It is no secret that Waikiki is a great place for surfing. I recently wrote about the best Waikiki surf spots for beginners, which highlights top spots for beginner surfers. If you are a more advanced surfer, Waikiki has amazing reef breaks just outside of the main touristy city center. My personal favorite is Kaisers bowl. A super fast and shallow right that breaks next to a boat channel. So, depending on your ability, the hotel choice matters to keep you in close proximity to great surf. I have outlined the best Waikiki hotels for surfing and organized them for beginner, intermediate, and advanced surfers.

Best Hotels for Beginner Surfers in Waikiki

For the most luxurious surf experience, book a room at the Surfrider Hotel and wave up right in front of where you will be surfing. The Moana Surfrider Hotel is a historic landmark that was one of the first hotels built in Waikiki. Just a few doors down is another historic hotel, the Royal Hawaiian. For luxury accommodations, the Royal Hawaiian is the best hotel for beginner surfers in Waikiki. If you are traveling on a budget, consider the Bamboo Waikiki Hotel with rooms starting at under $100.

Below are the best hotels near beginner surfing spots in Waikiki, ranked by price and proximity.

  • Moana Surfrider Hotel
  • The Royal Hawaiian Hotel
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
  • ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach
  • Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa
  • Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel
  • Sheraton Princess Kaiulani

Surf breaks nearby

First time and beginner surfers will have the most fun surfing at Canoes. This surf break is directly in front of the Moana Surfrider Hotel. Along with Canoes, there are a few other beginner surf breaks in Waikiki that have mellow waves.

canoes surf spot Waikiki

Intermediate Surfer hotel recommendations in Waikiki

When I say intermediate surfer, I am talking about someone who is able to get up consistently on waves. An intermediate surfer can ride the face of the wave to the right or left. Also, this surfer should be a good understanding of ocean conditions and be able to spot rip currents.

Below are the best hotels in Waikiki for intermediate surfers, ranked by price and proximity.

  • Halekulani Hotel
  • Sheraton Waikiki Hotel
  • Outrigger Reef Waikiki Hotel
  • Waikiki Beach Marriott

An honorable mention that didn’t make the list is the ESPACIO. This hotel is truly remarkable and takes luxury to an entirely new level. Rooms start around $2,300 a night and have direct ocean views of Queens surf spot.

Best surf spots nearby

The most convenient and accessible surf sport in Waikiki for intermediate surfers is Queens. Located straight out from Liliuokalani Ave, this shallow reef break is one of the best waves ion Waikiki in general.

surf spots in Waikiki

Best hotels in Waikiki for advanced surfers

Advanced surfers staying in Waikiki are going to want the fastest, hollowest, and gnarliest surf that there is. Luckily, surf breaks like Ala Moana Bowls, Kaisers, and Suicides serve up this style wave.

  • Hilton Hawaiian Village
  • The Modern Honolulu
  • Lotus Honolulu at Diamond Head
  • Kaimana Beach Hotel

Surf sports near Hilton Hawaiian Village

As an advanced surfer you will find world class reef breaks within walking distance from Waikiki. My personal favorite is Kaisers. Located straight out of the Hilton Hawaiian Village boat channel, this wave is fast and hollow. Reserved only for expert surfers because of the knee deep coral reef and jagged old pipes that stick out of the reef. There is also a massive 14′ plus Tiger Shark that likes to patrol the area. If you are not comfortable in extreme surf conditions, do not paddle out here.

Next to Kaisers is Rockpile. Another fast wave, Rockpile is a tamed down version of Kaisers and features a slightly longer ride. The hazards are similar to Kaisers and this wave shouldn’t be underestimated.

surf spots near Hilton Hawaiian village

Surf sports near Kaimana Beach Hotel

The most consistent surf spot by Kaimana Beach Hotel is Tonggs which is just a block south of the hotel. Tonggs is more on the intermediate end of the spectrum but does break along a shallow rock reef. Additionally, there are exposed reef sections which can make this surf break even more hazardous.

A short paddle south of Tonggs are the truly advanced surf breaks, aptly named Graveyards and Suicides. As the names suggest, these breaks are only for extremely advanced surfers. Shallow reefs raise up creating a perfect ledge for swells to magnify on and create perfect left hand waves. On larger south swells, Suicides is the best spot to get barreled in Waikiki.

advanced surf spots

What to pack for a Waikiki surf trip

Maximizing your time in the water is why you have chosen Waikiki for your next surf trip. The accessibility to world class surf breaks is what makes the South Shore of Oahu so epic for surfing. Now that your flight and hotel are booked, it is time to pack your bags for Hawaii.

Some essentials you need for having the best surf trip are:

  • Reef Safe Sunscreen (it’s the law in Hawaii that it is reef safe)
  • 2 or 3 pairs of swimwear
  • 1mm neoprene top
  • Long sleeve casual sun shirts
  • Hat & Sunglasses
  • Electrolytes

Used surfboard shops near Waikiki

There are great used surfboards available year-round in Waikiki. Rather than packing a board, consider buying a used board. I have started doing this and have never struck out on getting a great board. After a week or so of surfing on it, I go back to the used surfboard shop and list the board on consignment. Within a few weeks I typically get a check in the mail for a 20% or so less than what I paid for it.

Because Hawaii waves break much different than California or East Coast surf, it is worth buying a board that was shipped in Hawaii. Surfboard shapers in Hawaii are world renowned and craft boards that are specifically designed for the extreme waves in Hawaii.

Best used surfboard shops near Waikiki:

When in doubt, Don’t go out

You will see these signs all over Hawaii and for good reason. Ocean conditions in Hawaii are some of the most volatile and extreme in the world. Before paddling out to a new surf spot check the surf forecast using Magic Seaweed or Surfline. If there is a lifeguard on duty, chat with them about the break and tap into their local knowledge.

Keep in mind that on large swells the ocean can look flat as a lake between sets. For this reason you should sit and watch the surf for at least 30-minutes prior to paddling out. This is usually enough time for a set to pour in and show you what you will be up against in the water.