Kawaihae Breakwater Spot Guide

About Kawaihae Breakwater

Located in the historical town of Kawaihae, and tucked under the northwest corner of the Big Island, is Kawaihae Harbor -- a fun surf spot during the winter and summer months that offers both rights and lefts. WNW to N swells run down along the northwest Big Island coast and hit the breakwater at Kawaihae, producing running right-handers. The left empties out into the boat channel, so it's not quite as good as the right.

Source: Kawaihae Breakwater Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Usually best suited for beginner to intermediate levels.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Usually friendly. Be cool and keep it that way.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Depending on surf quality. Can be hit or miss with the crowd.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Can get really fun on a solid WNW swell, but usually average to below average.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

The paddle is not bad for smaller days, but becomes more the larger it gets.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty

Good most of the time, but more suspect closer to the harbor entrances.

Additional Information


Reef. Harbor water. Water access.


Easy. Parking at the Kawaihae Cultural Surf Park right in front of the breakwater.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish, bodyboard, sup



Best Season

Year-round. Winter N to WNW swells and summer SSW-SW swells.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos