Answers to Frequently Asked Questions at Big Wave Dave.
Scheduling and Rescheduling
How far in advance do I need to reserve?
We recommend reserving as soon as you know your schedule. The sooner, the better to ensure we have time and space on the day you have available.
We do welcome same day reservations and walk-ins, but those will be accommodated on a space-available basis. We would rather have the staff and equipment ready for your arrival.
During peak season, we can be booked solid, so avoid disappointment and make your reservation in advance.
Can I Cancel or Reschedule My Lesson or Canoe Ride?
Yes. Please cancel or reschedule at least 48 hours in advance to receive a full refund or credit. Please see our Policies for additional information. <link to policies>
What’s the Weather Policy?
Lessons happen rain or shine. We will not cancel any lessons due to rain. Also, if you are staying on another part of the island, you may be seeing rain there that is not happening where we are.
You will be getting wet anyway, enjoy the beauty of sitting out and watching the raindrops on the ocean water.
If we must cancel for weather or water conditions, we will contact you and reschedule or refund if necessary.
How deep is the water where we will be surfing?
There are two different breaks where we surf in Waikiki.
One spot has water that is typically waist to mid-chest deep, and the other spot is just above your knee, to below your waist (depending on the tide and how tall you are).
How safe is the outrigger canoe ride?
While the outrigger canoe is one of the safest ocean vessels, and it is the ONLY vessel that does not require life jackets by the US Coast Guard, life vests provided upon request.
How safe is surfing?
Safety is our priority. You will have Certified Surf Instructors for your lesson.
All instructors will have a minimum of 10 years’ experience in surfing instruction on the water and the Hawaii DLNR surf instructor certification. Also, they hold a certificate with the American Red Cross in Lifeguarding, First Aid, CPR and Open Water Rescue. You will fall, you will get wet. We will teach you how to fall safely and how to get up on the board.
Can I do it?
Yes! All ages and surfing experience levels encouraged! You are guaranteed to catch a wave on your first lesson.
All ages? Even young children?
While we teach children as young as four years old, for safety reasons, we do require that kids 4-6 years old have a private instructor. This allows them to ride tandem on a board with an instructor or side by side on two boards and be individually monitored at all times while they are in the water. Wave conditions could require older children take Private Lessons. If you have younger children, please let us know when reserving so we can have the correct number of instructors available. The private instructors will incur an additional cost.
What do we need to bring?
You will need to wear a swimsuit, bring a towel, and sunscreen. If you own a rash guard, pack it in your bag, if you would like to use one we do rent them for $5 or you can purchase one at our shop.
What will happen during my lesson?
You can expect that your first lesson will start on the beach with your instructor. You will spend about 20 minutes learning proper water safety and etiquette, paddling technique, turning the surfboard, maneuvering over waves and positioning to stand up and ride your first wave. The rest of the time, about an hour to an hour and a half, is spent in the water learning to stand up and ride waves.
Where should I park? - Koa Ave location
We do not have a parking lot. However, there are two pay parking lots on our street. The Kings Alley Parking is located right before 2410 Koa Ave on the left-hand side. The Parking lot for the Waikiki Resort is a little further down the street - just past 2450 Koa Avenue. There are meters and street parking; however you can get a ticket or be towed if you are parked illegally.
Where should I park? - Embassy Suites location
Valet Parking available at the Embassy Suites via Beachwalk st or Wyndham via Lewers st. We validate parking for both. There are meters and street parking; however you can get a ticket or be towed if you are parked illegally.
What is the water temperature? Is it cold in the morning?
The average water temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It is typically warm year-round in Hawaii, so the mornings are not cold. A typical morning ranges from 82 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
What should I do with my stuff?
We have free, secure, storage lockers in our shop for your belongings while you are in the water. That way you can focus on having fun and not keeping track of your stuff on the beach.
What is a rash guard and why do I need one for surfing?
A rash guard is Lycra shirt (typically long sleeved) that is worn in the water while surfing to protect your skin from the surface of the board, so you don’t get a rash (hence the name rash guard). You’ll see that most people in the water are wearing one. Most also have built-in UV protection to help prevent sunburn (you should still wear sunblock).
What is required to rent any equipment?
For equipment rentals such as surfboards, snorkel gear, beach chairs, etc. we require identification, payment for the full rental period and a credit card for security.
Will there be someone taking photos during my lesson?
Yes. We offer photo and video packages of your experience. Ask for details at the shop when you check in.
Can I bring my own water camera?
For safety reasons, we don’t allow students to take photographs during their class. We offer professional photography and video packages of you in action. For your safety as well as the safety of your instructor and others in the water, it is important that you are focused on what you are doing and learning. We cannot be responsible for camera equipment on the beach or in the water, so it’s best that they stay secured in the free lockers we offer.
Can we bring a large group such as a family reunion, wedding party or corporate event?
Absolutely! We love large groups and can work with you to create a specialized, fun package for the event. We will work with you to understand your group and your budget. We can create customized outings including surfing lessons, outrigger canoe rides, equipment rentals, photography packages. Give us a call and let’s talk about your group.