Riding the Waves: Celebrating International Surfing Day in Hawaii

Surfing, the ancient art of riding ocean waves, has transcended its roots to become a global phenomenon. International Surfing Day is a time-honored celebration that brings together surfers from all corners of the world, united by their passion for the sport and the beauty of the ocean. In the heart of the Pacific, Hawaii, the birthplace of modern surfing, stands as an iconic destination to commemorate this special day. Join us as we explore the vibrant festivities and deep-rooted traditions that make International Surfing Day in Hawaii an unforgettable experience.

International Surfing Day sunset surfer

A History of International Surfing DAy

The history of International Surfing Day can be traced back to the Surfrider Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and preservation of the world's oceans, waves, and beaches. 

In 2004, the Surfrider Foundation, along with Surfing Magazine, established International Surfing Day as a way to celebrate the sport of surfing and surf culture, and raise awareness about environmental issues affecting coastal areas. Since its inception, International Surfing Day has grown into a global event, with surfers and ocean enthusiasts from all over the world coming together on the third Saturday in June each year to participate in various activities and initiatives that promote the enjoyment and preservation of our oceans. It serves as a reminder of the importance of protecting our coastal ecosystems and the significance of surfing as both a sport and a way of life.

International Surfing Day in Waikiki on Oahu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach on the island of Oahu

Hawaii's Surfing Legacy

Hawaii's connection to surfing runs deep. The islands' pristine beaches and powerful swells have lured surf enthusiasts for centuries. Ancient Hawaiians considered surfing an art form and a sacred practice, intertwining spirituality and sport. It was here that surfing gained recognition beyond its shores, thanks to legendary figures like Duke Kahanamoku, a native Hawaiian and Olympic swimmer who introduced the world to the sport in the early 20th century. Today, the warm waters and incredible surf breaks of Hawaii continue to attract surfers seeking the ultimate ride, as well as inspire artists to create amazing surf art and surfboard art!

Celebrating International Surfing Day in Hawaii

On the third Saturday in June, International Surfing Day, Hawaii comes alive with a multitude of celebrations, events, and competitions that honor the sport and its impact on the local culture. From the world-famous North Shore of Oahu to the scenic beaches of Maui and the Big Island, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

  1. Surf Contests: Catch the exhilarating action as professional surfers from around the globe compete in high-stakes contests on International Surfing Day. Witness awe-inspiring maneuvers and the pure athleticism that has defined Hawaii's surfing heritage.

  2. Beach Cleanups: Reflecting the importance of environmental stewardship, numerous organizations organize beach cleanups on International Surfing Day. Join the effort to protect Hawaii's stunning coastlines, promoting sustainability and preserving the ocean for future generations.

  3. Surfing Lessons: Whether you're a seasoned pro or a novice, International Surfing Day presents an ideal opportunity to experience the thrill of riding a wave. Hawaii's great surf shops offer lessons for all skill levels, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of surfing while learning from experienced instructors. 

  4. Surf Film Screenings: Embrace the surf culture by attending surf film screenings, where documentaries and cinematic masterpieces pay tribute to the history, creativity, and resilience of the global surfing community. Prepare to be inspired by the breathtaking cinematography and captivating stories shared on the big screen.

  5. Community Gatherings: International Surfing Day fosters a sense of community among surfers and ocean enthusiasts. Connect with like-minded individuals through gatherings, BBQs, and live music events held at local surf spots. Share stories, make new friends, and celebrate the shared love for surfing and the ocean.

  6. Surf Art Shows: One of our favorite ways to spend International Surfing Day is to visit galleries or events where we can explore the Hawaii surf art scene! Support local artists and celebrate a time honored Hawaiian tradition at the same time - what could be better??

International Surfing Day Around The World


International Surfing Day is not limited to just one location or region. It has gained popularity and recognition worldwide, bringing together surfers and ocean enthusiasts from different countries and coastal communities. From the golden beaches of California to the pristine shores of Australia, from the tropical paradises of Bali to the rugged coastlines of South Africa, International Surfing Day is celebrated in diverse locations across the globe.

In each place, the celebrations may vary based on local customs and traditions, but the core essence remains the same: a shared love for surfing and a commitment to protecting the ocean. Surfers gather to ride waves, participate in surf contests, and engage in beach cleanups to preserve the natural beauty of their coastal environments. Surf schools and organizations often offer free or discounted surf lessons, giving newcomers a chance to experience the thrill of catching their first wave.

International Surfing Day is also marked by film screenings, art exhibits, and music performances that showcase the artistic and cultural aspects of the surfing lifestyle. Community gatherings and beach parties create a sense of camaraderie among surfers, fostering connections and friendships that transcend geographical boundaries.

The global nature of International Surfing Day highlights the universal appeal of surfing and its ability to bring people together, promoting a collective effort towards ocean conservation and environmental awareness. It serves as a reminder that the oceans connect us all, regardless of our backgrounds or geographic locations, and that we all have a role to play in protecting and preserving these precious natural resources.

Surfers celebrating International Surfing Day

International Surfing Day in Hawaii is a celebration of the sport's rich heritage, the breathtaking natural beauty of the islands, and the camaraderie among surfers from all walks of life. It is an opportunity to pay homage to the origins of modern surfing while embracing the progressive spirit of the global surfing community. Whether you're a seasoned surfer or a curious observer, there's no better place than Hawaii to experience the magic of International Surfing Day. So, wax up your board, don your favorite beach attire, and prepare for an unforgettable celebration of the ocean, waves, and the incredible sport that brings us all together. Hang loose and catch the stoke on International Surfing Day in the tropical paradise of Hawaii!