The best place to get the hang of surfing, according to world champion Carissa Moore, is Waikiki Beach. “I was born and raised on the south shore of Oahu and the playful, gentle waves of Waikiki are absolutely the best place to learn,” she says. But don’t spend all your time on the board. “Hawaii is the perfect vacation destination—a mix of culture, good food, nice people, and other fun activities such as hiking, kayaking, and swimming,” Moore says.
When you’re ready to step it up a notch, Oahu’s North Shore, roughly an hour drive from Waikiki, is the surfing capital of the world. During the winter season, it’s home to massive waves—30 feet or more—and the Triple Crown of Surfing competition. The seven miles of famous white-sand beaches (think Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Sunset Beach) remain blissfully undeveloped, with no major towns or mass shopping plazas and only one resort. “As a surfer, it’s something you must experience,” says Moore.
In 2010, the same year she graduated from high school, Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore was accepted into her first Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s World Tour, where she won two events and Rookie of the Year. She also won the U.S. Open of Surfing. In 2011, she took the ASP women’s overall, becoming the youngest person on the planet to win the world title. Read her Adventurers of the Year profile.
Carissa Moore's Gear Pick: Surfboard
“I never go anywhere without a surfboard.”