As a West Coast transplant, I’ve long dreamed of catching a
wave. But after a few failed attempts on my own and with an
instructor, I was skeptical when Goofy Foot Surf School owner Tim
Sherer assured me I’d be surfing in a matter of hours.
In fact, Goofy Foot guarantees beginners will stand and ride at
least one wave during their first lesson I was afraid I’d break
Sherer’s winning streak.
A California native, Sherer has decades of surfing under his belt,
and former students include Jimmy Buffett and Emilio Estevez.
Although Sherer’s track record and confidence put me as ease, I
still wasn’t sure if I could learn to surf before the end of my
After suiting up students are outfitted with soft longboards,
booties and a protective Lycra T-shirt I practiced my moves, like
paddling and maneuvering, on the shore.
Sherer prefers to spend about 30 minutes on the beach so students
learn the surfing fundamentals and can stick with the sport even
after their vacation is over.
“Other schools teach students enough just to ride for the day,” he
said, adding that he wants his students to become surfers for
Sherer also shared with me the story of how Goofy Foot came to
In an effort to “make his vacation his vocation,” he established
Goofy Foot in 1995 in Lahaina, Maui. Sherer first ran the business
out of his van, which he also called home, with an answering
service, pager and five longboards.
Since then, Goofy Foots has hosted some 40,000 students, ranging
in age from 3 to 77.
“I’m willing to take almost any age if you’re willing to be a
student,” he said.
Your clients will also be in safe hands Sherer holds
certifications from the Maui Red Cross in CPR, first aid and
“Our whole school is based on the student,” he said, “and we
haven’t had a serious injury since we opened.”
Then, it was my turn to take to the waves. And it wasn’t a quiet
day at the beach.
Many surf schools in Lahaina share the same break, which can lead
to traffic, but Sherer and his instructors unlike some of the other
schools paid close attention to their clients, keeping them away
from other surfers and dangerous waves.
With Sherer’s guidance, it didn’t take long for me to catch my
first wave. As I stood up, he continued to coach, telling me to
bend my knees or move my feet along with words of
After standing (and falling) several times, my two hours were
But before heading back to the beach, Sherer told me about his
If students are up for it, he likes to make sure they end their
lesson on a high note by catching one last wave. And that’s exactly
what I did.
Goofy Foot Surf School
505 Front St. Shops, Suite 123
Beginner group lessons and private lessons are at 8 a.m., 11
a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and last two hours. (For the best
waves, Sherer recommends the morning classes.)
Hourly rates for beginner group lesson range from $55 for one
person to $275 for five people the maximum number of students per
instructor. All-day surfing camps are scheduled daily from 9 a.m.-3
p.m., and cost $150-$700, depending on the number of people in the
group and if clients prefer a three- or six-hour lesson.
Meeting times are set 30 minutes prior to class times.
A two-hour private lesson with Tim Sherer ranges from $175 for
one person, to $400 for four students. Sherer can also build custom
surf trips around the world for clients.
If your clients want to take home a memento of their time
hanging ten, photos and videos are available upon request.