Hawaii, specifically Oahu’s North Shore, is home to the world’s most celebrated surf. Come winter each year, the international surf community descends on the stretch of coastline on Oahu’s North Shore known as the Seven Mile Miracle, where the planet’s most formidable waves break. Among those waves is Pipeline, perhaps the most dangerous and visually alluring wave in existence. Not all waves on Oahu are suited for the pros. In fact, Oahu is one of the world’s leading surf destinations for surfers of all skill levels, including beginners. If you’re new to surfing, check out our North Shore surf school, Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience, for surf lessons, island excursions, and more. To find out Why You Should Learn to Surf in Hawaii, continue reading below.
It’s the birthplace of surfing
Learning to surf in Hawaii ties you to surfing’s ancient history. In Ancient Hawaii, surfing was the sport of kings and was widely practiced after religious ceremonies. While it is assumed that surfing has been going on in Hawaii for thousands of years, it’s hard to say for sure since surfing predates European contact, and no historical records of the subject remain. At the time, boards were shaped from sacred Koa or Wiliwili trees. These boards stood as tall as 15 feet and weighed upwards of 150 lbs. Surfing was enjoyed by all in Hawaiian society, and board length typically represented one’s class. Nineteenth-century Hawaiian scholar Kepelino Keauokalani wrote that when the waves were good, “all thought of work is at an end, only that of sport is left.” Surfing was almost completely wiped out of Hawaiian society by European colonization, but a few surfers lingered on through the years. In the 20th century, surfing experienced a rebirth thanks to the legendary Duke Kamehameha, and the rest is history.
The water is warm year-round
Surfers on the East, West, and Gulf Coasts of the United States are forced to brave the elements in the winter as water and air temperatures drop. Even in sunny California, where the air temperatures remain warm and comfortable year-round, most days, the ocean is cold enough to warrant at least a 3/2mm wetsuit. For new surfers, the cold can be a deterrent that keeps them out of the water. If you learn to surf in Hawaii, you can expect warm, tropical water temperatures 365 days a year. With water temperatures ranging from 73 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s no reason to try to squeeze into a stuffy wetsuit.
There’s always swell somewhere
Hawaii sits in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and quite literally rises out of the sea. The island chain was formed by volcanic activity and is not blocked from swell by a continental shelf. Because of Hawaii’s near-equatorial location, it receives swell year-round. Here on the north shore, by our Oahu surf school, swell season falls in the winter. During the winter, arctic storms form in the Northern Hemisphere and send powerful swells to the North Shore. During the Summer months, winter storms form in the Antarctic and send swell to the south side of the islands.
You can’t beat Hawaii’s natural beauty
Hawaii’s tropical location and volcanic landscape make it a one-of-a-kind destination. Hawaii is home to towering, lush, green mountains, crystal clear, tropical water, and healthy coral reefs. There’s truly nowhere else like it. When you learn to surf in Hawaii, you’re surrounded by marine life, tropical scenery, and warm water. Beyond our North Shore surf lessons, Jamie O’Brien Surf Experiences offers a variety of other island activities, like Stand-up Paddle Board tours, Sea Turtle Safaris, and Guided Surfing for experienced surfers. If you’re ready to be blown away by Hawaii’s natural beauty while learning to surf, book your North Shore Surf Lesson today!
Learn to surf in Hawaii, and you’ll be hooked for life. Nothing can compare to surfing surrounded by Hawaii’s stunning tropical landscape in the birthplace of surfing. Jamie O’Brien Surf Experiences will welcome you with open arms to our North Shore surf school, no matter your skill level. When you’re in Hawaii, stay at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore to be close to all the action.