Home to the “Sport of Kings,” Hawaii, the paradise state of America, undoubtedly offers some of the most incredible surfing opportunities in the world. The Big Island, one of the four major islands in Hawaii, is one of the most significant contributors to this, promising an unforgettable wave riding experience not to be missed.
Although its neighboring islands are oftentimes receiving more attention in the spotlight, The Big Island, Hawaii, is a fantastic destination for surfing, promising a memorable experience for surfers of all skill levels. Some popular surf spots include Lyman’s, Banyans, and Honl’s Beach.
Just because it isn’t as popular as other nearby Hawaiian Islands – particularly from a surfing perspective – does not mean that The Big Island should be overlooked. This is a surfing hotspot that you do not want to miss. Find out why The Big Island, Hawaii, should be the destination for your next surfing adventure.
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Surfing On The Big Island
In most cases, The Big Island is often overshadowed by its trendy neighboring islands like Oahu and Maui, especially when it comes to the likes of surfing. While islands like Maui and Oahu may have a more extensive variety of surfing opportunities, The Big Island deserves more credit than it typically gets.
Like most of the famous surf spots in Hawaii, The Big Island caters primarily to intermediate and advanced level surfers. There are several coral reefs and rocks at most of the surf spots on The Big Island to look out for, not to mention some relatively strong currents that could be difficult for beginner surfers to navigate.
However, similarly to its neighboring islands, The Big Island is also a fantastic place to learn how to catch a wave for the first time and for beginners looking to improve their wave riding skills. Opting for some world-class surfing lessons is a great way to ensure that you find yourself at the beaches best suited for beginner to intermediate-level surfing.
The two most popular areas for surfing on The Big Island are Kona and Hilo, found on the eastern and western parts of the island, respectively. At either of these main areas, surfers of all skill levels will be able to catch waves in the stunning waters of The Big Island and enjoy the surfing experience of a lifetime.
When To Go Surfing On The Big Island
Anyone who has some experience in surfing will tell you that numerous factors can determine the overall quality and difficulty level of your surfing experience. Things like weather conditions and the time of year are vital aspects to consider when planning to visit The Big Island – or any destination – to catch a few waves.
For intermediate and advanced level surfers, the best time to visit The Big Island is between November and April, when the overall surfing conditions are at their prime. During this time frame, the average wave height is roughly nine feet tall, which, of course, promises to be an exhilarating experience. This is not an ideal season for beginner surfers on The Big Island.
However, if you are a beginner looking to improve your wave riding skills, the summer months are undoubtedly the most excellent time to visit The Big Island. April to November offer the best summer vacation weather, and average wave heights during this time are only roughly five to six feet tall, which is perfect for those with less surfing experience.
In terms of the time of day, early mornings are typically the best time to go surfing on The Big Island, especially if you are a more advanced surfer looking to catch some big waves. However, late mornings to early afternoons still offer an overall excellent surfing experience for surfers of all skill levels.
The Five Best Surf Spots On The Big Island, HI
Now that you are up to speed with The Big Island’s surfing experience and the best times to visit based on your skill level, let us help you further in planning your next wave riding adventure by showing you some of the best surf spots on The Big Island.
First on our list is the beautiful surf spot known as Lyman’s. Located in Kona, this spot is undoubtedly one of The Big Island’s most popular, particularly when the overall conditions are at their prime. Lyman’s is known for its consistency, which is why it is especially favored among the locals.
During the winter months, Lyman’s boasts some of the most exciting waves to be enjoyed by surfers with a good amount of experience. However, beginners will not have to miss out on this epic spot since Lyman’s will offer them an equally exciting experience during the summer months.
One important thing to be aware of at Lyman’s is the nearby reef. Sharp rocks are common among the coral, which can be extremely dangerous if you get too close.
Kahalu’u is considered to be one of The Big Island’s best surf spots for beginners to work on improving their skills. The area boasts some of The Big Island’s most exquisite scenery, meaning that even while you are not actively riding a wave, there is so much about Kahalu’u to enjoy.
Kahalu’u has interestingly been dubbed as “Snorkel Beach” because of the exquisite coral reefs and vibrant marine life that can be found here. So, when you are not catching the incredible waves on offer, you will be able to explore the beauty that lies beneath these stunning waters.
Thanks to its prime learning conditions, there are also several surf schools located near Kahalu’u Bay. However, intermediate and advanced surfers will also be able to enjoy Kahalu’u. While it might not offer as much of a thrilling wave riding experience, it will be enjoyable nonetheless.
Pine Tree Beach, also referred to as Kohanaiki beach, is yet another popular prime surfing spot on The Big Island. Situated on the western end of The Big Island, Kona, Pine Tree is favored among many surfers because of the overall consistency of its waves. Surfers of all skill levels will be able to enjoy this exquisite spot, though it is better suited to intermediate and advanced surfers.
Thanks to the consistency of the waves at Pine Trees, surfers can enjoy this spot throughout the year. The area is also one of The Big Island’s popular camping destinations, so a surfing retreat with some friends or family can be enjoyed while catching some of the island’s most fantastic waves.
Banyans is undoubtedly one of the prime examples as to why The Big Island should not be overlooked when compared to its neighboring islands like Maui or Oahu. Banyans has been ranked as one of the top ten surfing spots in all of Hawaii and could undoubtedly be considered to be The Big Island’s flagship surfing spot.
Best suited for advanced surfers, Banyans is the place to be if you are looking for an epic surfing experience. It is at Banyans where you will find many of the local professional surfers and other brave, experienced surfers looking to take their wave riding skills to a whole new level.
Banyans is a popular spot among the local advanced surfers, so if it is your first time visiting this spot, make sure to respect the locals and be patient for your opportunity to catch one of the massive barrel waves on offer.
Honl’s Beach boasts one of The Big Island’s most exhilarating reef breaks for passionate surfers to experience. From the outset, you should know that Honl’s Beach is not suited for beginner surfers, as the waves here demand skill and experience.
Honl’s Beach is undoubtedly on par with the likes of Banyans and offers more than enough of a thrilling wave riding experience to compete for the flagship surfing spot on The Big Island. The quality of the waves at Honl’s Beach has even made it the chosen location for many of The Big Island’s bodyboarding competitions.
The exquisite scenery both above and below the waters of Honl’s Beach undoubtedly makes it one of the top destinations on The Big Island for both surfing and relaxation. This is a spot not to be missed.
Surfing Lessons On The Big Island
Regardless of whether you have had five minutes or five years’ worth of experience on a surfboard, opting to take a couple of surfing lessons is undoubtedly one of the best ways to improve your wave riding skills. Having the proper technique is a vital aspect of being able to master catching the perfect wave.
Since surfing is such a popular pastime in Hawaii, The Big Island has no shortage of options of top-quality surfing lessons available for you to choose from. We will help you on your journey to becoming the best surfer by showing you some of the best surfing lessons available on The Big Island:
Kahalu’u Surf And Sea
Based in the beautiful town of Kona, Kahalu’u Surf & Sea offers some of the best surfing lessons on The Big Island and also has one of the largest selections of surfboards available for rent. Every year their instructors further their own training to ensure the most advanced and effective surfing lessons in the state.
Kahalu’u Surf & Sea offers a wide range of surfing lesson options to cater to your specific needs. They offer private, semi-private, as well as group surfing lessons that are open to all ages. So, whether you are interested in individual attention, a fun opportunity with your partner, or a group of family or friends, Kahalu’u Surf & Sea has it all for you.
Their private lessons will cost you $175 and are, without doubt, the most effective way to improve your surfing skills. The one-on-one attention guarantees attention to detail to help improve every aspect of your surfing skill. Kahalu’u Surf & Sea also recommends private lessons as an excellent option for small children.
Their semi-private lessons are catered for two to three people and will cost $129 per person. Choosing to go for surfing lessons with your partner or some friends can be one of the most fun ways to improve your wave riding skills. Kahalu’u Surf & Sea guarantees a 2:1 student to instructor ratio, meaning that attention to detail will still be a priority.
For larger groups, Kahalu’u Surf & Sea charges $99 per person. Group surf lessons can be an excellent opportunity for teams and large families to enjoy something new together. To learn more about Kahalu’u Surf & Sea and book one of their surfing lesson packages, you can follow this link.
Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures
Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures is another great option to consider for surfing lessons, promising a fun experience with some of the top surfing instructors on The Big Island. Part of what sets Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures apart is that all of their instructors are CPR and First Aid certified, making the safety of their clients a top priority.
As is the case with many surfing lessons, there are various packages available for you to choose from, including private lessons, semi-private lessons, as well as group lessons.
Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures offer two-hour private lessons that will cost you $175 dollars and include a thirty-minute safety briefing to ensure that you have the best possible time. These private lessons have no age restriction, so small children are welcome to take the challenge and learn the art of surfing.
For ages ten and older, semi-private surf lessons are available for $125 per person and promise to be a great activity for couples, friends, and small families. Classes for larger groups are also available for $99 per person and also have an age requirement of ten years or older.
For more details about Kona Mike’s Surf Adventures and to book one of their exciting surfing lesson packages, make sure to follow this link.
The Big Island, Hawaii, has so much to offer surfers of all skill levels. This beautiful island in this paradise state is worthy of far more recognition and should undoubtedly be listed amongst the other names of the top surfing spots in the world. If you are starting out in the world of surfing or looking for another surfing location, The Big Island will not disappoint.