To early Hawaiians, surfing was more than catching and riding waves — it was a social activity and honored ritual. In ancient Hawai‘i, surfing began with the selection of a tree from which a board would be carved and progressed to legendary surfing contests for the ali‘i (chiefs). Today’s surfers may not be royalty, but they are no less enchanted by the legendary sport of kings.
A great spot to surf is Waikīkī. With reliable waves almost year-round, it’s a good choice for the beginner and an easy place to rent boards and take lessons.
After all, the surfers at Waikīkī Beach were the ones who fi rst helped to bring the sport of surfing to the world.
Another spot for new surfers is WHITE PLAINS on the southwest side of O‘ahu. While professional surfing contests take place during the winter, you can still check out locals taking on North Shore waves throughout the year at spots along the “ SEVEN MILE MIRACLE ,” which stretches from Hale‘iwa to Sunset Beach. It contains many of the major surf spots on this big-wave coast, including Rocky Point, Banzai Pipeline, ‘Ehukai, Waimea Bay, Chun’s Reef, Laniākea and Sunset Beach. Beware that these waves are championship quality during the winter months, meaning that only professionals should be surfing them.
Always heed lifeguards instructions and posted signs when on any beach. If surfing on the North Shore (or elsewhere) interests you, surf pros offer lessons all around the island when conditions are safe.
Whatever you do, don’t try to tackle these spots solo.