9 Best Places To Surf In Hawaii
Jaws, or as they call it Pe’ahi in Hawaiian, is the biggest, and perhaps the most dangerous surf spot you can find in Hawaii.
Imagine a blue beastly wave with a height of 120 feet (rumor has it, we don’t claim anything for sure) that just teases you and your board to go and ride it.
Once you see this video clip, you might well believe that waves can get that big.
Beginners are not recommended to take risks here, and challenge their amateurism, but those surf junkies who have been surfing their entire lives… they don’t think, they just jump in the water, and go with the waves.
Locals aren’t the happiest about this place becoming so popular among surfers (including beginners). The number of injured surfers isn’t small, and the locals simply must help them. It must be tiring.
This is an exposed beach and reef break, that during the summer offers the best conditions for surfing.
Originally was known as Kalehuawehe, but was renamed for the home of Samuel Northrop, the 19th century missionary who became a businessman, and whose “castle” was a Waikiki landmark.
This is the place where Duke Kahanamoku, the one that was mentioned above, rode a wave for more than one mile back in 1917. Whether this is legend or truth, you can see a statue of his at the very beach.
Castles works best in offshore winds from the north northeast, but tends to get a mix of groundswells and windswells. Its optimum swell angle is from the south southeast while the reef breaks left.
The great thing about Castles, is that even on the windiest days, when the waves are huge, this place is not packed. Maybe it’s because there are a lot of rocks.
Ho’okipa Beach, Maui
This is one of the most consistent surf spots on Maui.
Be there when the wind is up, because Ho’okipa turns into windsurfing heaven.
Hookipa is broken into 4 parts and those are: Pavilions which is a right-hander, and is the local spot with the most rippers.
Pavilions is known as a place where the wave can throw a clean barrel. The second part is Middles, that breaks both left and right, but left sort of dominates. This wave is good on certain swells, but usually closes out over shallow reef.
Then comes the Point that goes mostly right, and can get really good. This is the most crowded spot at Ho’okipa, but the shift in the waves can allow more surfers to catch them.
Finally, Lane is off to the West and takes a little paddling. As it grows, this left can throw fun barrels.
If you want to enter or exist Hookipa’s line-up, you can do it in only 2 spots, at either end of the beach.
The reef is exposed, which makes it impossible to come in anywhere else.
Oahu’s North Shore is where the biggest, and most dangerous waves in the world are formed.
Laniakea is perhaps the best point break on the coastline. Its strong currents, and the nearly exposed reef bottom at low tide, make the spot dicey every now and then.
But, Laniakea is also a home for the sea turtles, so don’t be surprised that this place will be crowded not only with surfers, but also with people who come to watch turtles.
Unless you are not annoyed by these occupying one of the best surfing points in Hawaii, get that board of yours, and let the wave take you away.
Hanalei Bay (Kauai)
If you decide to visit this two-mile long crescent shaped beach, you should be prepared for an amazing view and big waves.
In 2009 this beach was named the best in the United States.
Compared to Hawaii’s better known surf spots, Hanalei Bay is not that developed. The magnificent view of the beautiful Kauai’s mountains is the reward for getting on top of those big waves. Winter is the best season for surfing here.
If you come here in the summer, the water will be calm and still.
Ala Mohana Bowls, Oahu
Ala Mohana Beach Park spreads on 76 acres, and is located just west of Waikiki spots like Castles and Canoes – two other popular surfing spots.
The channel was dredged, and the waves hit quite shallow ground which leads to big bowls, and more often than not a crowded beach with surfers waiting to get in the water.
Paddle 200 yards to the reef, and yes it’s a bit of work, but once you’re there, it’s well worth it.
Ehukai Beach Park North Shore, Oahu
Here you will see a parking lot of the same name, and a bit farther from there, there are several shifting peaks that work on everything from a west wind to a windswell wrap from the east.
This is a great place for beginners, or let’s says beginners with some experience. Ehukai Beach’s pipeline is right on the left, and when it’s big enough, it shadows all the peaks of the beach park.
Honolua, North Shore, Oahu
Honolua is a Hawaiian place with magical waves. It wouldn’t be too much if it was called a flawless right point that peels into infinity.
Yes, it is crowded, but surfing here is pure joy, especially if you catch a barrel through the cave section. It is sheltered from the islands to the north; the swell window here is smaller than other surfing spots on Hawaii.
Velzyland, North Shore, Oahu
Velzyland is perhaps the most risky inclusion among all the surfing spots in Hawaii. It is shallow with an extra sharp reef, a localized pack, and a barrel that seems to suck the sand from the ocean floor.
This marks the end of the “seven mile miracle” and on the opposite end is Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park.
If arriving here by car, park along Kam Hwy, then walk through the gate at Sunset Beach Colony. The wide open barrel is surreal, and hypnotic, but be careful, the reef is sharp, shallow, and there are lots of surfers here, both tourists and locals.