If you love surfing, Hawaii is the place to be. Ever since surfing was introduced to the Western world by Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku in 1915, this sport has been a mainstay of Hawaii culture. In fact, did you know that “aloha” (often translated as “hello” or “goodbye”) means “the joyful sharing of life energy in the present” and also refers to a surfing competition? (Say it with me: Aloooooohaaaaa!) You don’t need to be a surfer yourself to appreciate all the various breaks on each island. Here’s why you should plan your next trip around a visit to Hawaii’s best surf spots:
Hawaii is a world-class surfing destination.
From Waimea Bay to Honolua Bay, the North Shore of Oahu is home to some of the most famous breaks in the world.
In fact, Hawaii has so many world-renowned waves that it hosts its own Triple Crown of Surfing. The event takes place every year on Oahu’s North Shore and attracts top surfers from around the globe. There are several different types of waves here: long rides with open faces that work great for beginners or experts; steep walls where you need a lot of power to get up them but can get really big if there’s enough swell; beach breaks where you face upwind chop—good practice before heading out into larger swells farther offshore; reefs where you can pick your own path (if not careful); and river mouths that offer protection from giant swells or heavy winds but also have their own challenges due to unpredictable currents (and often strong rip tides).
Oahu is home to Waikiki Beach, where surfing was first introduced to the Western world in 1915
Waikiki Beach is the most famous beach in Hawaii, and it’s also home to world-class surfers. In 1915, Waikiki became the birthplace of surfing in America when an Australian named Duke Kahanamoku introduced it at the Pan-Pacific Exposition. Despite its long history as a place where people go surfing, however, Waikiki Beach is actually quite small—it’s only about five miles long and a mile wide. But despite its size, Waikiki Beach has been designated as one of America’s top 50 beaches by USA Today and was named one of 10 best beaches on earth by TIME magazine.
Maui has some of the most famous breaks in the world, including Honolua Bay.
Honolua Bay is a beautiful spot on Maui’s north shore, and it’s a great place to learn how to surf. The waves here are ideal for learning because they tend to be gentle and consistent, which means you can relax as you practice your technique without worrying about being knocked off your board by a big wave. Plus, the water is crystal clear, so if you want to look at fish while waiting for your next chance at the board or catching some rays on the beach afterward, no problem!
Honolua Bay also attracts pros from around the world because of its consistent breaks that allow them to get good practice before heading out into other areas of Maui—and maybe even farther after that!
The North Shore of Oahu is home to the Pipeline, once called the heaviest wave on earth.
It’s a reef break that gets its name from its resemblance to a pipeline. To surf there, you need to be able to ride very large waves and be good at maneuvering in heavy currents.
The reef creates dangerous conditions for surfers because it blocks any current from flowing out of the deep water into which waves break. The result is waves that can reach 60 feet (18 meters) tall—and they’re really thick when they get close to shore!
On the Big Island you can surf in a lava tube.
If you’re looking for a different kind of surf experience, why not try surfing in a lava tube? Lava tubes are formed when flowing lava hits the ocean and cools from its fluid form into solid rock. They can be used as trails by hikers to get through the thick jungle of Hawaii’s volcanoes, or they can be used as an alternative to wave pools. Lava tubes are also popular with surfers because they provide access to waves without having to paddle out too far (which isn’t always easy in Hawaii).
The best part about surfing in lava tubes is that there’s no need for fins or swimsuits—just find your board, stick it under one arm like a club and take off down the trail!
With no state tax and many free beach parks, Hawaii is a great surfing destination.
If you’re new to surfing, this is the place to start. With no state tax and many free beach parks, Hawaii is a great surfing destination.
The Hawaiian Islands are home to some of the world’s most famous waves, including Waimea Bay on Oahu’s North Shore and Pipeline on Hawaii’s North Shore. The latter is one of the most revered surf spots in the world—but if you want to catch it at its best (and avoid thousands of spectators), head out when there aren’t any professional surfers in town during mid-December through mid-January. If you’re looking for something more mellow but still impressive, try Rabbit Island; it’s only accessible by boat or helicopter so it feels like your own private paradise!
Hawaii is a terrific place to learn how to surf or just have a great time. With so many beautiful beaches and lots of waves, it’s easy for beginners as well as experts!
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