Where to Surf in Hawaii: Hawaii's Best Surf Spots
Whether you are visiting Hawaii or live on the islands, this guide will tell you where to surf for your particular skill level. If you are an extreme surfer and can handle up to 40 ft waves, this article tells you where to go to find them in Hawaii. If you are just learning to surf, this article also outlines the best surf spots for beginners that want to have fun and stay away from dangerous surf spots.
Surfing originated in Hawaii, where Duke Kahanamoku first rode on his thick Koa board. Surfers come from all around the world to surf these historical beaches and now you can visit them too.
Honalua on Maui, Hawaii
If you watched the video at the top of this page, you will notice that some of the most exciting clips were filmed at Honolua Beach on Maui. This beach is great for expert surfers and moderate surfers. Some days, the water is completely flat and children can play in the water. Other times, this beach is only open to the most experienced surfers because of the risk involved in surfing these monster waves.
If you want to catch a big one and have years under your trunks of surfing, then Honolua is going to be your favorite surf spot.
North Shore - O'ahu, Hawaii
The North Shore of O'ahu, Hawaii's most populated island, is a very popular surf destination for moderate to expert surfers. On a day with heavy surf, the waves at the North Shore can reach up to 50 ft.
The North Shore spans seven miles around the Northern coast of the island and is a popular spot for tourists to visit. Most of the major surf competitions in Hawaii happen at this beach including the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which happens in the peak of the surfing season, November to December.
Amazing Session at North Shore - February 2011
Banzai Pipeline: O'ahu, Hawaii
Surfing at Pipeline
Banzai Pipeline (known to surfers as "Pipeline") is one of the most famous surf spots in the world. The spot gets its name from the trench underneath the ocean surface. That section of the pacific has a drop-off that is shaped like a pipe. As the water pushes toward the shore, waves form by rolling in the trench, creating a dangerous undertow.
If you are going to surf at Pipeline, make sure that you have backup. Never surf alone at places with waves larger than ten feet. Pipeline is known to have such big waves, that the surfer is often towed in-and-out of the set by jet skis.
Pipeline Surfing 2011
Sandys Beach on the Big Island
Sandys in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Sandys is a great place for beginners and intermediate surfers to enjoy a nice sunset set. This beach is a great place to learn how to surf on small days and also a place for more experienced surfers to tear it up during the swell seasons.
Sandys is located on Ali'i Drive, where plenty of beaches rest on the side of this iconic road. Sandys is usually really crowded and attracts not only tourists but dedicated residents of Hawaii. Just down the street, you can sign up for surfing lessons that will help you learn to surf or improve your skills.
Where Beginners Learn to Surf in Hawaii
The Best Beaches to Learn How to Surf in Hawaii
If you want to learn how to surf in Hawaii, you will want to go to a beach that may offer lessons or has little reef in case you fall off your board. These are some of the best beaches where you can learn to surf:
- Kahalu'u Beach in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island*
- Hapuna Point in Waikoloa on the Big Island
- Waikiki Beach in Waikiki on Oah'u*
- Ali'i Drive in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island*
- Paniau in Waikoloa on the Big Island
*Surfing lessons available
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