Oahu’s North Shore surfing is the stuff of legend. It is the home of the Triple Crown of Surfing competitions and the birthplace of many world-famous surfers. Alternately known as the “Seven Mile Miracle,” it has some of the most consistent surf due to its deep water position at the western end of one of the most remote archipelagos in the world.
There is every kind of surf break here, from reefs to points to beach break and everything in between. Some of these breaks have become legendary names in the lexicon of surf history: Sunset Beach, Velzeyland, Gas Chambers, Rocky Point, Waimea Bay, Chun’s Reef, Haleiwa, and the notorious Banzai Pipeline, which is regarded as one of the best, if not the best wave in the world. When it’s on, typically in the winter swell season between October and April, it’s nearly flawless, with its super hollow shape and clear blue water, barreling consistently over a shallow, razor sharp reef. It’s no accident that this area, and Pipeline in particular, is the finale stop every year on the professional surfing circuit.
Big wave season lasts from October to April and in the peak season waves swell 30 feet easily, so be realistic regarding your skill level and whether North Shore is the place for you. Oahu has rich surfing history that locals take very seriously and you should too. Be humble, know the appropriate etiquette and ask for help beforehand.
If you are lucky with the traffic, North Shore is approximately an hour drive from Waikiki, but you can find closer accommodation. For an authentic local experience, check out Haleiwa. It’s a small, vibrant surfing town with lots of surfing shops and a great place to enjoy local hospitality and food.