Best Surfing Spots in Oahu

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There are a million reasons to visit Oahu. Beyond its beauty and rich cultural history, it offers a diverse range of experiences that make it a compelling destination. One of our guests’ favorite activities in Oahu is, of course, surfing!

Hawaii is known for its surfing spots, with locals participating in the sport since the 4th century AD. Originally it was a sport reserved for the royals, but nowadays it’s open to anybody!

Maybe you’ve never surfed before or are used to traversing the waters off the continental US, but you have no idea where to start in Oahu. We’ve gathered the best surfing spots in Oahu to help you on your way to becoming a pro (or maybe just not falling every time).

Pua’ena Point

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Pua’ena Point is a beginner-friendly location suitable for all ability levels. This spot serves as a starting point for many surfers and a go-to for lessons in the area. Less crowded than Waikiki, Pua’ena is an excellent choice for beginners, with small waves and several shops nearby where you can rent boards. Pua’ena Point Beach Park is also perfect for a picnic with beautiful views!

While many visitors to Hawaii make their maiden surfing voyage here, the waves can transform from a beginner wave into an expert wave in the blink of an eye. As with any trip, be sure to check conditions before you head out.


Haleiwa Town is known locally as the gateway to the North Shore. When the surf is small, Haleiwa is a perfect spot for beginners.  All abilities can ride here, but knowing the surf size is essential before you decide to hop on your board. The bigger the wave, the more exhausting the paddle.

Depending on the swell of the waves, there can be quite a crowd at Haleiwa. Most crowds populate from November to February, with professional surfers hungry for the biggest waves they can find. If you’re a beginner surfer, avoiding winter months is best anyhow. Sticking to summertime waves will allow you to get some sweet rides in while you up your skills.

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Chun’s Reef

You’ll likely see several lesson vans parked out at Chun’s Reef, as it’s a popular destination for students of the craft. The area also has a freshwater pond where kids can swim, and a variety of other activities for them to partake in if surfing isn't their thing. Snorkeling, for example, is quite popular here.

Chun’s is notable for its small waves in the summer. Crowds can tend to flock to this location due to its prime longboarding waves and beginner-friendly reach, but even if it’s busy, it’s well worth the wait.

Sunset Beach

This location is not so beginner-friendly. But if you’re a seasoned pro up for a challenge, Sunset Beach is widely known as one of the best surfing spots in Oahu. It was considered the ultimate surfer’s test in the mid to late 20th century, challenging surfers from all over the globe.

If ridden correctly, a Sunset Beach wave could very well be the longest and most rewarding wave of your life. It’s best left to intermediate and advanced riders, with 6-10 feet waves. If you’re not quite up to the task yet, simply observing the spectacle of the waves as they crash is entertaining in and of itself (and safer!).

Looking for lessons?

If you’re not willing to brave the waves on your own just yet, taking a surfing lesson is a great way to bridge the gap. We even have surfing lessons right here at Turtle Bay Resort! Lessons cover various skill levels, from beginner to intermediate surfers. Venturing out by yourself can be intimidating; let the pros show you how it’s done before you tackle your next adventure!

Book Your Hawaiian Getaway with Oceanfront Vacation Villas

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 Now that you know where to find the best surfing spots in Oahu, you’re ready for your Hawaiian vacation. When you book directly with Oceanfront Vacation Villas, you enjoy state-of-the-art amenities, beautiful oceanfront views, and attention to detail you won’t find elsewhere with provisioning services such as pre-stocking of groceries and childcare assets available upon request. Browse our available vacation rentals today and book your Oahu vacation directly with Oceanfront!