Hanalei Bay Spot Guide

About Hanalei Bay

Hanalei Bay is one of the most well-known spots on the island of Kauai, and there are many other spots in and around the bay. Hanalei itself is a long right point that breaks on the eastern side of the bay for up to 300 yards over lava reef. It is a fairly powerful wave with occasional barrel sections that ends with an inside bowl section in the middle of the bay. Farther north, up and around the point from Hanalei, is a reefbreak right called Hideaways. Further inside the bay is PineTrees, which needs a larger swell and a good sandbar setup at the rivermouth. Directly across Hanalei Bay from the main point is a fickle left reefbreak called Waikokos, which needs a large N swell and W wind.

Source: Hanalei Bay Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Best suited for avid to advanced surfers.

Local Vibe

Doable

Welcoming Intimidating

Competitive. Locals tend to rule the place. Humility and respect expected.

Crowd Factor

Moderate

Mellow Heavy

Usually always a crowd, but can be pretty spread out along the point.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

A nice, long, powerful wave with great shape and the occasional barrel sections.

Shoulder Burn

Medium

Light Exhausting

The paddle out is not hard, just long. And it's a point break, so longer the ride then longer the paddle back.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Good most of the time. However, there are a few rivermouths in the bay with a large one right at the break, so water can get dirty after significant rain.

Additional Information

Hazards

Sections of shallow reef, currents.

Access

Easy. Enter the water either from the Hanalei Pier area, or from the keyhole off Puu Poa Beach midway on the point.

Bring Your

Shortboard, bodyboard, gun

Seabed

Reef

Best Season

Winter is best. Tradeswell in summer can be OK, at least rideable.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos