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Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

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New York, New York...
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Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

I saw several posts on the forums about splitting a longer amount of time in Kauai between several locations, and while I found them helpful, I wondered if given my specific interests, I could get anyone's opinion on the following.

I'm traveling with one other person to Kauai in mid September. We are both adventure lovers, surfers (longboarders), but also just wanna relax and chill on the beach in a lounge chair under an umbrella. While we have some prerequisite outings planned (Napali Coast, Waimea Canyon, Mt. Waialeale helicopter tour), we also will have a 4x4 rental and plan on seeing lots of the island.

A big focus of our trip will be on surfing (again, longboarding specifically). We are both beginner-intermediates and from what I can gather, there are good breaks around the island. We are basically looking for mellow, fun waves, keeping in mind we've heard from close friends about localism. I also realize certain shores get bigger swells in summer/winter but since we're going in the fall, it's been hard to find resources online that talk about September conditions. If anyone has any thoughts on that, it'd be great to hear!

We are also thinking of dividing our time between Hanalei/Princeville and Poipu and surroundings. If anyone wants to advise on best breaks for our level, or if you have any recommended shops to rent longbaords, please let me know.

Thanks

California
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1. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

Sept is questionable as to where the best waves will be. Maybe Poipu and locals aren't crazy about beginners at Lawai Beach so beware. Kealia Beach is the same. In Hanalei the surf might start to get a bit bigger, but it is a day to day decision where the waves will be good for a beginner to intermediate.

Split your stay. Stay in Hanalei and Poipu. You will love the vibe of Hanalei.

LA
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2. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

You also don't need 4X4 as you are prohibited on driving off road by your rental car contract.

California
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3. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

Isn't it tough to put boards on top of a jeep?

California
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4. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

This thread might be helpful. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g29218-i304-k34794…

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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5. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

Split your stay. And, as noted, you don't need a 4x4. Gas is well over $4/gallon here unless you're a Costco member, and parking spaces are notoriously tiny. You can't off-road legally anyway.

Hawaii
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6. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

Some info on surf breaks:

www.alohasurfcam.com/kauai-surf-spots.html

Mid September the north shore is still flat but if you're lucky an early winter swell will roll in. If that does happen you're likely to get some excellent long boarding surf at Hanalei bay. Otherwise Kahili beach will be your best bet - it can have some fun (small) wind waves.

Splitting your stay, I would first go to Poipu as there should still be some summer waves. The longer you wait to go north the better your odds of getting an early winter swell. When conditions are good in Poipu it can get crowded so the north shore is preferred for intermediate surfers. For beginners it doesn't matter as they can't catch the waves others are competing for, or they're getting the ones at Kiahuna beach (which nobody else wants) :)

Kalipaki bay is also a good spot to check out.

The 8ft soft tops from Costco are excellent long boards and only cost $115. They're easy to transport and sell, you don't have to worry about damage etc. Otherwise you'll find several places to rent boards in Poipu and Hanalei.

New York, New York...
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7. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

Thanks everyone for the insight and recommendations, they are so so appreciated!

I think Poipu first, Hanalei/Princeville second will be a smart idea, then.

As far as breaks in Poipu go, besides Lawai, are there any others we should stay away from or beware of (bc of localism or just gnarly/dangerous conditions/bottoms/etc.)? Shipwreck's? Gillin's? Right now we're surfing in sub 40-degree water in 6/5/4's here in NY so I cannot wait to be in Hawaii, even if it is months and months away!

Going to look into renting an apt or small house on the north shore as there aren't too many hotel-type options up there and we're looking for a more mellow spot w/ a full on kitchen/bbq to cook anyways. If anyone has any particular recommendations that are $200-300/day and well-situated for getting around, but also possible to walk to a break w/ our longboards,that'd be awesome. Still doing lots of research so apologies if my questions seem ignorant.

Thx again.

California
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8. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

On the North Shore, one of the best surfing spot is right below the bluff in Princeville. Just ask anyone who tries to find a place to park at Hideaways why they can't park there because of the surf trucks. A house in Hanalei would be really fun, but you would have more options within your budget at a condo in Princeville.

Where I own at Hanalei Bay Resort, we get a lot of surfers because its kind of a mellow location, you can watch the surf break from the resort, they have condos within your budget, a nice bbq area and this summer the bar and restaurant should reopen. There's a paved path to walk down to Puu Poa Beach where you paddle out in front of St Regis Hotel. Other locations that could work for you are Puu Poa or Pali Ke Kua condos. Because that time of the year the surf could be flat in one location and better a few miles away, just park yourself where you feel the most comfortable because you will probably be doing some driving anyway.

9. Re: Surf vacation - 10 days in Kauai - would love recommendation

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