If you are a fan of surfing and haven’t visited Hawaii yet, you are missing out on a lot of fun. Surfing has been part of Hawaiian culture since the fourth century when Polynesians first came to Hawaii and brought many of their customs, which included surfing and other water games. Today, surfing is still highly regarded in Hawaii, and the people have, in fact, transformed it into a recreational activity that can be enjoyed by many, including foreigners. Each year, Hawaii continues to receive an increasing number of surfers from around the world who come to enjoy its pristine surf spots and beautiful swells. We have compiled a list of the best surf spots in Hawaii, USA, that will accommodate your zeal for surfing.
1. Haleiwa Beach Park
Haleiwa Beach Park is a great recreational spot offering fantastic sunset views and an excellent site for surfers of all levels. The waters here are relatively calm and easy to surf even by beginner surfers. Also, from Haleiwa Beach, you can easily access great waves at Puaena Point. The aquatic animals you will encounter while surfing here make the experience even more magical. Some of these sea creatures include a variety of fish and the many sea turtles nesting in the golden sands. Swimming at Haleiwa Beach is not as good as surfing, owing to the shallow waters and the pebbles.
2. Waikiki Beach
There is no better place to start surfing in Hawaii than at Waikiki Beach, one of the best family surf spots on the island. Waikiki Beach boasts gentle waters and long waves that are easy and fun to ride by amateurs and experts alike. Such waves are also suitable for kids who are just learning how to stand up on a surfboard. Common surfing challenges such as lack of equipment have already been addressed. In this regard, there are surfboard rentals available at the beach, so you do not need to bring yours. In addition, there are licensed guides who, besides providing surf lessons, can also direct surfers to areas with great waves.
3. Waimea Bay
Come winter or summer there will always be something interesting to see and do at Waimea Bay. During the summer, the water is relatively calm and inviting to anyone looking to partake in snorkeling and swimming. But the winter storms here come with large waves that attract surfers from all over the world. This time presents an excellent opportunity to surf and catch professional surfers in action against the gigantic North Shore waves. This tradition of pro surfers congregating at Waimea Bay started in the 1950s and has played a huge role in important milestones, including big wave surfing.
Nestled along Kalakaua Avenue is another great surf spot for amateurs called Canoes. The few corals and pebbles make Canoes one of the safest places in Hawaii to learn surfing. Here, you do not need to come with your surfboard – you can easily rent one on the beach. Surf lessons are also available at a reasonable rate, so you can learn a thing or two about this glorious sport. What makes surfing here even more enjoyable is the fact that there are shops and restaurants around where you can get essentials such as bathing suits, towels, sunscreen, and food.
5. Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach is an excellent surf spot for intermediate and expert surfers looking to test their surfing prowess. The waves here are mighty and can get as high as 40 ft (12.2 m) during the winter. At that time, pro surfers from all over the world start pouring in to partake in the numerous surfing events held at Sunset Beach, including the famous Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition. Watching the surfers in action and taking part in the activities is an exhilarating experience, but great care should be taken against hazards such as sharp coral formations and dangerous rip currents.
If you are enthusiastic about surfing, you probably have heard about the Backdoor and Pipeline surf spots, where you can surf the same wave in either direction. Notwithstanding the fact that it is the same wave, the Backdoor is not as powerful as the Pipeline break. On a good day, the wave at Backdoor can get as high as 16 ft (4.9 m), which can be dangerous for less experienced surfers. Although you may not be able to partake in the adventure if you are a beginner, watching the action from the beach is an equally exhilarating experience.
7. Banzai Pipeline
Banzai Pipeline has some of the deadliest waves in the world, yet its waves are some of the most sought-after by pro surfers. On average, the wave measures 9 ft (3 m) but can go up to 25 ft (7.62 m), hence the need to approach Banzai Pipeline with great care. According to statistics, Pipeline has caused countless injuries and probably the most deaths in the history of surfing. Be that as it may, you will still find many professional surfers taking part in this daring experience. The best time to visit is December because that’s when numerous surf competitions such as the Billabong Pipe Masters are held.
8. Sandy Beach
The surf break at Sandy Beach occurs close to the shore, making it an excellent spot for various water activities such as body surfing and bodyboarding. Besides surfing, you can spend your day just relaxing on the beach, watching the beautiful waves, or even taking photos to preserve a memory of your adventure. Sandy Beach is a bit isolated and finding a restaurant or food wagon could prove difficult, therefore, it is advisable to pack drinks and some snacks when visiting. Alternatively, you can hop on one of the buses and head to Koko Marina Center, where you will find restaurants and shops selling water sports equipment.
9. Pine Trees
If you are looking for the perfect spot in Hawaii where you can camp, surf, and bond with your family over a long weekend, then Pine Trees is the place for you. Pine Trees Beach presents an excellent package for ultimate family relaxation, surfing, and BBQ. Here you will enjoy watching professionals surf world-renowned waves. If you are daring enough, you can take part in the action, in which case you should observe safe surf guidelines to avoid injuries. After surfing, you can take a shower near the tide pool before gathering at the picnic spot for a sunset BBQ
10. White Plains Beach
White Plains Beach has remained hidden from the public eye since World War II. This area boasts several surf breaks, and unlike many beaches in Hawaii, it is well-sectioned into swimming and surfing lanes so you can partake in either activity without significant challenges. Surfing – or learning how to surf – here is quite safe and easy, since the water is relatively shallow, and there is an offshore reef that calms the waves down. That, along with essential amenities such as washrooms, picnic areas, BBQ facilities, and lifeguards, makes this a preferred spot among surf enthusiasts.