Hawaii is a series of volcanic islands located in the Central Pacific that form the world’s most isolated archipelago, and the United States’ most recent state. It is referred to in the local lingo as the Aloha State, Pineapple State or Paradise of the Pacific and is the world’s modern-day surfing capital.
There are eight main islands that give Hawaii surfing the splendor and worldwide fame it has come to be associated with.
These are Niihau, Kauai (Garden Isle), Oahu (Gathering Place), Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, Maui (Valley Isle), and the island of Hawaii (Big Island). However, the four main surfing island destinations are Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and Oahu.
In Hawaii, there are surf swells from all directions. As long as you have your surfboard, and no matter your surfing skill, a great surfing experience awaits you on no-less than 750 miles of coastline. These turquoise-blue warm waters attract more than nine million surfers annually from all over the world. There are all types of waves and tides.
Surfers can sample a wide variety of ocean bottoms that feature reef, rock, sand and even lava. The shorelines are round-shaped and shield the learner from the more extreme surfing conditions. Ground swell is the main thing common to all surf breaks in this paradise of the Pacific. All exposed to 360-degree swell; these islands also have powerful currents and all types of winds and waves, making Hawaii the most popular surfing destination in the world. But, when is the best time to go Hawaii surfing?
Surfing Seasons in Hawaii
You can go surfing in this paradise anytime of the year. However, there are two surfing seasons in Hawaii.
*High surfing season (winter). This season occurs between the months of November and April. This season is better suited to intermediate and experienced surfers. As expected, surf spots are crowded and a surf holiday at this time is fairly expensive. Big wave competitions are the main attraction during this time. The north and west are the main swells while the winds are southwest and south southwest.
*Low surfing season (summer). This season occurs during the months of May and October. This season is great for the learners. The surf spots are not as crowded compared to the high season. You can expect the holiday costs to be comparably cheaper too. South is the main swell while the winds are northeast.
With welcoming warm tropical weather and excitingly warm waters, Hawaii surfers have the freedom of both wetsuits and board shorts. Without surfing in at least one of the 36 world-class and first-rate popular surf breaks that form what is known as The Seven Mile Miracle stretch, you have not really surfed in Hawaii. Some of these surf breaks include Backdoor, Banzai Pipeline, Gas Chambers, Haleiwa Beach Park, Off the Wall, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay.
As the world’s most popular surfing spot, Hawaii also doubles as the most popular destination where you can get top-notch surf schools, academies and camps. There are also many surf shops and rentals for surfers to get equipment. What about the nightlife? There are some of the best entertainment spots in the world. For a chance to experience what this spiritual surfing paradise has to offer, pick up your surfing gear and go feel the spirit of Aloha.
Surfing in Honolulu, Oahu Island, Hawaii
Located in the southern shores and serving as the capital of Hawaii in Oahu, Honolulu is a magnet for surfers from all over the world. It is well known for its famous crescent beaches, all types of waves, currents, winds and swells. This surfing paradise also features right and left, shallow and sharp reef breaks that are consistent and suitable for all levels of surfing experience.
One of the best and most popular surf spots in Honolulu is Ala Moana Bowls. Here, surfers enjoy pointed and shallow left reef breaks and long, hollow barrels. Other popular surf spots in Honolulu include Kewalos, Queens, Canoes, Publics, Kaisers and Three’s. There are also many popular surf spots in Oahu, like the famous Waikiki Beach.
With many surf schools, camps and private instructors, Honolulu is the perfect surf getaway. There are also many surf shops and rental stores.
Things to Do in Honolulu, Oahu Island
After surfing in Honolulu, there is no greater way to spend the evening than having a nice drink, trying delicious Hawaiian dishes and watching the sunset. Some of the most popular refreshment and entertainment spots include The District Nightclub, Wang Chung's Karaoke Bar, Ginza Nightclub, Hulas Bar and Lei Stand and Mai Tai Bar.
Surfing in Haleiwa, Oahu Island, North Shore
The north shore of Oahu has conquered the hearts of millions of surfers and consequently attained a legendary status in the surfing community. If you are looking for the best waves, the island’s north shore is the place for you. This is where you will find the famous Seven Mile Miracle, a stretch of beach with 36 popular surf spots that many surfers would kill to surf in. During winter, the waves here can be overwhelming and are better left to the professionals.
Haleiwa Beach Park is one of the 36 surf spots located on the western end of the stretch. The surf here climaxes during winter when northwest swells come calling from far away from the Pacific. If you are looking for hollow rights, great closeouts and rip sections, Haleiwa beats them all. The waves and the peaks here are shaped by the reef finger while the east east-northeast trade winds add to the surfing flavor.
When the waves rise to 10-15 feet, surfers enjoy what is known as a "toilet bowl", a thin closeout that has left many surfers without surfboards.
Puaena Point surf spot in Haleiwa is one of the most crowded areas and a haven for Haleiwa’s many surf schools. In this surf town, there are many surf shops and rentals too.
**Things to Do in Haleiwa, Oahu **
There are many ways you can spend your night after the day’s surfing. You can eat, drink, dance or anything else you like. Some of the most popular places to visit include Uncle Bo's Haleiwa, Cholo's Homestyle Mexican, Breakers Restaurant & Bar and Banzai Sushi Bar.
Surfing in Kapalua, Maui Island, North-West Maui
Although Oahu receives the most media attention when it comes to surfing, Maui also has some of the world’s most popular surf spots. Kapalua was the first Maui beach to be recognized back in 1991 as “America’s Best Beach”. Additionally, some of the best surf magazines have labeled the beach as the best in the world. With enjoyable gentle waves, Kapalua offers a sheltered paradise for surfers of all experience levels. The best surf spots in Kapalua include Honolua and Oneloa bays. There are surf schools, camps, academies and more. Surf shops and rentals are all over the place.
The best swell directions in Kapalua are north, northwest and west while the best wind directions are southeast and east. These surf spots in Kapalua feature hollow point reef breaks, with a variety of sections that, in the good days, all connect together. These spots offer great fast-breaking winter surf.
Things to Do in Kapalua, Maui Island
Kapalua is a great place to explore in the evening. There are all sorts of amenities and entertainment. Among the best of these entertainment joints include Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar, Sea House Restaurant, Merriman's Maui, The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, Sly Mongoose and Kapalua Cliff House, among many others.
Surfing in Kona, Hawaii Island, Big Island
With miles more coastline than any other island in Hawaii, the Big Island is almost two times bigger than the rest combined. The crystal-clear calm waters of Kona are shielded against the winds by the Mauna Loa volcano while the beaches are beautiful and inviting. Although not as popular for surfing, there are exciting surf spots for visitors and locals to enjoy. There are surf shops, rentals, camps, schools and private instructors all waiting for you to give you an amazing surfing experience.
Surfing in Kona is an experience that you should not miss on the Big Island. There are many exciting surf spots that include Kahalu’u Beach Park, Banyans/Lymans as well as Pinetrees to mention but a few. These surf spots in Kona feature consistent reef breaks, waves, winds and ground swells. However, you should look out for the time when the waves and currents are too strong. These surf spots in Kona are remote, not as crowded and are suitable for all levels of surfing skill. Some are shallow and tough at low tides.
Things to Do in Kona Hawaii Island
There are many exciting ways you can spend your night after an eventful surfing day. There are many entertainment spots where you can eat, drink and spend the night. Among the most popular are My Bar - Gay Friendly & Gay Owned Bar Kona, Humpy's Big Island Alehouse, Sam's Hideaway, Oceans Sports Bar & Grill, and Mask-Querade Bar and many more.
Surfing in Princeville, Kauai Island, Hawaii
Princeville is located on the northern shores of Kauai and is one of the best surf spots in the Garden Isle. The place has many surf destinations that entice and excite both beginners and experts alike. Among the most popular surf spots in Princeville include Ha’Ena Bay and Hanalei Bay. During the high surfing season of winter, the coast of Princeville receives some of the strongest and biggest west swells, bringing forth the most idyllic surf experience in town.
The Hanalei surf spot in Princeville is famous for its long and right point. This one breaks on the western part of the bay over lava reef. The waves are reasonably powerful with intermittent barrel sections ending in inside bowls at the center of the bay. Tunnels is another popular shallow right reef break featuring northeast swells.
Princeville has all the facilities and amenities surfers need. There are surf schools, camps and clinics. There are also surf shops and rentals to take care of surfing equipment and gear.
Things to Do in Princeville, Kauai Island
There are all sorts of entertainment and refreshment spots in Princeville where you can eat, drink and dance the night after a day’s surf. These joints include Tahiti Nui Restaurant, Happy Talk Lounge Restaurant & Bar, Tiki Iniki, The Hanalei Gourmet and Nalu Kai - St. Regis Princeville among many exciting others.
In conclusion, Hawaii provides some of the greatest and most popular surf spots in the world. You can go Hawaii surfing at any time of the year with winter being the best time for surfing. The four main surf islands in Hawaii have every surfing-relating thing you could possibly need. For your next surfing holiday, go experience the Aloha spirit in Hawaii.