Oahu Surfing Guide | Surf Lessons & Surf Schools on Oahu | Go Hawaii

Surfing

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Oahu Surfing

Surfing literally began as the "Sport of Kings" in Hawaii, when ancient Hawaiian royalty would show off their skills on Waikiki Beach and other surf spots around Oahu. In the early 20th century, legendary surfer, Olympic swimmer and Waikiki native Duke Kahanamoku introduced the sport to the world. He was one of the pioneers of the Waikiki Beach Boys, who earned their living teaching visitors how to surf and canoe at Waikiki Beach. In the 1950s, surfers started riding the huge waves in the North Shore's Waimea Bay, now widely regarded as the birthplace of big wave surfing. Oahu has many options for you to experience surfing, either by watching the pros on the major waves or by trying it out yourself on the gentler ones.


Learning How to Surf on Oahu 

If you’re ready to learn, the calm waters of Waikiki Beach are a great place to get your feet wet. You can still find real Waikiki Beach Boys showing visitors a great time and giving surfing lessons today. Sign up for a lesson at the seaside booths along Kuhio and Waikiki beaches. Some of these instructors have been teaching surfing and outrigger canoe paddling for generations. 

You'll find surf schools taught at gentler breaks in town at Ala Moana, the North Shore and various other spots around Oahu. Lessons run between 1-2 hours and are taught by more experienced surfers. Longboards are used to make it even easier for first-timers and a push from your instructor will help you get started. Lessons are highly recommended for your safety and the safety of your fellow beachgoers. 


Watching Big Wave Surfing on Oahu

To see the professional surfers in action, take a drive to the North Shore during the winter and watch surfers from around the world ride Hawaii’s most famous big waves. The North Shore’s legendary winter waves attract the best surfers in the world. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, considered the Super Bowl of surfing, is held on its shores every year in November and December at Waimea Bay, Haleiwa Beach and Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline).

"The Eddie" is considered the ultimate Hawaii big wave surfing event since it honors legendary Hawaiian waterman Eddie Aikau. Unlike other competitions, “The Eddie” does not have a set date, but rather, a holding period from December through February and occurs on one day only if the waves hit a face height of 40 feet or more. Since its inception in 1984, this invitation-only event has only been held a handful of times. The opening ceremony brings together surfers from around the world in celebration of the aloha spirit of Eddie Aikau, the legendary lifeguard of Waimea Bay and one of the best big wave riders in the world. He was a legend on the North Shore, and the phrase “Eddie would go” refers to how he pulled surfers out of the raging waters when no one else would—or could. Visit Waimea Bay and you’ll find Eddie’s memorial watching over the surfers as he did in life.

Note: Always heed warning signs about dangerous swells and currents, and be mindful of current conditions and your own abilities.

Video: Through the Eyes of Pro Surfer Keanu Asing

Hawaii native Keanu Asing, explores how growing up in Hawaii, with strong ties to family, friends and the ocean, influences his surfing. No matter where he travels around the world, Hawaii will always be his home.

Surfing on Oahu

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Submerging
Oahu
Atlantis Submarines
Beachfront Ticket Office
Hilton Hawaiian Village 2005 Kalia Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
Summary

Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, giving guests a close-up view of an array of marine life, exotic tropical reefs and numerous sunken vessels.

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Napali Coast Snorkel Sail
Kauai
Holo Holo Charters
4353 Waialo Rd
Eleele, HI 96705-0940
Summary

Holo Holo Charters is the only Kauai boat tour company that offers daily snorkeling and sightseeing trips to the Napali Coast and "Hawaii's Forbidden Island" of Niihau. Experience unique marine life while exploring sea caves, waterfalls, cliffs, beaches, and valleys. Call 808-335-0815 to learn more.

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Captain Cook Dinner Cruise
Hawaii
Body Glove Cruises
75-5629 Kuakini Hwy Suite D
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Summary

Our daily Deluxe Snorkel & Dolphin Watch guarantees dolphin sightings or come again FREE! Captain Cook Sunset Dinner Cruise to Kealakekua Bay and a Seasonal Whale Watch! Beautiful 65' luxury catamaran with plenty of shade, cushioned seating, a premium cash bar, and is 100% wheel chair accessible.

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Carthaginian
Maui
Atlantis Submarines Maui
658 Front Street, Suite 175
Lahaina, HI 96761
Summary

Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, giving guests a close-up view of an array of marine life, exotic tropical reefs and numerous sunken vessels. It's like swimming in a giant aquarium, but staying dry the whole time!

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Sub
Hawaii
Atlantis Submarines Kona
Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha Kona Beach Hotel
75-5660 Palani Road #304
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Summary

Atlantis Submarines offers a one-of-a-kind underwater experience off the shorelines of Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island, giving guests a close-up view of an array of marine life, exotic tropical reefs and numerous sunken vessels. It's like swimming in a giant aquarium, but staying dry the whole time!

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Fair Wind Cruising
Hawaii
Fair Wind
78-7130 Kaleiopapa Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Summary

Snorkel with award-winning Fair Wind Cruises! Located on the Big Island of Hawaii, our snorkeling tour travels up the Kona Coast to snorkel at historic Kealakekua Bay marine sanctuary, site of Captain Cook Monument. Our family friendly tours will be the highlight of your Kona, Hawaii vacation!

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Kauai
Kauai Bound
3486 Rice St
Lihue, HI 96766
Summary

Kauai Bound is a locally owned snorkel, golf, underwater camera, and beach rental and retail shop located in Lihue at Anchor Cove Shopping Center. We carry quality dry snorkels with silicone masks, new Wilson golf sets, underwater cameras, and more!

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