John Clemenza Shares His Top 5 Surf Spots in Hawaii

September 7, 2017

Having been born and raised in Oahu, John Clemenza is naturally inclined to boast that Oahu has the best surf spots in the world. He also acknowledges that there are “other” surf spots across the country and around the world that are worth visiting. For this post, John Clemenza would like to focus on surf spots in Hawaii, particularly in Oahu. These are his favorite surf spots, including one or two that he hasn’t visited yet. Kindly read on below to find out where to go if you are ever in Hawaii and looking to hit the waves during your stay.

When you mention “Oahu” and “surfing” in one sentence, what immediately comes to mind are Waikiki and North Shore. North Shore, of course, is home to the biggest waves and most challenging pipelines in Hawaii, and arguably, the world. The North Shore has been featured in a number of Hollywood films precisely because of its waves, which some say can reach up to 120 feet!

Below are the top 5 surf spots in Hawaii for John Clemenza:

1. Waikiki Beach

Honolulu is usually the first stop for tourists coming in from all over the world because this is where you will find one of Oahu’s most popular beach destinations, Waikiki. If you haven’t been on a surf board yet, then this is the perfect place to get started! Waikiki’s waves are relatively mild and gentle; the perfect condition for a beginner surfer. Waikiki is on the South Shore of the island.

2. Banzai Pipeline

Having joined a few amateur competitions, John Clemenza has been to Banzai Pipeline on numerous occasions because some of the amateur competitions he joined were held here. Don’t be fooled by the “amateur” trademark because Banzai Pipeline is anything but easy! If you’re lucky, you’ll hit some of the gnarliest tubes here, so a word of advice: beginners should steer clear of the pipes. Some of the world’s best and more renowned professional surfers consider this one of the most difficult pipes they have ever encountered.

3. Ke’ei Beach

Ke’ei Beach is located on Big Island. It’s a secluded spot that is mostly visited by local fishermen and surfers. If you’re still conscious about your surfing capabilities, then this beach is the perfect spot for you as it is usually free of crowds and spectators. The waves are also gentle on the newbie, and nothing like the huge waves you’d see on Banzai or Jaws.

4. Jaws (Pe’ahi)

John Clemenza mentioned above that some of the biggest waves that you could ever find in the world are in Hawaii, and if this is your goal, then you should head to Jaws or Pe’ahi in local language, out in Maui. Considered as the “biggest and baddest surf spot in all of Hawaii” as described online, this spot is certainly not for beginners—or even intermediate-level surfers. Locals are quite adamant about not letting just anyone surf here because they know how dangerous it can be; so, heed their advice.

5. Honolua Bay

Visiting in winter? Then head to Honolua Bay in Maui to practice your skills. Wintertime is when the waves start to swell. If surfing isn’t in your itinerary for the day, you will find that this is also quite ideal for snorkeling or a bit of swimming.

Note: John Clemenza advises the reader to surf at these locations with extreme caution. If you are not confident about your surfing skills, please don’t attempt to surf at these locations.