The Surf Breaks of Waikiki Beach Hawaii by Hawaiian South Shore Written by Matt Rott


Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous stretches of sand in the world and is home to a number of Hawaii’s best surf spots.

While not known for the huge barrels produced by the North Coast, the waves of Waikiki Beach hold a special place in surfing and Hawaiian history, and arguably the birthplace of modern wave surfing.

Waikiki waves are generally gentle and forgiving, breaking over the reef and sand during the southern summer swells, which tend to range from small to medium (Hawaiian scale at 1 to 6 feet, or 2 to 12 feet on the face). Most waves are best on a longboard, although there are a few that get hollow and brittle as the swell gets bigger.

Queens: Located opposite the beach house of Queen Lili’uokalani, Queens was named in the early 1900s and is just east of the current location of Duke Kahanamoku’s statute. A gentle, shapely right-hander with an occasional short left, Queens has become the de facto center of traditional logging in Waikiki, and is the home break for some of Hawaii’s top longboarders. If you are looking to maximize your noseriding time or just participate in a bit of surf history, Queens is the place to do it.

Canoes: Perfect spot for beginners. Named after the ubiquitous outrigger canoes that regularly roam the range, Canoes is the busiest spot on Waikiki Beach, in large part because it’s so soft and friendly. Expect to see hundreds of beginners on rental boards, SUPs, catamarans and of course canoes.

Populars (“Pops”): Pops gets its name from the fact that it’s so popular (who would have thought it ?!), Pops crashes on the sand and is located outside of Canoes, which means it is a long enough paddle to access the wave. Similar in shape to Queens (but a bit softer), Pops is a right-handed who enters a channel and tends to be much less crowded than other waves in the area due to paddling.

Threes: Third wave recognized in Waikiki (hence its name), Threes is a perfect right-hander who enters a semi-channel located east of Kaiser’s and the other Ala Moana formations. Popular with noseriders and shortboarders, especially when there is a decent southerly swell (high chest +), Threes is one of the more qualitative waves in the area, with almond barrels when the swell hits the bottom. head held high. He is also notable for appearing in the classic surf movie Endless Summer.

Publics: Located between Queens and the Waikiki Aquarium, Publics breaks in front of the public toilets, hence its name. A little less protected from trade than other waves in the area, Publics can get a little choppy and is often much less crowded than nearby Queens and Canoes. That being said, the left-hander peels for a hundred yards and can provide some of Waikiki’s longest rides.

Wherever you decide to go surfing in Hawaii, you’ll want to have all the gear you need. Visit Hawaiian South Shore to pick up any gear you might need.

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Contact person: David Kelly
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City: Honolulu
State: Hawaii
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