The exact origin of surfing is still unknown, although 2000 years
ago the ancient Hawaiian Chiefs and Kanaka (common man) were "Hanging
Ten" when the earliest visitors to the islands started to
While these visitors
to the Hawaii islands avoided the waves at all costs, the natives
seemed to be using it as part of a recreational outlet.Only
the high ranking Chiefs (ali'i) had access to the best surf
spots. King Kamehameha himself was said to be a skilled and
To take control of a breaking wave and actually ride it to the
shore was called "he'e nalu", by the Early Hawaiians
which translates to "wave sliding". Sunset Beach,
the crown jewel of Hawaiian surfing sites, and the rest of the
North Shore remained a secret known only to the locals for some
Surfing really took off in the early
1900s. Riding boards made mostly from hewn redwood and balsa wood.
Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku (honored by a statue engraven
in his image, picture on left) was a pioneer in the sport of surfing
as he made it more popular, Duke is one of the all-time greatest
athlete to come out of Hawaii and is known as the "Father
of Surfing". Because of Duke, surfers from around
the world were attracted to the Hawaii beaches of Waikiki and
West O'ahu, yet unannounced to all, the North Shore still lay
undiscovered and mysterious to those other then its homegrown.
It was in the early 1950's that surfing pioneer Greg Noll re-discovered
along with his friends the beauty and power of surfing the North
Shore, popular among the Californian surfers they flocked here
in the winter to chance the monstrous waves.
Today it is no secret that the North Shore has become the center
point of surfing. Thru modern day video, television, and web
streaming surfers from all over the world have witnessed the
beauty and power that these Hawaiian sized waves produce.
Ask any surfer and
he/she will tell you that the thrill and excitement they get
from riding natures waves are just the same as any other eXtreme
sport, and surfers are constantly seeking that natural high
in every wave they take-off on. It is no wonder that if you
want eXtreme in the sport of surfing then the North Shore of
Hawaii is the place to be, Just ask the thousands of surfers
that arrive here every year, or the 2 million plus visitors
that trek out to the North Shore to spectate.
During the winter months (approximately November to January)
the North Shore produces monstrous waves reaching heights of
20 feet and higher. This can prove dangerous for even the experienced
waterman. Visitors are highly recommended to heed to warning
signs on the beach and be cautious around the waterline.
During the winter months, these waves are not for the inexperienced
swimmer or surfer, as waves can reach heights of 10 feet and higher
while breaking over sharp reef, no more than a few feet from the
surface. Banzai Pipeline is one of the many famous surf spots
on the North Shore and constantly attracts popular surfing events.
The North Shore's energy level picks up during the months of
November through January with the onset of surf competitions.
The weather's a bit cooler than summer, the surf is good, and
the North Shore's legendary big waves draw an influx of visitors.
Hawaii winter surf season
brings a steady increase of not just tourists, but people who
come here to stay for up to three months, such as surfing contest
participants and enthusiasts. Although there's more surfers it's
not that bad because there's a variety of surf spots that span
the North Shore.
The Van's Triple Crown of Surfing and its prestige in the Association
of Surfing Professionals Tour brings dozens of pros to the North
Shore -- and their entourage of families, surfing buddies, photographers,
surf magazine writers, agents, sponsors and groupies.
Spots along the North Shore: The stretch of beaches
along the North Shore is considered the longest stretch
of rideable surf spots in the world. (see interactive
map for surf spot locations).
OFF THE WALL
OFF THE ROCKS
*Purchase our Oahu
Surfers Guide map for detailed info on each of the above
surfing spots on the North Shore, along with other breaks
on Oahu Purchase now>>
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