Oahu is one of the best places in the world to kitesurf, thanks to its year-round warm weather and strong, yet consistent winds. There are several kitesurfing schools on the island, as well as numerous spots where you can enjoy this thrilling activity. It is a fun destination for both, first-timers and seasoned thrill-seekers. Find out where to learn it, practice it and rent the gear!
1. Kailua Beach
Kailua Beach is the most popular kitesurfing spot on the island. The trade winds blow all year round, ranging from 15 to 35 knots from the ENE. The vast bay offers excellent conditions for beginners and experienced kitesurfers alike. The best time to visit is from June to August.
Always check the weather condition before you start kiting at Kailua Beach. Kitesurfing here during the dawn is another highlight! The horizon is so clear that you will witness this astounding red light from the mountains for a few minutes as the sun rises.
When we were there, I sat on a homemade beach swing in the shade and watched my girlfriend learning to kite surf. What a blast to watch! We went to Castles Beach afterwards for some casual bodyboarding!
Beware of reefs!
If you’re a beginner, avoid going upwind to Lanikai, as there are many barely submerged reefs, and the beach is pretty rocky. Stop at this point until you feel comfortable enough to navigate the reef. Remember not to ride in the coned-off swimming area. Instead, rig on the grassy area on the north side of the beach, and carry your gear with you. Launch straight away.
2. Mokuleia Beach
Mokuleia Beach is renowned for its strong winds and big waves. It has become a favorite spot for locals and tourists to do water-spot activities, including kitesurfing. The beach offers two areas for launch. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to launch in the sand at the east end of the beach. It is much easier and safer, with many shorelines to lay out lines. The other spot is on the wind-shadowed grass along the parking lot. Locals and intermediate surfers prefer this spot for a more exciting, thrilling experience. Launching from here also allows easier access to breaks east of the beach.
The best time to visit is during low tide in the summer when the weather is warm, and the sky is clear. However, depending on the current climate, you can still experience good surfing conditions during spring and fall. Wearing foot protection is recommended, as you may launch off a slippery ledge. Just beware of an extremely shallow reef at low tide. Across the road is Dillingham Airfield, primarily used for skydiving and gliding tours.
3. Sunset Beach
Sunset beach may not be the first beach that comes to mind when you think of kitesurfing, but it’s still an excellent spot. The conditions here are usually pretty consistent, and there’s plenty of space to accommodate the influx of kite surfers during the summer months. Plus, the views of the sunset over the water are simply incredible. The beach is ideal for swimming, snorkeling, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and cliff jumping!
The best time to kitesurfing here is during spring and summer, from April to September. The trade wind blows from NE on the spot. The launching and landing area is quite large. Watch out for the reefs along the shorelines. Wear protection shoes if necessary.
Less than ideal beaches to kitesurf
This beach is located on the east side of Oahu and is a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. Unfortunately, the bay is protected by a coral reef, and often packed with snorkelers making kitesurfing there a risky endeavor as the launching opportunities are strongly limited.
This beach is located on the Windward side of Oahu and is known for its picturesque views. However, the beach is also known for its strong trade winds, making it challenging to kitesurf.
Makaha Beach Park
Makaha beach park has strong currents and high waves, making it dangerous for kitesurfers. There are also a lot of rocks offshore, which can damage you or your kite.
Best kitesurfing schools and rentals on Oahu
Oahu is home to a handful of excellent schools and rentals for kitesurfing, which makes it an ideal destination to get into this exciting sport.
Kiteboarding Paradise Hawaii
Google Maps rating: 5.0 (151 reviews)
Kiteboarding Paradise Hawaii is a small family business offering water-sport lessons from beginner to advanced levels. They have outstanding ratings all over social media! Visit their website to check out their lesson schedule and price lists.
North Shore Oahu Surf
Google Maps rating: 4.9 (104 reviews)
North Shore Oahu Surf is another fantastic option for learning kitesurfing with experienced kitesurfers. You will indeed have a safe and fun experience. If not, you are guaranteed to get your money back!
Sparky’s Surf School
Google Maps rating: 4.9 (171 reviews)
Sparky’s Surf School offers high-quality yet affordable lessons for everyone, including kids. Experience a great session with a professional!
Renting kitesurfing gear
This kite shop is located near Kailua Beach. They provide watersport gears for all ages. In addition, they have Cabrinha, Slingshot and Liquid force kites, and boards in different shapes and sizes for kitesurfing!
Windward Watersport is your one-stop shop renting many watersport gears. You can visit and rent the gears directly at their shop in Kailua Beach.