Beginner - Pro
Luxury Surf Trip
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Hawaii is the pinnacle of surf vacation destinations, as it is the birthplace and spiritual home of surf board riding. The north shore of Oahu remains the ultimate testing ground. Nowhere on earth can boast a higher density of world – class surf breaks within such a short distance. Meanwhile Waikiki on the south shore of Oahu is one of the most famous stretches of beach on earth. Waikiki’s gentle, sloping waves are the perfect place to learn to surf.
Hawaiisurf has always been a Mecca for big waves. In the late 1950’s a group of Californian surfers led by Greg “Da Bull” Knoll started surfing 20 foot plus waves at Waimea Bay. The big wave game has changed a lot during the last 50 or so years, but Waimea remains a world famous destination for paddling into the giant Hawaii surf.
Where to stay
Turtle Bay Resor t is the absolute prime place to stay for families, couples and single hardcore surfers alike. Located on Oahu's North Shore, it is ideal is for sightseeing, adventure, exploration, rest and relaxation. Turtle Bay is only 45 minutes from the energetic pulse of Honolulu, Waikiki and the south shore’s mellow waves and only 15 minutes from Sunset, Pipeline and most north shore spots.
A luxury beach resort, Turtle Bay Resort boasts Oahu’s spectacular ocean views from every one of the resort’s 443 magnificent accommodations. The resort also features two lushly landscaped pools, championship golf courses by Fazio and Palmer, tennis courts, horseback riding, hiking and mountain bike trails a surfing school, world-class dining and shopping.
If you prefer to stay at an absolutely beach-front house, we have 2 great options on offer: a 2-bedroom Pipeline Beach Cottage, and a 4-bedroom Sunset Beach House. These beautiful properties are well-managed, located right in front of the action, and offer fantastic value for money.
If you want to do more than just surf in Hawaii we can suggest and book endless activities beyond the beach. Ask about the historic Hawaiian landmarks and learn about the rich culture of the islands. Explore off-the-beaten-track destinations, whether they are hidden beaches or towns that you won’t find on a postcard. Learn to surf or kayak or go to an authentic luau where you can get a taste of Hawaiian culture and watch the art of hula. We can help you build your own unique itinerary. From romantic escapades, buying gifts at countless Hawaii surf shops or family fun; whale watching, walking on a volcano; you can do it all or you can simply sit back and do nothing.
Located thousands of miles west of The US mainland, smack bang in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean , the north shore of Oahu is wide open to west and north swells that smash into the island, unimpeded by the continental shelf or any barrier islands or reefs.
There’s something for everyone on the miracle seven mile stretch. There are big wave breaks like Waimea, intense tubes like Pipeline and Backdoor, chunky walls with barrel sections like Sunset and Haleiwa, and easy to ride performance waves like Velzyland, Rocky Point and Leilanis.
The best time to visit the north shore is between October and March. November and December are definitely the most crowded months when all the professional surfers are in town. Watching the best in the world compete and tackle massive waves at Pipeline, Sunset Beach or Waimea Bay is in itself a spectacle. February, March and October though can be better for holidaying surfers just looking to surf, minus all the contests and crowds.
The outer islands of Kauai, Maui and Big Island (Hawaii) all offer some quality uncrowded options for more mellow adventurers.
The southern shore of Oahu gets its fair share of fun, summer surf from May through August. To this day the south shore, Waikiki or “Town” remains at the top of the list of any surfers must see and do list. Feeling the frangipani-scented Kona trade winds blowing over the Duke Kahanamoku statue and into the warm, powder-blue waves is an experience not likely forgotten.
Hawaii surf reports
The swell that rolls into these islands is from the intense lows that circle the earth south of Australia, blessing the islands with a generous SE to SW groundswell (March to September), teaming this with some of the most consistent trade winds (South Pacific Trade Winds) generally from the east with slight variations. The North Pacific delivers some intense lows that send in NE to NW swells (October to March). This makes these island gems in the perfect position to make use of the swells with perfectly cut out bays, banks and reefs set up and waiting for you.
Oahu from October through to March is renowned for its monstrous waves and has hosted many a world surfing championship. Travelling surfers are attracted to Haleiwa, one of the surf capitals of the world and the gateway to Oahu’s famous North Shore breaks. Along the 7 mile stretch of beach there are some 40 surf breaks including Sunset Beach, Waimea and Banzai Pipeline - without a doubt the best known break in the world. For beginners head down to Waikiki Beach where you will find some of the easiest beach breaks to get your first ride.
Consistency on Kauai is awesome for beginners and reliable waves on the south coast at Poipu is fortunately protected majority of the year. But watch out for the winter months when the big swells hit as even the most experienced surfers will have a challenge.
Hawaii or the ‘Big Island’ is not as well known for its breaks however there are some excellent set ups at Waipio on the north coast and Papeekeo just north of Hilo on the east coast. There are scattered breaks around Keauhopu south of Kailua that will also keep you entertained for a while.
In Maui, the best spots for surfing are off the north shore between Hookipa Beach and Baldwin Park (summer surfing is good) and Napili Bay. Beginners will find Kealia Beach in Kihei (west coast) a great place to learn. Winds pick up in the afternoons so if you are not experienced, go early. Body surfing is good at Lahaina harbour.
North Shore Breaks :
- Haleiwa - First stop of the Triple Crown of Surfing Contest. The right is more consistent and can get hollow but some lefts come through that are fun and rippable.
- Waimea Bay - One of the first recognised big wave surf spots in the world, and site of the only ASP sanctioned big wave contest. When the North Shore is closing out, Waimea Bay starts to come alive. It is a right point break that holds swells up to 30ft. When it is not big enough to work, another right called Pinballs can be surfed on the inside close to the rocks.
- Log Cabins - Fast, powerful, very long and can get epic.
- Rockpiles - Hollow, ledgy and powerful right and left reef break.
- Off The Wall - Mostly a hollow, fast and powerful right tube, with some lefts but closes out on the inside.
- Backdoor - The same take off zone as Pipe, but a right hand barrel that breaks over very shallow reef. It's hollow, fast and powerful.
- Banzai Pipeline - Pipe is a legendary wave that demands a surfer’s respect. It is the final stop of the Triple Crown of Surfing as well as the ASP World Tour. It’s a super fast, ledgy left hand reef break with one of the best tubes in the world.
- Ehukai Beach Park - A hollow, fast and powerful right and left that can break furiously. When the sand bars have formed correctly this break will give you the tube ride of your life over shallow and soft sand.
- Rocky Point - A hollow, fast and powerful right and left reef break.
- Sunset Beach - Site of the second stop of the Triple Crown of Surfing, this wave is also one of the more famous breaks in surfing history. There is nearly a 200m takeoff zone, with three main spots: The Point, The Main Reef, and Backyards. Generally hollow, fast, powerful and ledgey right reef breaks, with some lefts at Backyards.
- Velzyland - This wave is an amazing right hander with rippable walls and long barrels. When it gets really big, there is a left called Freddies on the south side of the same bay, and behind them both is a big wave spot called Phantoms.
- Turtle Bay - On the west side of the resort, a hollow, fast and powerful right reef break when the swell is up, and a fun longboard wave that can take you over a hundred yards when its smaller. On the east side of the resort there is a right called Rainbows that gets fun when there is more east in the swell. Further east from Rainbows is Baggers, a very long and hollow left tube over shallow reef.
South Shore and Waikiki Breaks :
- Ala Moana Bowls - Long, hollow, powerful, fast and ledgey left tube.
- Kaisers - A ledgey, fast and powerful right and left reef break.
- Three's - A long, fast and powerful right and left reef break.
- Canoe's - Short, easy right and left reef break.
- Queens - A fun right and left reef break.
- Publics - A consistent long left