Wave Watching– North Shore


Well since we’re in the middle of October now the winter surf season has started.  I’m going to write this like you don’t know anything about the surf , so if you do bear with me. 

From October April is the peak surfing season on the North shore of Oahu.  This is where you find the famous Banzai Pipeline along with several other large breaks.  Some of the biggest surf competitions in the world are held here in Hawaii in the winter months.  There are a few reasons for that.  For one thing it’s cold on a lot of other shores this time of year and Hawaii is warm year round.  And Hawaii has some of the strongest currents and breaks anywhere in the world.  You might say that surfing Hawaii’s north shore is a surfers dream.

I moved to Hawaii 10 mos ago and I have learned a lot about the ocean and it’s patterns since moving here.  The ocean is a powerful and beautiful thing.  Caution must always be used when in or near the ocean.  I never really knew that much about the ocean because I grew up inland.  So for all you inland people here you go.  I never realized, or had forgotten, that you can have huge waves breaking and then just down the beach they are much smaller.  So there are all kinds of “breaks” along the north shore and they all have names.  Ask a surfer and they will tell you their favorite break. 

This, of course is true on the south as well.  Here in Hawaii the south shore gets surf in the summer sometimes as high at 12-15ft.  They call that a town swell because Honolulu or “town” is on the south.  

In  the winter the north shore gets surf or “swells” as high as 40ft.  I didn’t get to see it last year because we had just gotten here and we were busy with getting settled. 

Today I learned that the surf report is relative, meaning the waves can actually be a lot bigger than what the report says at the big breaks.  I stopped at one today where the waves had to be 10 ft high.  It’s truly an amazing sight.  Places where we snorekeled this summer, like sharks cover and 3 tables, are awash with large waves.  The entire beach is lined with caution tape at 3 tables. 

Here are some pictures.  But they really don’t do it justice.  It’s something you have to see to believe.  So maybe for some of you it will give you cause to come visit.

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