About Big Island

While Oahu and Kauai are known for their north/south shore divide, the Big Island is an east/west side story. The youngest island in the chain, Hawaii is known as the Big Island, due to its size, which is nearly double that of the others combined and, being a live volcano, continues to grow. Lava flowing from Kilauea is continually shaping a new landscape on its way to the sea where it can both create future surf breaks or destroy existing ones. Whilst Oahu usually grabs the surf history limelight, Polynesian immigrants probably initiated surfing at Kealakekua Bay centuries ago, making the Big Island the birthplace of surfing and the aloha spirit. Crowds and localism do exist but remote spots requiring long hikes or 4WD access will be empty and conditions will be less competitive than most Hawaiian line-ups.

Pros

  • Exposed to most swells

  • Kona spot density

  • Remote, uncrowded waves

  • Volcanos and lava flows

  • Tropical snow sports

Cons

  • NW swell shadow

  • Young coast, steep cliffs

  • Super-rainy east coast

  • Localised urban spots

  • 4WD required for remote spots

Surf Spots