Wave Photography in Hawaii―The North Shore

by: Evan Fa

Nature, no matter which place one experiences it from, has unlimited intrinsic beauty that any person can appreciate. So naturally the Hawaiian Islands are the perfect setting to take in that beauty. With the comfortable year round temperatures and lush tropical scenery, one does not have to go far in order to entrench his or herself within the arms of this paradise in the Pacific. From the mountains (mauka) to the sea (makai), Hawaii offers so much variety along its shorelines. Specifically the waves in the ocean.

Surf, “nalu” in Hawaiian, represents both nature and tradition―one stemming from its roots in ancient royalty as well as recreation, art and culture. Think about the simple act of riding a wave and its interaction with nature. Not only is it fun, it has the ability to inspire and even define a lifestyle for many. One that relieves one from life’s stresses while offering an intimate challenge with nature. One that is both beautiful and yet potentially dangerous.

Like snowflakes, no two waves are the same. Not only does one have to consider the origin on the storm that sends waves to the Hawaiian shorelines, one must also consider the wind that blows, the bottom of the ocean floor, the direction which the shoreline faces, the weather, as well as numerous other factors. Even then, perfect waves or not, nature will do as it will. Yet, ironically, within imperfection is often times the greatest beauty. And with modern technology, photographers and filmers have been able to document the raw and often times imperfect beauty of the waves in Hawaii, the North Shore in particular, like no other time in history.

Oahu’s fabled North Shore, in which Turtle Bay Rentals is located on within the Turtle Bay Resort, is one of the greatest shorelines in the world for waves. As documented in a previous blog post―The North Shore, Oahu’s 7 Mile Miracle, Oahu’s North Shore “stakes claim to arguably the richest, most consistent stretches of surfable coastline in the entire world.” And not only that, one must factor in the pristine landscapes as well as the direction the coastline faces that allows for the sun to set on its horizon. For these very reasons, the North Shore makes for one of the greatest canvases for surf photography and filming. So no wonder why the entire surfing world flocks to this shoreline during the winter months.

As a vacationer at Turtle Bay Rentals, the very beauty found in the images within this post is found right around the corner from the resort. Just hop in the rental car and take a quick five minute drive north from the resort on Kamehameha Hwy. While it is not recommended for novices to play in the waves during the winter months (ask a lifeguard on duty for more information if one has questions), the ocean’s waves on the North Shore are a magnificent sight to any beholder even if it is merely from the safety of the shoreline.

For more on surfing itself, get informed by reading Hawaii’s History of Surfing and Bodyboarding.

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