It’s the sport with an inimitable grace and power; it’s the hobby that many lust after but are rarely given the opportunity to learn. If you’ve got a friend who surfs or have simply fallen in love with it after seeing it on the silver screen and have developed an itch to give it a crack, there may be no better place to try than the beautiful Hawaiian island of Oahu. With the warm water acting as the perfect training ground for beginners, you and your group can walk out of your Oahu hotels and into the classroom. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to take a lesson, and once you do so, the only way to hone your chops, of course, is to keep practicing. Here are several forgiving shore breaks that offer a nice, mellow wave for beginners.
Minutes away from all of the activity of downtown Honolulu and the Aqua Waikiki Pearl is a staple of the surf community: Queens Beach. While the popularity of this spot is well-documented, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it has a very good shore break for beginners. You’ll see plenty of people like yourself trying to work their way on top of their boards for a quick burst to the shore. Longboards provide added stability for beginners, and will allow you to develop a routine!
Ala Moana State Park
Just up the coast from Honolulu is Ala Moana State Park, site of another ideal swell for burgeoning boarders. With waves that range from 1-5 feet depending on the season, you’ll find your bunny slope to practice on, and should you want a break or some pointers, you can look down the beach to find some more experienced riders. This is another area where longboards are recommended.
[IMAGE: Ala Moana Beach Park by Loren Javier]
Staying near Waikiki, Canoes is a spot you’ll be able to walk to after a morning at the Honolulu Zoo or the Aquarium. With Diamond Head Crater as your backdrop, the only things you’ll have to compete with are the crowds, who flock to this spot on a daily basis. If you can find yourself a little area that is less populated, your skills will certainly benefit from this mellow swell that has helped millions fine-tune.
[IMAGE: canoe beach by peyri]
Before heading out, make sure that you check the surf report. Despite having reputations as ideal beginner spots, safe surfing comes at the behest of the weather. Do your research, ask around on the day you’re hoping to go, and most importantly, have fun!