Hawaii is world-renowned for its stunning beaches and waves, making it a top destination for surfers. When it comes to surfing in Hawaii, there are a few things to consider such as the island you’re visiting, the time of year, and your level of experience. Here are the best places to surf in Hawaii, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro.
Guide to Surfing in Hawaii
There are two seasons for surfing on the islands: summer and winter. Winter storms in Alaska generate massive north swells which fuel legendary sessions at Jaws, Pipeline, and Waimea, with their pumping surf. The punch of the wintertime swells is not as strong in southerly summer waves. However, there are still great surf spots. Even though waves are smaller, they are still big enough to be enjoyed by most people. Surf is a big part of the entire island chain. The best surfing in Hawaii is found on Maui and Oahu. Hawaii has a long tradition of surfing and a lot of local influence. Not all breaks offer equal opportunities for surfers from outsiders. With the right knowledge, visiting surfers can find pleasant conditions and surfable waves. Pipe is not for beginners or those who are more experienced. It's not fun to be shunned, snaked, or worse at a very localised break.
Best Places To Surf In Hawaii
1. Best Places Surfing in Oahu
Puaena Point, located on the northern side of the island is best for beginners during the calmer months. The waves are more relaxed at this point. For beginners, it can be a little too strong in winter, so don't choose this option if you are visiting Hawaii. This area is easily accessible, and there are plenty of parking spaces in the nearby Haleiwa Beach Park. You should avoid swimming in this area, however, because the water quality is not great and there are many reefs to be aware of. These are not a problem if you are surfing, but it is not practical to dive here.
Chun's Reef, a long stretch of coastline on Oahu's north shore, is approximately two miles north from the Haleiwa Beach Park. Chun's Reef was named after a local family who frequented the area. It is free from problems such as sea urchins or rocks that can be found on other beaches. It is safer and easier to return to shore for those who are new. Chun's Reef is an undeveloped area that has few amenities. It's also less crowded than other beaches. This allows you to surf without having to worry about bumping into people.
Laniakea Beach (aka Turtle Beach)
Lanaikea Beach is one the most unique and special spots on Oahu. It is a more rugged beach than others in the area but it offers beginner-friendly waves. The best thing about the beach is the abundance of green sea turtles that live in the area. The turtles are protected by law so it is illegal to chase them or handle them in any other way. Volunteers are often on hand to teach visitors the rules and regulations. However, you can observe the turtles from afar. You can observe the turtles from a distance, but you should not use any creams that could pollute their waters.
Queens and Canoes
Queens and Canoes make up the Waikiki Beach Area, which includes about ten areas that locals know. Queens and Canoes lie in the middle. The Queens surf break is one of the best surf spots in Hawaii. This makes it very popular, but it is also quite crowded. Queens is just a short distance away from Canoes, but they are a more beginner-friendly area. Although it is slightly less crowded than Queens, you can use this advantage to teach kids about water safety and how to be aware of other people.
Diamond Head Cliffs (Cliffs)
If the North Shore offers little more than ripples between May and August, you can head south to Diamond Head Beach Park. You will find that the waves here are a foot to two feet larger than at other spots on South Shore. Five to six peaks will break consistently when it's on. Lighthouse is the main break, but smaller days might only have waves. Diamond Head can expect a lot of bodyboarders, longboarders, and shortboarders to work, but catching one wave is enough to make you want to stay.
Flat Island (Popoia Island)
Flat Island, located about one-quarter mile from Kailua is a popular spot for longboarders and beginners. Low tide is dangerous. The island is also a State Seabird Sanctuary, and you can see them nesting along its rocky shore. Oahu is one of the most popular spots in the world to surf. We recommend that you speak with a professional if you want to have a safe and enjoyable experience.
Ehukai Beach Park - Best Hawaii Waves
Ehukai Beach, located on the "seven mile-miracle", of North Shore beaches is just a mile south Sunset Beach and less than two miles north Waimea Bay. Our Facebook reader ohana poll revealed that this spot, also known by Banzai Beach was beaten by its competitors by a wide margin. The legendary Banzai Pipeline is located here, which is known for its hollow, surfable, and long tubes of breaking water. The pipeline is one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world due to its shallow reef and fast surf. Many surfers take up the challenge, and Ehukai Beach is home to many body and surfing competitions, including the Billabong Pipe Masters and the Van's Triple Crown of Surfing.
Backyards, nestled between Sunset Beach & Velzyland is a punishing but rewarding stretch of reef-filled surfing on Oahu’s North Shore. The backyards of all the North Shore restaurants and surf shops are within walking distance. These waves can be very fast. Be aware of the steep walls and shallow reefs that can reach 50 feet. Backyards require solid experience. Pros or highly skilled surfers are best to take on Backyards.
Castles on Oahu is another beach that has easy access for beginners. Similar to Thousand Breaks beach for surfing, the best time to visit this area is in the spring and fall. Castles is a popular beginner spot. This is a great spot for beginners learning how to surf. You will find this out because everyone will be there, including their families. Castles is a great place to learn, train and take classes in surfing. You might find that inevitable wipeouts are less severe due to the sandy bottom. You can take your time to learn how to fall correctly and not cause any damage to your board or yourself. This will allow you to be ready for big waves one day. This beach is a popular spot for beginners. However, it can be quite crowded and you may have to fight for a wave. However, this shouldn't be a problem in the beginning. Your surfing journey will begin on land. You will learn how to properly sit, lie, and stand on your boards so that you can balance.
"Pops" or Populars
The name of this beach is right there in the title. This surfing spot, located in Waikiki on Oahu's south shore, is well-known for its great waves all year. It is believed that surfing began in Waikiki. The crowd is large, but not too big, during peak season. It's mostly composed of:
- Older folks
Pops offers soft, surfable waves that are suitable for all levels of skill. This is a great spot for the whole family. You can also learn how to surf at Pops by sitting on the beach and watching the expert and intermediate surfers ride the waves. A lot of surfing involves watching and trial and error. Experienced surfers recommend that you observe others out on the water for a while before you start paddling out. This will help you to learn a lot about the waves, how they behave, and what you should do. Respecting nature is important, but a little fear can be good for your health. This beach has small waves that are perfect for beginners. They rarely grow to more than waist height or shoulder height. There is something for everyone on this shore, and the forgiving waves can offer a great, almost endless ride if you are lucky enough. It's easy to have a great day surfing in Waikiki.
Barbers Point is located in the southwest corner of Oahu. It lies just past an industrial area. Although it can be busy at weekends, it is usually quieter during the week. Barbers Point is more a local beach than a tourist's, so it doesn't have many of the same shops and restaurants as other parts of the island. Because it is located in the middle of both the southern and western oceans, it has a lot of flexibility when surfing. This area is ideal for learning surfing on a short day trip. This area is not ideal if you are looking for long lessons that last several days.
Because of its natural design, Pokai Bay is one of the most popular spots to surf in Hawaii for beginners. This beach is protected by a breakwater off the coast. It offers calm waves, even in rough conditions. The park covers approximately fifteen acres. It's also not as popular as other beaches on Oahu. People seek out exciting beaches so Pokai Bay is often a quiet spot even during peak season. This is a great spot for kids to surf, thanks to the calm waves and this location.
Alii Beach Park
Alii Beach Park is located on Oahu's northern side, covering approximately 19 acres. Alii Beach Park, although not as well-known as Waikiki Beach is a great choice for beginners because of its diverse terrain. Beginers prefer to be closer to the beach, but people become more confident and can venture further away. It is a great place to visit in winter, when there are surfing contests. This is a great way to get hands-on experience for children, but it's also a great place for professionals to practice their skills before you try surfing.
Oahu, the heart of Hawaii is Waikiki. Although Waikiki beach can be crowded, you will find plenty of space when you get out on the water. This area is home to many of Hawaii's top surf instructors. It is arguably the best place in the world to learn surfing for beginners. Waikiki Beach, which is known for its surfing abilities, is also a popular vacation spot. You can focus here and you'll find most of Oahu’s top attractions within 30 minutes.
Launiupoko State Wayside Park
Launiupoko State Wayside Park, located on the west side of Maui, is a beginner-friendly spot. Although it is only 350 feet in length, the area offers consistent, long breaks that are perfect for surfing during the summer months. To take advantage of the area's geographic advantages, many surf schools are located in this area. Because it is one of the last to receive the trade winds, the waves are usually calm here. Although it's not suitable for surfing, the small, protected pool is great for small children to enjoy the water without having to risk their lives by going into open areas.
Kihei Cove offers consistent surfing opportunities. Although it has some moderately rocky areas and a few sea-urchins, it is a great place to visit in the summer. About half of the waves are suitable for surfing in June. The majority of the waves are too small to be used for surfing, but they are perfect for beginners who don't want to risk the big waves. This area is also known for its excellent surf waves in Hawaii, regardless of tides. This means that you can come here at any time, and not just trying to find a few hours that work for you.
Lahaina offers the perfect spot to learn to surf. This soft, peeled reef break is located on Maui's West Side. It offers everything a beginner surfer needs to learn how to surf safely.
Kaanapali Beach can be found on Maui's westernmost tip. Because it is the first planned resort area in Hawaii, this area is a popular choice for families. It offers outstanding shopping and educational opportunities. There is also a nightly cliff-diving celebration. Easy access to shops and teachers are also available. The beach is approximately three miles long and features clear water and fine sand. Although it isn't overcrowded, this area will be more crowded than other beaches on Maui.
Honolua Bay, Maui's best and most loved wave, is undoubtedly Honolua Bay. This consistent point break offers barrels and long lines. This is one of the best places to surf in Hawaii for intermediate surfers. Honolua Bay is a point break that works on the NW winds which blow through Hawaii between November and March. It is a popular spot for snorkeling, where you can see turtles and coral reef.
Guardrails are an unmarked section of Honoapiilani Highway, located 5 minutes south from Lahaina between mile markers 18, and 19. It is the term for the breaking waves that run along the guardrail, just past Launiupoko. Although it is not very crowded, longboarders and stand-up paddleboarders frequent this spot. Guardrails is a peaceful getaway for friendly surfers.
The Cove at Kalama Beach Park
This cove is beautiful and well-protected. It offers dependable, consistent swells that are perfect for beginners. It is a popular spot on West Island. Local attractions: The Cove can be found just across the beach from Hawaiian Paddle Sport and Kalama Skate Park. Conditions: Both right and left breaking waves can be found in this shallow cove. Level of experience: The Cove is ideal for beginners or brand new surfers, as the waves are smaller and the water is shallow.
Thousand Peaks (or Papalaua Beach Park) is a small area just off the highway. Because you can camp there, this is one of the most popular spots in Hawaii for beginner surfers. It's possible to stay on the beach for a few days, instead of having to travel all over the island to catch waves. Named after the high number of waves that break when water passes over shallow reefs, the area is named. It's common for beginners to come to this area to practice. Therefore, it's easy to find instructors or people with similar skill levels to chat to.
Surfing is a beautiful sport that works all your muscles and connects you to the oldest and largest part of the earth: the ocean. You might consider going to Middles, an island on Maui, once you're more developed. Although this area is more challenging than the others, it's still an excellent place to improve your surfing skills. Beginners should limit their surfing adventures to Middles on North Shore during the summer. A friend who is more familiar with the area is a great friend to take along when you surf. You can take lessons in this area and it will help you improve your skills quickly. However, nothing beats the hard work and time required to master this art. Surfing is a very artistic hobby and one of the most addictive. You can try surfing as long as you have access the water and a board and have patience and humility. Surfing here is possible if you have sunscreen on.
Ukumehame Beach Park
Ukumehame Beach Park, a 3.5-acre park located in the southwestern corner of Maui, has facilities such as picnic areas, water access, restrooms, and a toilet. This park is small and can accommodate about 20 vehicles in its normal parking area. There is additional parking for the shoulders nearby. If you are looking to escape the crowds, this beach park is your best choice. You can surf without worrying about bumping into people if you arrive early in morning.
Ho’okipa Beach Park
Ho’okipa is one of the most gorgeous Hawaii surf spots. This spot is especially popular among windsurfers. You can also see professionals practicing on the waves all year. You may also be able to see a professional tournament. You can surf the waves even if you are not a board surfer, but windsurfers have an advantage. Hookipa Beach Park works best when the waves have a calmer effect. If winds rise and begin building waves bigger, amateurs should return in. Teachers and family members need to have at least some experience before they visit this area.
3. Best Surfing in Big Island
Pine Trees beach can be found on Kauai. It is named after the huge ironwood trees that line the sand. Another beach with sandy bottoms is this one. This beach is the best surfing in Hawaii for beginners who want to learn how to surf safely and fall off their boards. For beginners, it is best to only surf Pine Trees between October and March. This spot is a great spot for beginners, but beware of large swells in peak conditions. As the great advice above, surfing should be done slowly.
- Take a moment to relax on the beach
- Before you go out, wax your board.
- Check weather conditions and surfers in the water
For beginners, the best waves are not too close to their chests or waist. Experts say these waves are not large enough for surfing, but they will propel you forward and not cause too much trouble if your board is knocked off its axis. Pine Trees beach is known for its perfectly-sized waves throughout the year. Pine Trees beach has the best thing about it. The water breaks in shallower water than shoulder-deep. This combination of small waves and shallow water makes for perfect conditions for beginners.
Kahaluu Beach Park makes a great choice for beginner surfers. The bay's northern side is where waves break, creating ideal conditions for beginners. Waves that average five feet high can be found just outside of the reef, making them great for experienced surfers. It is hard to emphasize the importance of being able transition quickly to bigger waves once your kids are ready. This area is great for snorkeling and swimming, and lifeguards will be on hand to assist if necessary.
Honolii Beach Park
Honolii Beach Park is located in South Hilo, which makes it a great place to learn how to surf. It is a beautiful spot that offers a lot of beauty. The waves are strong enough to attract the most experienced surfers, but not overwhelming beginners. Pros are friendly and will give advice on where and how to enjoy the waves for children. Accessing Honolii Beach Park is difficult because you will need to navigate stairs. It's not usually a problem if you swim a lot. However, it can be difficult if you are tired.
Anaehoomalu Bay (also known as A-Bay)
Anaehoomalu Bay has a lot of sand and is relatively quiet. The beach is moderately commercialized and has easy access to a hotel as well as some rental options. You can also enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant. This beach is close to the Waikoloa Petroglyphs, which are a great place for kids interested in Hawaiian culture. These are a great alternative activity to surfing, as they shed light on the region's ancient history and culture.
4. Best Surfing in Kauai
Kiahuna Beach can be found in the South Shore, near some condominiums and plantation homes. This area is ideal for beginners, especially if you are staying close to the shore. There is limited parking along the beach. However, there are more options at nearby Poipu Beach Park. You will need to bring shade, so bring an umbrella or something to block the sun.
Hanalei Bay Beach Park consists of four beaches that form a rough circle. Every section offers different conditions which make it an ideal place to learn how to surf in different locations. The piers are the best place for beginners, as the surf is usually between knee- and chest-high most of the year. Early morning waves are particularly smooth so you can expect to see many locals having fun. Avoid this beach during summer. Although the crowds aren’t an issue, the bay is too calm to surf.
Kealia is the long, east-facing beach. This area has easy access to the ocean and windswells. It attracts many experienced surfers. This beach is also home to lifeguards, which is something that is rare. They are available to assist you in an emergency and can tell you where it is safest for surfing at any given time. Although the beach does have showers and toilets, it is not as close to residential areas as some of its rivals. If you are staying in one the southern resorts, it will be a short drive to the east shore.
Shipwreck Beach (also known as Shipwrecks Beach)
Shipwreck Beach, located just to the south of Kauai's most southern point by Grand Hyatt Hotel is a popular spot for surfing with consistent waves. Although it is not recommended for absolute beginners, it can be a great second beach for those who have just started to learn how to surf and are looking for more challenging waves. Because it is right next to a hotel, this beach is easily accessible. This means that you can go out in the morning and catch the waves, then return to your hotel in minutes.
This beach is regarded as one of the most beautiful on Lihue and the entire Eastern Shore. The beach is protected partially by a breakwall. This makes it the ideal place for everyone to surf, stand-up paddleboard or boogie board in the gentle waves.
There are few things as thrilling as catching a wave and surfing it all the way to the shore. And there are few places on Earth as beautiful as Hawaii. So it's no surprise that Hawaii is home to some of the best places surfing spots in the world. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned pro, you'll find waves to suit your level in Hawaii.