Top 5 Best Surf Camps in Hawaii for Relaxation and Adventure

Last Updated August 5, 2022

No other place comes close to Hawaii when it comes to learning how to surf. After all, it’s the place where this water sport was invented. 

There are tons of surfing schools that offer surf camps scattered all over this famous beach spot. In these places, you can have the opportunity to meet like-minded surfers, book private lessons with your friends and family, and immerse yourself in its surf towns’ culture.

Joining a surf camp is also a great way to build a strong surfing foundation. As well as go for hassle-free adventures in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. 

This post contains everything you need to know about the best surf camps in Hawaii, including the things you need to consider before booking their packages. 


Here’s why you should book a surf camp in Hawaii…

There are so many things to do in Hawaii. There’s snorkeling, sightseeing, yoga retreats, exploring the local cuisine —  the list just goes on! And the easiest way to explore all that while enjoying surfing is to go on multi-day immersions that only surf camps can provide. 

With the volcanic islands influencing wind directions, Hawaii has consistent swells all year round. You’ll also find here some of the biggest wave spots in the world, such as the Banzai Pipeline in Waimea Bay. 

The primary surfing spots of Hawaii are Oahu, Maui, and Kauai. Although surf competitions are held in these locations, the waves here aren’t just for professionals and advanced surfers. There are also beach spots in this area that are suitable for beginners and those who are looking to progress their skills to intermediate levels. 

Surf camps in Hawaii specialize in creating tailored packages according to your skill level, needs, and preferences. They also offer packages with reasonable costs from affordable to luxury experiences. These include full-board meals consisting of local cuisine, transportation with transfers, and community immersion wherein you discover more about the Hawaiian culture. 

In surf camps, learning surfing is also more structured. The activities and lessons are organized by the hour, leaving you with lots of downtime to explore Hawaii by yourself or relax and enjoy the island’s beaches.

Last but not least, booking a reservation during surfing’s peak season will allow you to see pro surfers. Every winter, different surf events and competitions are held in Hawaii; however, this may also mean crowdier beach areas. 


Top 5 Best Surf Camps in Hawaii

Experience all-inclusive surfing packages in the following surf camps listed below:

  1. Kauai Surf School
  2. North Shore Surf Girls
  3. Go Nuts Hawaii
  4. Pata Sudaka Surf Trips
  5. Maui Sports Adventure

Kauai

Booking surf lessons in Kauai is the best option if you’re into dramatic and lush landscapes. Known as the second oldest among the main islands of Hawaii, this island is a tropical destination filled with tropical rainforests and breathtaking mountain ranges. It’s perfect for people looking for surf camps that offer both adventure and relaxation.

#1:  Kauai Surf School

Image from kauaisurfschool.com
  • Prices: $400 a day for 1 person; $275 a day for 2 persons; $225 a day for 3 to 4 persons; $200 a day for 5 to 8 persons
  • Location: Poipu Beach, Kauai (Outrigger Kahuna Plantation)
  • Skill level required: Beginner to Advanced 
  • Website: www.kauaisurfschool.com

You only learn from the best with Kauai Surf School. For over 20 years, they’ve been teaching surfing to students from different parts of the world. 

This surf camp believes that the key to growth in surfing is by building a strong foundation. For that reason, their instructors consist of Billabong team riders who spend days teaching their students about water safety and different surfing techniques. 

Kauai Surf School’s programs and lessons give chance to explore the beauty of the ‘garden island’. Some days in the surf camp consist of learning surfing, while others are for snorkeling, hiking, and immersing in local communities. 

There are five different surf camp programs available here. Each varies depending on how many you are in your group and whether you want private or shared surf lessons.

First, there’s the No Ka Oi Private Surf Camp that offers more privacy than the others. With this one, no other surfers can join your group. This private camp contains customized built-in programs with unlimited coaching for a day (minimum booking of six days). Gourmet meals from breakfasts to lunch are also offered, including transportation needs like tours and airport transfers. 

Next is the Learn with a Pro, a shared surf camp that can accommodate 8 to 12 surfers in a group. Although it’s more fun, there’s only a little room for surf training and improvement with this because of the instructor-student ratio. 

On the other hand, The Wahine Camp is an all-girls private surf group. With this one, the ladies can also enjoy Pilates, Zumba sessions, and massages. 

The Ohana surf camp is for families looking for a more private option to spend time together. This surf camp is not joined by other groups.

Lastly, we have the Surf Escort surf camp for intermediate to advanced riders. This one offers a whole day of training in any of the best surfing spots in Kauai. 


Oahu

If you’re into monstrous waves and you don’t mind sharing the surf breaks with territorial locals, then check out these surf camps. 

#2: North Shore Surf Girls

Image from www.facebook.com/NorthShoreSurfGirls
  • Price: ~$150 a day for 1 person
  • Location: Puaena Point or Chun’s Reef
  • Skill level required: Beginner to Advanced
  • Website: www.northshoresurfgirls.com

A common misconception about Oahu, a surfing hotspot popular for its big wave seasons, is that it’s only for the most professional and daredevil surfers. But in other parts of this island, there are also small waves suitable for beginner surfers looking to learn and improve their skills. 

If you’re looking for a surf camp in The North Shore that specializes in beginner surfing lessons, then the North Shore Surf Girls is the perfect choice for you. Although their name may suggest that they cater exclusively to girls, they also accommodate men, kids, couples, and families. Advanced surfing lessons are also available for intermediate and expert riders.

North Shore Surf Girls was founded by Carol Philips, who wanted to lead a surf camp that provides a fun and interactive experience for people who want to learn surfing. They aim to share the Hawaiian heritage with the world.

The North Shore Surf Girls instructors consist of laidback and professional surfers. Similar to Kauai Surf School, they also focus on building a good surf foundation. They believe that beginner surfers must first learn the basics such as surfing etiquette, surfboard responsibilities, and how to read waves and currents before progressing to higher levels. 

This surf camp is popular for their ‘Sunset BBQ and Surf Lesson’ wherein the students begin their morning with surfing and end their day with an intimate dinner with the group while watching the sunset. The North Shore Surf Girls is the only one in the North Shore that offers this package. 


#3: Go Nuts Hawaii

Image from www.gonuts-hawaii.com
  • Price: $3,495 per person for 7 days/6 nights all-inclusive package
  • Location: North Shore, Oahu
  • Skill level required: Beginner to Advanced
  • Website: www.gonuts-hawaii.com

With its prime location along the V-land in the Oahu coastline, Go Nuts Hawaii is the best surf camp to be if you want to be in constant exposure to the local surf scenes. 

Go Nuts Hawaii is a surfboard and SUP rental store that also offers surf lessons with inclusions of meals, basic accommodation in a shared house, and airport transfers. Their packages vary from two nights to two weeks, depending on your needs. 

At this surf camp, students can take their training in different languages like English, Spanish, and Portuguese. They can also choose whether they want to take surf lessons or practice stand-up paddleboarding for the day. The rental of equipment is free. 

The lessons are available all year round, but they recommend booking for December slots because of The Hawaiian Triple Crown event. Since this surf camp is less than a kilometer away from the surfing hotspots like Sunset Beach, Waimea, and Pipeline, you can expect to see pro surfers during the winter competitions. 


#4: Pata Sudaka Surf Trips

Image from www.patasudakasurftrips.com
  • Price: $2,149 per person for 7 days/6 nights all-inclusive package; $2,649 per person for 10 days/9 nights all-inclusive package
  • Location: Honolulu, Oahu
  • Skill level required: Beginner to Advanced
  • Website: www.patasudakasurftrips.com

A surf camp that’s unlike any other — Pata Sudaka Surf Trips offer more than just surf lessons, they are the summation of how the surfing lifestyle should be. 

This camp is the combination of a surf school and yoga retreat. In Pata Sudaka, you can hone your surfing skills, relax on a hammock, and go for yoga meditation. You also get to stay in a house situated in front of the beach, so you wake up every day with the sun in your eyes and sand on your feet.

This place allows you to explore and experience the real Oahu. Their surf camp package includes traveling and discovering the surf breaks, going on adventures, and meeting people who share the same stoke as you. 

The surf training has four private surfing sessions, a group lesson, surfing theories about water safety, the use of surfing equipment, and photo and video analysis. Meanwhile, the yoga sessions aim to improve flexibility and balance, as well as increase your strength and help you relax after surfing. There are also skateboard sessions available, which further help improve your surfing stance and technique. 

Full-board meals consisting of local cuisine are also included when you book this surf camp. They can accommodate people with special diets like the pescetarians, vegetarians, and those with allergies. To end the amazing surf camp experiences on a good note, Pata Sudaka holds a BBQ farewell party for all their students. 

By supporting local farms and growing their food, Pata Sudaka keeps their surf camp sustainable and eco-friendly. They also help in beach clean-ups, protect marine life by using coral and ocean-safe sunscreen. Really, what more can you ask for?


Maui

Also referred to as the ‘Valley of the Isle’, Maui is one of the most popular surfing destinations in Hawaii because of its waves that can be suitable for beginners. 

#5: Maui Sports Adventure

Image from www.mauisportsadventures.com
  • Price: $2,650 to $3,599 per person for a 7 days/6 nights all-inclusive package 
  • Location: Lahaina, Hawaii
  • Skill level required: Beginner to Advanced
  • Website: www.mauisportsadventures.com

Every surfer dreams of living in a bungalow right in front of the beach. If you’re one of them, joining Maui Sports Adventure’s surf camp will fulfill your dream — for a few days, at least!

Maui Sports Adventure is run by the Scweitzers, a renowned family name in the history of water sports. Matt, an 18-time World Championship Windsurfing titleholder, is one of this surf camp’s instructors. There’s also Matty, a famous photographer and videographer who often gets featured in magazines and international news. 

Along with them are Zane (a.k.a the best waterman in the world), Shelby, and Shawneen. All of them instruct their students through on a one on one coaching to establish the basic surfing foundation. They also teach how to read wave and tide conditions.

This surf camp consists of two programs — Surfer’s Paradise and Waterman SUP and Surf Camp.

The surfer-favorite Waterman SUP and Surf Camp offer tailored lessons according to your skills and riding techniques. Video coaching and analysis are also included, along with some professional edits of you riding the waves that you can post on your social media accounts. with this program, you get to live your dream in an oceanfront condo in Lahaina. 


Things to Consider Before Booking a Surf Camp

Rates

High-end surf camps offering private and all-inclusive packages have higher prices than those that only offer surf lessons. Usually, the surf camp’s staff arranges and takes care of everything you need. Common inclusions are transportation, food, accommodation, and the use of their equipment. 

The location of the surf camp is also a contributing factor. If it’s beachfront and right in the middle of the local surf scenes, then you can expect it to cost more. If you’re on a budget, however, you can choose to stay in hostels or shared rooms. 

Location

Surf camps claiming they have waves suitable for all skill levels are often too good to be true. There are no such things as this in Hawaii. In this surfing destination, the waves are either for beginners or only for advanced riders. There’s no in-between.

Swell consistency

Surf forecasts matter when you’re booking for week-long surf in Hawaii. This is because you want to know the swell and wave conditions in advance so you get the most out of your money and experience. 

Hawaii has pretty consistent waves throughout the year, but its primary season for hardcore surfers is from November to April. During winter, swells are expected to reach 30 feet or more. 

Specializations

Surf camps in Hawaii are diverse, and some of them offer lessons that can be taught in different languages. There are also specialized surf camps for women, which focus more on empowerment, inspiration, and support.


Conclusion

Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a novice rider, enrolling in a surf camp allows you to expand your potential and learn more about surfing. It also exposes you more to the local community by going on adventures and meeting other people. 

If you enjoyed this article, you should also read our post about the best surf camps in Costa Rica!

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