Hawaii surfers rejoice as Wai Kai prepares to open in Ewa Beach

Hawaii surfers rejoice as Wai Kai prepares to open in Ewa Beach

With a grand opening set for March 25, owners of the new Wai Kai in Ewa Beach are promising to revolutionize experiential recreation in Hawaii, offering an unparalleled destination for locals and visitors alike.

Located within Hoakalei Resort, the year-round venue will feature the innovative Wai Kai Wave, a 52-acre Wai Kai Lagoon, three new restaurant concepts, the private Nalo Kai Club and Sessions Lifestyle & Apparel shop.

“Wai Kai aims to create community and connection through interactive and engaging activities, dining, and events,” said Larry Caster, Wai Kai Director of Retail Development, in a news release. “We’re excited to provide a unique place for locals to gather while introducing travelers to the vibrant surf and waterman lifestyle for which Hawaii is known.”

Key features of Wai Kai include:

  • The Wai Kai Wave, Hawaii’s first deep-water standing wave powered by citywave®
  • A variety of watercraft rentals and activities on the 52-acre Wai Kai Lagoon
  • Three unique dining venues: The LookOut Food & Drink, Foam Coffee & Bar, and Kitchen Door Napa
  • Bespoke events, including the signature Wai Kai Show and Wahine Wednesdays
  • The private Nalo Kai Club with lounge and concierge services
  • A commitment to sustainability through partnerships with Sustainable Surf, SeaTrees, and STOKE

Surfing legend and Wai Kai partner Shane Beschen is currently working on the development of the Wai Kai Wave Surf Academy.

“Our custom surfing program and innovative technology enable an in-depth approach to coaching made easier by the consistent and predictable nature of the Wai Kai Wave,” he said. “Our goal isn’t to replace the ocean, rather to be a valuable resource for water enthusiasts.

“It’s the perfect practice arena for the sport’s best to hone their craft, and an accessible entry point for beginners to learn in a controlled environment.”

Current and former professional surfers are already flocking to try the new experience, including Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore, world champion big wave surfer Kai Lenny, and “Mr. Pipeline” Gerry Lopez.

“I had the best time visiting The LineUp,” said Lenny. “It’s the perfect environment to improve surfing technique and try out different tricks because it’s a never-ending ride. I can’t wait to go back.”

Here are more details about Wai Kai, courtesy the release:


Guests can choose from a robust program of water activities on the protected 52-acre Wai Kai Lagoon, just steps away from the Pacific Ocean.

A variety of watercraft are available to rent, including kayaks, stand-up paddleboards (SUP) and pedalboards, Hydrobikes, outrigger canoes, surfskis, pedal boats, Duffy boat cruises and AquaBana floating cabanas.


Three unique dining venues will bring friends and family together for a variety of epicurean experiences.

The LookOut Food & Drink, a Surfrider Foundation Ocean Friendly Restaurant, provides front-row views of the surf action from its expansive lanai and wave deck, as well as unobstructed views of the adjacent Wai Kai Lagoon and sparkling Pacific Ocean. The menu is inspired by famous surf spots around the world and celebrates the island’s unique bounty with a focus on locally sourced products.

At Foam Coffee & Bar, guests can sip on a variety of coffees, smoothies, fresh juices, and handcrafted cocktails along with snacks and grab-and-go food items.

Critically acclaimed Kitchen Door Napa debuts in Hawaii as Wai Kai’s signature restaurant with a dual-dining concept housed in a two-story, 7,200-square-foot venue. Presented by the trio of partners known for their hospitality and culinary expertise: Michelin-awarded Chef Todd Humphries, Maui-born restaurateur Richard Miyashiro, and Managing Partner Tim Seberson, the synergistic restaurant offers a sophisticated yet approachable menu for broad-ranging appetites.

Plaza Grill, the premier restaurant on the upper Plaza Level, boasts a full-service dining room, a wrap-around bar, an open kitchen, a spacious lanai with lagoon views and a parlor for intimate gatherings and celebrations.

On the Lagoon level is Boardwalk Cafe, an interactive counter-service restaurant ideal for quick-service. It features an all-day menu of eclectic yet traditional favorites, elevated and prepared a la minute by classically trained chefs.


Hawaii-based Events International has partnered with Wai Kai to curate a robust schedule of interactive and engaging events and experiences for all ages.

Wai Kai will host memorable group functions and catered events ranging from intimate gatherings to full buyouts. Venues include the 61,200-square-foot Event Lawn, Fire Pit Terrace, Lagoon Promenade along the adjacent Wai Kai Lagoon, the 12,600-square-foot Surfside Lawn by the Wai Kai Wave, and a variety of other function spaces.

Set events include social paddles on the Wai Kai Lagoon; farmers markets highlighting local products and vendors; Wahine Wednesdays, a surf, paddle or yoga session followed by food and drink specials at The LookOut; and Sustainability Sundays, a monthly event featuring a locally based non-profit organizations committed to sustainable solutions.

Additional future offerings will include Camp Kai, a multi-day camp for children during certain dates throughout the year.

The signature Wai Kai Show will enthrall guests every Monday evening starting April 17, 2023, and includes a family-style dinner alongside a spellbinding show featuring dancers, musicians and surfers. Hawaiian and Tahitian performers weave a story of water through song and dance and incorporate live surfing by utilizing the Wai Kai Wave – the perfect way to learn about the history of Heʻe Nalu (surfing) and Heʻe Puʻe Wai (river wave surfing).


The LineUp at Wai Kai has been benchmarked by Sustainable Tourism & Outdoors Kit for Evaluation (STOKE), the only sustainability standard built for the surf park industry.

The STOKE Surf Parks standard was created with input from major wave technology providers and surf parks.

In addition, The LineUp at Wai Kai is proud to be working with Sustainable Surf and its Hawaii-based SeaTrees program.

For every guest activity booking on the Wai Kai Wave or the Wai Kai Lagoon, one dollar is donated to the SeaTrees program to provide support for the restoration of coral reefs, coastal watersheds, kelp forests, mangroves and educational programs. Each token purchased sequesters one ton of carbon emissions through double certified carbon credits and restores one square-foot of coastal watershed on Maui.

Wai Kai operates with a no single-use plastic policy and all disposable products must be 100 percent BPI certified compostable. Sustainable options for grab-and-go packaging include Sustainable Island Products and Mananalu Water.


The private Nalo Kai Lounge features a club-style locker room, showers and air-conditioned lounge with concierge services. Visitors can access the club with a day pass or monthly membership. Pricing starts at $90 for a 45-minute surf session and $45 for a one-hour watercraft rental.

The LineUp Local is a monthly and annual membership program designed for Kama’aina (local Hawaii residents) and military with price discounts and preferred access to special programming and events. LineUp Local pricing starts at $70 for a 45-minute surf session and $34 for a one-hour watercraft rental.

For more information visit, waikai.com or atthelineup.com.