How and when to enjoy the best waves on this Pacific island

Hawaii hosts the Pipeline competition every year, so it’s no surprise that this is one of the best places in the Pacific to catch waves.

Hawaii is a popular surfing destination. There is a surf spot for all levels: beginners, intermediates, advanced and professionals. There is room for everyone, regardless of skill level. While it’s tempting to just lounge by the beach and work up a tan, visitors should make the most of their time and learn to surf.

Surfing is part of the history and culture of the island. Sport has played a central role in the development of the island, especially in tourism. Hawaii is the best place to go for those who want to learn. There are surf schools and certified instructors all around the island. Learn from those who know and grew up with the sport.

What to expect

There are four main islands in Hawaii: Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Big Island (Island of Hawaii). On each island there are a few beaches where tourists can surf. The smaller, lesser-known islands are equally beautiful, but these four are the hotspots for surfing.

Hawaii enjoys a tropical climate all year round. There are surf schools and surf camps on all of the islands, so if surfing is part of your itinerary, you will have no problem finding a certified instructor. The island is generally busy during the summer and winter holidays. Expect to see crowds and crowded beaches during this time, as well as high prices for accommodation and services.

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Famous surf spots

Hawaii is home to some of the best surf spots in the world. It hosts various surfing competitions, but there are places for those who want to surf leisurely. Here’s a look at some of the best surf spots on each island:

North Shore (Oahu) – on the North Shore there is a place for people of all skill levels. The best time for beginners is during the summer season, as the winds are not as strong and the waves are less dangerous. However, visitors shouldn’t miss Turtle Beach. It is a place suitable for beginners with small to medium waves.

This place takes its name from the presence of turtles in the area. During the hatching season, visitors can see baby turtles swimming in the ocean. Turtle Beach gets crowded quickly, so it’s best to go early.

The cost of a surf lesson is $ 145 for 2 hours for 2 people, starting at $ 180 for 2 hours for private lessons; $ 95 for 2-hour group lessons. The fee includes the use of surfboards, leashes, rashguards and slippers.

Additional surf spots

  • Maui is known for its clear waters and strong winds. It is a playground for experienced surfers. Tourists should check out Lahaina Breakwall for advanced level surfing. While not recommended for beginners, it’s a great place to watch the pros do their jobs. This place is also a popular place for surf schools. All visitors should be careful with coral reefs, especially at low tide, as they can injure surfers. Cost: from $ 52 for 90 minutes, surf equipment included

  • Big Island isn’t as popular with surf pros and experts as Oahu and Maui, but it shouldn’t be overlooked. Honolii Beach Park is popular with locals and professional surfers, but is not ideal for swimming. Kahaluu Beach is the perfect place for beginners. Cost: from $ 103 for small groups; 2h Other activities: picnic, snorkeling, paddle boarding
  • Kauai is the go-to surf spot for everyone from beginners to advanced surfers. They get a good combination of waves, including sets of small waves, followed by bigger waves. Kealia is popular with tourists and locals alike. It is recommended for intermediate to advanced surfers Cost: from $ 109 for 2 hours (group)

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Safety Precautions

The weather in Hawaii can change dramatically in a day. Tourists are advised to keep abreast of the daily weather forecast as it can affect the plans of the day.

Beware of warnings about shark sightings, reefs and strong currents. Signs are posted all around the beaches. Likewise, heed the instructions and warnings of the instructors before setting off in the ocean. No one wants to ruin their trip by hurting themselves!

The best time to visit

It’s surf season all year round in Hawaii. Due to its unique geography, it receives winds from all directions. However, keep in mind that surf conditions between the northern and southern shores vary.

October to April is the winter surf season on the northern shores. Winds and rains bring powerful waves and strong currents. Waves can reach up to 30 feet in height which can be manageable for professionals. However, for first-timers who visit during this time of year, it would be best to stay on the southern shores.

From May to October, it is the summer surf season on the South Shore. The waters are calmer but can still have big swells. Beginners visiting the island at this time of year should stay on the northern shores for gentler waves. July to September is best for advanced surfers.

As a general rule, beginners should visit when the waves are gentler, while experienced and professional surfers can visit in the winter for a tough surf session.


Hawaii has a tropical climate year round, with temperatures ranging from 72 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

Other attractions

The beautiful island of Hawaii has so much more to offer than just surfing. Tourists can enjoy cultural activities like learning local music and dancing. Other outdoor activities include hiking, biking, and paddleboarding.

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