Board Meeting

Goofy Foot Surf School will help clients put their best foot forward

By: Jamie Wetherbe

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 two-hour lesson.

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 life.

Sherer also shared with me the story of how Goofy Foot came to be.

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 lifeguard training.

“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 encouragement.

After standing (and falling) several times, my two hours were up.

But before heading back to the beach, Sherer told me about his “one-more-wave philosophy.”

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
Lahaina, Maui

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.