Waikiki Beach Surfing 101

Few things are as synonymous with Hawaii as surfing. Whether you're a veteran of the waves, or just curious to try the fabled sport for the first time, no visit to Waikiki Beach is complete without trying your hand at a breaker or two. Good surf reports in Oahu are commonplace several times a year.

The Waikiki Resort Hotel is located within walking distance to several surfing lesson providers and the gentle waves of Waikiki Beach. We're also within a short drive to some of the surf spots that have made Oahu and Hawaii a destination for surfers from across the globe for hundreds of years. Here are some of the best Waikiki surf spots and a brief overview of surfing in Hawaii.

 

 

Best Time of Year to Surf on Waikiki Beach

 

Oahu Surf Seasons

The waters of Oahu are surfable all year long, although the quality of the surf and the size of the waves can vary in the summer and winter seasons. Surfing in Oahu is best during the summer season, which usually occurs between May and November.

Summer generally means calmer waters across the island, particularly at Waikiki Beach. However, storms generated in the southern hemisphere can create large swells of waves for both Waikiki and most of the island's south shore.

During November through April, strong storms throughout the Pacific can create potentially dangerous and highly unpredictable water conditions island-wide. It's during this season that Oahu's North Shore has the towering tall waves that even expert surfers struggle with. 

 

Top Surf Spots Around Waikiki Beach

Here's a list of surf spots around Waikiki Beach that cater to both experts and beginners. 

 

• Publics

Publics is Waikiki's most photographed and popular surf spot. You'll find it in front of the Waikiki Aquarium near Queen’s Beach. This Oahu surf spot is better suited to experienced surfers because the shore break is less protected than others in the area and can get quite rough in high winds.

Directions from Waikiki Resort: Head northeast toward Prince Edward Street. Turn left onto Kalakaua Avenue.

Walking time: 15 minutes

 

• Tonggs

Tonggs, a surf spot on the eponymous Tonggs Beach, is a great spot for those learning how to surf or eager to try. Not as crowded as many other Waikiki Beach surf spots, the gentle shore break is prized by longboarders. There are also lifeguards on duty.

Directions from Waikiki Resort: Head northeast toward Prince Edward Street. Turn left onto Kalakaua Avenue.

Walking time: 15 minutes

 

• Threes

Located at Threes Beach, this iconic Waikiki surf spot was made famous by the renowned surfing film "The Endless Summer." It's a favorite among visitors and locals alike thanks to its crystal blue waters and soft sand landing areas. Known for its quintessential surfing break, it's considered a must-surf location for avid surfers across the world.

Directions from Waikiki Resort: Follow Prince Edward Street and Kānekapōlei Street to Ala Wai Boulevard.

Walking time: 15 minutes

 

• Rockpile

Rockpile is a Waikiki surf spot off Kahanamoku Beach, in between Ala Moana Bowls across the channel on Magic Island. Not to be confused with Rock Piles Beach in the North Shore, the spot features slow-rolling whitewater waves that are ideal for beginner longboarders and short boarders alike.

Directions from Waikiki Resort: Follow Prince Edward Street and Kānekapōlei Street to Ala Wai Boulevard

Walking time: 20 minutes

 

Palekana Wai / Water Safety

No matter when and where you surf in Oahu, safety should always be your top priority. If you're an inexperienced swimmer or surfer, it's highly advised to take a lesson to learn the basics of the sport. All Oahu beaches are subject to sudden and unpredictable elements, including thunderstorms, varying currents, undertows, native and marine life. 

Never surf alone or in locations that are remote. Following these basic tips will make your surfing experience in and around Waikiki Beach fun and memorable.

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