Surfing the 808


For as long as I can remember, this Montana kid has wanted to surf. 

I hung big wave photos on my closet door, geeked out on surf culture and just generally obsessed about beach life.

Heck, I even have a wave tattooed on the back of my neck. 

So about two decades ago, my honey got us surf lessons for my birthday.

The fact that it would be rainy, PNW cold-water surfing (in February) didn’t phase us at all, but when we showed up to our lesson with winds so whipping it was hard to stand, we were given a raincheck to return.

But life gets busy and that raincheck is still floating around Long Beach, Washington somewhere.

Fast forward a… ahem, few years, and we took our first surf lesson on the North Shore of Oahu.

There are no pictures.
No words to describe floating atop long lines.

Just the sound of the water.
The shouts of: Paddle, paddle, paddle.
And the look on my baby’s face as we bobbed alongside each other, smiling, waiting for the next wave, that will forever live at the front of my mind.


Want to learn to surf while visiting the island of Oahu?
Give Mike at 808 Surf School a call.

About 808 Surf School

Perfect for all ages and skill levels, 808 Surf School provides a fun and safe experience with everything from Private to Group Lessons and Surf Coaching on the North Shore of Oahu.

Contact 808 Surf School


62-594 Kamehameha Highway
Haleiwa,  HI

What To Expect

Which beach will we be surfing at? Mike has a couple places on the North Shore he likes to teach from. Based on your location and experience, he’ll decide which spot is right for you. 

Upon arrival, other lessons may be wrapping up. Don’t worry, just pull up a slice of sand until it’s time for your lesson to begin. 

What if I’m totally new to surfing? Mike made us feel at ease by answering any questions we had and providing us with a comprehensive tutorial on the beach before ever paddling into the water.

Funnily enough, surfing concepts are a lot like, well… pretty much any sport, and can be translated to whatever adventure language you currently speak. 

Try not to stress, keep an open mind and go out with a plan to simply have fun on the water. 

What should we bring? Show up in your swimming suit with a long-sleeved rash guard, if you have one. If not, Mike has extra rash guards he can provide for you. He’ll also have water shoes and an 11 foot surf board (with leash) for you to use during the lesson. 

I’d also recommend bringing beach chairs or a blanket, towels, dry clothes for after the fact, and a cooler packed with cold drinks and a couple of snacks. 

It’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll be hungry, thirsty, tired and giddy by the time your lesson is over. 

What if it’s raining at the time of my lesson? The rain started rolling in as we were headed to the beach, making us wonder the exact same thing. But don’t you worry, you’re in Hawaii (!!!) and there’s a good chance it’s still hecka warm out.

Dare I say taking our lesson while it was raining made it all the more magical? Yeah, I do.