Located just south of Lahaina on Maui, Launiupoko is the perfect spot for beginning surfers. It generally has long, rolling waves that are easy to catch and not overwhelming in size. It is also reef protected, which means you have to be a little careful of not cutting yourself on the sharp rocks, but the reef also shields the biggest, scariest waves.
Because of Launiupoko’s location on Maui, it is protected from the big winter swells and sucks in the southern swells, making for those perfect, low, baby beginner waves to learn on. You will also find everyone from Grandma to pro-surfers like Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama giving lessons to surf-impaired friends here, so you don’t have to be worried about locals wishing you would just go away. Launiupoko has the true fun, friendly, aloha spirit, making it all the better a place to learn.
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Make sure you bring a snorkel and mask, because if the waves are too flat to surf (which can happen sometimes in the summer), it is a great snorkel spot. The park also offers great amenities (childrens’ wading pool, restrooms, showers, shady picnic tables and grills). Plus, with the amazing views of Lanai and Kahoolawe (the uninhabited island that serves as a bird sanctuary), you can’t even get mad if you spend your day mostly NOT catching waves or falling off your surf board.
Goofy Foot Surf School in Lahaina can set you up with a great beginner long board and give you some tips before you set out (they also offer lessons if you want to learn from a pro).
Goofy Foot Rental Prices:
2 hours @ $20
3 hours @ $25
1 day @ $30
1 week @ $100