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Hawaii Surf Report: The Art of Achieving Perfect Surfing in Hawaii

Hawaii surf report explained.

A Hawaii surf report is one of the most important tools in every surfer’s tool kit. Hawaii surfing is, of course, a rite of passage, a necessary pilgrimage in the true surfer’s life, no matter country or state of origin, making the Hawaii surf report essential. It is a long flight, or boat ride, to the middle of the Pacific, the most isolated clumps of land on earth, and stumbling through the islands during the wrong season or time of day can be catastrophic.

Flat, windy, rainy, poor.

We live in the future where Hawaii surf cameras, data, forecasts, technology etc. guarantee the best Hawaii surfing. A Hawaii surf report, in short. Luck is a myth though it is important not to be lazy. Hawaii surfers utilize a variety of different resources in their quest to ride as many of the world’s finest waves as possible, and they live there, so in order to be like them, to do the very best Hawaii surfing, we must do the same.

But which Hawaii surf report is the best to guarantee top-notch surfing in Hawaii?

That is a trick question if there ever was one. Each Hawaii surf report offers unique information. That information pieces together with another Hawaii surf report and yet another Hawaii surf report. The end result delivers the surfer dream of ideal surfing in Hawaii. That dream, of course, is a perfect, crystalline wave breaking either left or right with a wide open barrel groomed by light offshore breezes. Par Hawaii surfing without too many Hawaii surfers or blow-ins, preferably, as crowds tend to diminish the overall serenity.

Also, palm trees swaying on shore and a cold Mai Tai waiting after that perfect day of surfing in Hawaii. The complete experience.

So how then to utilize a Hawaii surf report or multiple Hawaii surf reports to achieve peak surfing in Hawaii?

For that, you have come to the right place and the aforementioned dream will soon be yours.

The geographically savvy know there are 137 recognized islands in the Hawaiian archipelago but only eight main ones. Hawaii, Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu, Kauai and Ni’ihau. Of these eight, Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Molokai can be enjoyed by you and by me, us surfers on pilgrimage looking for idyllic Hawaii surfing. It is a good idea, at the beginning, to check general weather during certain times of year on the islands as each has its own specific microclimate.

The best place to start, for that, is the National Weather Service, seeing as Hawaii has been part of the United States since August 21, 1959 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the former kingdom into the Union as the 50th state.

Hawaii fun facts

Did you know, for example, that there is a desert on Hawaii, otherwise called “The Big Island?” It’s true. The Ka’u Desert is on the western side of the Kilauea volcano and receives as much annual rainfall as Death Valley.

Did you also know that Waialeale, on Kauai, is one of the wettest places on earth, grabbing the world record of 666 inches of rain in 1982? It’s true! Enough liquid sunshine to bury the famous Hollywood sign twice over!

When examining weather data, ponder what sort of Hawaii surfing is most desired. Sunny skies or menacing storms? Will a family be in tow or just a pack of mangy surfers? Examine more specific weather data points by studying Hawaii-centric resources like Hawaii Weather Today, for weather is a key component when achieving peak surfing in Hawaii.

Now that the weather is accounted for, island chosen, based on purpose and taste plus travel companions, it is time to focus upon various corners and consult the correct Hawaii surf report, or rather multiple Hawaii surf reports. The Hawaii surfing on each island, and each shore of each island, leads to a drastically different surfing Hawaii experience. Don’t worry. Help is here.

The Big Island Surf Report

Are you going to the Big Island, also called Hawaii? You are a trailblazer and a hero. Do you like the very handsome Shane Dorian? He starred in the lauded film In God’s Hands and considers the Big Island home. Do you want to see a volcano up close? Maybe the fantasy of surfing and snow playing on the same day drives you. Whatever the case, there is a Hawaii surf report for you and a fascinating surfing Hawaii experience at hand.

Waves on the Big Island can be more difficult to score, making a good Hawaii surf report that much more essential. There are 200,000 souls who call Hawaii home. It is the second most populated in the Big Five, but, per capita, it is the emptiest. It must be noted, however, that ¼ consider themselves Hawaii surfers. The weather can be diverse, from bone dry to exceptionally rainy, but, as the great Billy Graham said, “Courage is contagious.”

The initial go-to Hawaii surf report, when on the Big Island, is Surfline. Surfline is a great place to start. It is the largest provider of both information and Hawaii surf cams. The Big Island’s two main cities. Hilo and Kona. They each offer an array of nearby breaks all serviced by Hawaii surf report provider Surfline. Other local Hawaii surf reports can, and should, be used for the peak surfing Hawaii experience. The enterprising traveler looking for a unique surfing Hawaii experience is encouraged to dig deeper.

Again, BeachGrit is here to help.

Hilo Surf Report

The surf spots are equally picturesque and sustainable near Hilo. It is a very fine city with gorgeous gardens, waterfalls and eco-resorts. As on every island, there are beginner, intermediate and advanced breaks. Each has its own Hawaii surf report.

Honoli’i Beach is likely the most consistent wave near Hilo. The gorgeous cove is just two miles away from downtown Hilo. It has a decent right which provides a nice canvas for intermediate to advanced surfers. The Honoli’i surf report is a good place to get current conditions along with helpful descriptions of when, and what, to avoid. Surfing in Hawaii is hazardous. The experts and BeachGrit recommend careful planning.

Kona Surf Report

Kona, on the west side of the island, is usually bathed in bathed and contains a fascinating history. Kealakekua Bay is the place where Captain James Cook both first set foot and was eventually killed. It is a short drive south. Cook was, in fact, the first to witness surfing in Hawaii and described the wonder with awe.

Coffee plantations dot the region as well. Caffeine aficionados will enjoy touring them very much. Those looking for an important jolt after too much sun,  or too many Mai Tais days will also appreciate. Coffee supplements a day filled with Hawaii surfing nicely.

The most popular surf spots are Kahalu’u, for beginners. Banyans is better for those with more advanced skill. Kahalu’u is a wide, sloping wave with a number of surf schools on the beach, for those just getting their start. It is best in the summer. The Kahalu’u surf report details both swell and wind conditions, which are important as Kahalu’u is subject to heavy afternoon breezes.

Banyans Surf Report

Banyans is a “magnate break” that can work on swells from multiple directions. It is best in the winter though there is almost always a wave to ride. The Banyans surf report suggests January as the best month.

The Big Island, once again, is good for surfing but great for adventuring and snorkeling, kayaking, even sailing should be part of the itinerary. The Hawaii surf report can be used to discern water clarity as well as temperature making for a finer time.

Maui Surf Report

Are you going to Maui? That is great choice, especially with family in tow. Maui is entirely accessible with many direct flights from the mainland. Maui surf reports are both good and accurate. Costco is the first exit out of the airport. It is filled with all manner of peanut butter pretzels and office chairs. The Maui Costco also has cellular phones from every major carrier. A cell phone should be purchased in order to access a localized Hawaii surf report. Phones go missing on Maui and having an extra is not a bad thing. The Rock made the name Maui famous in Disney’s Moana. The White Lotus’s first season highlighted the Valley Isle as well.

The family will thank you, anyhow. You will be rewarded by wild surf and an extreme surfing Hawaii experience. You can also opt for a pleasant day on the beach with some fun rollers, depending on desire and the Maui surf report consulted. Maui hovers in the superlatives. The world’s fastest right breaks on the south shore. One of the world’s biggest waves in the world breaks on the north shore.

Jaws Surf Report

Jaws, or Peahi, comes roaring from the depths of the Pacific, lurching and flashing its teeth. The wave breaks during the winter on Maui’s north shore.  It is only recommended for the bravest, most advanced surfers on earth. Watching Jaws from the bluff is an experience all its own. The Jaws surf report will allow those interested to track the ocean open swells which work best on the special bathymetry.

Ma’alea Bay Surf Report

Ma’alea Bay is just outside of Kihei It is considered the world’s fastest right. The wave moves so fast, in fact, that it has been dubbed Freight Trains. Here, it is extra-essential to consult with a general Hawaii surf report. It is better to consult Maui surf reports, as the conditions need to be near perfect in order for the wave to break. It works on large swell coming from the south or south east. The best chance is for southern hemisphere winter storms to push north. The Ma’alea Bay surf report from Surfline is the best option. Maui surf reports on the radio all provide hints of when the Freight Train will roll.

Honolua Bay Surf Report

Maui is also home to the exceptional Honolua Bay. Honolulu Bay is not only is it one of the best waves on the island, it is one of the best waves in the world. Honolua is a right that breaks over healthy reef just outside Kapalua. Honolua Bay attracts large crowds and utilizing a Honolua Bay surf report with cameras is advised. The gorgeous waters can be snorkeled, when there are no waves, giving it an unsurpassed allure.

Olowalu Beach Surf Report

Olowalu Beach is recommended for the beginner. It is directly off the Honoapiilani Highway, a short thirty miles north of Kihei, and extremely easy to access with ample parking. It is a very sharky beach but the frisson of danger adds to the thrill. The Olowalu Beach surf report notes summer is the best time for the wave and suggests surfing it on a medium tide.

The Maui surf report is, again, filled with vital information not only for the aspiring Hawaii surfer but also the aspiring Hawaii surfer who wishes to maintain a peaceful family vibe.

Oahu Surf Report

Are you going to Oahu? That is wonderful and not one person you stumble across will question your plan. Oahu is the true crown jewel in the triple crown of surfing. The capital, Honolulu, is on the southern side of the island. It has everything the sophisticated urban-loving surfer could want. Haleiwa and “the seven mile miracle” is on Oahu’s North Shore. It is surfing’s Mecca and Medina. Many other famous and notorious waves dot the west and east sides. Oahu is, in any case, holy, almost too good with too many options. The usage of the right Oahu surf report is, therefore, that much more handy. The island is so surf-rich that a general Oahu surf report will do the punter less good than a specific Oahu surf report.

Waikiki Surf Report

Queen’s breaks right off of the very famous Waikiki Beach in Honolulu. It is a must-do in every surfer’s life. It was named after the Hawaiian royalty who once had exclusive access to the wave. There is almost always a ripple to ride, generally requiring a longboard which can be rented from vendors right on the sand. Queen’s is always crowded but it is part of its charm and party waves should be expected. Summer is the best time for the south shore and either the Queens surf report, or Waikiki surf report, can be consulted for wave height and general weather. The Waikiki surf report camera shows a nice panoramic view of Queen’s, The Wall and other nearby spots.

Use the Waikiki surf report to see if there are any events happening on the water out front of the many famous hotels that dot the sand. Surf contests, outrigger canoe races, even triathlons are common and the right Waikiki surf report will give information about such events. The Waikiki surf report, overall, is a tool for surfers or simple tourists alike.

Ala Moana Bowls Surf Report

Ala Moana Bowls is just north of Waikiki, in Honolulu. It is a popular destination for the more advanced surfer. Ala Moana Bowls has both a left and right, breaking over reef, and can get big on south or south west swells. The Ala Moana surf report is a good resource for tracking both swell direction and wind. It gets messy with too much wind.

Pipeline Surf Report

The Banzai Pipeline, on the north shore, is certainly the most famous wave in the world. Those who conquer Pipeline’s gaping left or racing right enter their names in the pantheon of greats and are rewarded with adoration for their feats. Pipeline comes to life in the winter and hosts many contests a year, so the Pipeline surf report should be consulted to see if it is available or not. If it is available, only the most seasoned should dare attempt.

The surfer should study the Pipeline surf report like a manual. He or she should look for more than just wave height on the very first page. He or she should scroll through the entirety of the Pipeline surf report to glean any other essential data, including swell direction. There are multiple different versions of the Pipeline surf report. The waves are extremely technical, of course, but navigating the crowd is its own challenge.

Use the Pipeline surf report to enjoy simply watching Pipeline on its best days. The camera angles utilized in the Pipeline Surf Report are perfect and the viewer can catch all the spills and thrills from the safety of home or office.

Waimea Bay Surf Report

Waimea Bay is a short peddle away from Pipeline. The Beach Boys immortalized the spot with the hit Surfin’ USA. Waimea Bay hosts the legendary Eddie Aikau Invitational. The waves must consistently 20 feet or higher for the Eddie to run. Though it may not seem like much, Hawaiians measure waves differently, the back as opposed to the front, so “20 foot Hawaiian” is at least 40 feet to you and me. The Waimea Bay surf report is important for tracking winter storms that bring the bay to life.

Use the Waimea Bay surf report to simply watch the bravest of the brave paddle out when “the bay calls the day.” The Pipeline surf report has a better viewing experience, however. Setting up the Waimea Bay surf report on computer or television will a taste of pure adrenaline in the mouth.

Haleiwa Surf Report

Haleiwa is a wave breaking near the town of the same name. Surf thinkers recommend it for “experts” though the lifelong intermediate surfer should feel free to attempt. It was once the first jewel of the Triple Crown of surfing, a series of surf contests that descend upon the North Shore every winter. “Haleiwa” means means “House of the Frigate Bird.” It is a powerful and compact wave that rewards those who are up for the challenge. The Haleiwa surf report is a good source for swell and wind. The more advanced surfer might wish to consult the Kaneohe Bay and Mokapu Point buoys for detailed information.

Sunset Beach Surf Report

Sunset is the second jewel of the Triple Crown of surfing. It breaks over an extremely wide collection of reef at the northern end of the “seven mile miracle,” meaning the surfer who would like to conquer should have intimate knowledge of the swell direction as the smallest variable will shift where the best spot to sit. The Sunset Beach surf report and Sunset Beach fifteen day forecast are essential for the dreamer who hopes to snag one of the oceanic beasts.

Chun’s Reef Surf Report

Now, while most of the North Shore’s waves are demanding, menacing even, the beginner can taste some of the fire and fury by paddling out at Chun’s Reef. Chun’s Reef is directly between Haleiwa and Waimea Bay and offers a nice sandy beach with gentle surf and even a nearby surf school. The Chun’s Reef surf report, an almost peaceful subset of the Oahu surf report, can be used for swell, wind, forecast, certainly, but is also valuable to see how crowded the lineup is which will help inform if there is room to erect a sun shade or not. A pleasant beach experience always important.

There are many other places to surf in Oahu, as mentioned, almost too many and Oahu surf reports for each.

Kauai Surf Report

Are you going to Kauai? Well look at you, possessing a combination of taste, an adventuring spirit and a zeal for wild surfing. Cheers. The Garden Isle is a quiet gem. The least populated of the major islands, and by a fair margin. While it is more difficult to access, Kauai rewards its surf visitor with a rugged yet enchanted experience. But, again, with the beautiful lack of infrastructure makes the proper Kauai surf report not just advised but imperative.

Poipu Beach Surf Report

Kapaa is Kauai’s largest town, at just over 11,000 souls, though not its entry point. Most visitors fly into Lihue. It would be well advised to drive their rental cars south, to Poipu Beach. Poipu Beach is a quick fifteen mile trip from Lihue’s airport. Consult a Hawaii surf report before driving. Poipu Beach is not the most challenging spot but it is as beautiful as they come. It does not disappoint. The Travel Channel named Poipu Beach one of the “world’s best beaches.” The waves can be fickle, making a Hawaii surf report that much more important. Poipu Beach breaks best during the summer months and the best of those waves form off an outer reef, thus the surfer must consult the Poipu Outer Reef surf report.

Hanalei Surf Report

Poipu Beach might be the most famous beach on Kauai. The locals call it Pine Trees and is the most famous amongst students of surf history. Poipu Beach is part of the broader Hanalei Bay. Surf champion Andy Irons grew up on Kauai’s North Shore. The wave, or rather stretch of waves, covers a large area of sandy beach. It is fun from waist high to well overhead.

The Hanalei surf report is a good tool to discern tide, swell and wind but also weather. Rain squalls and a turbulent climate are common on Kauai’s North Shore. Use the Hanalei surf report to pinpoint what time of the day to paddle out. Again, the only predictable thing about the weather on the Garden Isle is its unpredictability. The surfer, though, will know what they need to know though studying the Hanalei surf report.

Molokai Surf Report

Are you going to Molokai? That is a truly unique choice that will gift the traveling surfer an exceptional blend of beauty and solitude. Towering cliffs, the tallest in the world, plunge into sapphire seas and life ambles along at its own pace. Moloka’i is, officially, part of the County of Maui and used to be a leper colony. There is no major resort on the island. There is no minor one, either, ensuring a less crowded Hawaii surfing experience.

The Molokai surf report does not feature Hawaii surf cameras and so the best Hawaii surf report to consult are the weather Popular breaks are Kahului Harbor, Honokohau and Big Lefts.

Waialua Rivermouth Surf Report

In general, the eastern side of the small island is best for the beginner surfer as small waves lap the shore year ‘round. Waialua Beach is the perfect spot. The Waialua Rivermouth Surf Report gives general up-to-the-day information.

Kephui Surf Report

Molokai’s western side is very rough. It is also sparse. Kepuhi Beach provides a racing right barrel breaking over rock. Sheraton’s is the name of the wave after the shuttered resort fronting it. Access is easy, but large boulders lurk right under the surface so the enterprising surfer should be extremely cautious. The Kephui Surf Report provides tide information and swell direction, plus size, though there are no Hawaii surf cameras.

The Hawaiian islands, again, are paradise, a Hawaii surf report the key to unlocking but it is also important to know where to stay, shop and learn. The archipelago boasts an embarrassment of riches in Hawaii surf reports, certainly, but also in surf shops, surf camps and surf lessons, not to mention surf hotels, which are so vast and essential to the surfing Hawaii experience as necessitating its own post. Surfing Hawaii, in and of itself, doesn’t necessitate a bed nor shower. The experts at BeachGrit will address accommodations later.

Hawaii surf shops, Hawaii surf camps and Hawaii surf lessons

There are almost too many options, for each, as surfing Hawaii in the best possible manner requires proper gear and proper instruction but, again, you have come to the experts at BeachGrit for sound guidance and sound guidance you shall receive.

Hawaii surf shops

As far as Hawaii surf shops are concerned, there are certain necessary pilgrimages for every visiting surfer set on achieving perfect surfing Hawaii, regardless of need. The Hawaii surfer shops, almost exclusively, from the Hawaii surf shop and, as the adage goes, “If it is good enough for the Hawaii surfer, it is good enough.”

For some, the ideal surfing Hawaii experience is gliding along on a longboard, little waves providing pure joy. For others, the deal surfing Hawaii experience is threading gaping pits, coral heads crying for blood underneath. Each island has a legendary surf shop. One that is steeped in both lore and history, and dawning a door to buy a t-shirt or bar of wax is required.

Hawaii surf shops island guide

On the Big Island, the traveling surfer must visit Pacific Vibrations in Kona. It is the classic Hawaii surf shop in town. It is a staple for the best surfing Hawaii

On Maui, the local favorite Hawaii surf shop is Hi-Tech Surf Sports. The shop is in Kahului and has been open for more than thirty years.

On Oahu, the traveling surfer is spoiled with options but must make time to visit Surf N Sea in Haleiwa, a Hawaii surf shop par excellence. It has been on the same corner since 1965 and absolutely exudes the history of both Hawaii surfing and the North Shore itself. Brave men and women will walk out looking the very picture of Hawaii surfers to much applause.

On Kauai, a trip to Tamba Surf Company in Kapa’a is necessary. Andy and Bruce Irons put this Hawaii surf shop on the map. They redefined Hawaii surfing in a whole new way. The staff is very knowledgeable about local breaks and conditions. They will share about living in Hawaii  and other Hawaii surf reports.

Hawaii surf camps

Now, if the traveling surfer is keen for instruction, each island offers a variety of teachers and vendors. Some camps whimsically mix surfing in Hawaii with other pastimes such as wrestling, yoga or couple’s therapy.

For an all-immersive seven day Hawaii surf camp which involves exploring, hiking and learning about Hawaii’s rich culture, Pata Zudaka is a fine option. For the health minded, there is a seen day Hawaii surf and wellness camp on the island of Maui, though it is for women only. There is a week-long Hawaii surf camp with jiu-jitsu training on Oahu’s North Shore. And for those couples looking to add a dash of spark into their lives, along with a healthy dose of surfing in Hawaii, the Maui Surf and Soul retreat is simply perfect.

Hawaii surf lessons

Each island, again, has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Hawaii surf lessons. Hawaii surfers learn how to slide a longboard with grace, or knife a rhino charger with style. It must be stated, is the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience at Turtle Bay on Oahu’s North Shore is a unique option. The student will learn all the basics and might just catch a glimpse of the famous celebrity Hawaii surfer Jamie O’Brien himself as he teaches from time to time.

With all the tools, the proper gear but, most importantly, the correct Hawaii surf report, surfing in Hawaii will be as wonderful as imagined.

A perfect dream.