Anyone who is a fan of surfing knows that Hawaii has some of the best waves anywhere. Anywhere in the state can offer you some amazing waves to surf and enjoy, but where can you find the best waves regularly? That is what this guide is intended to help you with.
The Aloha State and surfing are interlinked with a rich history that goes back centuries. The surfing culture has never been more popular and thriving. Even the man known as the father of surfing, Duke Kahanamoku, called the tropical islands of Hawaii home.
Fast forward to the current day and age, and surfing is as alive and well as it has ever been. It's easy to see why, with sunning waters, pristine beaches, breathtaking scenery, and one-of-a-kind culture. No matter whether you are a novice or a pro, you can find the waves that are right for your skill and comfort level. Now, it is time to dive deep into the stunning waters and discover the top ten surf beaches of Hawaii.
Oahu is famous among tourists looking for beautiful beach scenery, but it is also well known among the surfing community as well. Considered to be ground zero for many who enjoy surfing, this area offers amazing views coupled with some of the best waves in the world. Oahu is also the stomping ground of surfing greats like Ha'a Keaulana and Eddie Aikau.
1. Pua’ena Point
Pua'ena Point is a wonderful spot for surfers of all skill levels and interests. These beaches come with waves that range from beginner to experienced, depending on where along the beaches you choose to explore. It's one of Oahu North Shore’s most well-known and most visited beaches and is hailed as the premier surf territory for the state of Hawaii.
2. Ehukai Beach Park: Banzai Pipeline
This stretch of beach is where you will find the famous Banzai Pipeline and some of the largest waves in the state. Ehukai Beach is impressive with its beautiful beaches, pristine waters, and towering waves. However, it can be very demanding, and the waves can be quite dangerous for new surfers not accustomed to the intensity of North Shore surfing.
3. Sunset Beach
One of the classic surfing spots of the North Shore, Sunset Beach is another great place to catch some waves in Oahu. Home to some top-notch surfing competitions and the home surf of legends in the sport, Sunset Beach always has stunning waves to entertain visitors and give locals a challenge. Skills need to be high, but the waves are well worth the effort.
4. Diamond Head Cliffs
Located along Oahu's south shore, this beach is famed for the towering Diamond Head volcano that towers on the horizon. At the base of the volcano is a stunning strip of beach and waves that surfers of all experience levels can enjoy.
The backdrop sets the tone for a great surfing adventure unlike any others that can be found on the islands.
While Oahu's beaches are the king of Hawaiian surfing, Maui also offers a few sand and surf locations that are worth checking out while visiting the islands.
Locals praise the beaches and waves for their stunning reliability and variety, and visitors often marvel at the quality of the waves that crash onto the shore. Notable surfers originating from Maui include Justin Roberson and Matt Kinoshita.
5. Honolua Bay
Easily one of the most famous tourist destinations in Maui, Honolua Bay is easily top-rank when it comes to surfing locations.
The fame the area has garnered over the years means there are always locals and visitors enjoying the waves. In peak seasons, the beach can be quite crowded, but the waves make it well worth the effort to get out into the water.
6. Launiupoko State Wayside Park
For beginners out there looking for a great place to safely perfect their skills, Launiupoko State Wayside Park exists. This beach is widely considered one of the best locations for people getting on a surfboard for the first time and for people just learning how to surf.
Gentle yet somewhat challenging, this area gives beginners their first thrills out on the waves.
7. The Cove at Kalama Beach Park
The protected cove of Kalama Beach offers relatively consistent and dependable swells that are gentle and quite manageable for new surfers.
Even young surfers can find waves that are suitable for them most of the time. It's a popular spot that draws visitors to the island who want the thrill of surfing without the risk factor involved with other beaches.
No matter what time of year you visit Hawaii, there are always great waves waiting for you here. Kauai's surfing spots are seasonal, with the best surfing found in different areas depending on when you visit.
The north end of the island sees the best swells in the winter months, and the south end is most popular in the summer months. Famous and talented surfers from Kauai include Andy Irons.
8. Kiahuna Beach
On the southern beaches of the island, Kiahuna Beach is actually a small stretch of sand that is part of the bigger Poipu Beach region. It provides a range of waves and conditions thanks to its unique reefs and varying water levels.
The intensity of the waves and surf changes on either side of the reef, offering waves for both beginners and more experienced surfers.
9. Hanalei Bay
With stunning waves, a gorgeous background, and amazing wave consistency, Hanalei Bay is a perfect spot for surfers visiting Hawaii. It really should be one of the must-see beaches in Kauai for anyone interested in riding the waves.
Locals and visitors alike often enjoy the waves and can be seen practicing their moves and enjoying the thrill of the Hanalei water.
10. Shipwreck Beach
The final location any surfer should check out when looking for the best waves in Hawaii is this beautiful yet also deadly stretch of beach. Shipwreck Beach, on the south island side, offers gorgeous views and some intense surfing opportunities. Named for the man ships that have run aground and sank in its waves, skilled surfers love the challenge it offers.
The ocean is as wild as Mother Nature herself and cannot be tamed or contained. But for those who have fallen in love with the waves, the wind, and the sand, surfing is as close as anyone can come to taming the sea. And few better places to do it exist than the Hawaiian Islands. These ten must-see surfing spots are sure to thrill and impress beginners and pros alike!
Written by Oliver Jones
I'm a dedicated surfer and writer, and my heart truly belongs to the ocean. Surfing is not just a sport but a way of life for me. I ride the waves in the water and on paper, pouring my passion into every word I write.
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