built up so much confidence that I even had Kevin teach me how to turn as I was riding the wave.

Nature: 1. Shirlene: 1. Now, we’re even!

Goofy Foot

Goofy Foot Surf School

Goofy Foot

Learn to surf with Goofy Foot Surf School!

If you’re looking to learn how to surf in Maui, we highly recommend Goofy Foot Surf School. Check them out and take on their “you’ll surf or it’s free” challenge!


Disclosure: We were provided with a discounted group lesson rate. As always, all opinions are entirely our own.

For more articles related to water, check out Magnificient Monday!



  1. Goofy Foot Surf School is great for learning how to surf while you’re in Maui.
  2. They guarantee that you’ll be able to stand and surf in their 2 hour lesson or your lesson is free.
  3. I was able to stand on my board and surf on my first try!
  4. I was also able to stand and surf every time I went out on the water during the lesson!
  5. Jeremy had the chance to surf larger waves as he was a natural at it!
  6. They’ll provide you with a rash guard, pair of water shoes and a surfboard.
  7. They’ll remind you to bring a towel, sunscreen and wear your bathing suit. For women, I recommend wearing bike shorts or some form of shorts that can protect your inner thighs from the surfboard. You’ll need to straddle the board as you wait for your turn on the waves.
  8. Goofy Foot is on 505 Front Street, #123, Lahaina 96761-1188.
  9. We had a group lesson where there were only 3 students to 1 instructor.
  10. Our instructor, Kevin, was patient, encouraging and professional. He’s a competitive surfer and judges at surfing championships. In short, he knows his stuff!
  11. You have the option of paying $20/person for the services of a professional photographer who will capture about 15 – 20 pictures of your surfing experience.
  12. After surfing, you can drive/walk down the street where there are a lot of stores for buying souvenirs, art galleries and places to eat.
  13. Remember to put on a LOT of sunscreen. Don’t forget to cover your ears, back of your neck, back of your legs and behind your knees!

Did you try surfing before? Were you able to stand and surf during your first lesson?

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  1. Li Huey December 6, 2011 Reply

    when la i can get da chance to try surfing~~

  2. Rachel November 14, 2011 Reply

    I am so nervous about being in open water but you make it look like so much fun! I think this is going on my list of scary things I should do anyway. Also, the photo service seems so reasonably priced!

    • Author
      Idelish (Jeremy & Shirlene)
      November 15, 2011 Reply

      You should always try everything at least once :) I guarantee you the exhilaration of your first surf will help you overcome any fear you have! The good thing is, the location at which we learnt to surf is pretty protected/close to the shore, so you are not in any danger of floating out to sea or anything. The photo service also is reasonable – we agree. The quality of the photos are also great, so we’d highly recommend getting the photo service :)
      Idelish (Jeremy & Shirlene) recently posted..{USA} Malasadas, a Must Eat in Honolulu, Oahu. My Profile

  3. NLM
    October 26, 2011 Reply

    OK, I’m sold–I will definitely try this–hope they have an AARP discount! Seriously, way to go!
    NLM recently posted..Read Around the WorldMy Profile

  4. Aussie on the Road
    October 20, 2011 Reply

    I clearly need to take my surf lessons there. I had over two hours here in Sydney (Dee Why specifically) and I had no real joy. Almost standing doesn’t count, right? :-p

    Looks like a lot of fun!
    Aussie on the Road recently posted..The Adventures of Ford Focus: Tea GardensMy Profile

  5. Jeremy Branham
    October 19, 2011 Reply

    I can’t snowboard, ski, or surf but I love Lahaina! I would be in so much trouble if I tried this but looks like a lot of fun!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Where in the world am I going?My Profile

  6. Jim
    October 19, 2011 Reply

    Love surfing. It’s great fun. But watch out for that sunburn. One thing I could never get the hang of was standing up- poor sense of balance I suppose. You guys do so well at it.
    Jim recently posted..YouTube Tuesday: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu.My Profile

  7. Gladys |
    October 19, 2011 Reply

    super great surfing photos! weeee!
    Gladys recently posted..Goodbye, Sisiman LighthouseMy Profile

  8. jade
    October 18, 2011 Reply

    Fun! I love surfing- would really love to make it to Maui and surf those waves!
    jade recently posted..#SunsetSunday: The Evolution of a Big Sur SunsetMy Profile

  9. jenjenk
    October 18, 2011 Reply

    funny!! i think my first time I went surfing it was with goofy!! i totally sucked it, though!!! you looked like a total pro! 😉
    jenjenk recently posted..Nashville, TN: Not Just a Country Capital, but a Creative Cocktail SceneMy Profile

  10. Christopher October 18, 2011 Reply

    That looks like so much fun, but I’m sure I’d spend more time choking under the water than posing on the board. :)
    Christopher recently posted..A Year in Signs 2011My Profile

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