Of all the surfing destinations in the world, there is something seductive about Hawaii. Throughout the islands, you can watch master big-wave surfers or take your first lesson. Keep reading for all the basics on how to plan surfing holidays in Hawaii.
1. Watching Big Wave Surfing: If you want to watch the world’s best surfers on the biggest waves in Hawaii, you will have to plan ahead. These gigantic swells occur on the north shores of Hawaii, particularly Oahu. Big wave season coincides with winter, from November through February.
2. First Surf Lesson: Surfing is so engrained in the culture of Hawaii, that you can take a surf lesson on every island and just about every beach. These first lessons usually last one to two hours, are taught by experienced surfers, and utilize longboards to make it easier for first-timers.
3. Classic Waikiki Beach: One of the most popular places for a first surf lesson is Waikiki Beach. These lessons begin on the sand, providing the basics of paddling and how to stand up on the board. A push from an instructor on gentle waves often results in visitors catching their first wave on Waikiki Beach.
4. Equipment: Depending on how much surfing you want to do, you may or may not need equipment. Everyone should have sunscreen and a bathing suit that will stay on during waves and tumbles. Tiny bikinis aren’t recommended as they can often be swept away with a wave. Many surf lesson companies will provide longboards and a rash guard, or long sleeve spandex athletic shirt, that will keep you safe during the lesson.
5. Watch Tow-in Surfing in Maui: While Oahu has the reputation for the biggest waves, there are other places to watch tow-in surfing. If you’re planning a trip to Maui, check out Peahi, the island’s most famous spot for big wave surfing where jet skis are used to tow surfers out for catching the big waves.
6. Go Kite Surfing in Kauai: Experienced surfers looking for a new challenge might want to try kite surfing in Kauai. Here, a kite provides extra power and the opportunity to give aerial acrobatics a try. You can choose between a kite surfing lesson or, if you’re experienced, simply rent the equipment in places like Hanalei Bay.
7. Try Stand-up Paddle Boarding: The latest craze in Hawaii is related to surfing. It’s called SUP or stand-up paddle boarding. This variation on surfing uses a wide board and a paddle to maneuver. In addition to being fun, this is known as a great core muscle workout for those visitors seeking fitness.
8. When to Surf: Many travelers are concerned about the timing when it comes to planning surf trips. There are a few factors to consider. Those looking for the biggest waves will want to travel to Hawaii during the winter. Those looking to learn might want to avoid the big winter swells. However, throughout the year, there are always beaches with gentle waves for your first surf lesson.
Photo Credit: Vikipedia –Steve Jurvetson from Menlo Park, USA