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HLSI TOP 12 Common Q & A


What are the minimum requirements to surf ?

Surfing/ SUP is a physical sport. All students must be able to swim comfortably in 6 feet of water. Children under 50 lbs can use a life-jacket during a tandem lesson. Persons with any previous major surgeries, injuries, ailments, health or mental disabilities must disclose those conditions at time of booking and shall be required to upgrade to private instruction for adequate ocean safety.

Be prepared for a fun filled physical activity in the ocean.

*Due to the high risk factors of falling and possible hazards within the surf zone, we are not able to accommodate pregnant persons for surf school.

How big are class sizes?

The max class size allowed is 8 students per class time with a max of 4 students per instructor. For larger groups private back to back classes may be reserved to accommodate all surfers for the day.

(per Hawaii State Law for Kahalu'u Bay)

Can HLSI provide surfer transportation?

No. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the classroom and beach park. UBER is available in our area if needed. Public parking is free both at HLSI HQ for check in and at the beach park. HLSI transports all surfing equipment for our students but to keep costs as low as possible for our classes we do not shuttle surfers back and forth.

When is the best time to surf?

Typically mornings are ideal for any ocean activity on the islands. Light winds tend to pick up in the afternoons making for choppy water conditions. We recommend earlier the better. Feel free to call our office for the current surf/ weather report.

We have gathered the top 10 commonly asked questions from our students over these many years to help our future students make the reservation process as clear and easy as possible. If you were unable to get answers to all of your questions here feel free to contact us at HLSI so we may assist you.




What do I need to bring with me for my lesson?

Towels and (reef safe) sunscreen.  Everything else is provided for your lesson. Surfboard, leash, water shirt and shoes, lifeguard surf coach are all included for our students. 




What should I wear for my lesson?

A fitted bathing suite/ swim shorts is recommended.  Rash guard tops and water shoe rentals are provided by HLSI to all students. Students are welcome to wear their own personal gear but HLSI will supply rentals to students free of change. 



Frequently Asked Questions




What age can my child start surfing?

HLSI surfs as young as 3 years old.  Typically children under 50 lbs ride on a board with a lifeguard and may use a life jacket if needed. Children over 50 lbs will be surfing on their very own board side by side with a lifeguard as a private child lesson if under 11 years old.


Can my family & Friends watch me surf?

Yes. Spectators can enjoy the view at Kahalu'u Beach. Students surf about 60 yards off shore, and their is a great snorkeling and swimming zone at the same bay. Picnicking grounds, snorkel rentals, showers and food vendors are all amenities at Kahalu'u Beach.

When should I reserve my lesson or tour?

Reservations are required at least 1 day in advance.
Booking earlier insures the date and time you want wont be sold out. We do recommend booking your lesson toward the beginning of your trip, this way you are able to join us for more lessons or if by chance the surf or weather goes bad you can try again for a better day before you leave the island.

What happens if there is bad weather or bad waves?

HLSI monitors the weather and water daily. If you lesson is scheduled on a ruff day or storming weather occurs you will be contacted by a lifeguard to reschedule. If the waves are very small we will provide students with Stand Up Paddle boards to catch as many waves as possible and still enjoy the water!

*If lessons are cancelled by HLSI and you are unable to reschedule there is no charge to you.

Do students get to keep the board after lesson is through with lifeguard?

No. HLSI does not allow surfboard rentals. Due to safety, lifeguards do not recommend beginners surfing alone.  Daily rescues and injuries occur from novice rentals "trying their luck" at our reef breaks and lava rock coastlines.
No sandy shore lines here in Kona. Stay safe and surf with a Hawaiian lifeguard.

What type of surfboards do HLSI students ride?

HLSI provides foam-core long boards for surfing lessons. The length of board depends on height and weight or the surfers skill level. Foam-core boards are great for beginners to balance, easier and faster to paddle and provide the best experience for overall safety.

**Private Students wanting to surf on a hardboard must provide their own board. 

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