About Us

Why we love what we do

“Anyone can learn to surf, and Maui is the best classroom on earth”

Maui surf academy

Maui Surf Academy is Maui’s premier surf school. Providing personalized, private instruction, no matter what your surfing experience may be.

Regardless of what your age is, we teach families, kids, teens, singles, couples, and everyone in between!

Maui provides an abundance of pristine beaches that always have a variety of waves breaking on them. Whether a beginner, intermediate or advanced surfer, Maui has a wave for you and we’ll show you how to surf it!

If you find yourself on Maui it’s important to enjoy the traditional past time of Hawai’i, wave riding! It’s an experience the whole family can enjoy. One of our knowledgeable instructors will make sure we have you up and be riding in your first lesson. Our instructors will also educate you on some great facts about safety in the water, the environment, and most important of all how to actually surf.

Life doesn’t move in a straight line
and neither do waves

Maui Surf Academy isn’t here to just push you straight into waves like most surf schools. Our goal is to not only have you up and riding but also have a solid foundation of what surfing actually is. This is what separates Maui Surf Academy from most “cattle call” surf schools on Maui.

We take our students to more secluded surf spots to avoid the crowds and provide hands-on instruction. That way when the lesson is over not only are you stoked from all the waves you caught, but you understand how you did it!

The truth is once you’ve got the surf stoke it can become a lifetime addiction, and we want to make sure you have a solid foundation to build on for your new found love.

and operator

John Wheeler

John has spent the last 10 years teaching for other schools here on Maui, and on the mainland. This has allowed him to learn a lot of valuable lessons on what works and what doesn’t, especially here on Maui.

He saw most surf instructors throw some reef boots on people, push them straight, and tell them to stand up. Without much instruction on technique, how to read waves, and more importantly learning about their surroundings.

This is why he decided to go off and start his own school. He wanted to see people actually learn how to surf by encompassing the values that were taught to him over the years. Respecting the environment, respecting others in the water, and respecting the ocean itself.

we surf

Surf spots on Maui boasts some of the best waves on earth when the conditions are right, and some of those waves happen to be perfect if you’re just learning how to surf!
Rolling in perfectly over the reef this wave Is also referred to as “Thousand Peaks,” because on certain days it looks like there is an endless amount of “peaks,” or waves breaking on the reef.

Beach Park

Located on the west side of Maui half-way to Lahaina, away from the crowds. Ukumehame is one of the most pristine spots on Maui. Long white sand beaches with views of Kaho’olawe, Lana’i, Moloka’i, and if it’s clear enough you can even see the Big Island! It also has one of the best beginner waves on Maui.

Beach Park

Located just before Lahaina town on Maui’s westside. The wave at Puamana, also known as “Guardrails,” is our back up location if Ukumehame is too windy. “Guardrailsis a beautiful right-hand break that is ideal for beginners.

Reasons to
surf with us

It's all about location

Step off the beaten path and away from the cookie cutter surf schools. We teach our private lessons at surf spots that will keep you away from the crowds and provide the perfect waves for learning to surf!

Private Instruction

Whether you’re by yourself or in a large group you’ll only be surfing with YOUR party. Never put in a group with others. This way you feel comfortable, and receive the best instruction for you and your groups level of surfing.

Free photos for all!

Your private lesson also comes with a complete GoPro photo package. Rather than pay extra for a photographer, you’ll get a full photo album of all the lessons action.

Amenities Provided

Your private lesson comes with a full list of amenities. We provide cold bottled water, snacks, a shower to rinse the sand off, reef safe sunscreen (which we will provide for you to use prior to the lesson and we also have individual ones for sale), and a cold towel to wash off the sunscreen after your lesson!

Experience and Saftey

All of our instructors are CPR and Lifeguard certified. They also have years of surf instruction experience and decades of experience chasing surf all over the world! This way your private lesson will be safe, you’ll ACTUALLY learn how to surf, and you’ll leave feeling stoked!

What Our Surf students
are saying

“After 15 years on Maui, I decided to take up surfing at 48. John’s patient guidance and encouragement was the key to making it happen!! Thanks man!!”

Michelle Hargrove

Haiku, Maui

“Within moments of practicing, I was able to surf, maybe not like a professional, but for once I was able to feel the excitement of standing up on a surfboard wave after wave...” read full review

Lauren Groeper


“John took me out on a couple private lessons and had me popping up on some waves immediately. He was patient with my sisters (who joined on one of the lessons) and got them all standing in the 2-hour lesson, and genuinely enthusiastic and friendly...” read full review

Nicolas Carera

San Francisco

“Excellent communication regarding lesson prior to meeting. Detailed instruction. A fun and enjoyable experience. A MUST for anyone wanting beginning surf lessons, or even those wanting to work on intermediate or advanced skills. ? ?... read full review

Dr. Lisa Anderson


Learn to Surf in Maui

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