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Hawaii Surfing - Best Places to Surf in the Hawaiian Islands

By Tim Houghten,
Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists looking to relax on long, white sandy beaches and in clear azure waters, but it holds so much, much more. In addition to the beautiful landscape of the Island, visitors and locals alike can enjoy art and jewelry boutiques, sunset cruises, botanical gardens, snorkeling, scuba diving, dining, hiking, biking and more.

One of the biggest attractions that Hawaii has to offer however is the perfect atmosphere for surfing. The sport of surfing was born from Hawaii and has been in practice there for over 3,000 years. Thousands of people flock to these islands each year to enjoy their beauty and to participate in one of the most adrenaline pumping experiences-surfing in Hawaii's waters.

Why Surfing is One of the Main Attractions to Hawaii

With spots that are perfect for beginners, to beaches with some of the largest waves furiously churning off shore for experts and some of the world's best, it's no wonder why surfing in Hawaii is one of the main attractions of the island and is referred to as the surfing capital of the world.

Surfing in Hawaii could be overwhelming to new visitors with over 150 sites in the area to choose from. The best surfing in Hawaii however is typically found in and around the north shore. One of the most popular and heavily visited places for surfing in Hawaii is Banzai Pipeline.

Banzai Pipeline

Thousands of people will flock to this location in the winter months to watch the waves powerfully pummel the shoreline, reminding them of the awe and strength of Mother Nature. During the summertime (between June and October) the waves are gentler at Pipeline beach, allowing a greater variety of surfers and surfboards to be used during this time.

Also during the summertime when tropical Pacific storms are off the coast, many great spots in the south near Waikiki Beach and Kauai become extremely popular to visit. Among these are Poipu beach, Hanalei Bay, Tunnels Beach and Nawiliwili Harbor. These places are popular for a reason, and with popularity means crowds, so if you're looking to turn your surfing in Hawaii into a more intimate and quiet experience, then take a trip around the corner to Hideaways, a much more sheltered spot.

In addition, if you're looking to avoid large crowds when surfing in Hawaii, make sure you check out Turtle Bay Resort and Waimea and Maalea Bay, two favorite local hidden hotspots.

Hawaiian Reefs and Surfing Swells

The reefs surrounding Hawaii formulate the perfect conditions for swells of varying sizes to crush the shorelines, giving surfers from around the world an opportunity to compete with the strength of the ocean. During winter months weather conditions form powerful, rolling storms that whip waves on the North coast of enormous size for only the brave and experienced to face. However, surfing around Hawaii and the surrounding area is always happening and never dampened by too large of swells.

Surfing in Maui

In winter months, typically between November and April, great spots for surfing in Hawaii are near Maui, including Honolua Bay, Ho`okipa, Rainbows, D.T. Fleming Beach Park, and on the Big Island at Upolu, Pinetrees, Kahalu`u Beach Park, and Kealakekua Bay. Anyone can surf around Hawaii, even if they're a beginner. A great place for those just starting to learn surfing in Hawaii is at Kealia Beach on the west coast, but visitor beware – winds tend to gain strength in the afternoons so if not experienced aim to get their early in the morning.

Oahu World Surfing Championships

Hawaii holds it's annual world surfing championships in Oahu, known in the wintertime for it's epic, monstrous waves, and surfing off the coast of Hawaii is never as popular to do or watch during this time. A professional surfer surfing Hawaii's waves is like a right of passage; there is no place in the world better suited or more beautiful to experience the closeness and serenity of nature and the ocean.

During winter when swells can reach 25 - 30 feet or larger surfing in Hawaii is typically left only to experts. Watching these experts battle against the mighty hand of the ocean is inspiring and an awesome experience in itself to watch.

You'll Never Want to Leave

Whether you want to travel to Hawaii to learn how to surf, gain experience in surfing Hawaii's waves, or just see it's beauty and entertainment, with some of the most friendly locals and serene landscapes imaginable, you'll never want to leave.
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