Which Island in Hawaii Has the Best Surf?

Are you dreaming of riding the perfect wave in Hawaii? With its pristine beaches and world-class surf breaks, the Hawaiian Islands are a surfer’s paradise.

But which island offers the best surf? Let’s dive into the details and find out!

Oahu: The Surfing Mecca

If you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking for consistent waves, Oahu is the place to be. The iconic North Shore is home to some of the most famous surf breaks in the world, such as Pipeline, Sunset Beach, and Waimea Bay. These powerful and challenging waves attract professional surfers from all over the globe.

On Oahu’s South Shore, you’ll find more beginner-friendly spots like Waikiki Beach. With its long rolling waves and gentle breaks, Waikiki is an ideal place for novices to learn to ride their first wave. Don’t miss out on catching a sunset session here!

Maui: The Surfer’s Playground

If you’re looking for a variety of surf breaks suitable for all skill levels, Maui won’t disappoint. One of Maui’s most famous spots is Jaws (Peahi), located on the North Shore. This big wave break is reserved for experienced surfers due to its massive swells that can reach up to 60 feet or more.

For intermediate surfers, Honolua Bay offers long, peeling waves that are perfect for carving turns and practicing your skills. Beginners can head to Lahaina Breakwall or Cove Park, where smaller waves create a friendly environment to catch your first rides.

Kauai: The Natural Beauty

Kauai may not have as many surf spots as Oahu or Maui but it compensates with its breathtaking scenery and pristine beaches. Hanalei Bay on the North Shore is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. This picturesque bay offers a variety of breaks suitable for all levels, from mellow rollers to more challenging waves during the winter months.

If you’re an experienced surfer seeking an adrenaline rush, head to Polihale Beach. Known for its powerful waves and strong currents, this remote beach is not recommended for beginners. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s well worth the journey!

Big Island: The Hidden Gem

The Big Island may not be as famous for its surf as some of the other islands, but it still has its fair share of great breaks. Hapuna Beach, located on the Kohala Coast, offers consistent waves that are suitable for all skill levels. Its long sandy beach provides plenty of space for everyone.

For advanced surfers looking for a challenge, check out Banyans on the Kona Coast. This reef break produces powerful and hollow waves that can get quite intense during larger swells. It’s not recommended for beginners or inexperienced surfers.


Each Hawaiian island has its own unique surf culture and a range of breaks catering to different skill levels. Whether you’re a pro looking to tackle massive barrels or a beginner wanting to catch your first wave, there’s an island in Hawaii that will suit your surfing needs.

So pack your board and get ready to experience epic waves in paradise!

Photo of author

Daniel Bennet