Best Surf Shops on Oahu

The fragrance of wax and neoprene. Gremmies darting in and out to grab copies of FREE SURF. The raspy timbre of old salty dogs going on about how it was better yesterday. Rows of shiny new EPS creations, haloed by vintage logs in the rafters. Stickers doled out with purchases of independently branded t-shirts for shoppers who are on their best behavior. These are the things that separate authentic surf shops from softgoods retailers like Billabong, Volcom, and the others who sold out to Authentic Brands Group Inc. (AUTH). You appreciate this, which is why you’re searching “best surf shops Oahu” to visit while on the island. Seeing as we appreciate your passion for the culture we’re returning the aloha by providing an annually updated list of locally owned shops that we think purists like you will enjoy. Let’s review!

Top 5 Surf Shops to Visit in Honolulu and on the North Shore of Oahu

Inter-Island Surf Shop

451 Kapahulu Avenue, Honolulu (get directions)

Best Surf Shops Oahu

Inter-Island was established in 1959, making it the longest standing surf shop in Hawaii. It’s a discreet little boutique located on the most underrated strip in Honolulu whose claim to fame is selling rare boards under the Robert ” Sparky” Scheufele label. This is in addition to Birdwell Beach Britches gear and custom Inter-Island clothing. Inter-Island’s collection of 50s and 60s era single-fins, paipos, and a few wave-riding oddities could easily land the shop in the surf museum category. Owner and operator Barry Morrison has made it a place where the aforementioned old-guard gather to talk story, although Morrison is more than welcoming to visitors. The surf community must continue to rally around vestiges of a bygone era, so please stop by Inter-Island to snag a few treasures and show your support. It’s much appreciated!

Surf Garage

2716 S King Street, Honolulu (get directions)

Best Surf Shops Oahu

Creator of SURFER Magazine, surf artist/photographer, and legend John Severson designed the Surf Garage sign for owner Toru Yamaguchi. That anecdote alone makes a visit to this Honolulu surf shop worthwhile for historians. Toru and staff are a quiet bunch, offering a head nod upon entry while letting you explore the store without hassle. That being said, they are exceedingly knowledgable and helpful should you have any questions about their inventory of new shortboards, used wave-riders, vintage restorations, and assortment of fins, gear, and accessories.

View photos and more from Surf Garage.

Gnarwall Surf Shop

315 Uluniu St #204, Kailua (get directions)

Best Surf Shops Oahu

The most hidden surf shop on Oahu is a quintessential gem. Gnarwall is located on the second floor of a hip commercial-industrial complex in Kailua. Visitors stumble upon it for the first time when looking for the public restroom after visiting the neighboring Manoa Chocolate Factory & Wine Bar. The colorful and eclectic shop is chock-full of used surfboards along with fresh shapes and anything you may need to surf obscure spots on this windward neck of the island. In fact, Gnarwall is responsible for keeping the stoke alive on Oahu’s east side after the unfortunate closure of Kimo’s Surf Hut in 2023.

Surf n Sea Haleiwa

62-595 Kamehameha Highway, Haleiwa (get directions)

Best Surf Shops Oahu

The owner of Surf N Sea, Joe Green, got his start by ­selling used surfboards at local swap meets and beach park parking lots. This grass roots gumption is felt from the moment you step up to the banana-toned building of Kamehameha Highway. The North Shore shop is jam packed with boards and boasts the largest selection of lifestyle clothing on this side of the island, including legitimate labels like Florence Marine X and Vissla. Surf n Sea branded clothing has also become a big hit with the local and visiting surf community. The store also sells affordable used surfboards (some under $100) and offers surf rentals and lessons in addition to bookings for other ocean activities. Beyond the usual suspects of products, Joe Green sells his handmade ukuleles in the shop, which are functional masterpieces in their own right. No trip to the North Shore is complete without a stop at Surf n Sea Haleiwa.

View photos and more from Surf n Sea Haleiwa.

Haleiwa Surf Shop

66-214 Haleiwa Road, Haleiwa (get directions)

Best Surf Shops Oahu

This is the newest surf shop on Oahu, but has already made an undeniable impression on the local surf community. It’s especially popular with groms who roam the property like feral chickens that also inhabit the space on Haleiwa Road. HSS is a sibling of Waialua Surf Shop at the Waialua Sugar Mill, carrying over the core persona but with a much better view. Haleiwa Surf Shop is located across the asphalt from Ali’i Beach Park, which offers a high performance wave in the winter and mellow spot for intermediates (sometimes beginners) in the summer. Buy an affordable used board or rent one from HSS to test your skills at the iconic surf spot. HSS also holds an annual surf swap in its parking lot and does a lot to support young surfers on the North Shore.

Honorable Mentions

Is there another surf shop that you think should crack the Top 5? Or do you have any other questions about where to experience surf culture on Oahu? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you!


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