4 Perfect Spots to Surf, Spectate, or Lounge on the North Shore of Oahu

by: Evan Fa

Few things say “Hawaii” as much as surfing does. Surfing, the act of riding a wave with or without a board, is the epitome of ocean recreation. Especially in Hawaii, where for centuries the native people surfed. Although, it was not until Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic swimmer, reintroduced the ancient tradition about a century ago to Hawaii and subsequently Western society. Of course, this small spark of tradition then grew into a world-wide phenomenon that now draws the entire world to the very same shorelines that Duke surfed.

The North Shore of Oahu, as stated in previous posts, is the epicenter for the entire spectrum of surfing activities. Arguably not only due to Hawaii’s longstanding ancient tradition of surfing, but also because of the miraculous proximity of good surfing waves within such a relatively short stretch of coastline. Informally known as “the seven mile miracle,” the North Shore offers the full range of surf able waves from the beginner to professional. In other words, there is something for everyone on any given day.

The fact that the North Shore is also among the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the entire Hawaiian island chain does not hurt its proposition as being the best coastlines for surfing as well. With large sandy beaches coating the shoreline, warm temperatures year round, and the sun setting on the ocean’s horizon, few places match it. And whereas many of the best “surf spots,” both in Hawaii and beyond, are not located within close proximity of the shoreline—located along jagged coastlines, for instance—the surf on the North Shore is conveniently close to shore. Thus making it nearly perfect for accessing it as well as spectating.

Turtle Bay Rentals on the Turtle Bay Resort is located just minutes away from this fabled coastline. For a surfer, there truly could not be a greater place to vacation. For a spectator, there truly could not be a greater place to view the best surf in the world. For everyone else, there truly could not be a greater place to soak in the epic sun, sand, and sea of beauty that makes Hawaii unique.

With all of this in mind, for surfers and spectators alike, there are four places along the North Shore that come to mind in terms of places to either surf, spectate, or simply lounge. These four places are as follows:

Banzai Pipeline

Acclaimed as the best wave in the world, the Banzai Pipeline (also referred to as Pipeline or simply Pipe) is everything that one can expect and more. Very few waves in the world rival its power and perfection. When there is a lot of swell, head to Ehukai Beach Park to see the majesty of this wave unveil itself.

V-Land (Velzyland)

Named after surfboard shaper Dale Velzy by the original surf filmmaker Bruce Brown, known for Endless Summer, Velzyland is both one of the funnest waves for any wave rider as well as one of the more tucked away locations for people to lounge and soak in a beautiful day on the North Shore.

Ke iki

Made famous by Clark Little, this stretch of beach break is as dangerous as shorebreak (waves breaking close to or on the beach) comes. While it is a beautiful location, and a great one to watch powerful waves breaking, it is not intended to be a swimmer’s beach for those that are not advanced surfers.


The iconic Waimea Bay has everything from a jump rock, shorebreak for bodyboarders and bodysurfers, and a point break for standup surfers. While the surf only breaks when there is a lot of swell, Waimea Bay is a great place for lounging, playing a game of pick up football, or swimming around.

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