Catch the wave: hitting the best surf spots in Hawaii

December 31, 2014

North America

Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. Author Cristo Vlahos (Creative Commons)

Hawaii has a reputation as a surfer’s paradise and if you want to catch some waves there are some surf spots you will not want to miss. The islands experience swell from every direction, meaning there are plenty of surf spots to choose from. Originating in ancient Polynesian culture, surfing acquired a modern twist in the 1950s when surfers began to surf the big waves produced by the Hawaiian winter, giving rise to the Big Wave Surfing trend. Some of the big surfing sports are:

  • The North Shore of Oahu: You can expect your surfing skills to be put to a rigorous test here, with some of the world’s best-known surfing spots located along this stretch of shoreline. These include Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach. Fast drops and sharp, shallow reef are just two of the features that will put you to the test here. 
  • Kauai Island: This is another good option, with Hanalei Bay providing the best and most consistent surfing conditions on the whole island. It’s suitable for all levels of surfer. Other spots to check out on Kauai include Kalapaki Beach and Shipwreck Beach.
Hanalei Bay by M.M. Sweet (Creative Commons)

Hanalei Bay by M.M. Sweet (Creative Commons)

  • Maui Island: This is the windiest of the Hawaiian islands and when wind and swell come together in a match you are going to experience some great surf. Peahi Jaws has a reputation for producing some of the world’s most dangerous waves. Honolua Bay, by contrast, has a reputation for producing smaller and fun waves, but it is also known for producing overhead barrels that can be ferociously fast.

You have a good chance of experiencing some kind of swell no matter what time of year you travel to Hawaii to surf, and water temperatures are inviting, no matter what the season. The North Shore tends to see bigger swells in winter and into the spring, whereas the focus on surfing switches to the South Shore in summer, with the bigger swells there at that time of year. Beginners or surfers with not a lot of experience will enjoy any of the seasons in Hawaii, but if you are an experienced surfer and get a real kick from the big swells then winter is the season for you, especially the period from December through to February.

Getting to Hawaii to start your surfing holiday is straightforward. Honolulu International Airport on the island of Oahu caters for all leading US carriers and many international airlines too, and there are also direct flights departing the mainland US and serving Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island, though you may well have to make a connection through the international airport on Oahu if you want to get to one of the other islands.

The last thing that you want to be worrying about if you intend to go surfing in Hawaii is spending too much time finding suitable accommodation. Blue Green Resorts has the answer to your accommodation needs, with the beautiful Pono Kai Resort offering easy access to those famous ocean swells that visitors travel from the world over to surf.


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