I used to love Hawaii for short stretches. Stay too long and it feels more and more like an island. The surfing, snorkeling and hiking in a tropical setting is hard to beat. It's not cheap but I always found a way to do it on a shoestring.
The first couple visits were in the Navy in the early 1960's. It was a required stop when heading to the Western Pacific. Our first chance to wear our tropical white uniforms, drink beer on the beach and see some tourist sites. A buddy and I stuck our heads in a fancy beach bar and listened to 5 minutes of Don Ho.
The next trip was in the early 1980's when I bought a one way ticket and stayed 6 months. Rented a cheap place just off Waikiki, bought a bike and spent a lot of time on the beach. Snorkel fished with locals, boogie boarded off the Waikiki pier and took the cheap bus over to Sandy Beach and around the island. Even tried driving a Pedi-Cab from the International Market for awhile but those over weight mid-western tourists got the better of me.
Sometime in the early 1990's my sister and husband bought a condo in Hawaii Kai so didn't have to rent but stays were shorter and I was working in Seattle. Sandy Beach was only a 10 minute drive from their place so I was there often. Sandy's shore break is really pretty dangerous if you don't know what you are doing and can be even if you're experienced. I saw a couple tourists pulled in for not paying attention. The waves can slam you into the sand if you don't bale out. When I first went in the lifeguard came to the edge of the beach checking me closely. After I surfed a couple he relaxed and went back to his tower. Very exhilarating but I'm way past trying anything like that including Skim Boarding here is Mexico.
Sandy looking toward the Blow Hole
It breaks in shallow water
Can get a little crowed
With and without boards