This Popular Hawaiian Beach Is A Great Spot For Your Next Surfing Adventure

There's a certain feeling when you step off the plane at the Lihue Airport on the island of Kauai and take in that first breath of salty, tropical air that cannot be replicated. With its relaxed island culture, Kauai is a sanctuary in the Pacific, relieving weary travelers from the hustle of their busy lifestyles. At the heart of Hawaiian culture lies the rippling waves of the Pacific Ocean.

He'enalu (surfing), to the native Hawaiians, is an ancient practice that runs deeper than the mainstream leisure activity adopted by coastal residents around the globe. A glance back at native Hawaiian history reveals surfing was a transcendent, spiritual aspect of their lifestyle. Everything, from the ritualized fashioning of their Koa surfboards to the formation of dedicated surf temples, was sacred. To this day, the practice of surfing is still celebrated off the coast of Kauai's white-sand beaches. Wander about 20 miles from the lavish frenzy of resorts covering the island's south shore and you'll hit Kekaha Beach — an authentic strip of seaside splendor, idyllic for surfers.

Kekaha Beach

Kekaha's expansive 15-mile stretch of sand is the longest on the island. Located on Kauai's west shore, the beach connects to neighboring Polihale State Park, backed by the Nā Pali coast's towering sea cliffs. Surfing conditions at Kekaha are stable year-round, making it a popular surf point among locals. The waves at this beach are fast and powerful, with strong rip currents best suited for experienced surfers.

From November to April, winter storms churn the waters, driving large swells up the west and north sides of the island. The open sand plains also make Kekaha a prime viewpoint for watching the sun sink into the Pacific, particularly during the winter months. Kekaha's family-friendly shores are dotted with picnic areas to stop and enjoy Hawaii's striking coastal beauty. Alternatively, stop by Coconut Corner, a local gem just off Highway 50. The adorable outdoor market specializes in exotic produce, including fresh coconuts. Indulge in the watery sweetness (the friendly locals will even hollow the coconuts out for you) before heading to the water for a surf sesh.

Kauai: the surfing capital of the world

Despite Kauai's reputation of having a more relaxed social scene than its Maui counterpart, the island is alive with adventure. With most of the action taking place in the water, Hawaii is known for producing some of the best surfing conditions in the world. Offshore winds are consistent year round, creasing the wave's surface and making it easier for surfers to perform on its crest. The whistling breeze also encourages the formation of barrels, the hollow wave every surfer dreams of catching.

Situated in the vast Pacific, Kauai is not only the perfect tropical getaway but a surfer's paradise. Little land exists between the Hawaiian Islands and the mainland, creating a clear pathway for waves to tumble towards Kauai's shoreline. Powerful storms south of Alaska draw large swells to the islands, inviting surfers from every experience level to bask in Kauai's prime surf conditions.