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What Not to do on a Surf Trip to Hawaii


The ultimate place to go when you’re a surfer is the North Shore of Hawaii. There’s simply no better place to hone and showcase your skills when it comes to big wave surfing. As the birthplace of this modern sport, the incredible waves draw amateurs and professionals alike form all over the world. Yes, surfing is a relaxed sport, but there are a few rules that apply when you’re headed here. Check out these tips on what not to do on a surf trip.

1. Leave your board at home.

You may have a pretty sweet board at home but that’s exactly where it should stay. Not only could your board get damaged during the trip, it costs a lot to get it here. Airlines charge about $200 for each board you take on the plane. You’re far better off renting or buying a board once you hit Hawaii. There are plenty of surf shops in Haleiwa or near Pipeline. You can probably snag a used surf board for pretty cheap. Not only do you get a good deal, you get peace of mind knowing the boards here are specifically crafted by master craftsmen for Hawaii’s waves.

2. Don’t rush getting here.

Because November and December mark the start of the best surfing season on Oahu, the crowds arrive in droves right around this time. If you come right in the middle of November, you’ll be arriving at the same time as 200 other surfers – all of whom are professionals chomping at the bit to get in the water. The media descends for interviews and photos, it’s crowded and touristy, and you’re better off waiting till at least mid-December. You can still check out the Pipe Masters and then really get your time in once all the professionals get out of dodge. Actually, it’s best if you wait till the week between Christmas and New Year’s. You still have awesome waves but the crowds have died way down.

3. Forget about Pipeline.

As one of the heaviest breaks on the planet, the Pipeline is best left to the pros. If you’re not a pro, admire from a distance. Not only is it crowded, it’s really hard to navigate if you don’t have a lot of experience under your belt. In addition, do you really want everyone watching your every move and documenting your every mistake? Instead, head to the area from Waimea to Haleiwa to experience 20 different breaks, which range from docile to more intense.

4. Leave valuables back at the hotel.

Don’t bring along your expensive smart phone, wallet, camera or anything else of value when heading out to surf some waves. Leaving these things in your car is like inviting transients to steal your stuff. This area, like all touristy areas in Hawaii, is teeming with people from all over the globe who think of nothing of taking your cash.

If you heed these tips as a surfer in Hawaii, you’re sure to have a fun and safe time. The big wave beaches of the North Shore are covered on our Circle Island tour, so call Hoku Hawaii Tours today!