blog.categories.trip-and-adviceQuizzes and fun
Katie Sagal

Oahu Surfing Season: Big Waves on the North Shore

A fan of wild and wonderful waves? A surf savant? There’s no better place to observe (or participate in!) world-class surfing than Oahu’s North Shore. Long considered a mecca for professional surfers from around the globe, this seven-mile stretch of Hawaiian beach is the ideal locale for big wave surfing in the winter. Oahu is also home to some of the most elite surf competitions in the world, most of which are held in November and December (although the prime surfing season stretches from October until March each year). Surfing is perennially one of the most popular Oahu attractions! If you’re planning a trip to Oahu this winter (and let’s be serious for a moment – why wouldn’t you?), then you’ll have the unique opportunity to observe authentic Hawaiian surfing culture. Although milder waves in the summer months certainly attract professionals and amateurs alike, you’re a lot less likely to see famous surfers in the off season. While the gentle summer waves might be more conducive to your own surfing explorations, winter is your best chance to see what real, professional-grade surfing looks like.

Image of Nature, Outdoors, Sea, Water, Shoreline, Coast, Beach, Waimea Bay
While most of the big surf competitions have already happened this season (like the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing), you can still watch professional surfers riding 30-40+ foot waves at several prime locations. From Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach to the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach, there’s no shortage of surfing hot spots for you to observe their talented twistings and turnings. Although anyone is more than welcome to surf the waves, a word of caution: waves can occasionally get up to 60+ feet in the rougher winter months and even the hardiest of experienced surfers are warned to be careful.
Image of Nature, Outdoors, Sea, Water, Person, Beach, Coast, Shoreline, Sea Waves, Surfing, Walking, Spectators and surfers mingle on the North Shore.
Best of all? These big wave hotspots are no more than an hour from Waikiki, which contains most of Oahu’s hotels and resorts. So even if you’re staying near Honolulu, it will be easy to take an afternoon ride up to Waimea or Sunset. Stroll sunny beaches and just enjoy these massive waves; surfers or no – they’re a sight to behold and an excellent photo opportunity. The North Shore is also home to a number of great restaurants and shave ice stands, so you can spend a full afternoon enjoying the delights of Oahu in the winter. Looking to explore some other great Oahu attractions while you’re in town? Why not pick up an all-inclusive Go Oahu Card and save up to 55% on over 30 popular attractions? Or, if you know what you want to see in advance, opt for the eco-friendly, smartphone-ready, fully customizable Build Your Own Pass and save a guaranteed 20% on admission costs when you add two or more attractions. Both are great options for a budget friendly vacation, and as an added bonus, both include surfboard rentals!
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