Best Surf Spots on Oahu for Beginners

Did you recently move to Oahu? If you’re interested in learning how to surf, you’d probably like to know the best beginner surf spots on Oahu. For many people, surfing is one of the first, if not the first thing, that comes to mind when you think of Hawaii.

Hawaii is often referred to as the place surfing originated and the Hawaiians have been doing it for centuries. It is a gold mine of beautiful beaches, however, not all are suitable for surfing. There are so many surf breaks on Oahu, it is difficult to know which ones are beginner-friendly. Here are some of the top beginner-friendly surf breaks on Oahu:

White Plains Beach. Located on the southwest shores of Oahu, this surf break is a gentle, slow breaking wave that is consistent all year long. The atmosphere here is very relaxed and fun. There is a military shack that offers rentals and surf lessons for most ages (under 18 need a parent to sign a waiver). Rentals are $5 an hour, which is cheaper than most other board rentals.

Old Man’s. This spot is a nice mellow longboard break located straight out from the Elk’s Lodge in Waikiki. On small days, this break is perfect to learn on because of the deep waters and laid back crowd. At Old Man’s you’ll see a diverse crowd of paddleboarders, canoes, and longboarders, most of which frequent the area. Everybody seems to get along and enjoy the water, the waves, and each other’s company, which makes it fun for all.

Canoes. Located right in the heart of tourist central of Waikiki, this is probably one of the most crowded beginner surf breaks on the island. These waves are about as good as it gets for longboarding. Long rides, consistent lefts and rights, and well spaced out. The reef is also deep underwater, which makes it the perfect spot to learn.

Chun’s Reef. Located on the north shore of Oahu, Chun’s is well known as a longboard spot because the wave breaks thick and to the right. After a nice right, Chun’s drops into a nice deep channel where you can rest before you head back out. There are many places to rent boards on the north shore as well as several surf schools that offer lessons. You are sure to see many surf lesson vans parked at Chun’s; it’s a very beginner-friendly location. General rule of thumb for surfing the north shore if you are a beginner: try not to surf during the winter season (October-March) as the waves will be much bigger during this time.

Pua’ena Point (Haleiwa Beach Park). These waves are the go-to for many surf schools in the area for both its proximity to the town of Haleiwa and for the fact that the waves here can be much smaller during big swells than other spots. It can be crowded on weekends and holidays, but nothing compared to Waikiki. Boards can be easily rented from the beach or from one of the several surf shops in Haleiwa town.

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Surfing is one of the best things you can do out here in Hawaii. Remember to respect your fellow surfers, and when in doubt, don’t go out. Get out there, go learn, and have some fun. The waves are waiting for you.

If you would like more information about surfing, the Hawaii lifestyle, or are interested in Oahu real estate opportunities, please contact Hawaii Life.

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June 16, 2017

Very helpful post. Thanks Brandon!


August 16, 2017

Very important for White Plains Beach! In order to rent a board you need a military ID! Otherwise they will not serve you and there are no rentals near by …

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