FAQ’s

What ages do you teach?

We have taught thousands of people to surf, from ages 5 to 85.  We enjoy teaching people who think they are the “wrong” age, size or shape, and seeing the smiles on their faces during the lesson, the moment they realize they can do it!

Our lesson options are specifically designed to provide you with fantastic instruction and value. Please read the descriptions on each lesson so that you know which lessons are suitable for your age and ability.  If you have questions, feel free to get in touch with us. 

Do you teach people who have never surfed before?

Yes, nearly every day!  When you come for your first lesson with us, we’ll begin with 20 minutes of instruction on the sand, before entering the water. That way you learn the concepts in a safe and relaxed atmosphere and have time to ask any questions.

Once you’re comfortable, your instructor will select the best waves on the beach for your level. Your instructor will be next to you in the water the entire time, helping you onto waves, cheering you on and providing feedback.

I have bad balance, poor fitness or an injury, can I still go surfing?

A medium fitness level is recommended. Bad balance is no worries at all!

Any injury that prohibits you from laying on your stomach, doing a pushup, or standing up, might be prohibitive for surfing. If that causes you pain, we recommend seeking medical advice before attending our lessons. We only want you to surf with us if it will be a good experience for you, not a painful one! Feel free to contact us if you’re unsure.

Is the equipment hire included in my lesson?

Yes. We provide everything you need. You’ll have a selection of over 80 full length, comfortable wetsuits for every shape and size, from children’s size 6 to men’s and women’s XXL (and yes, we provide proper women’s suits, we won’t just hand you a baggy men’s suit). Wetsuits are cleaned after each use – no stinky wetsuits here!

Surfboards are quality beginner and intermediate surfboards specifically designed to help you learn faster. Boards sizes range from 6’6″ to 11′. When you arrive for your lesson, your instructor will select the correct surfboard for you tailored to your height, surfing experience, and conditions that day.

Having the correct equipment is important.  If your board isn’t right for you or the conditions, there’s a good chance you won’t catch any waves.  We want you to have fun, so we make sure to provide you with the right gear!

Should I do a group or private lesson?

Our Aloha Groups and Kids Summer Camps are fantastic value for beginners and some intermediate surfers, because we only allow 4 – 6 students per group. You’ll get personalised instruction for a group lesson rate.  We see surf schools who put a bunch of people into a group, the instructor stands in shallow water with a whistle, while students struggle and get frustrated. We don’t recommend that kind of group. Join one of our small groups and have confidence that you’ll get proper instruction, which means you’ll catch waves and have more fun!

Private Lessons are best for those who learn better with one-on-one instruction, who want a lesson just for themselves or their family/friends, have time restrictions, are not strong swimmers, or who can already surf unbroken waves consistently (intermediate and advanced surfers).

No matter which you choose, you’ll have an instructor right there with you, making sure you’re learning correctly so that you have an enjoyable experience.

How long will my surf lesson be?

Most lessons include 2 hours of instruction and surfing (except kids and paddle board lessons, which are usually 1.5 hours). Please arrive 15 minutes early to sign in and change into your wetsuit. If you have enough energy we offer an additional 1 hour free board and wetsuit hire after your lesson so you can keep surfing and practice what you learned! (Conditions permitting).

Where do I meet for the lesson?

Hibiscus operates out of two locations, Main Beach and Tay Street Beach which allows us a fantastic variety of surf conditions to teach our students in.  They are 2.5 km away from each other. Upon selecting your lesson, you will be asked if you have a preferred location, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your request. If you don’t mind, we will choose the best location for you based on the conditions that day.  This location will be in your confirmation email.

Please meet at the Hibiscus Surf trailer at the confirmed location 15 minutes before your lesson to get ready.  

What time should I arrive for the lesson?

We ask that you show up 15 minutes before lesson start time. This is to fit you with the wetsuit, sign waivers and meet your instructor. This time allows you to get the routine stuff out of the way, so we can get you in the water shredding sooner!

Will the waves be big and scary?

We will only take you in conditions that are safe for learning. Most of our beginner lessons start in chest deep water.  We will monitor the waves before and during your lesson and if at any time we see that it’s approaching too big, we will get everyone out of the water and reschedule.

Safety and fun are our highest priorities, if at any time you do not feel safe or are not having fun, we will stop and see what we can do!

What do I bring?

All the equipment you need for surfing is provided! Some suggestions include casual swimwear to wear under your wetsuit, a towel, and plenty of water and sunscreen (we have both if you forget). There are stands near us for snacks and food if you’re hungry after your lesson.

What if there is bad weather?

Surfing in the rain is super fun! However in the unlikely event it’s too windy or the waves aren’t good for learning, we will reschedule as soon as we make the call. If you can’t reschedule with us, we will offer a full refund and hope to see you another day.

It’s important to us to only teach when we can provide a quality lesson for our customers. Mount Maunganui is known for it’s sunshine and fun waves. Lucky for us, most days are great.

How long will it be until I stand up?

We have found that about 90% of people stand up and ride waves in their first lesson with us. With our fantastic, experienced instructors by your side, offering advice and sharing their love of surfing with you, we will give you the best opportunity to stand up and ride waves as soon as you are able.

How many people will be in my group lesson?

Our group lessons generally have 1 instructor per 4 – 6 people. Hibiscus Surf School groups are small so that we can provide quality, personalised instruction. Our goal is for you to learn how to ride waves fast so that you can enjoy surfing.  Based on our 14 years of experience, we believe keeping the group to 4 – 6 students is the best way to offer quality, value and most importantly, fun!

So why is this better than having my friend teach me how to surf?

Let’s just say that a lot of good surfers don’t make good instructors. Experienced surfers often don’t understand what it’s like to be a beginner, and how to teach the basic skills they already know how to do.
That’s why 100% of our instructors are professionally qualified and hand selected based on Hibiscus’s specific criteria. Our instructors have a keen eye and a fantastic personality. We will make sure we are teaching you correctly, and that you’re having fun instead of being frustrated. We are so confident in the value and fun we provide, that we will offer a full refund if a customer isn’t satisfied (we haven’t ever needed to do this!).

What is your cancelation policy?

While we do endeavour to cater to everyone’s needs, we require at least 48 hours notice for cancellations for a full refund. Within the 48 hour window of your booked lesson, we have already scheduled instructors and coordinated locations, etc. and do not guarantee a refund.

If the Hibiscus Team cancels a lesson due to conditions or safety concerns, we will do our best to reschedule and if that’s not possible, provide you with a full refund.

Do you have surfboards and paddle boards to hire without a lesson?

Yes, we do! You can rent all kinds of surf boards from us: long boards, short boards, soft tops, hard boards, and paddleboards. You can Book Here or swing by either of our Locations and chat with our friendly Beach Managers.
We rent boards for 2 hours, with the last rental at 4pm (we usually close at 6pm). You can also rent wetsuits, rash tops and bodyboards. 

If You Have Any Questions About Our Surf Lessons