September “Tips From Tats” – Surf’s Up!

Surfing is close to our hearts here in Hawaiʻi. Our very own Duke Kahanamoku exposed it to the world, and is credited with popularizing the sport. People flock to Hawaiʻi from all over the world to catch waves and “hang ten.” We reached out to some of our surf vendor partners to get some tips to make your surfing experience safe and fun!

Finding the Right Surf School
Hawaiian Surfing Adventures Kauaʻi

  • Be sure the surf school chosen offers permitted  instructors with current CPR and water safety certificates. Reputable surf schools are typically respected within the community. They hold themselves accountable not only to the rules that the State and County upholds, but also to community standards. The surf school should offer a range of equipment to choose from that suit your size and your ability.

  • Communicate any prior experience you have had with surfing or somewhat similar sports. This will assist in pairing you with the right instructor.

  • If you are a first time surfer with snow board or wake surf experience, be patient with yourself when learning how to surf! Keep in mind that experience with these sports could help you move forward faster, but without at least one good surf lesson under your belt surfing may not come naturally to you.

Before You Enter the Water
FBI Surf School Kona

  • Donʻt rush out into the water immediately. Always watch the surf for at least 15 minutes because waves come in sets and may appear a lot smaller than it actually is.

  • Watch where the surfers are entering and exiting the water.

  • Check in with the lifeguards about any hazards or concerns as you might be unfamiliar with the surf spot.

Surf HNL Oʻahu

  • When you paddle out, make sure you have a marker on the beach to which you can use as a guide. It may be a tent on the beach or something significant for you to see from the ocean.

  • Never turn your back to the ocean. You may get knocked down by a huge wave.

  • Never go surfing alone. Try to surf with a partner and also surf where there is a Lifeguard on duty.

  • Pay attention to the signs posted by the Lifeguards.

Proper Surfing Etiquette
Hawaiian Style Surf School Maui

  • Surfing right of way: the first standing surfer or the surfer closest to the peak of the break has the right of way on that wave. Anyone else paddling for that wave should stop.

  • Don’t ‘drop in’ on someone. But “dropping in” on a surfer basically means you’re cutting them off while they’re catching a wave.

  • Don’t ditch your board. As a beginner, it may be a little difficult at first to handle your board in the ocean waves. But don’t let go of your surfboard.

  • Respect the beach, the ocean, and fellow surfers.

Mahalo to all of our partners for these great tips! Surf’s up!