Surfing Beaches on Kauai
Starting with the North Shore, one spot that's great for all skill levels is Hanalei Bay. There is the beginner area by the pier where almost all lessons are taken. It's a nice small wave with sandy bottom that brings peace of mind to inexperienced surfers who fall frequently when learning how to surf. There is the outer reef which, depending on the time of year, can range from small waves all the way up to tow in surfing which is the expert level. There is also Pine Trees, located more in the middle of the bay, which is a shore break landing on a sandy bottom but during big swells can reach pretty big heights.
On the east side, Wailua river mouth is a good spot for learning. It's also sandy bottom and usually turns out some nice, smaller waves depending on the swell at that time. Another great learning spot is Kalapaki Beach. This is a gentle wave 90% of the year where you will find a lot of options for lessons, and it can also become a challenging wave when the island gets a southeast swell.
The South Shore holds many amazing spots. You will find most surfers out in the Waiohai area, where there are 5 breaks that offer every skill level a chance to get in the water. Left Lefts is a favorite for smaller days. Waiohai is an intermediate wave mainly due to the reef that it breaks on. Sheraton’s is a great learning spot where lessons are consistently offered. Here you can ride the wave right onto the beach. PK's is a very well known spot by pro surfers here, which you can watch from the comfort of The Beach House restaurant or check it out right now on www.alohasurfcam.com.
Finally the west side holds one of Kauai's favorite gems, Polihale State Beach Park. In the summer, Polihale becomes flat as a lake on most days. Visit in the fall and winter and you will see Polihale offer consistent big waves. A favorite spot for most skill levels is Queens Pond. Always be aware of the ocean’s currents and rip-tides. Polihale is known for a current that can drag you half way down the beach before you even realize it.