Big Island surf?

Discussion in 'Hawaiian Islands' started by Toonces, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    Hey all.

    I've been doing some research on moving back to Hawaii. I visited Hilo a few years ago and really loved it; I'd say of all the islands the Big Island felt the most like "home" to me.

    What I didn't realize is just how affordable the Big Island is compared to Oahu. I've been trying to get a handle on just what the surf is like on the Big Island. I mean, I've Googled it and checked Surfline, but I don't know anybody that has real local knowledge. When I was in Hilo it wasn't to surf, and I only saw surfers at one spot as we were driving by...wasn't really looking for waves.

    I realize that it is mostly blocked by the other islands from the northwest, and I see that it gets tradewind exposure near Hilo.

    I guess my question really is just how consistent is the surf? Hilo doesn't look all that more expensive than Rhode Island, all things considered.
     
  2. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    It can't be worse than Rhode Island lol
     

  3. JayD

    JayD Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    Property is cheap b/c the lava is active. I have a couple of friends who I stay with there. It's really cool. There are obscure waves that are good (not epic) that are around that are super fun.
     
  4. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    Yeah, that's kind of my mindset here. All things considered, if I can live on the Big Island for +/- 10% of my current cost of living, and the surf can't be any worse, well...kind of a no-brainer.

    Thanks for that info JayD. My son is about as haole looking as you can be...blonde hair and white skin. He's a great kid, makes friends easily, but I'm worried about how he'd be accepted somewhere like Hilo or Kona. He was fine on Oahu, but Oahu has a much more diverse population that I would imagine live on Hawaii.
     
  5. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    It's interesting how each island has its own vibe. The Big Island just felt so damn laid back.
     
  6. JayD

    JayD Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2012
    One of my best friends in the world lives there and he is a white Canadian that loves everyone. He has had some small infractions but mostly all good (been there atleast 15+) in the water. He rips so that helps but still gotta be respectful and know your place. Even your son needs to be positively aware but he can do so...and he can live the big island life!!!
     
  7. rodndtube

    rodndtube Well-Known Member

    800
    May 21, 2006
    Better buy more than one round if you want the knowledge ;)
     
  8. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Guest

    Oh, it definitely was Massachusetts, aka, massholia.
     
  9. BANANABREAD

    BANANABREAD Active Member

    38
    Aug 8, 2013
    Check out www.orchidlandsurf.com...best break is at the river outlet a little N of Hilo...I forget the name of the break...it's been along time since I lived there, but I don't recall it ever being less than a few feet.
     
  10. eatswell

    eatswell Well-Known Member

    980
    Jul 14, 2009
    I'm all about Oahu myself, but you can't go wrong with anywhere in Hawaii.

    I know a dude I went to high school with, who moved to the big island years and years ago. He pretty much packed up and moved out there. I think he's working or even running a shop somewhere there. He was competing a little bit too, years ago. I'm not really in contact with him personally, but we've got some mutual buddies.

    Definitely appears to be more affordable than Oahu, I'd bet the job market is not quite as strong though. Every once in a while, I'll go on a kick where I toss around the idea of selling my house in Jersey, buying a pretty small home and then a condo on Oahu and spending my summer's there. Since I have quite a bit of down time from April-September. My buddy says he might go ahead and buy a condo there. I'm seeing if I can hold out on him biting on one first. Retiring to Oahu is definitely still a goal!
     
  11. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    Hey Bananabread, that sounds like the break I saw. We were driving north out of Hilo to check out the coast and over some bridge there was a break with a few longboarders out. The surf was pretty suck, but I do recall a spot that sounds like what you're describing.
     
  12. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
    eatswell-
    Oahu is definitely better, but the cost of living there is much higher than the big island from what I can see. Granted, I've only run some cost of living website models and looked on Zillow, but a decent house near the beach in the Hilo and/or Kona area can be had for around 400-500k. That won't get your far at all on Oahu as I'm sure you know.

    I have the luxury of possibly teaching college online which frees me up from having to geolocate in one particular location. While Oahu would be better, I don't think I can make the numbers work. The Big Island is more affordable, and I can't imagine not liking it there. I'm cautious, though, about moving somewhere like the Big Island if I can get just as much surf as, say, Melbourne, Florida. I realize we're talking two very different places here.

    Another consideration is convincing my non-Hawaiian family that we'd fit in on the Big Island.

    More information than you probably need, but I'm just trying to make an educated decision. This is just cloud talk at the moment, but sort of serious cloud talk if you know what I mean. I do have to make a decision about where to live permanently soon. It's not going to be RI if I can help it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2016
  13. Toonces

    Toonces Well-Known Member

    353
    Apr 25, 2016
  14. oipaul

    oipaul Well-Known Member

    671
    May 23, 2006
    I've been living in Kona for 6 years now, email me ([email protected]) if you have more specific questions. The hilo break you were thinking of is honolii beach park, super fun river mouth w/cobblestone bottom. Zagaffer, I'll be around email me when you get into town...
     
  15. Aqua boy

    Aqua boy Active Member

    36
    Feb 9, 2012
    A couple of years ago I posted on here with a simple question, what does it take to move to Hawaii? About a month after that my girlfriend and I said puck it, packed our stuff, sold everything else and moved. We have been on island for two years now. I ve surfed up and down both west and east sides of the big island. Haven't really hit the southern part very much but I've been a few times and it can get fun. It's more consistent than east coast but also extremely fickle. We are heavily shaded by Maui and because the island is so new, it hasn't had time to develop those outer reef spots to shape up the big swells that do come in. Each spot is different as most areas you're surfing over shallow sharp lava reef. Beautiful place. As far as cost of living it's like apples to oranges from west to east. More tourist more vacation homes on west side drives up cost of everything. Milk is $8 a gallon. I now don't drink cows milk. I would definitely live Hilo side but there just is t enough work for me to make it. I miss the barrels on hatteras. I miss many things but I don't miss it enough to to leave
     
  16. Aqua boy

    Aqua boy Active Member

    36
    Feb 9, 2012
    Costco will be you bff