Every winter, droves of surfers head to Oahu toting guns (surfboards, that is), cohones, and potentially damaging naiveté. It’s the quintessential surf pilgrimage. But along with it come crowds, death defying waves, and strong local law enforcement (aka: The Wolf Pack). The vibe is more focused on survival than carefree waves and parties. Which is why you might want to consider heading over in the spring. The Pipemasters wil have finished months before, and most of the visiting pros and industry folk will be long gone. The waves are still there, though. And as anyone who’s visited during that time will attest, it’s the one time when you’ll probably be able to score sessions on the North Shore that are “fun.” Instead of “crap your boardies adrenaline overdoses.” To top that off, the surf season on the South Shore is just revving up (it pumps, actually) and just a quick car ride away—as are the hopping clubs of Honolulu (hey, you might even catch pros Kaela Kennelly or Kalani Robb DJ’ing). Of course, it’s still Hawaii, and all the rules still apply in terms of respecting and honoring the turf, so act accordingly. Or take cracks and fly home with your tail between your legs.
Wave Consistency: Even in the “off-season,” the conditions are still better than most other places where surfers live in the world.
Spots: Get a surf map.
Boards: Shortboard and a solid step up, just in case.
Localism: Heaviest, brah.
Danger: Beat downs, theft, and encounters with sharp, shallow reef.
Lodging: Very expensive, but better than the prices in the middle of winter.
Party scene: Backyard benders and downtown dance offs.