Best Surf Spots in Waikiki

Browsing is synonymous with Waikiki. Not solely did Hawaiians invent the game of browsing, however the legendary Duke Kahanamoku—unique beachboy, Olympic gold-medal swimmer, and the daddy of modern-day browsing, who hailed from Waikiki—launched the fluid sport to the world. The surf breaks that Duke made well-known driving on heavy wood boards are the identical spots that surfers search out as we speak.

Waikiki Beach in the early morning. Photo © Kevin Whitton.
Waikiki Seaside within the early morning. Photograph © Kevin Whitton.

Whereas the waves are greatest, finest, and most constant throughout summer season, June-September, Waikiki has the potential to see surf at any time throughout the 12 months. Whether or not you’re a longboarder, a shortboarder, skilled, a novice, or a first-timer, Waikiki has quite a lot of breaks that go well with all skills. Simply do not forget that correct browsing etiquette applies in any respect breaks, and with so many individuals within the water, security and respect for others are of the utmost significance. When unsure, don’t exit.

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Ala Moana Bowls to Kaiser’s

Ala Moana Bowls is a quick, hole left that’s closely guarded by a seasoned crew of native surfers. The wave breaks into the mouth of the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor and is finest considered from throughout the channel on Magic Island. Kaiser’s is a predominant proper that breaks over a really shallow reef shelf. With a decent takeoff zone and a pack of hungry locals, it’s additionally finest left to the residents. For those who plan on browsing on this space, it’s finest to surf the stretch of reef between the 2 spots, generally known as Rockpile. Good for each shortboarding and longboarding, the quick lefts break over sharp, shallow reef and permit for a fast cover-up should you’re fortunate. Paddle out from the small swatch of seashore fronting the car parking zone (with designated free and paid parking), however keep away from the areas of very shallow reef straight out from the seashore. There are some gradual whitewater rollers on the within good for newbie surfers.

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Fours to Populars

Straight out from the U.S. Military Museum, on the east aspect of a deep channel, is Fours, a wave that solely comes alive when the surf will get large. Simply to the east of Fours, method out over the outer reef, is Threes, an ideal proper that breaks finest on a low tide and holds its form in any respect sizes. Threes is a favourite with native surfers and will get very crowded. To the east of Threes is Paradise, a surf zone with large, rolling, shifty peaks. It’s a favourite for longboarders and stand-up paddle surfers. Persevering with east, the following break is a favourite for all board riders—Populars. Regionally known as Pops, this lengthy proper breaks over a sand-covered reef and might deal with large surf. When the commerce winds are stiff, Pops does get uneven.

Surfboards on Waikiki Beach. Photo © Kevin Whitton.
Surfboards on Waikiki Seaside. Photograph © Kevin Whitton.


Canoes is straight out from the west finish of Kuhio Seaside Park. It breaks each proper and left and has a number of takeoff zones. A gradual, rolling longboard wave, Canoes is ideal for learners. Begin off slowly on the within, catching the whitewater until you be taught to face up and steadiness on the board. When you’re extra assured and comfy, sit out the again with a mixture of locals, beachboys, and folks from all world wide sharing on this Hawaiian custom. Canoes may be very crowded with all sorts of watercraft, from 12-foot longboards to canoes and catamarans. Keep conscious and, by all means, if one thing massive is coming your method, don’t be a deer within the headlights; paddle out of the best way.

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Queen’s, additionally referred to as Queen’s Surf, is without doubt one of the finest waves in Waikiki. Straight off the seashore from the east finish of Kuhio Seaside Park, earlier than the lagoon, it’s finest for longboarding. Skilled and newbie contests are sometimes held right here. The proper turquoise rights draw a bunch of the most effective longboarders in Hawai‘i, who dangle ten down the road with fashion and ease. Queen’s is often very crowded, and if there’s any swell within the water, Queen’s is breaking. Due to the tight takeoff zone and thick crowd, learners ought to stick with Canoes.

Publics to Tongg’s

Simply on the east aspect of the rock jetty off Queen’s Surf Seaside, method off the seashore on the outer reef, Publics is a protracted left that breaks over shallow, sharp, and irregular-shaped coral heads. Sound inviting? For longboarders, the lengthy, sloping wave provides an opportunity to get out of the thick crowds within the coronary heart of Waikiki. The wave is finest ridden at excessive tide, when the coral heads are submerged. On low tide, the coral heads go dry and the wave breaks proper over them. The break can get uneven from its publicity to the commerce winds, and on large south swells, the waves can get fairly large and the currents very robust. A lifeguard within the tower on the seashore can help you with ocean circumstances.

To the east of Kaimana are two breaks finest for longboarding on the outer reef: Outdated Man’s is on the left aspect of the channel and Tongg’s simply up the reef. These comfortable, sloping waves provide respite from the Waikiki crowds, however hold a watch peeled for coral heads.

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Diamond Head watches over a surfer coming in for the evening in Waikiki.
Diamond Head watches over a surfer coming in for the night in Waikiki. Photograph © Keith Levit/123rf.

Diamond Head

On the west finish of Diamond Head, off Makalei Seaside Park, is Suicides, a left for specialists solely. It’s windy, fairly a methods offshore, and topic to robust currents. Under the Diamond Head Lookout parking tons are a number of good breaks, the 2 hottest being Lighthouse and Cliffs. On the backside of the path down the cliff is a deep channel via the reef. From the seashore, to the proper of the channel is Lighthouse, a quick and highly effective proper for specialists solely. On the left of the channel is Cliffs, a number of peaks alongside the reef that break each proper and left and are suited for all sorts of board riders. Diamond Head can get very windy because the commerce winds blow proper throughout the break, and is a favourite for kiteboarders and sailboarders throughout the excessive circumstances.

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