The 5 Best Beaches for Surfing in Hawaii

Hawaii is the birthplace of modern surfing; professionals and amateurs alike head to the islands from all corners of the globe to ride the waves there. Whether you want to learn to surf or are an experienced surfer who is looking for the most challenging waves, you’ll find the ideal waters to suit your specific skills and needs in the Hawaiian Islands.

With so many outstanding locations to choose from, how does a surfer decide which to experience?

Oahu and Kauai are generally the best islands to head to for surfing, but there are great spots to be found on every island. Take a look at five of the very best Hawaiian surf beaches, and make your dream a reality by planning a trip today.

If you need to find a beautiful, good-value hotel to crash in after a day on the waves, check out Marriott hotels. There are a number of them scattered around Hawaii. All have fantastic facilities and great service at a price you will love.

Check them out here:


Waikiki: The Best Surfing Beach for Beginners

If you stay on Oahu, head to Waikiki Beach. There you’ll find surfing lessons offered at around $40 an hour by some of the best instructors in Hawaii. These instructors are known for getting beginning surfers up and riding in just minutes.

This is one of the best places on the planet to learn to surf; even in the winter months, the waves are fairly easy to catch in the shallow, calm waters.

Students learn to paddle out safely and get up onto their feet with plenty of positive reinforcement, and there are lifeguards in close vicinity should there be any issues.

In this kind of environment, it’s difficult to fail, and many surfers have fallen in love with the sport at this very spot.

Other Great Beaches for Beginners

If you’ve chosen to head to the more tranquil island of Kauai, Kalapaki Beach at the Nawiliwili Harbor is ideal for beginners. It features a shallow left and right sandbar break.

Hanaeli Bay is a perfect place for couples in which one partner has more experience than the other. While the bay offers higher, more challenging waves, beginners can ride the gentler ones found at Hanalei Pier.

Oahu’s Haleiwa Alii Beach Park

On Oahu’s north shore, you’ll find the world-famous Haleiwa Alii Beach Park, the home of the Triple Crown of Surfing contest. This is where pro surfers ride monstrous waves that can measure up to 30 feet high in the winter.

The Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park are three of the best-known surfing spots on earth. The town of Haleiwa is known as the best surfer’s paradise in the world, and the area offers waves for experts as well as beginners.

Uncle Bryan’s Sunset Suratt Surf School, found right in Haleiwa, is one of the best in the business, especially for intermediate to advanced surfers who want to push their limits.

If you’re looking for professional coaching, you’ll find it here. Instructors are also very encouraging and supportive of those who are still learning the ropes.

Malaekahana Bay on Oahu

The beach at Malaekahana Bay is a hidden gem unlike any other you’ll find on the island. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for snorkeling in the summer, but winter brings towering waves that provide some of the best surfing in the islands. Many of the world’s top surfers head here in search of the perfect wave.

This long stretch of white sand is worlds away from the crowds of Waikiki and more reminiscent of “old Hawaii,” but the best part is Goat Island, found just offshore on the south end of the bay.

Take your surfboard over during low tide; when it’s shallow enough, you can easily walk over. This small island is home to green sea turtles, as well as a spectacular white sandy beach with a seabird nesting ground in the middle.

Canoes on Oahu’s South Shore

Canoes Beach in Waikiki is a picture-perfect surfer’s paradise that is frequently free of crowds, as it has no hotels nearby.

While the waves can get a bit rough, there is also an inner reef that provides a perfect place for beginners to learn.

This area is great for longboard surfing and is best experienced in the summer with southerly swells. There are also multiple surf rental shops and instructors available within eyesight, but don’t get Canoes mixed up with Queens next door, as it’s filled with locals who get pretty annoyed with outsiders.

Stand at the statue of the duke and look out at the ocean; Queens is at 11 o’clock while Canoes is at 1 o’clock.

Hanalei Bay Beach, Kauai

As mentioned earlier, for couples or families visiting Kauai that may have both experts and beginners in the group, Hanalei Bay on Kauai may be one of your best bets for surfing. Those who are just learning can stick to the pier, while experts can enjoy challenging waves that attract world-champion surfers.

Hanalei is exposed to the winter surf between September and May, with strong currents and powerful waves breaking on the sandbars.

This area is comparatively undeveloped and surfers can enjoy incredible views of Kauai’s spectacular mountains from atop the massive waves.

Regardless of whether you have been surfing for years or have never touched a surfboard before, you’ll be able to find exactly what you’re looking for in Hawaii. Don’t miss out on all the fun!