• Surfing on the North Shore


Surfing Hotspots

The sport of kings

Although surfing is believed to originated long ago in ancient Polynesia, it has always thrived in Hawaii. It was once only reserved for alii or Hawaiian Royalty, hence often called the 'sport of the kings' and King Kamehameha himself was known for his surfing ability. If you dream of riding the waves, there is no better place to learn to surf or sit back and watch.

Waimea Bay, on the North Shore of Oahu, is the birthplace of big surfing. Here the colossal waves have historically risen up to 15 metres; so it's the perfect spot for any adrenaline-seeking surfer to get their fix. This is also the site of the Quiksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau big wave contest, which only runs when the waves reach six metres high. Big wave season generally runs from November through to February and some of the best surfing competitions around the world can be found on Oahu's North Shore in November and December.

In general, the north shores of the Hawaiian Islands get hit by big swells during the winter. Pipeline and Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore also have surfing contests. On Kauai, head to Tunnels Beach and Hanalei Bay on the North Shore for the big waves. 

Almost every island offers surfing lessons for all abilities but Waikiki Beach is still one of the best spots in Hawaii to ride your first wave.

Top Tips from our Experts


Commercial Executive

"If surfing is not your thing, then stand up paddleboarding is a great alternative. Along the coast of Hawaii Island I even got to watch a green sea turtle grazing at the sea grass through the crystal clear waters beneath me, - amazing!"