​​Generally there are waves year round with Typhoon season running from May thrul December producing stronger storms than anywhere in the world. Low pressures from November to May. move quickly down from Korea ramming into Okinawa dilivering good chilly surf. Super typhoons deliver some very large surf on all corners of the island. One of the best waves is actually at the Sunabe seawall. This wave on a south swell has been ridden while throwing much like “Pipe”. On any given day that you walk your dog or snorkel down at the seawall you wont see these waves, but when the window opens and the south lines start to light up the west side you would really be surprised. Spring offers a mixed plate of south wind swell and leftover low pressures. Fall is the opposite with powerful left over typhoons swell and fresh new northern low pressures .

The corel reef is live, sharp and shallow. Most breaks range from .5 to 1.5 meters of water at high tide. Tides are extreme with a swing of about 6 feet. A good rule of thumb for someone just arriving here is to surf two hours before and 2 hours after high tide. Ninty percent of the waves here are high tide breaks, but if you learn what you’re doing you’ll find plenty of low tide waves. There are only two real sand bottom beach breaks on Okinawa.

The water temp ranges from 68 F to 88 F. Blue crystal waters with pools of piss. It gets really hot in the summer months. Hot spots of water migrate north with every south swell. In the winter the westside cools down to 68 F. That doesn’t sound bad if your from California or Florida, but believe me after a year or so after your climatized and that cool 68 F water combined with a North Korean wind and you’ll wish you had a 3/4 full wetsuit. Most of the year you can wear a spring suit (2/2 type) when it’s chilly, but then bust out the board short for about 6 months.

Don’t forget the wave maker. The wind. Lot’s of this stuff. In the winter months the lows usually bring the wind out of the northwest with the approach of the storm and ending up out of the northeast to east direction. This makes for good surf on the westside. In the summer the winds come from the south.
Typhoons are the best thing about Okinawa surf. Okinawa get’s about 3 to 4 typhoons on the westside and lot more on the eastside.

Naminoue Beach

1. Hedo Point: Up on the most northern tip of the island, this break is a right with a steep takeoff into a hollow barrel and then a smooth ride for another 30 meters. It is best at head to slightly overhead. The best conditions are an E swell and S-SE winds. To much east and the place blows out.

2. Yona Beach: This a deep reef break where the reef is covered by sand and silt from the stream at the end of the beach. The break is best at lower tides and it takes at least a head high sized wave to start to break. Of the spots on the west side of Okinawa, this place could take the biggest swell and still be rideable. The break is a quick ride either left or right (lefts are a bit better) and not much else. The best conditions is a big NW swell and SE winds. It is very rare for perfect conditions here, but it does happen.

3. Un-named: Just South of Yona beach, the reef goes out about 200 meters and offers a few small rideable. points. The reef can hold up to an head high break. The best conditions are a NW swell and an SE wind.

4. Fruit Stand’s: Driving along the highway, you should see a fruit stand on the side of the road. That marks a good area of reef out in front of the shop that offers a nice selection of rights from some of the points. The reef here is really shallow and can only hold a shoulder high swell. The best conditions are a N-NW-W swell and SE-E wind. But with these conditions, better surf can be found a Zanpa, unless you want to be the only one out in the water. From my experiences here, I like this break and the surf here is great if the swell is big enough. While most people go to Zanpa, this place makes for a good break from the crowds.

5. Un-named: South of Fruit Stands, this place can be found in front a bridge overlooking a half-moon bay. The reef lies deep under the water level and the break requires the same conditions as Yona. It is a long right hander, although not very hollow. It does provide a good ride when it is breaking.

6. Buma: This break is located about 10 minutes past Nago city. This place breaks good when there is a winter storm that causes big conditions in the Chatan area. Waves will wrap around the point from out of the North and break at two good point on the reef. The main point lies in front of an old parking lot, while the other one lies just east of that in front of the small cliffs. The main point offers a good right and a left and does get hollow on occasions. The other point also has a left and a right. And on the big days here, the left gets really good, offering a pretty hairy barrel. The best conditions are W-NW swell, N wind.

7. Un-named: Had to let this secret point out. This wave can be found at the end of the peninsula, on the other side of a red pier and the new hotel built near it. This wave offers a machine like barrel, with a steep takeoff into a hollow section and a good rideable. section after that. It is one of the best formed waves on the island and easily compares to some of the best waves in the world when it reaches overhead size. It usually breaks a very few rare times during the year unfortunately, during a good typhoon. The best place that I found to get to this spot is, on the north base of the peninsula, there is a restaurant that has a beach behind it that makes for a good paddle out to the spot. Getting in the closer way by parking in the big hotel parking lot welcomes trouble from the local security guards. The best conditions are a big SW-W swell, and light SE-E winds. One of my favorites.

8. Miyuki’s: Named after the hotel that faces the break, this place small mushroom shaped peninsula that has a good rideable. point on both the south and north end. I have always preferred the northern point, as it could usually handle bigger conditions and has a better ride. The crowds usually prefer the southern end as the access to this break is quite easy. Across the natural reef channel from the northern point is another good left. Although sectiony, this break can sometimes line up for a nice long rides. The best conditions for these points are a SW-W-NW swell and E winds. Any south to the wind kills this break.

9. Seragaki Reef: On the other side of the bay from Miyuki’s is another break that is only active during big typhoons. The breaks starts close to a big rock and creates a huge left that can offer a few hollow rides. It take a huge typhoon swell from out of the SW to start breaking on this reef. But when it does, this place is good. The best conditions are a big SW-W swells and S wind.

10. Meada Point: I haven’t rode this place yet and am still unfamiliar with the breaks here. But I have seen a few good rights and lefts from the shore. This place offers some of the best scenery around with 100 meter cliffs and some of the best fishing and diving spots around. The best conditions are SW-N swells and S-SE wind.

11. Zanpa: Once thought to be too dangerous to surf, this place has some of the most consistent breaks on the west side. This has easily become one of my favorite spots on the island. The place has three breaks. Mainside, outside, and some really sick peak just down from mainside. Mainside is the closest to the lighthouse and offers one of the most consistent right barrels on Okinawa. Mainside is good from waist high to overhead conditions. Just down from mainside is a break the offers a huge drop into a sick left barrel and not much else more. But it is fun to get behind the peak and drive into it and hoping you come out the other end. Better spot for bodyboarders. About 600m out or so, just past the huge rocks at the southern end of the reef before it turns southeast is the outside break. This is another right that offers a hollow wave after a smooth take off. The wave seems to jack up and often creates a huge hollow section that is one of the best on Okinawa. Of the three peaks at Zampa, this is by far the biggest and offers the best ride and some have even dubbed this wave to be of world class when this place breaks under the best conditions. Best conditions for all three breaks are NW-N swell, SE-E winds. Too much south and the outside gets blown out, where as the mainside can usually take a S-SW wind.

12. Un-named: Actually, I forgot the name. This is a typhoon only break that can be found by driving on the access road to the south gate of Torii Station. The is a left that can handle bigger surf into the double overhead range without sucking too much water off the reef. It offers longer lines here than most of Okinawa breaks and good hollow surf when the conditions are best. I have often heard others as comparing this to some of the good reef breaks of Bali, Indonesia. I have surfed both places and they are similar. The place has grown in popularity over the years and does get crowded. The best conditions here are big SW-W swells and SE-E winds.

13. Mizugami Seasteps: This is more of a place favored by bodyboarders than surfers. It offers a left that can handle waves from the waist high to the overhead conditions. The reef here is shallow and does cause a few good poundings on the reef (trust me on this one). One the bigger days, the wave breaks out on the outside shelf and throw over a shallow bowl in the reef. Most of the surfers take off at the bowl. The shore line is close and the wave can carry surfers close to the breakwater jacks if they are not careful. Best conditions are SW-NW swell, NE-E winds.

14. Turtles: Said to resemble a famous north shore break for which it was named after. It is a good left that starts to breaks on shoulder high conditions and can handle up to double overhead sized waves. The wave is characterized by a steep takeoff to a hollow section, and then on to a bowl which can offer longer lines if the conditions are right. Occasionally, The paddle out point can get dangerous quick if the current takes you to the rocks along the shoreline or over to the next the break that crashes onto the seawall. Best conditions are W-NW swells and NE-E winds.

15. Kadena Marina: This break is in front of a US military beach and is just a few minutes paddle from Turtles across the boat channel. It produces long lefts and occasional barrels on deeper, bigger days. It can usually handle up to a head high wave before causing too much of a suck out on the reef. There is an underwater hole in the reef that surfers have been known to get caught in, so watch out for that. The best conditions are a NW swell, NE winds.

16. Sunabe Seawall: Okinawa’s most popular breaks. There are numerous points here and I’ll try to name them all. Developers here have filled what used to be a submerged beach all the way to the reef and have created a beautiful wall along the new shore line where people can watch sunsets, families can gather, and divers can take off from. This place has also attracted a night life crowd and a cruising strip for supped up cars. Back to the surf. At the northern end, past the residential areas, is a junkyard. Out on the reef in overlooking the junkyard is a typhoon break that offers a long left that does get hollow on some good sets. Handle up to slightly bigger than head sized waves. South of that,at the end of the residential area, is an apartment building with an American flag painted on it. Out in front of that is a break that starts out at the point where the reef start to turn inward. This break is known as hotels. It is a sectiony right and can offer long rides as far as to the shore. During rapid changes in the tide, the current can get flowing fast, making paddles back out frustrating. (And if you find a watch out in the line up, please email me. My wife still hasn’t forgiven me for losing it). Going just south of that as the is parallel to the wall is a break called 5 rocks. This is a short left and right. Going to far on the right can lead you to some barely submerged rocks. Just south of that about 75 meters away is a break called California’s. This break is also a left and a right, usually a better left on the smaller days. But when the surf start to grow to overhead conditions, the outside reef start to show. During the big winter swells, the outside reed offers a big left. But during a SW-W swell from a typhoon, the place can produce a powerful right in addition to the left. The wave will open up to huge barrels and is just incredible to watch, even from the shore. The background image on this page is from one of these days. Just down south of that is a wave called Hawaiians. It is just as big and similar to Californian’s, but the wave is not as well shaped due to the coral beneath it. But it does offer some good rides. Just south of that is a wave called bowls that is best on a NW swell. The swell gets a shape that allows for a two paddle takeoff into a good right. The last wave to mention is at the most southern end of the wall before the wall makes a turned towards the Sunabe marina. This wave is another left that is a very steep takeoff into a hollow barrel with a very shallow shoulder at the end. This wave reminds me of a short smaller version of Padang Padang found in Bali, but going right instead of left. This wave offers good protected surf if the rest of Sunabe is blown out.

17. Aja Reef: As I have never been to this break, I really don’t have much information on this other than where it is. It is located out in front of a break water wall just outside of Naha City. I have heard it takes the same waves as Zampa and is best on a S wind.
18. Castles: This is another place that I have not surfed much, but I have seen it good on occasions. This place is located on the tip of the island, a point known as Kyan Misaki. The best point here is a left that provides two long sections. This waves here are consistent and surf can be found with almost every storm in the area. Best conditions here a SE swell and N winds.

19. Suicide cliffs: Named after one on the events of World War 2, this place has become one of the most popular surf spots on the island. Many breaks are here in the area and each provide a different style break. The reef here is shallow and does get unrideable quickly on the bigger days. The surf here is just as consistent as Castles and share similar conditions. Best is E-S swell and N winds.

20. Green Pole: About a mile south of Kudaka Island, in the open ocean, is a green pole marking a cloudbreak on a distant reef. This spot is one of the best reefs for catching really big typhoon surf and is good upwards to 6′ to 8′ swells. The photo on the main page is of this spot. When going off, this place takes an incoming swell and amplifies it into a huge left that can be compared to some of the best spots in the world. The waves here can produce some of the sickest barrels to be found on the island. But all this comes at a price. This inside reef get shallow very quickly. Unless you have your own boat, you must find a way to get out to the break, usually by hiring some of the fisherman to drop you off, leaving you on your own. (Don’t be dumb like me and swim out to the break. The area between Kudaka and green pole is a shipping channel and a buddy and I nearly got ran over. Not to mention the rumored shark population in the area.). Any wind over 10MPH blows the area out. Best conditions are NE-E swell, light N-NW winds.

21. Kudaka Island: Together with the distant cloudbreak of Green Pole, this place set a Fiji like setting for good surf. The break is located at the end of the seawall that over looks the small island’s boar marina. The break itself is a very long fast left and each ride can offer a few dry barrels. During normal conditions, the reef has the wave broken up into sections that break down the reef. But during the deepest tides (7′ or better), the sections can line up for a machine like wave that can easily give rides up to 75m long while opening up with some good barrels. The best way to get here is by taking the ferry from Baten Harbor. The boat leaves in the morning around 9 AM and the boat is available to return back to Okinawa at 1 PM and 4 PM. I have on occasions taken the evening boat to Kudaka and set up a tent overnight on the nearby beach that faces west back to Okinawa. Kudaka is also one of the best places to do some fishing and the local soba house is one of the best places around for a hot meal. This has always been one of my favorite spots due to the great waves and the peacefulness of the island. Best conditions here are NE swell, N-NW winds.

22. Ikei Island: At the northern end of the island, the reef comes to a point where a large number of breaks can be found. The breaks here vary by the swell direction and size. During the smaller to medium days, the best spots are straight out in front of the Big Time hotel, a resort located at the end of the island. But during the bigger day created by typhoons and big stationary front, the wave wraps around the point to the west side of the point and produces two very good rights that some have compared to small day at sunset beach in Hawaii. The break can usually handle up to double overhead surf without getting too maxed out. From experience, watch out for the urchins that cover the reef here. The beach here offer some good camping for early morning sessions and BBQ’ing and showers can be found near the hotel swimming pool. A good place to make a day out of it. Best conditions are N all the way to S swells and S-SW winds.

23. Tengan: Located just west of Camp Courtney, a US Marine base. Between the island of Ikei and the point at Kin, is large window that allows big typhoon swells out of the east to flow into the Kin Bay. At Tengan is a point where these swell wash up best, producing long left lines that can get pretty big if the swell is powerful enough. The best conditions are big E swell and W-SW winds.
24. Exit 8: (At least that is what I call it. I don’t think anyone else has named it, much less rode it). About 700m out into the bay from the road that leads up to the toll road exit 8, is definitely my favorite break on the island. Working on the same swell conditions as Tengan, this place is a low tide break. When the waves are big, the reef produces long, powerful lefts with a super steep, fast takeoff with a long wall into an ending barrel at the shoulder. The wave here has the best form of any wave on the island and there seem to be no limit as to what this reef can handle (Yet. Haven’t seen it more than overhead. But even then, the waves were just getting good and that was low tide.) The bad part to this wave is the long paddle out and the bay is know for a haven for sharks that follow the shipping and fishing boats into the bay. Also strong winds easily blow the place out. But the risk is well worth it. Best conditions are E typhoon swell, light NE-N winds.

25. Un-named: (At least I don’t think there is a name for it). At least 400m south of the Kin Red pier, where route 329 meets the bay as the road come down the hill from Kin City, is a series of rocks that stick out from a small beach. During the same time as Tengan and Exit are breaking, this place has two breaks of it’s own. The first is a low tide break that break just about 25m in front of a barely submerge rock. It is a good right when it gets to head high conditions. But do watch for the rock as I have seen a board or two get eaten by it. The second break is located on the other side of the rocks going toward a river mouth. The break is a short left and the bottom here is all sand. Best conditions are Typhoon E swell and N-NE winds.

26. Pig Sty’s: Named after the pig farms on the hills above the break (and man, do they smell!). This is a left with a good peak and a long ride. The place can handle as big as a wave that can come through the mouth of the bay, about just going to overhead conditions. About 200m past the peak, head straight out to sea, is an indicator that lets you know that a set is coming in. That indicator can also be road if it gets big enough, although I have never seen anyone do it yet since the nearly dies out before getting to pig sty’s (except myself while on a bodyboard). Even further into the center of the bay is another reef that pops up with each huge set that could open up a lot of possibilities for big rideable surf. Best conditions are typhoon E swells and N wind.

27. Balls Bowls: This break is visible from the beach at Kanna city look on the other side of the small bay. This wave breaks on a reef that is sheltered by other outside reefs from some of the more powerful typhoon generated waves . The wave here consists and very steep takeoff into a wave where you are always followed by a big snowball of water that you do not want to get caught up in. The wave here is has a very “A” shaped peak and the remainder has a bowl type shape requiring cutbacks to stay in the wave. The best conditions here a big NE-E swells, and N-NE winds.

28. Camp Schwab reef: On this northern base, the outside reef that lies here is mostly uncharted for surf spots, but you can see clearly from the hill that the possibilities exist. I have had one friend who had access to a boat and was able to surf some of the spots and he did say that the surf some of the best in Okinawa. There is one peak that I have been watching and it forms a break very similar to the mainside break of Zanpa. Best conditions for the reef is NE-SE swell, NE winds.

29. Sunset Reef: A friend of mine gave the name to this break for a good reason. Lying about a mile offshore, this break produces some of the biggest rideable surf in Okinawa. The shape of the waves here are very similar to those of the famous Hawaiian break. To my knowledge, no one has yet to surf this. So, do you want to be the first? This place gets going on typhoon big E typhoon swells and NE-N winds.
30. Futami: This is the only true beach break that I know of on the island. It is located in the inside of Ora-Wan Bay near the small Futami Marina. When the Typhoon waves are big and the tide is high, waves pass though a small window and wash up on this small stretch of beach. The waves never reach overhead conditions, but the beach here produces some fun small fast waves with good opportunities for getting barreled. Best conditions are E-SE typhoon swells, N winds.
31. Harbors: On the inside of Arume Bay, near the fishing harbor, is a good typhoon low tide break that can offer some good overhead sized surf. The break is a left that starts out as a small suck out from a shallow part of the reef and quickly grows in height providing a powerful ride to the boat channel. The best conditions here are typhoon SE swells, NE-E winds.
32. Un-named: Here is a spot I would like to mention since the only time I surfed here, a Japanese police officer had to order me out of the water with a bullhorn. Working on the same conditions as Harbors, this is on the other side of the bay from Harbor, along the road on the south side just before the river outlet. While never getting big even during the biggest typhoon waves, this break offers a very long right as the wave breaks along the seawall. Getting out and staying in the peak is difficult due to the current, but it is fun for a quick session. Best conditions are typhoon SE-E swells, W wind (a very, very rare condition.)
33. Taira: On the north end of the bay is a reef that is another spot for catching bigger surf. Having never surfed this break, I think it offers a left and a right from the peak. Getting to the reef requires a long paddle out. The best conditions are SE-E swell, NE-N winds.
34. Secrets: There is actually no name for this and I wont really describe where it is at (look at the map and hunt for it). But this is one of the best waves on the NE coasts of the island and the wave is best at low tide where it breaks over an outside reef into a huge left machine like barrel. Best conditions are E-NE swell, NW wind.

35. Aha Port: At the city of Aja is a river mouth and a man made jetty that provide some good surf that is best on the same conditions as Tengan. The break is a right and can handle waves up into the overhead range. The break has become a popular spot despite the remote location of it, with upwards up to 30 surfers in the water at the same peak. There is a rumor of an even better spot on the other side of the ridge.

36. Samurai Reef: I saved the best for last on this one. During a visit by a few professional surfers, this place was discovered by a local giving them the tour. Requiring an hour paddle out to the other side of the small island, this wave is the best spot for catching the biggest waves to hit the island. The reef here can handle lefts up to 12′ (possibly bigger from what I heard), and has a break that wraps down the reef for 500M, making this the longest wave on the island. Best conditions are N-E swell, N wind. This place is long way from anything. Make sure you are with someone.