Surfing Hawaii, Hawaii Surf Camp, Oahu North Shore Surfing Images
Surfing in Hawaii
The North Shore of Oahu is famous for pumping surf. Here are some of the great spots you can find along this iconic coastline.
Velzyland is a right reef that has been the foundation for the evolution of medium-wave hot-dog barrel surfing.
Sunset Beach is one of the most famous big-wave performance spots in the world. When it’s heaving on a west swell, it’s one of the most spectacular waves in the world, and many many surfers have based their lives around surfing Sunset. Not always huge and terrifying. Sunset Beach can be beginner-friendly when it’s smaller. It’s just a beautiful beach and surf spot.
Kammieland is a shifting reef break on the east side of the bay from Sunset Beach. This is the place your board gets sucked out to on big days at Sunset. When the swell is smaller, Kammieland is a good place to get introduced to how Hawaiian power moves and looks and feels.
Rocky Point is a reef/point that is also a tuning spot for high-performance surfing. Insanely popular often and crowded in winter, when the pro circus is in town, Rocky Point can be surfed by beginning and intermediate surfers when it’s smaller – just watch the reef and protect your feet.
Pipeline is one of the most famous waves in the world, the Mother of all tropical left barrels. Pipeline breaks just to the left of the parking lot at Ehukai Beach Park. When the surf is pumping or the Pipe Masters is on, forget about getting a parking space. But on a normal day, this is a great place to hang at the beach and watch men and women hurl themselves into the pit at Pipe and Backdoor.
In Hawaii there’s a place called Waimea Bay where the best surfers in the world come to play. From the mid-fifties until the 1990s, Waimea Bay was considered the ultimate challenge in big-wave surfing. While it has been challenged by Jaws/Peahi, Mavericks, Dungeons and other big-wave spots for degree of difficulty. Waimea when it’s pumping is still the most spectacularly beautiful surf spot on the planet. When Waimea is smaller, there are a lot of people who like to surf the inside wave at Pinballs – probably a better wave than what you have at home. The beach is beautiful, but dangerous when there is a swell.
Chun’s Reef is a popular spot for beginning and intermediate surfers when the winter surf is small, or during the summer. There is parking here and a beach which leads to a fun reef break that is Green Diamond to Blue in terms of ski resorts.
Jockos is considered a B-list spot by North Shore standards, but would be A+ list just about anywhere else in the world. A fast, left over shallow reef that starts to break over five feet. Popular with an older, local crowd, so mind your manners.
Laniakea is an epic, wailing right reef wall when the swell is six feet or bigger. A challenging, powerful, fast wave that is Black Diamond on big swells. But on smaller days, Laniakea is popular with longboarders and standup paddlers and beginning to intermediate surfers. The beach is popular with turtle watchers, but that little traffic jam on Kam Highway is a pain.
Pua’ena Point is sometimes the only place beginning and intermediate surfers can go in the water when the North Shore is roaring. On the north side of the Haleiwa harbor channel, Pua ‘Ena is popular with surf schools and standup paddlers – and also fans of the TV show Lost, which was filmed around the point here for many years.
Haleiwa is the short term for Haleiwa Ali’i Park, a stretch of beach and reef to the west of Haleiwa Harbor. This is a popular spot for beginners and keiki when the surf is small to medium – a lot of great Hawaiian surfers took their first steps on a surfboard here. When the surf is bigger, Haleiwa is a world-class performance wave, which has been the site for annual contests going back to the 1960s. Paddling out through the infamous Toilet Bowl can be hazardous to your health, so time it right and go go go. There are lefts at Haleiwa that are less crowded than the rights, but leave you close to the harbor which can be a little spooky.
Mokuleia is the stretch of coast from Haleiwa up to Kaena Point. There’s a variety of reefbreaks along here, including Silva’s Channel, Hammerheads and others that should not be named. On the right day it is possible to go to Mokuleia and fulfill the Seversonian ideal of finding the perfect wave on the perfect day and be alone with the surf and your thoughts. The white sand beaches are squeaky clean and the view back toward Waimea Bay and the North Shore is pretty spectacular.