Learn to SurfKaua‘i
References to SURFING are found in the earliest legends of ancient Hawai‘i. Around A.D. 400, a form of belly-boarding on small wooden planks was introduced; later, Tahitian explorers brought their tradition of riding waves with canoes. The Hawaiians merged the two techniques to create the sport of surfing.
Today, the fascination with the sport of kings is as alive as ever. Kaua‘i, with its warm, clear waters and variety of surf spots, attracts an endless stream of surfers year-round. This island has been home to many a famous surfer, including the Irons brothers (signs for ANDY IRONS, who passed away suddenly in 2010, still can be seen around the island) and BETHANY HAMILTON, a professional surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack and has since gone on to compete in surf competitions around the world, release an autobiography—Soul Surfer, a New York Times best seller later made into a 2011 film—and support WALKING ON WATER’S YOUTH SURF CAMPS (walkingonwater.com/ surf-camps).
Look for surf schools and board rentals. You’ll find them easily around the island. Some options are HAWAIIAN SURF ADVENTURES in Hanalei and KAUA‘I SURF SCHOOL in Koloa. As for Kaua‘i waves, the action alternates between shores and according to the season. The SOUTH SHORE is ideal for surfing in the summer, while the NORTH SHORE boasts the best intense surf action around the island in the winter months through March.
During the winter, the North Shore is a good place for both beginners and advanced surfers, depending on the spots.
If you plan to venture out on your own, check the daily surf report on hawaiibeachsafety.com, and then check again with lifeguards before paddling out.