Many surfers dream about taking a surf trip to Oahu and carving the waves in Hawaii. Blessed with gorgeous beaches and some of the most fabulous waves the planet has ever seen, Hawaii is the place where surfing is considered the “sport of kings”. Ancient Hawaiian royalty had a passion for surfing in Oahu and were often seen showing their skills in Waikiki. Plan your surf trip to Oahu, Hawaii, to discover some of the best surfing spots in the world and admire pros battling merciless swells.
Surfing in Waikiki
There are eight major islands in Hawaii, but none is as famous and beloved as Oahu, home to the legendary Waikiki Beach. This is where surfing found its glory before being introduced to the world by Duke Kahanamoku, a Waikiki native and Olympic swimmer. Duke was also one of the Waikiki Beach Boys who taught visitors how to surf and canoe for a living. You can still find Waikiki Beach Boys ready to give you surfing lessons on the calm waters of the beach. Some of them have been teaching visitors to surf for decades, and they can also show you the tricks behind canoe paddling.
The two-mile-long Waikiki Beach is always crowded, but this shouldn’t stop anyone from feeling its sand under their feet and dipping their toes into the ocean. Offshore await some of the best surf breaks in Hawaii. Many surfers head to hot surf spots, like Kaisers, Queens, and Ala Moana Bowls, eager to meet the Hawaiian swell and embrace the phenomenal waves that it brings along.
Kaisers is a reef break that offers a hollow right and a softer left and can get quite busy at times. It is perfect for intermediate and expert surfers who don’t mind a bit of competition. Queens, on the other hand, is invaded by beginners, who enjoy the swell size and the fact that they can take their time practicing.
However, the jewel of the south shore is Ala Moana Bowls, a sharp and shallow left-hand reef break. The surf spot has a prestigious reputation mostly due to its phenomenal waves and is the most visited attraction in “Town” (Honolulu). Expect big crowds and memorable hollow and long barrels.
With every hotel in Waikiki situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach and world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment, no one in the world would refuse a vacation here, especially since the sunsets on the Waikiki Beach are among the most magical in the world!
Surfing on the North Shore
If Waikiki Beach is ideal for beginners and intermediates, the North Shore is a haven for experts who fear no wave. The surfing beaches of the North Shore will indubitably give you the chance to experience the best wave riding in the world. Or you can just stop for a while and admire the pros. Either way, a trip to the North Shore of Oahu shouldn’t be missed because this could be your one chance to see perfect waves!
Towering, glassy waves that lure the best surfers in the world make their appearance in the winter months, between November and March, and bring with them the largest surf competitions on the planet. A surfing mecca, Oahu’s North Shore disappoints no surfer regardless of their experience level. Beginner surfers have plenty of surf spots to choose from, especially in the summer when the waves are gentler and smaller. The North Shore stretches across 7 miles and is home to beautiful beaches, such as Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach, and Sunset Beach.
If you’re not a pro or surfing is not your hobby, you can just walk along the beloved Waimea Bay and admire brave surfers facing 30-foot waves. During November and December, Waimea Bay is the scene of the legendary The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing competition, along with Haleiwa Beach and Ehukai Beach.
Pipeline is another location for expert surfers who are determined to take on the huge waves that charge at them with force while the giant tubes feed their appetite for adrenaline. Banzai Pipeline is a craggy and dangerous reef ideal for experts who appreciate a perfect left-hand barrel. If you choose Sunset Beach for your surfing adventure, you can expect massive waves and multiple peaks.
Situated just a one-hour drive from Waikiki, the North Shore offers plenty of accommodation options, including the iconic beachside Turtle Bay Resort. Visit the enchanting surf town of Haleiwa Town to enjoy the relaxed local atmosphere and great food. A short drive away await the Polynesian Cultural Center and the town of Kahuku.