For anyone who’s ever doodled perfect peaks and almond-shaped barrels in the side column of their notebooks, O’ahu is a must-visit destination. There’s surf for every level, and in the winter, some of the best surf spectating on the planet. Laurian Club members may never want to leave.
North Shore / 7-mile miracle
The North Shore’s stretch of sandy beaches and coral reefs create some of the most important surf breaks in the history of surfing; Pipeline, Sunset, Waimea, and Hale’wa are among them. The Seven Mile Miracle shines between November and February when low-pressure systems send the most epic waves towards the coastline. The Vans Triple Crown, WSL Championships, Volcom Pipe Pro, the new Stab Pipeline Invitational, and Da Hui Backdoor Shootout bring crowds to watch the world’s best compete, while the rest of us enjoy Puaena, Feddy’s, and Chun’s reef.
South Shore / Town
During the summer when the North Shore quiets down, the swell transitions to the South Shore. Although it doesn’t get breaks as big as the North Shore during the swell, it is still definitely worth the visit; especially for beginner surfers and longboarders. Waikiki is the most famous for easy, rolling surf and party waves. Beach boys offer lessons at all of the major hotels. Canoes and Queens offer a mellow reef break for beginners (Queens is often packed with first timers) Ala Moana Bowls is the South Shore’s main attraction when it comes to long, hollow, draining barrels and high-performance surfing.
Makaha is one of Hawaii’s premier big wave surf spots, along with Waimea on Oʻahu and Peʻahi (aka Jaws) on Maui. George Downing, Greg Noll, and Buffalo Keaulana made the legendary west side break famous during the ‘swell of the century’ in 1969. International Surfing Championships took place in Makaha from 1953 to 1973, making Makaha into an icon of surfing history. Even though the championships have moved to the North Shore, the break is still a proving ground for big wave surfers, and on smaller days, works as a fun surf spot for new and intermediate surfers.