Hawaiian Playground

Hoku Topping at Kewalos surfbreak
With summer right around the corner we want to highlight some of the world rebound surf spots found right in the heart of Honolulu Town. If Hawai’i is the epicenter of the surf world, then Honolulu is the center of that epicenter. Pressed up against this bustling modern city full of high rises and hotels abides an ancient reef that has blessed the people of Hawaii for centuries. Along this reef you’ll find a myriad of waves all unique in their own way, but similar just the same. 

As the south swells begin to revive these famed surf spots, we hone in on Kewalo Basin, one of our favorite high performance waves in town. 

Considered a swell magnet of the South Shore, “Kewalos” is a go to spot for surfers of all ages and most skill levels. But it wasn’t always this way. In ancient times, Kewalos served as a place for human sacrifice. Fast forward to the modern era, the area was used as a harbor. Its shallow reef surrounded a section of deep water, ideal for docking. In 1919 the Hawai‘i Government approved a harbor extension to relieve congestion from the Honolulu Harbor and in 1924 offshore dredging began. Today, Kewalo Basin is still home to charter vessels and commercial fishing fleets. 

The wave at Kewalo favors south and southwest swells and likes a bit of a higher tide. It starts near the channel by point panic and gives surfers the option to go left or right. On the left, you’ll find a perfect canvas for long drawn out turns and cutbacks as it winds its way into a wedgy, rippable reform on the inside. The right is a little more daunting than the left because of the natural topography of the reef that creates a fast moving section, yet offers a world class ramp for aerial surfing. Which explains why the wave is favored by some of Hawai’i’s most elite and upcoming surfing talents. But even if you’re a grom just starting to catch your own waves, or even a parent pushing your kid into waves, Kewalos has something for you. 

Surfer Robert Ghirlo

With amazing surf, a fun family vibe at the beach park, not to mention set in an idyllic Atlantis-like paradise, Kewalos is definitely near the top of our all time favorite spots. And another great thing...it is conveniently located right near T&C Surf Shop at Ala Moana Center

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