Pakala Beach

Pakala Beach – A Prime Spot for Surfing Fun in South Shore Kauai
Local Expert's Rating:
4 / 5
The Bottom Line:

If you’re an avid surfer looking for seemingly endless waves, you definitely need to check out Pakala Beach in South Shore Kauai. Also known as infinities, the surf break lets you ride to your heart’s content, keeping the fun going as long as you wish. Swimming is a no-go, but particularly courageous bodyboarders might have a blast.

- The HawaiianIslands.com Local Expert Team

Set along the Hoanuanu Bay, Pakala Beach serves as the place to go for avid surfers looking for a challenge. Well-known as infinities, the surf break brings in long, endless waves that keep you gliding across the surface like magic, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. The waves take a lot of skill to master, although it’s always a blast to practice your techniques.

Year-round, you can find excellent waves out by the rocky outcropping along the eastern side of Pakala Beach. When the waters are particularly calm, which is the case about half of the time, beginners can give it a try. Otherwise, the waves are best left to advanced surfers who want to master staying on the board while doing sweet tricks.

The best conditions of Pakala Beach occur toward the end of the summer as the winds stay light and the waves maintain a truly rideable swell. During that time, surfers of all skill levels can hop on their boards and strut their stuff with ease. Brave body surfers can join in the fun, too, trying their hand at riding the waves with nary a board in sight.

Swimming, however, is a no-go since the water at Pakala Beach is so murky all throughout the year. Beyond that, the constant barrage of waves is rather unpleasant while just trying to chill in the water. Plus, there are no lifeguards on duty, so when the waves get rough, you could quickly get into trouble without any help around. With the exception of prime surfing days, this beach remains relatively empty, too, so you won’t even have anyone to call for help on your behalf.

While visiting Pakala Beach, keep in mind that there are no bathrooms, showers, or other facilities onsite. It doesn’t even have any picnic tables, so bring a blanket and umbrella if you’d like to chow down as your energy starts to wane. Also, be sure to bring your sandcastle-building tools if you want to sculpt the sand to your liking. A camera in a waterproof pouch is also awesome to have, so you can get photos and videos of your incredible feats.

To get to Pakala Beach, you’ll need to park along the shoulder of the Kaumualii Highway near mile marker 21, and then take a short hike down the trail. Also known as HI-50, this highway has a high-speed limit, so be careful as you get out of your vehicle. You have to be especially vigilant while crossing, especially if you’re parked around the bend. Barring periods of heavy rain, the trail conditions are usually easily walkable, but be sure to wear shoes with good tread to keep your steady footing.

Once you get down to Pakala Beach, take a moment to gaze upon the beauty of the oceanfront in awe. The pristine sandy shores and bay waters beyond look simply amazing, letting you enjoy the pure beauty of South Shore Kauai. As you enjoy the view, be sure to watch the surf conditions to gauge the roughness of the waters. If the water looks too rough, skip this beach in favor of another one – or delay your surf adventures for another day.

Insider Tips:
-Always check the conditions before heading out to surf at Pakala Beach, so you can avoid rough waters and stay safe.
-Since the nearby land is privately-owned, make sure to walk along Pakala Beach, so you’re not trespassing.
-Sharks love murky waters, so stay alert while you surf around.
-There are no garbage cans onsite at Pakala Beach, so pack out what you bring with you and discard any other trash you find.