What Are the Best Surfing Beaches in Oahu?

Oahu's hidden gems await discovery, with secret surf spots and towering waves waiting to be ridden by those willing to venture off the beaten path.

You might be surprised to learn that Oahu, despite its popularity, still harbors some of the most under-the-radar surf spots in the world. While many flock to the North Shore's iconic beaches, you're likely wondering what other gems the island has to offer. From gentle waves perfect for beginners to towering swells that'll test even the most seasoned pros, Oahu's diverse coastline has something for every surfer. But which beaches stand out from the rest?

Turtle Bay Surfing Experience

As you step into the tranquil waters of Turtle Bay, you'll discover a surfing paradise that caters to all skill levels, with the Jamie O'Brien Surf Experience at your fingertips. Located at the Turtle Bay Resort, this premier surf school in Oahu offers the best surfing experience for beginners and seasoned surfers alike.

The protected inside reef breaks provide a safe and ideal environment for learning, with waves that break gently right in front of the resort. As a beginner surfer, you'll appreciate the soft, rolling waves and beautiful white sand beach, making it the perfect spot to catch your first waves.

The Jamie O'Brien Surf Experience offers expert instruction and guidance, ensuring that you'll be riding waves in no time. With numerous surf schools available at Turtle Bay, you'll find the perfect fit for your surfing needs. Whether you're a beginner or looking to improve your skills, Turtle Bay Resort has everything you need to take your surfing to the next level.

Chuns Reef for Beginners

You'll find Chuns Reef, a picturesque spot on Oahu's North Shore, offering ideal waves for beginners and intermediate surfers alike, with soft-breaking right points and fast-breaking left waves that are perfect for honing your skills in a stunning natural setting.

As a beginner, you'll appreciate the user-friendly waves that make it an ideal spot for surf schools, with numerous options available to help you learn how to surf in a safe and enjoyable environment.

With its beautiful white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters, Chuns Reef provides a breathtaking backdrop for surfers to enjoy the rolling waves and potentially spot turtles or dolphins. However, be cautious of the shallow and dangerous reef bottom, and exercise care while maneuvering through the breaks to avoid injuries.

With its perfect blend of gentle and fast-breaking waves, Chuns Reef is a must-visit spot for beginners and intermediate surfers looking to improve their skills in a stunning natural setting.

Waimea Bay Big Waves

As you head to Waimea Bay, you're in for a thrilling experience, riding the giants that crash onto the shore. You'll soon realize that wave conditions matter, and it's essential to time your visit with the big wave season to catch the most epic rides.

With waves reaching up to 20 feet high, you'll want to be prepared to tackle the powerful surf that draws in experienced riders from around the world.

Riding the Giants

Waimea Bay's winter swells release colossal waves, towering 20-30 feet high, that dare even the most seasoned surfers to ride their fury. You'll be awestruck by the sheer power of these massive waves, which have earned Waimea Bay the nickname 'The Mount Everest of Surfing.'

As you paddle out, you'll feel the rush of adrenaline as you prepare to take on the giants. This is the ultimate test of skill and bravery, and only the most experienced surfers should attempt to ride these monster waves.

You're not alone, though – the bay hosts the prestigious Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, a competition that attracts the world's top surfers. Eddie Aikau, a legendary surfer and lifeguard, was known for his fearless approach to riding Waimea's big waves. Today, the competition honors his legacy, drawing in crowds of spectators who gather to marvel at the raw power of nature.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or just a spectator, Waimea Bay's massive waves are an unforgettable experience.

Wave Conditions Matter

At Waimea Bay, the winter months bring forth monstrous waves that can reach towering heights of 15-20 feet, making it a mecca for thrill-seeking surfers. As you visit Waimea Bay, you'll experience the ultimate rush of big wave season, where the wave conditions are nothing short of breathtaking.

Here are some key things to know about Waimea Bay:

  • Waimea Bay is home to the prestigious Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, an invite-only contest that showcases the world's top surfers tackling massive waves.
  • The shorebreak at Waimea Bay is a sight to behold, with spectators flocking to witness the raw power of the ocean.
  • Be prepared for limited parking options, as the spot is extremely popular among surfers and spectators alike.
  • In the summer, Waimea Bay transforms into a tranquil haven perfect for basking and snorkeling.
  • The big wave season at Waimea Bay is a must-see for any surfing enthusiast, offering an unforgettable experience that will leave you in awe.
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As you explore Waimea Bay, you'll discover why it's a surfer's paradise, with its intense waves and stunning scenery making it a standout destination on the North Shore of Oahu.

Sunset Beach Surfing Delight

As you explore Sunset Beach, you'll discover it's a haven for experienced surfers, but you might be wondering if it's suitable for beginners.

You'll be surprised to know that Sunset Beach offers more than just powerful waves, and you'll get to experience the best of it during daily sunset sessions.

As you soak up the North Shore gem's atmosphere, get ready to uncover the delights of Sunset Beach that make it a must-visit spot for surfers of all levels.

Waves for Beginners

When you're looking to catch your first waves, Sunset Beach's gentle surf offers the perfect introduction to the world of surfing. As a beginner, you'll appreciate the smaller waves that allow you to build confidence in the water. The beach provides a safe and welcoming environment for novice surfers to practice their skills, with picturesque surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere to boot.

Here are just a few reasons why Sunset Beach is ideal for beginners like you:

  • Gentle waves perfect for learning to surf
  • Safe and welcoming environment for novice surfers
  • Smaller waves to build confidence in the water
  • Surf schools and instructors available for lessons and guidance
  • Picturesque surroundings and relaxed atmosphere to enjoy while catching your first waves

With Sunset Beach's gentle waves and supportive environment, you'll be hanging ten in no time.

Take the first step in your surfing journey and experience the thrill of riding the waves at Sunset Beach.

Sunset Sessions Daily

You can shift gears from learning to surf at Sunset Beach to experiencing the thrill of surfing during the daily sunset sessions, where the beach transforms into a surfer's paradise. As the sun dips into the ocean, you'll be treated to stunning views and great surfing conditions.

Known for its big wave surf, Sunset Beach on Oahu's North Shore provides a thrilling experience for experienced surfers. The two-mile stretch of white sand creates a picturesque setting for your evening surfing adventures. With powerful waves, Sunset Beach is a prime spot for surfers looking to test their skills and enjoy the beauty of Oahu's North Shore.

You'll join a community of surfers seeking challenging waves and beautiful sunsets. The daily sunset sessions at Sunset Beach are a popular choice for those who crave an adrenaline rush amidst breathtaking scenery. So, grab your board and get ready to ride the waves as the sun sets over the ocean.

North Shore Gem

Riding the powerful waves at Sunset Beach, a North Shore gem, is a thrill that experienced surfers crave. Its closeout sets and strong currents demand skill and focus. As a surfer, you'll need to be at the top of your game to tackle this beast of a wave. But the reward is worth it – the rush of adrenaline as you ride the wave all the way to shore is like no other.

Here are some things to keep in mind when surfing or visiting Sunset Beach:

** Be prepared for powerful waves and strong currents that demand expertise

** The West Bowl is reserved for experienced surfers, while the inside section can dredge up for a thrilling ride

Sunset Beach hosts the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing**, so you might catch a glimpse of the world's best surfers in action

** Bring binoculars to get a closer look at the action from afar

** Take in the stunning sunsets on the two-mile stretch of white sand beach after a long day of surfing

Banzai Pipeline Thrill

Tucked away on Oahu's North Shore, the infamous Banzai Pipeline beckons experienced surfers with its monstrous, hollow waves, which break precariously close to shore, offering an electrifying spectacle for spectators.

As you witness the Pipeline's fury, you'll understand why it's revered by thrill-seekers and pros alike. The Banzai Pipeline is notorious for its dangerous waves, which form massive, round, hollow left waves that crash onto a shallow reef. This demanding spot requires a high level of expertise, which is why local surfers zealously guard this secret spot.

When you're not catching waves, parking is conveniently available at Ehukai Beach Park or along the highway, making it easy to access this iconic surfing location. As a spectator, you'll be treated to a thrilling display of surfing prowess, with waves breaking mere feet from the shore.

If you're an experienced surfer seeking the ultimate rush, the Pipeline is the holy grail of surfing spots on Oahu's North Shore.

North Shore Surfing Spots

Beyond the legendary Banzai Pipeline, Oahu's North Shore is home to a collection of world-renowned surfing spots, each boasting its own unique character and challenges. As you explore the North Shore, you'll discover a variety of surf breaks that cater to different skill levels and preferences.

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Here are some of the most popular surfing spots on Oahu's North Shore:

  • Sunset Beach: Host to the prestigious Triple Crown Surfing Contest, known for its big wave surf.
  • Waimea Bay: Famous for its annual Eddie Would Go surfing contest and historic, massive waves.
  • Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline): Features waves over 30 feet high in winter, attracting expert surfers.
  • Haleiwa's Alii Beach: Offers waves up to 25 feet high in winter with fewer crowds for a more peaceful surfing experience.
  • Banzai Pipeline (Pipe): Known for its dangerous waves, shallow reef, and hosting major surfing competitions, making it a challenging spot for experienced surfers.

Each of these surf breaks offers a unique experience, from the thrill of riding massive waves to the tranquility of surfing with fewer crowds. Whether you're a seasoned pro or an aspiring surfer, Oahu's North Shore has something for everyone.

South Shore Surf Breaks

As you explore the South Shore's surf breaks, you'll discover a variety of exciting options to ride the waves. From the beginner-friendly breaks at Waikiki Beach to the more challenging waves at Kaimana Bay, there's something for every skill level.

Next, you'll want to check out Ala Moana Spots, which offer consistent and thrilling rides for intermediate surfers.

Waikiki Beach Breaks

Riding the gentle waves at Waikiki Beach, you'll find a summer paradise that welcomes surfers of all levels to its beginner-friendly breaks. As you paddle out, take in the stunning panoramic views of the city landscape.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a total newbie, Waikiki Beach has got you covered. Surf lessons are readily available, perfect for those looking to learn or improve their skills.

Here are just a few reasons why Waikiki Beach is a must-visit for surfers:

  • Enjoy the mellow waves and deep waters that provide a relaxing surfing experience
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the city landscape while you catch some leisurely waves
  • Surf lessons are readily available for all skill levels
  • The beginner-friendly breaks make it an ideal spot for those just starting out
  • Be cautious when surfing near the Lighthouse, as the conditions can be more challenging for beginners

At Waikiki Beach, you'll find the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. So grab your board and hit the waves – you won't be disappointed!

Kaimana Bay Waves

You'll find consistent and gentle waves at Kaimana Bay, a tranquil oasis on Oahu's South Shore that's perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers looking to catch some relaxing rides. Protected by a reef, Kaimana Bay provides a safe and calm surfing environment with minimal currents and hazards. As you paddle out, you'll be surrounded by the stunning backdrop of Diamond Head, making this spot a picturesque gem for surfers and beachgoers alike.

Compared to other popular surf breaks in Waikiki, Kaimana Bay is less crowded, allowing you to enjoy a more relaxed surfing experience. Plus, you'll often find surf schools and instructors on hand to provide lessons and guidance to surfers of all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to catch your first wave or an intermediate surfer seeking to improve your skills, Kaimana Bay's gentle waves and supportive environment make it an ideal spot to learn and grow.

Ala Moana Spots

Exploring the South Shore of Oahu, you'll discover a cluster of surf breaks in Ala Moana, each offering a unique experience for surfers of varying skill levels. From beginners to experts, Ala Moana has something for everyone.

Here are some of the top surf spots to check out:

  • Ala Moana Bowls: A consistent reef break perfect for intermediate surfers looking for a challenge.
  • Kaisers: A popular spot for longboarders, with long, mellow waves that are ideal for cruising.
  • Threes: A local favorite with a variety of breaks, offering something for every surfer.
  • Canoes: A beginner-friendly spot at Ala Moana Beach Park, with smaller waves and a laid-back atmosphere.
  • Queens: A well-known break at Waikiki Beach, with a mix of lefts and rights that cater to surfers of all levels.

Each of these spots offers a unique experience, so be sure to explore and find the one that suits your style. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, Ala Moana has a wave waiting for you.

West Side Surfing Gems

Oahu's West Side boasts an array of world-class surf spots, each with its unique character and challenges, waiting to be conquered by surfers of all levels.

As you explore the West Side, you'll discover Makaha Beach Park, a big-wave surfing mecca with waves reaching up to 25 feet high in the winter months.

For a more secluded experience, head to Yokohama Bay, which offers uncrowded surfing opportunities year-round, though be prepared for hazardous waves during the winter season.

Makaha Beach provides a diverse experience, ideal for diving in the summer and popular among surfers on the dry side of Oahu.

If you're looking for consistent waves, Maili Point is the spot, featuring a reef break with both left and right-handers, though it can get crowded.

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Lastly, Electric Beach stands out for its clear waters, abundant marine life, and occasional surf breaks, offering a unique surfing experience on Oahu's West Side.

Oahu's Most Popular Surf Spots

From Sunset Beach to Haleiwa, the North Shore is packed with iconic surf spots that have earned a reputation for delivering some of the most thrilling rides on the planet. You'll find Oahu's premier surf spots along this stretch, each offering a unique experience for surfers of all levels.

Here are some of the most popular surf spots on the North Shore:

  • Banzai Pipeline: famous for its perfect barrels and dangerous waves, attracting experienced surfers.
  • Waimea Bay: known for its huge mountainous waves, ideal for expert surfers during big wave season.
  • Off-The-Wall: offers a fun Hawaiian style beach break experience, suitable for surfers of all levels.
  • Backdoor: provides dangerous reef breaks and right-hand barrel perfection for thrill-seeking surfers.
  • Ehukai Beach Park: serves as an alternative to Pipeline with both rights and lefts, catering to diverse surfing preferences.

These surf spots are a must-visit for any surfer looking to catch the best surfing waves in Oahu. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner, the North Shore has something for everyone.

Best Surf Schools in Oahu

When you're ready to hang ten, finding the right surf school can make all the difference in catching Oahu's legendary waves. Luckily, Oahu is home to some of the best surf schools in the world, catering to surfers of all skill levels.

On Waikiki Beach, Oahu Surf Academy offers private and group lessons, while Hans Hedemann Surf School operates on both Waikiki Beach and the North Shore, providing surfing and stand-up paddleboarding lessons.

If you're looking for a more personalized coaching experience, try Ty Gurney Surf School at Queens Beach in Waikiki, known for its family-friendly atmosphere.

If you're on the North Shore, Maui Mike's Surf School in Haleiwa offers surf lessons and surfboard rentals with a focus on safety and fun. Alternatively, Sea & Board Sports Hawaii provides surf lessons at multiple locations on Oahu, emphasizing ocean awareness and surf etiquette.

Whatever your skill level, these surf schools will get you riding the beach break in no time.

Oahu's Hidden Surfing Secrets

Beyond the popular surf spots, you'll find a handful of hidden gems on Oahu that offer a more secluded and serene surfing experience. If you're looking to escape the crowds and find your own slice of surfing paradise, venture off the beaten path to discover Oahu's hidden surfing secrets.

  • Ka'ena Point: Experience the rugged coastline, occasional surf breaks, and pristine natural beauty.
  • Mokuleia: Enjoy an uncrowded beach with breaks for surfers of all skill levels.
  • Laniakea: Surf alongside sea turtles and take in the stunning scenery.
  • Pua'ena Point: Find mellow waves ideal for beginners and longboarders seeking a peaceful surf session.
  • Haleiwa Beach Park: Relax in this historic, less crowded spot on the North Shore, perfect for a laid-back surf experience.

These hidden gems offer a unique Oahu Surf experience, away from the crowds and chaos. Take your surf to the next level by exploring these secluded spots, and discover the authentic charm of Oahu's North Shore breaks.

Surfing Oahu's Coastline

As you explore Oahu's coastline, you'll discover a diverse range of surf breaks that cater to every skill level and style, from gentle waves to monstrous tubes. The North Shore, renowned for its big wave surfing, is home to iconic spots like Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay, and Banzai Pipeline – the best North Shore breaks. These waves on the North Shore are a surfer's paradise, hosting major competitions that draw crowds from around the world.

If you're looking for a surf lesson Oahu, the North Shore of Oahu offers plenty of opportunities to learn from experienced instructors. However, Oahu's coastline has much more to offer beyond the North Shore. The South Shore's Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head, and Ala Moana Bowls provide a mix of breaks for surfers of all levels.

The West Side's Makaha Beach Park and Yokohama Bay offer challenging waves year-round, while the East Shore's Sandy Beach and Makapu'u boast powerful shore breaks. With so many surf spots to choose from, you'll find the perfect wave to match your skills and style.


As you paddle out, the trade winds whisper secrets of the ancient surfers who rode Oahu's waves before you.

The sun dips into the ocean, painting the sky with hues of pink and orange, symbolizing the fiery passion that drives surfers to chase the ultimate ride.

With every wave, you're connected to the island's rich surf heritage.

Oahu's diverse coastline is your playground, where every break is a chapter in the story of your surfing journey.