If you’re a seasoned vet or just starting out, finding the best place to skimboard in any area is a hard thing to do, and the challenge becomes that much more difficult when you’re visiting a new place. For sand skimming you need wide open spaces with flat placid water, and for more advanced wave riding, the waves need to be just the right size and brake close to shore. Hawaii is a beach goers paradise, but not all beaches here are going to be perfect for skimboarding. Most of the best spots in Hawaii are concentrated on Maui and Oahu, and to get you on your board as soon as possible, we’ve put together a list of the best beaches in Hawaii to catch a wave.

Skimboarding in Hawaii: The 5 Best Spots!

1. Pounders Beach, Oahu

Pounders Beach is a great sport for many different water sports, including sponging and body surfing, and has great conditions for skimboarding. The break here is big and strong, with lots of shore breaks, creating perfect waves with the signature ‘Hawaiian’ curl. Summertime is a great time to visit this beach, as the waves are the perfect size. It’s also a popular spot for college kids, so the crowd here is young and fun. At the south end of the beach is a well known spot for shoreline fishermen, and the north end of the beach offers calmer waters for swimming.

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2. Poipu Beach, Oahu

This Oahu beach is well known for being an outstanding spot to go skimboarding. The waves break close to the shore, and sometimes they get big enough and turn into barrel waves (fun for more advanced riders). Stay away from the right side of the beach, known for being a little rocky, and you’ll have a great day boarding at Poipu Beach. If the waves aren’t cooperating, try snorkeling, boogie-boarding, or swimming in the beautiful blue water.

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3. Hanalei Bay, Kauai

Hanalei Bay in Kauai is a great place for any level of skimboarder. The waves at the beach can get pretty big in the winter, creating great boarding conditions and offering a challenge for riders. In the summer, the gentle slope of this beach and calmer waters create perfect conditions for any level of boarder. This beach also stays pretty uncrowded, and the sand is also free of rocks and debris. The summer months also create great conditions for sunbathing and leisurely walks. Sailboats moor in the bay during this time, giving strollers something to look at.

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4. Makena Beach State Park, Maui

Makena Beach is one of the biggest beaches on Maui. The expansive area known as ‘big beach’ is almost a mile long and 100 yards wide, which means tons of space and perfect conditions. The waves vary here, changing between small rolling waves (great for sand skimming) and larger breaking waves. The area is a must see spot regardless of wave conditions on any given day, and visitors can swim, snorkel, or bodyboard. After you’ve had your fill of riding, head down to the area known as ‘little beach’ and explore the cove at the end of beach.

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5. Ka’anapali, Maui

Ka’anapali Beach is one of the best beaches on Maui for a lot of reasons. The sand here is soft, and the gentle slope into the water gives skim boarders plenty of space to ride across the thin layer of water that the waves leave behind. The area is also full of restaurants, bars, and shops all within walking distance once you’re tired of the sunshine. To the far right of this area is also “Black Rock,” a large lava formation and a popular place to jump from into the ocean.

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Checkout the more of the country’s best skimboarding beaches!

This article was written by Alexis Hartmann.