Considered to be the capital of modern surfing, Hawaii is known for its beautiful waters, picturesque waves, and sandy beaches ideal for surfers of all skill levels. When people think of Hawaii, in addition to the stunning Hawaii real estate, the tubular waves and surfer lifestyle typically come to mind, and vice versa. As the islands get swells from all directions, surf spots are essentially guaranteed across all the islands almost all 365 days a year. We’ve compiled a list of the top spots on four of the archipelago’s islands for you to check out on your next trip out on the water.

The Big Island

A great location for those just beginning or learning how to surf, The Big Island is the island least associated with surfing but still offers opportunities to catch a wave. Pine Trees is located on the western side of the island and considered to be a classic spot beloved by locals for advanced surfers as well as beginners who can practice their moves in the nearby bay area. Brimming with beautiful green sea turtles and other fascinating marine life, this spot is also a popular location for snorkeling.


For iconic Hawaiian white sand beaches, head to Hapuna Beach, an ideal spot for swimming, snorkeling, and relaxed surfing when the waves are calm. However, when the surf is high, only extremely experienced surfers should enter due to the danger of strong riptides. Kohala Lighthouse is another world-class surf spot frequented by locals that boasts a legendary right and left reef break.

Maui

As the windiest island, Maui is well known and loved by windsurfers and kite surfers from all over the world. Where there is wind, there are waves, which can either be great for surfing or extremely dangerous. Honolua Bay one of the more tame locations, offering smaller rides when the surf is calm. This spot is the most popular on Maui, attracting visitors and locals alike, and generating fast moving overhead barrels depending on the day.


Peahi Jaws, on Maui’s North Shore, is Maui’s biggest surfing break and where the biggest wave surfed in the world each year is recorded more than any other spot. If you are not an expert, the “monster surf” is still a spectacular sight to see from the Peahi Lookout, a great place to stand in awe at the stunning natural beauty and incredible surfing skill below.

Kauai

Home to some of the best surfers in the world, Kauai is always a good option for exploring the surf. Hanalei Bay is a consistently beautiful place for the whole family that offers steady waves and the best conditions on the island. Located on Kauai’s North Shore, you’ll find surfing schools and surf shops that offer rentals, lessons, and other beach gear if you are new to the game or just visiting. Offering good swells for those just learning as well as curvaceous barrels for more advanced riders.


Kalapaki Beach serves as the setting for the Kauai Marriott Beach Resort as well as numerous water sport activities like swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, and stand up paddle boarding. A natural harbor, this beach provides waves for all levels as well as a great spot to spend the day enjoying the water and all of the nearby beachfront dining and shopping options. 

Oahu

The North Shore of Oahu is known to many surfers as a mecca and the most famous stretch of coastline in the world for surfing. Home to the Triple Crown of Surfing spots – Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park – Oahu’s North Shore can’t be missed on your next surfing trip to Hawaii. Accessible from Ehukai Beach Park, the Banzai Pipeline is the setting for numerous surfing competitions and where picturesque barrel waves that surfers dream of crash against the shallow North Shore reef.


Waves at Sunset Beach are best in the winter months from October to February, when you’ll be most likely to find one of the world’s most consistent sources of 8 to 12-foot surf. Peaking in popularity from the 1950s through the 80s, Sunset Beach has maintained its reputation as one of the most magnificent places to surf in the world. Haleiwa Beach Park is a go-to spot for beginners on small wave days and an epic spot for professionals on big days. Even when the water is crowded, there is surf for everyone, big and small, left and right-breaking.