7 Beginner Surf Spots in Oahu

If you're looking to learn how to surf, Oahu is the perfect place to do it.

With its abundance of beginner surf spots, Oahu is a great place for beginner and experienced surfers alike.

The best time of year to check out these beginner surf spots in Oahu is when the waves are at their smallest.

Which is usually in the months of May to September.

The waves during these months are usually about waist to chest high.

These beginner surf spots are great for those just starting out because the waves are not too big and they offer a more gentle surfing experience.

Also read our guide to the best time to surf in Hawaii and where to find the best surfing in Maui for beginners.

Here are some of the best beginner surf spots in Oahu:

1. Ala Moana Beach Park

Are you looking for a beginner-friendly surf spot in Oahu?

Look no further than Ala Moana Beach Park!

The waves here are gentle and perfect for beginners. The beach is also very crowded, so it's a great place to people-watch and learn from more experienced surfers.

The waves here are perfect for beginners, and the sandy bottom makes for a smooth ride. If you're new to surfing, we recommend taking a lesson from one of the many surf schools in the area.

One thing to keep in mind is that Ala Moana Beach Park can be quite crowded, especially on weekends.

This is understandable, given that it's such a popular spot.

However, this can make it challenging to catch waves if you're not used to surfing in crowded areas. Our advice is to start off in an uncrowded area (there are plenty of other beginner-friendly surf spots in Oahu!) and work your way up to Ala Moana once you're more comfortable with surfing in crowds. 

2. Waikiki Beach

If you’re new to surfing and want to start at a beginner-friendly spot, look no further than Waikiki Beach. The waves here are gentle and perfect for those just starting out.

Unfortunately, the beach can be quite crowded.

But if you don’t mind the crowds, Waikiki is a great place to catch some waves.

How to Get There 

Waikiki Beach is located on the south shore of Oahu in Hawaii. If you’re staying in Honolulu, it’s about a 30-minute drive from the city center. Once you arrive, you’ll find plenty of public parking near the beach. 

The Best time to Surf 

The best time to surf at Waikiki is between April and October when the waves are at their calmest. During these months, you can expect waves that are 1-3 feet high. If you’re a beginner surfer, these conditions are perfect for you. 

What to Expect 

When surfing at Waikiki Beach, be prepared for crowded conditions. This is one of the most popular beaches in Hawaii, so there will be plenty of people around (both in and out of the water). The waves here are gentle and perfect for beginners. So even if it’s your first time riding the waves, you’ll be able to do so with ease. 

3. Makapuu Beach Park

The waves here are a bit more challenging than at Ala Moana Beach Park or Waikiki Beach, so you can practice your skills. And since the beach is less crowded, you'll have more space to perfect your technique.

Location and Directions

Makapuu Beach Park is located on the southeastern tip of Oahu. To get there, take Kalanianaole Highway east until it ends. Then turn left onto Kalanianaole Highway (also known as the H-1) and take the first right turn after the Hawaii Kai Golf Course. Follow that road until you see the beach park on your right. 

If you're coming from Waikiki, the drive will take about 45 minutes. And if you're coming from Honolulu International Airport, it will take about an hour.

What to Expect

The waves at Makapuu Beach Park are a bit steeper and faster than at other beginner spots like Ala Moana or Waikiki. So if you're just starting out, be prepared for a bit of a learning curve. But don't worry—the rewards are worth it! Once you've mastered the waves here, you'll be ready to tackle anything that comes your way. 

One thing to note is that Makapuu can be very windy. So if you're not used to surfing in windy conditions, it might take some time to get used to it. But again, practice makes perfect! 

Lastly, since Makapuu isn't as popular as Waikiki, it's usually less crowded. So if you're looking for a place where you can spread out and really focus on your surfing, this is it! 

If you're looking for a great place to surf, Makapuu Beach Park is definitely worth checking out! The waves here are more challenging than at other beginner spots like Ala Moana or Waikiki Beach, so you can really hone your skills. And since the beach is less crowded, you'll have more space to yourself.

4. Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is one of the most popular beginner surf spots on Oahu's North Shore. The waves here are gentle and perfect for beginners. The beach is also very crowded, so it's a great place to people-watch and learn from more experienced surfers.

What to Expect When Surfing at Sunset Beach

As we mentioned earlier, Sunset Beach is a great place for beginners to learn how to surf. The waves here are usually gentle and small (2-4 ft), which makes them perfect for beginners.

However, it's important to be aware that the waves can sometimes get big (6-8 ft) during the winter months. If you're a beginner, we recommend sticking to the summer months when the waves are smaller.

Despite being a popular beginner surf spot, Sunset Beach can get quite crowded during the peak season (November-February).

So if you're looking for a quiet and peaceful surf session, this may not be the best beach for you.

However, if you don't mind crowds and you want to be in the heart of the action, Sunset Beach is definitely the place to be. It's also a great place to people-watch and learn from more experienced surfers.

Lastly, the sunset is absolutely beautiful at Sunset Beach! If you're looking for a place to watch the sunset on Oahu's North Shore, this is definitely the spot. 

5. Haleiwa Beach Park

Haleiwa Beach Park is a great beginner surf spot because the waves are a bit more challenging than at Ala Moana Beach Park or Waikiki Beach. The beach is also less crowded, so you'll have more space to practice. Plus, the town of Hale

6. Haleiwa Beach Park

The waves here are a bit more challenging than at Ala Moana Beach Park or Waikiki Beach, so you'll have the opportunity to test your skills and improve your surfing.

Plus, the beach is less crowded, so you'll have more space to practice.

And when you're done surfing for the day, you can explore the town of Haleiwa, which is full of great shops and restaurants. 

Getting to Haleiwa Beach Park

Haleiwa Beach Park is located on the North Shore of Oahu, about an hour drive from Honolulu. If you're renting a car, take H-1 Westbound until exit 8A for Waialua/Haleiwa. Follow signs for Waialua and turn left onto Farrington Highway (Highway 930). Turn right onto Pakala Street and then turn left onto Niumalu Road. You'll see the beach park on your right. 

If you're taking public transportation, take the Pali Highway (Highway61) towards Kaneohe/Haleiwa. Get off at the Kamehameha Highway/Haleiwa Road stop. From there, walk north on Kamehameha Highway/Haleiwa Road for about 15 minutes until you reach Pakala Street. Turn left onto Pakala Street and then turn left onto Niumalu Road. You'll see the beach park on your right. 

What to Expect at Haleiwa Beach Park

Haleiwa Beach Park is a great spot for beginner surfers because the waves are a bit more challenging than at some of the other popular beaches like Ala Moana Beach Park or Waikiki Beach. However, this also means that the beach can be more crowded on days with good surf conditions. 

The best time to go surfing here is early in the morning before the crowds start to arrive. During peak times, there may even be a lifeguard on duty to help keep everyone safe. 

7. Kailua Beach Park

Look no further than Kailua Beach Park on Oahu's east side.

The waves here are gentle and perfect for beginners. The beach is also very crowded, so it's a great place to people-watch and learn from more experienced surfers.

Kailua Beach is a great place for surfers who want to ride waves. The waves here are consistent and good all year long.

The best winds come from the southwest direction and there is always a good swell. When the conditions are right, there will be plenty of people surfing here.

The water at Kailua Beach is usually clean with only a few bits of seaweed floating around. The sand is also fairly clean since the beach is constantly being used by locals and tourist alike. There are lifeguards on duty during the day so you can feel safe while you're in the water. 

If you're feeling adventurous, there are also some great spots for bodyboarding and bodysurfing near Kailua Beach Park.

Common questions about beginner surf spots in Oahu

Where is the best surfing in Hawaii for beginners?

The best beginner surfing can be found on Oahu's south and east shores. Waikiki Beach is the most popular beginner spot on Oahu, with gentle waves and plenty of people around to offer advice. If you're looking for a less-crowded spot, try Ala Moana Beach Park or Makapuu Beach Park.

Can beginner surf North Shore Oahu?

Beginner surf spots on Oahu's North Shore can be a great place to learn how to surf. The waves at these spots are a bit more challenging than at Ala Moana Beach Park or Waikiki Beach, but the beach is less crowded so you'll have more space to practice. Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park are two of the best beginner surf spots on the North Shore.

Where can I surf for beginners in Waikiki?

The Waikiki Beach is one of the best beginner surfing spots in Oahu. With gentle waves and plenty of people around to offer advice, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for beginner surfers to learn how to surf.

Where do locals surf in Oahu?

Locals in Oahu often surf at Ala Moana Beach Park, Waikiki Beach, Makapuu Beach Park, Sunset Beach, and Haleiwa Beach Park.

Which Hawaiian island is best for beginner surfers?

If you're a beginner surfer looking for the best place to start, look no further than Hawaii's Big Island. With its many beginner-friendly surf spots, Hawaii's Big Island is the ideal place to learn how to surf. These beginner spots are perfect for those who want to improve their surfing skills, whether they're just starting out or have some experience already.

Is Hawaii good for beginner surfers?

Hawaii is a fantastic location for novice surfers. Hawaii is the ideal place to learn how to surf, with lots of beginning surfing locations. These beginner surfing locations will push you and help you enhance your surfing abilities, whether you're a novice or an expert surfer.

What is the best beginner surf spot in Hawaii?

There are many beginner surf spots in Hawaii, but Waikiki Beach is definitely one of the best. With gentle waves and plenty of people around to offer advice, Waikiki Beach is the perfect place for beginner surfers to learn how to surf. If you're looking for a less-crowded spot, try Ala Moana Beach Park or Makapuu Beach Park.

Final thoughts

Beginner surf spots in Oahu are a great place to learn how to surf. The waves here are gentle and perfect for beginners, and there are plenty of beginner surf spots to choose from.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, these beginner surf spots will definitely challenge you and help you improve your surfing skills.