TOP 5 BEGINNER SURF SPOTS ON OAHU

Let us start you off by giving you a bit of a back story.

After moving to Hawaii when I was only 5 years old, I was quickly thrown into a school, bored, and found myself sitting in my room every day after school, constantly playing at my video games and avoiding just about everything that Hawaii had for offer.

I spent those years locked inside of my room. It was draining  & unfulfilling to say the least.

Then one day after school, me and a group of friends headed off towards the beach in chase of the sunset, and spent some time on my boogie board, until it dawned on me.

I had spent the past many years on Oahu, the mecca of the surfing world, chasing the dream from inside of my room. And then, like any object smacking you in the face out of nowhere, it hit me. So I then impulsively sold all of the gadgets I had invested time and money into, to chase whatever Hawaii had to offer, like the real stuff…

I began surfing every single day, and truly felt what it was like standing on top of the world, which then later escalated into a love for traveling, cliff jumping, skateboarding, and an overall appreciation for the planet. Surfing had been the start and end of something very significant in my journey.

Jaro surfing Sandy Beach on Oahu

Here is a photo of me surfing, courtesy of Ryan Beppu Photography. The best feeling in the world pictured.

That being said, all of the surfing experience around the island has given me new knowledge of what I can handle as a surfer, and what is just too dangerous for me as well. I have surfed anywhere from the beginner waves on the South Shore of Oahu to some of the more advanced waves on the North Shore. Starting off on the mellower side of the island, the South Shore has provided me with some of the most fun beginner waves that you could ask for year-round. Just like anybody starting from the bottom, you work your way up to bigger surf.

Here are my Top 5 Beginner Surf Spots on Oahu that any beginner should give a shot, especially if you’re a visitor of Hawaii and are looking to immerse yourself within the culture here on the island (Google Maps Locations Included).

1. Waikiki Beach Surf Spot in Honolulu

 

If you are visiting the island for a short amount of time as a tourist staying in Waikiki, or at a hotel nearby, going right out front to Waikiki Beach would be your best bet in beginner surf spots on Oahu.

If you are looking for a spot to give yourself a shot at standing up, and learning how to surf among others who are also doing the same thing, Canoes straight out from the western end of Kuhio Beach Park is the perfect spot for beginners.

This break in Waikiki features a slower takeoff, that is perfect for longboarding among the crowds in the city. It is mainly all sand bottom in this area, so you are unlikely to hit the reef on the bottom, making it one of the mellowest and most fun places to surf on Oahu.

If you are feeling even more adventurous, rent a longboard out for the day and catch the sunset from inside of the water to experience a Hawaiian classic. Some of the best times I have had in the water have been watching the sunset and experiencing the feeling of chasing waves, at any spot around the island.

And if you injure yourself trying to surf, we have a Top Rated Massage Therapy Clinic that will bring you back to life! Located just 15 minutes away!

  • Google Maps Location Here.

2. Diamond Head Surf Spot in Honolulu

Diamond Head Surf Break on Oahu

This classic spot in Hawaii can feature some of the strongest surf along the South Shore, but can also have some of the easiest spots to learn. If you went browsing through our Top 6 Beautiful Hikes on Oahu for Beginners, you will find Diamond Head as one of the featured trails to complete within your first few days on island.

If you have spent about an hour or two hiking the Diamond Head Trail, you will stand up at the top of the area with a bunker, look left towards the ocean, just along Diamond Head road, and notice surfers in the water just along the coastline.

If you park just off the side of the cliff around Diamond Head, you will notice a path that leads down to the beach, and surfers that are gathered all along the coastline. The beach features a various amount of different surf spots, for beginners and the more advanced who come there daily.

If you are feeling up to it, walk down the path after a good day of hiking to go surf along the cliffs of Diamond Head, and you will notice beginners who are also learning to surf towards the further end of the beach park, on the left side after walking down the dirt and cemented path. The waves feature a bit of a quicker pop up to your board as compared to Canoes in Waikiki, but nothing too strenuous.

After spending year after year in the waters off Diamond Head, this has grown in being one of my favorite surf spots around the island because of the beautiful scenery that you can soak up when you are surfing inside of the water, and the many different surf breaks you can conquer as you move up in your surfing level.

There is a bit of a sharper reef along this surf break, but most of the surf breaks on Oahu have a very beautiful reef, and allow for a fun visual show of fish swimming around.

Embark on your hiking and surfing adventure and then let us know how this spiritually beautiful place was for you.

  • Google Maps Location Here.

3. Chun’s Reef Surf Spot on the North Shore

Family hike on Oahu

So picture this, you are on the North Shore, you just bought a sweet coconut from a shack off the side of the road, which you are now drinking along Oahu’s 7-mile miracle, and then it comes to you, your vision.

You are now wanting to be in the water surfing with the warm watered animals and soaking up the Hawaiian sun. You are on the North Shore and realize the waves are too wild there and are now glad that you have found our blog, which has lead you to the Top 5 Beginner Surf Spots on Oahu, and now you are heading to Chun’s Reef after a recommendation of it being a beginner surf spot.

About a 15-minute drive from Haleiwa, you will find Chun’s Reef along the side of the road, just past Laniakea with a bunch of cars parked on the right. This wave features a bit of a steeper drop because it is a reef break, and although it is a beginner surf spot, the waves have a bit more energy as opposed to the waves along the South Shore of the island, but we can assure you that this is a safe place to learn, with several surf schools that go out there daily.

Although it may seem like a simple spot, on the outside of this reef break, you will find a far crazier set of waves. On the inside where they host day-to-day surfing lessons on the left side of the beach, you will find the wave of your dreams nestled along the North Shore’s coastline.

This can also be one of the many adventures you embark on because the North Shore is located in an activity filled place, and is less developed than the opposing end of the island. You will feel a kind of spiritual energy that is unique to the island along this beautiful coastline, that will probably bring you coming back more than once.

We hope you guys fall in love with this place just as much as we do!

  • Google Maps Location Here.

4. Haleiwa Surf Spot on the North ShoreTOP 5 BEGINNER SURF SPOTS ON OAHU

About a two-minute drive from the old town of Haleiwa, you will come up on Haleiwa Beach Park, which when the waves are a bit smaller during the earlier or later months, you will join the many other surfing lessons that take place along the beach.

Although it is a reef break and the waters are fairly shallow, you will find a bit of a mellower wave than at Chun’s Reef, unless a far larger swell comes rolling through the North Shore. In this case, the waves at Haleiwa hold a far greater amount of power, and many surfing competitions will be held there during the winter, which you will then clearly see right in front of you.

What we love in particular about this spot are the many turtles that cruise through the waters to say hello to everyone. It is a pretty sweet feeling to be surfing with all of your friends, trying to catch as many waves as you can, and then saying hello to some of Oahu’s marine life too.

If you went and explored the old town of Haleiwa, just like many other visitors do on the North Shore, you would love to add this to your list of beginner surf spots on Oahu, not only because of the prime location but because of the people that are out there enjoying the Hawaiian waters, the marine life, and the delicious dinner that you could pick up in town after your surf session for convenience.

Come to the North Shore early in the morning, and enjoy some of the crisp air with a cup of coffee from the Green World Coffee Farm on your way out to that side from the city, for a traditional morning on the North Shore with the locals.

Personally, my favorite thing to do is grab a cup of coffee and make it out to that side of the island to catch the sunrise, and watch the professional surfers of Banzai Pipeline carving through the biggest and hollowest tubes, like a colosseum for professional surfers. It is quite the sight!

But remember, you can’t paddle out there just yet, we are still looking at the top 5 beginner list, so don’t get overly excited!

  • Google Maps Location Here.

5. Baby Makapu’u Surf Spot on the East Shore.

Photographic view from Ehukai Pillbox Hike above Sunset Elementary School

If you have not already taken a look at our Top 6 Beautiful Hikes on Oahu for Beginners (hint hint), you will see Makapu’u Lighthouse being one of the options. About a 5-minute drive from the lighthouse, you will find Baby Makapu’u Surf Break, which is debatably one of the smallest longboarding waves on the island.

This wave runs along the Eastern Side of Oahu, and is a favorite for the many locals who paddle out for smaller surf. It is almost as if the smaller surf gives you a greater time for reflection and healing in the Hawaiian water, not to mention the stunning view of Rabbit Island, Makapu’u Lihthouse cliff, and the lush Ko'olau Mountain Range right in front of you.

If you are following the road just past Makapu’u Beach Park, as the road begins to turn towards the mountain, the break will be just on the right side of the road. You will likely meet other beginners and long boarders who are enjoying one of Oahu's easiest surf spots.

On a good day, this break gets particularly crowded with some of the locals, and beginners who love to paddle out and catch a few of the longer waves.

This beginner surf spot is one of our favorites around the entire island because of the beautiful turquoise water that surrounds the break on a sunnier day. Waimanalo and Makapuu has some of the most beautiful water that you will see around all of Oahu.

  • Google Maps Location Here.

Let us know what you think of our Top 5 Beginner Surf Spots on Oahu. Don’t forget to have fun and be safe!

P.S. Are you visiting Oahu for a short time? Book a Massage Appointment at our clinic for a memorable experience. Here are some sweet deals.

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