Surfing In Hawaii: A Guide To The Best Waves You Can Experience

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A Brief History

Today, surfing is regarded by many sports enthusiasts and hip people as one of the coolest sports to ever exist.  While the exact date of the origin of surfing has not been determined, the first documented sighting was by Europeans back in 1767. Researchers believe that its roots show in the Polynesian culture thousands of years ago. Surfing in its days of origin was held in high regard, as the leader or chief of the tribe was believed to be the one who had the best surfing abilities. The European sighting of surfing in Hawaii has astonished them in the late 18th century. Captain Cook’s journal gave the earliest description of how Hawaiians took pride in surfing; it was also revealed to be more than a hobby and regarded as a spiritual form of art. 

It is natural for the land that has been the birthplace of modern surfing and its culture to be the mecca of all surfers today. It is not that difficult to learn more about surfing and its rich history, as it is an alluring activity. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or professional surfer, it’s hard not to want to visit the majestic island of Hawaii. Your visit will not only be based on catching great waves of the sea, but also the cultural waves of the surfing community.

The best rule of thumb when it comes to traveling is to be prepared which is why we have created this guide to help you catch the best waves Hawaii has to offer.

Digging Deeper


It’s quite tempting to be able to get on the next airplane going to Hawaii at the nearest time, but it is not that easy. Hawaii is one of the most popular world-renowned tourist destinations. It’s quite an isolated island which also adds a dent to whatever uninformed budget you had in mind. Seasons play a detrimental role in the rates that you will get on accommodation and flying tickets. December to mid-April are considered the peak season where prices are quite high, in addition to big crowds on the shores. The best time for a modest budget would be from mid-April to June and from September to December. You will generally find fewer crowds and get the best deals on accommodation and flight tickets in addition to the great weather. 


Any tropical paradise has particular seasons throughout the year that provide visitors with the most it has to offer. Hawaii happens to be one of the few places in the world where surfing is possible and enjoyable throughout the whole year. This does not mean that the year is monotonous with the same climate every day, but rather enjoys a variable climate that is pleasant in all its difference. The northern and southern shores are quite different depending on the season. From October till April, the northern shores are struck by huge waves, making surfing a joy for the bold and professional. The southern shore, on the other hand, is quite tame during the winter season with waves more welcoming and forgiving to beginners. 

Once summer hits the shores of Hawaii, the southern spots are considered the best shores to surf with a lot of big waves. Not only seasoned surfers are able to enjoy the southern shores during the summer, but also beginners will easily find great spots with tame waves before they get into the high-caliber action. The northern shores during summer see less frequent action with almost no wave action at all, making most surfers flock to the southern shores.


One of the biggest islands in Hawaii, Oahu is the most popular spot for surfers from all around the world. Oahu is your destination to tackle waves that are quite challenging and only those who dare can win against its powerful and frequent 15ft waves. This does not mean that it is an exclusive spot for professional surfers, but more like the best place to hone your skills at. Beginners can easily find quite a few surf camps that can show them the way around Oahu’s waves to help match their skills with the best waves.

If you truly enjoy surfing, then visiting Hawaii should be at the top of your to-do list. It is hard to find a better place that mixes cultural heritage and the surfing scene the offer the greatest surf waves all-around the year. With different options available for surfing, you will be sure to find a spot that you can enjoy. Make sure to plan your trip according to your budget to get the most out of it.

Question for students (and subscribers): Have you ever surfed in Hawaii?  Please let us know in the comments section below this article.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Warshaw, Matt.  The History of Surfing.  Chronicle Books, 2010.

The featured image in this article, a photograph by W Nowicki of Kahaluʻu Bay, which was the site of an ancient surfing temple, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.


About Author

Abdul Alhazred

“But I don’t want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can’t help that," said the Cat: "we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad." "How do you know I’m mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn’t have come here.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland