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Kasey Leonhardt’s Favorite Surf Spots in Hawaii

Salt Life team member and self-taught surfer Kasey Leonhardt was born and raised in Florida, but when the opportunity to move to Hawaii presented itself, she took it. Kasey has been living, working, and surfing on the west side of the big island now for over 4 years.


Salt Life sat down with Kasey and talked about her favorite surf spots for beginner and experienced surfers on the island.

The Difference Between Florida and Hawaii

When we asked Kasey if she noticed a big difference between surfing on the eastern seaboard in Florida and the west coast of Hawaii, she said it is huge. Everything in Hawaii is bigger and heavier unless you surf the Florida waves following a hurricane swell. She credits the incredible waves in Hawaii for making her a better surfer.

Surfing in Hawaii

When it comes to surfing in Hawaii, there is truly a spot for everyone. Whether you are just learning or are an experienced surfer who loves a challenge, we’ve got you covered. Make sure that you are honest with yourself about your skill level before you decide where you are going to put your board in the water.

We recommend that beginners sign up for a lesson or two before heading out.


There are so many options on the island for new surfers. If you’ve had a few lessons and you’re ready to head out on your own, there is no better place to go than White Plains beach. You’ll find soft, playful waves to practice on, as well as a nice crowd full of other surfers who are always willing to help and offer tips.

Experienced Surfers

If you’ve been surfing for a while and you’re ready to take on a new challenge, there is no question where you need to be when you’re on the west side of Hawaii. If you’re looking for waves with size and weight, check out Makaha Beach. This spot on the west side is going to give you the best breaks on the island. The waves are heavy, and there is nothing beyond the shore to block the swell.

Something for Everyone

Some days, even the most experienced surfers just want to take it easy and enjoy a few breaks in a chill vibe. Maybe you’re taking less experienced friends out on the water, recovering from illness or injury, or you are just feeling tired but still want to froth. Not every day on the water needs to be intense. If you’re looking for some consistently chill waves, we recommend checking out Kammies in Oahu.

Thanks, Kasey!


We appreciate the recommendations. We are packing our board and heading to Hawaii as soon as possible!