Hawaii is a popular destination for surfing. There is a surf spot for everyone of all skills levels: beginners, intermediate, advanced, and professionals. There is room for everyone, no matter what skill level. Although it’s tempting to just lounge around by the beach and work on your tan, visitors should make the most out of their stay and learn how to surf.

Surfing is part of the island’s history and culture. The sport has played a pivotal role in the island’s development, specifically 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 have grown up with the sport.


What To Expect

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

Hawaii is blessed with year-round tropical weather. There are surf schools and surf camps on all the islands, so if surfing is part of your itinerary, you will not have a problem finding a certified instructor. The island usually gets busy during the summer and winter holiday seasons. Expect to see crowds and packed beaches during this time, as well as peak prices for accommodations 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 surf competitions, but there are places for those who wish to surf leisurely. Here’s a rundown of some of the best surf spots on each island:

North Shore (Oahu) – at the North Shore, there is a spot 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 should not miss Turtle Beach. It is a beginner-friendly place with small to medium-sized waves.

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

The cost of a surfing lesson is $145 for 2 hours for 2 people, from $180 for 2 hours for 1-on-1 classes; $95 for group lessons for 2 hours. The fee includes the use of surfboards, leash, rash guards, and booties.

Additional Surf Spots

  • Maui is known for its clear waters and strong winds. This is a playground for experienced surfers. Tourists should check out Lahaina Breakwall for advanced-level surfing. Although it is not recommended for beginners, it is an excellent place to watch the pros do their thing. This place is also a popular spot for surf schools. All visitors should be careful of the coral reefs, especially during low tide, as it can injure surfers. Cost: from $52 for 90 minutes, which includes surfing gear
  • Big Island is not as popular among pros and surfing experts as Oahu and Maui, but it should not be overlooked. Honolii Beach Park is popular among locals and professional surfers but is not ideal for swimming. Kahaluu Beach is the place to go for beginners. Cost: from $103 for small groups; 2 hours Other activities: picnic, snorkeling, paddleboarding
  • Kauai is the perforce surf spot for all—from beginners to advanced surfers. They get a good combination of waves, including sets of small waves, followed by bigger waves. Kealia is popular among tourists and locals. 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 within a day. Tourists are advised to keep themselves updated with the daily weather forecast as it can affect plans for the day.

Watch out for 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 heading out into the ocean. No one wants to ruin their trip by getting injured!

The Best Time To Visit

It is surf season all year round in Hawaii. Because of its unique geography, it gets winds from all directions. However, keep in mind that surfing conditions between the northern shores and the southern shores vary.

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

May to October is summer surf season at the southern shore. Waters are calmer water but may still get large swells. Beginners who will visit the island during this time of year should stay at the northern shores for gentler waves. July to September is best for advanced-level surfers.

Generally, beginners should visit when the waves are tamer, while experienced and professional surfers can visit during winter for a challenging surf session.


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

Other Attractions

The beautiful island of Hawaii has a lot more to offer than surfing. Tourists can enjoy cultural activities like learning the local music and dance. Other outdoor activities include hiking, biking, and paddleboarding.

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