Hawaii Guide


Surfing the Waves of Kauai

Surfing, Big Waves, Speed, The Indian Ocean

Surfing Kauai is popular with surfers as the island has some of the most challenging surf in Hawaii. In parts of the island the seas are too dangerous for any other than the most experienced and expert surfers to go out on the water. Check conditions before you surf and make sure that you are up to it as people do drown each year in the ocean around the island. Local surf shops or the Weather Service (808 245 3564) should be able to advise you on current surfing conditions in different parts of the island.

Surf Schools and Lessons

Beginners may like to consider having surfing lessons to get them started. Rates are fairly reasonable and lessons do not usually last any less than ninety minutes. You should be able to catch a wave and get up on the board within a day. The best way to improve is to practice.

Equipment Rental

Surfing equipment can be hired or bought in Kauai. Beginner boards can be rented out these are more flexible and larger than the hard boards rented out to experienced surfers. There are many surf shops at different locations on the island so finding a surfboard shouldn't be hard. Surf shops may be able to help you with a roof rack for the car so you can transport your surfboards around the island.

The Hot Spots

Hanalei Bay in the north is a surfers' paradise and this whole area is popular with surfers who hang out in the small town of Hanalei. Surfing Kauai doesn't get much better than Hanalei Bay in the winter.

Kalihiwai Beach take the first Kalihiwai Road (there are two, they used to be one road until a storm destroyed the bridge joining them across the stream) down to the mouth of Kalihiwai Stream to find this beach. This is fun for people to use in the summer but serious surfing only happens in the winter.

Kahili Quarry Beach is popular with surfers and boogie boarders. It is accessible from a dirt track going off Wailapa Road.

Kealia Beach watch out for currents and backwash from the fierce waves. This is not a good area for beginners. This beach is north of Kapaa off the Kuhio Highway (Highway 56).

Kalapaki Beach Kalapaki Beach at Lihue is a good place for people to learn how to surf as it is reasonably calm most of the time.

Poipu Beach is good for beginners as it has small waves and no one cares when you fall off.

Infinities (Pakala Beach) is a famous surfing spot on the west coast but is only suitable for the experts.