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Modern Surfing

Surfing experienced a resurgence at the start of the 20th century and its popularity as a sport has never flagged since. New surfing activity focused at Waikiki and grew alongside Oahu’s fledgling tourist trade. Writer Jack London did much to publicize the sport in his 1907 article, “A Royal Sport: Surfing at Waikiki,” published in Woman’s Home Companion. London was introduced to surfing by Alexander Hume Ford, a journalist and surfer who founded the Outrigger Canoe and Surfboard Club in 1908. Another inspiration for London was George Freeth, an Irish-Hawaiian beach boy he nicknamed “Brown Mercury.” Waikiki’s star surfer at the time, Freeth demonstrated surfing in California, sponsored by the Redondo-Los Angeles Railway and Henry Huntington, while working as a trainer and lifeguard.

Best Hawaiian Surf Spots

The US State of Hawaii has eight main islands: Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Kauai and Niihau. The most popular Hawaiian surf spots are located in The Big Island (Hawaii), The Valley Isle (Maui), The Garden Isle (Kauai) and in The Gathering Place (Oahu).

Hawaii is the capital of modern surfing. This group of Pacific islands gets swell from all directions, so there are plenty of pristine surf spots for all. Beginners, as well as advanced riders can surf almost all 365 days of the year.

Transparent water, glassy waves, tubular or slower rides, reef or sandy bottoms: you can surf all types of waves in Hawaii, as long as you’ve got a board. Ground swell is the key to the Hawaiian surf breaks.

Adrenaline will be running high when you try one of the Triple Crown of Surfing spots on Oahu’s North Shore. If you can handle the wave, the take-off and the surf line, then this is the ultimate surf destination. Here you will find Banzai Pipeline, Sunset Beach and Haleiwa Beach Park. They are some of the best-known surf spots in the world.

A good alternative is Backdoor, also known for its “rights on the other side of Pipeline.” Oahu’s North Shore is constantly testing your skills. Here you can expect fast drops, tough locals and sharp shallow reef. Learn how to surf – or teach others – at White Plains Beach and Waikiki Beach.

Big waves are also seen in Waimea Bay, one of the most recognized surf sanctuaries in the world of wave riding. Sandy Beach is a superb surf spot, too. Canoes is also great for beginners, but not exactly perfect for relaxed surfing. Despite the long rides, it is always very crowded.