I’m at the new Aulani resort on Oahu this week with travel writers from around the country checking out Disney’s latest family vacation hotspot.
Stay tuned for a full report on the blog … In the meantime, I’ll share a few photo-friendly moments from our surf lesson with Hawaiian Fire, a local Honolulu-based surf school run by area firefighters for Photo Friday.
Guests of Aulani Resort and Spa can book off-property activities with Adventures by Disney, who in turn partners with high-quality local guides and service providers to offer activities and excursions.
“Hey, I’m surfing!”
Hawaiian Fire Surf Lessons
Our surf lessons were with real firefighters. Yes, I said firefighters and yes, they looked like all the women in the group had secretly hoped they would. And no, they don’t have a calendar (I asked).
But this was no macho beefcake surf school. I am a “seasoned” surf lesson tourist after taking lessons in Maui two years ago. The location at Kalaeloa Beach — just 15 minutes from Aulani — is gorgeous and not crowded. We only saw two or three other surfers over the course of our lesson.
The surf lesson is very well-organized and begins with a safety talk followed by dry land instruction.
Practicing on the sand before heading out to the waves
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After they led us through a safety talk (much of it aimed at teaching us how not to injure ourselves or our fellow surfers as most beginner surfer injuries are a result of collisions with other beginner surfers), we practiced on the sand before heading out into the ocean.
Safety is a priority here and Hawaiian Fire uses foam and rubber boards that minimize impact in case you or your board end up in an unplanned location.
There were twelve people in our surf lesson with five instructors in the water. The day of our lesson was windy with a nice sized shore break. They helped each person get past the break and then we paddled to an instructor who was treading water.
The instructor held onto our board, waited for a good wave, gave us a big shove and told us to “paddle.” We did this many times and the paddling was really tiring. We only spent 35-40 minutes in the water, but most of us were exhausted and exhilarated when we finished.
It’s really exciting to get up on the board and to see your classmates do the same!
Ameila from TheKnot.com learns the right way to fall
If you go:
The minimum age is 5 years old and all kids 5-10 have a private instructor. Pricing for adults for the three-hour program which includes all equipment needed, water, snacks and transportation is $154 for adults and kids 5-10 are $184. If you are not staying at Aulani, you can reserve directly with Hawaiian Fire.
Disney paid for our surf lessons as part of the press discovery trip at Aulani. They didn’t ask us to express any particular point of view.