FAQ

LOCATION & HOURS

Where are you located?
We are conveniently located in the heart of Waikiki at 205 Lewers Street, Honolulu, HI 96815.

What are your hours? Aren't you in a different time zone?
Our shop is open from 8am to 4pm HAST (Hawaiian-Aleutian Standard Time), 7 days a week.

LESSONS & SURF TOURS

For even more specific tips and guidelines, please visit our Surf Lessons, SUP Lessons, Sunset Surf Package, or Surf Tours pages.

Why should I surf with Ty Gurney Surf School?
Here are just a few ways we stand out from the rest:
  • REAL WAVES – AND MORE OF THEM! We’ll take you to the real lineup where the best and longest waves happen. (Some surf schools keep students on the inside, which typically means shorter waves and shallow, more hazardous conditions.) And with our low student-to-teacher ratios, we guarantee you’ll catch more waves with us! Plus, we tow every lesson out to the lineup, and will tow you back into position after every wave! For you, this means less time paddling, less fatigue, and more time riding real waves. (Experienced or want to try paddling yourself? Of course!)
  • REAL SURF INSTRUCTION. Ty Gurney Surf School has the lowest student-to-teacher ratios anywhere in Waikiki. We book no more than 2 students per instructor to ensure that every minute of your time with us is spent riding waves and learning to surf. You’ll have an unforgettably fun time while gaining new surf skills and greater ocean awareness. We put safety first without sacrificing fun! All instructors maintain current CPR, Ocean Lifeguard, and First Aid Certifications. Our team’s experience and expertise as both individual surfers and professional surf instructors ensures that you’ll be surfing and learning with the best.
  • REAL SURF SHOP. We’re proud of our shop! Having a physical location allows us to make a Ty Gurney Surf School lesson into a more convenient and fun experience for you. We’re a 30 second walk to the beach where you’ll be surfing. You’ll meet here for your lesson, store your belongings while you’re in the water, and you’ll be able to grab a drink, dry off, and change afterwards.

I'm not a strong swimmer, and/or not in very good shape. Can I still take a lesson?
Regardless of your fitness level, we can get you up and riding. Unlike most other surf schools, we help paddle you out to to the lineup, and will paddle you back out after every wave! This ensures that you focus on surfing and actually riding the wave – which any surfer will tell you is the best part!

You don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to surf, but you should be able to comfortably tread water to take a surf lesson. Basic swimming skills and being comfortable in the water are recommended anytime you’re entering the ocean.


How do I book a lesson or surf tour?
Visit Book Now to find and book the right activity for you. Please note that we do not offer same day online bookings. Please call us at (808) 271-9557 to book a lesson today.

Not sure or want to talk to us about your options? Contact us with a phone call or email. Or if you’re on Oahu, stop by our shop – we’ll answer any questions you have and help you book directly.


What days and times do lessons run?
Lessons run 7 days a week. Our start times will vary depending on the lesson type and season. Please visit Book Now and select your lesson type to check current availability. We may be able to accommodate special lesson time requests with advanced notice; please contact us to inquire.

Do I have to book a lesson or surf tour in advance? How far in advance should I book?
Online bookings must be made at least 3 days in advance. To book a lesson or surf tour within the next 3 days, please call us at (808) 271-9557. Our schedule fills up quickly, and booking in advance ensures that you are surfing on the day(s) and time(s) that you want to be surfing!

Is there an age limit for booking a lesson or surf tour?
Our lessons are designed for all ages and abilities. For safety and insurance purposes, children age 14 and under must take a private lesson (1 student per 1 instructor). Depending on your child’s comfort level, we may take him or her tandem surfing, where your child will be riding waves on the same surfboard as his or her instructor. Children ages 14 or younger must be accompanied by an adult on any surf tour.

I’m with a group and we’d like to all surf together. How many students can take a lesson at the same time?
There’s nothing better than surfing with family, friends, and colleagues! Because Ty Gurney Surf School emphasizes personalized, individual surf instruction, we do not book more than 2 students per 1 instructor. To get your group surfing together at the same time, you may book multiple private or semi-private lessons. For example: Your party of 4 may book 4 private lessons at 9am, or your party of 4 may book 2 semi-private lessons at 9am. If you have a large group, please contact us to discuss the best options for you.

Do you offer gift cards?
Buy A Gift CardYes! You can purchase a gift card in a dollar amount, or choose to gift an entire lesson. Gift cards are sent via email to the recipient of your choice. Please note that gift cards may only be redeemed online.

Ready to surf with us?
BOOK NOW

WEATHER & WATER CONDITIONS

What will the surf conditions be like?
Surf conditions vary based on a number of factors – swell direction, wind, tide, and many more. We do most of our lessons at Pops, one of the top breaks on Oahu’s south shore that consistently has waves year round for all surfing levels, and is especially ideal for beginners, with some of the longest waves anywhere on the island. For surf tours, our instructors use their expert local knowledge of the entire island of Oahu to take you surfing at the best waves during your tour. You can check Oahu surf forecasts at these sites:

South Shore: Surfline South Shore Surf Forecast, SwellInfo South Shore Surf Forecast

North Shore: Surfline North Shore Surf Forecast, SwellInfo North Shore Surf Forecast


How warm is the water?
We are lucky to be a warm water environment! Average ocean temperatures here in Hawaii do not vary much from season to season. Expect an average water temperature of 77° to 78° F (25° to 26° C) year round.

What if it's raining or the weather's bad? Will my lesson or surf tour ever be cancelled because of rain or bad weather?
We consistently monitor weather and ocean conditions, and we do not cancel lessons for rain or mildly inclement weather. Lessons and surf tours are hardly ever cancelled due to weather.

PAYMENT

What forms of payment do you accept? Can I room charge my lesson?
Ty Gurney Surf School accepts all major credit cards when booking lessons online, over the phone, or at the shop. Cash and/or checks may be used when booking over the phone or at the shop. We are also able to room charge your lesson if you are a guest of the Halekulani, the Modern Honolulu, or Trump Waikiki hotel.

Do I have to pay in advance?
All online bookings for lessons require advance payment, which you’ll be able to pay with a credit card to complete your online booking.

Surf tours booked online do not require advance payment. When booking a surf tour online, we will review your booking and contact you within 24 hours to confirm your date and time. Payment for surf tours is made upon completion of your tour.


What are your deposit and refund policies?
We do not require a deposit and we offer a full refund for lessons or surf tours cancelled with at least 24 hours advance notice.

RESCHEDULING, CANCELLATIONS, & REFUNDS

I need to reschedule my lesson or surf tour. How do I do it?
Please contact us at least 24 hours in advance if you need to reschedule your lesson or surf tour. There is no charge or “change fee” to reschedule your lesson as long as your rescheduling is done with at least 24 hours advance notice.

How do I cancel my lesson or surf tour? Will I receive a full refund if I cancel?
You may cancel your lesson or surf tour up to 24 hours in advance of your scheduled date/time in order to receive a full refund. Refunds will not be given and you will be charged in full if you cancel with less than 24 hours before your scheduled lesson or surf tour.

Will Ty Gurney Surf School ever cancel my lesson or surf tour?
We almost never need to cancel a lesson or surf tour. Cancellations may be required only in the most exceptional cases due to factors beyond our control (weather events, lack of waves – which thankfully, are very, very rare!).

VIDEO & PHOTO

How do video and photos work - what will I get?
Ty Gurney Surf School is one of the only surf schools that offers video and photo services with our lessons. We work exclusively with 83 East, a full-service video production company specializing in shooting from the water and delivering top quality, professionally edited footage. Please visit Video & Photo for complete details and information on video and photo services.
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