Best North Shore Surfing Beaches
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Best North Shore Surfing Beaches, Ranked

It’s no secret: Oahu’s North Shore is home to some of the most celebrated surf breaks in the world. The Seven Mile Miracle, a storied seaside stretch spanning Haleiwa Beach Park in the south to Sunset Beach in the north, plays host to 36 surf breaks alone, including the three gems of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Though the Oahu’s North Shore is synonymous with pro surfing, especially during big wave season from November through March, there is a North Shore surfing beach for every skill level all year round. Whether you’re just starting out or chasing the world’s most incredible waves (or just here to spectate), you won’t want to miss these five best North Shore surfing beaches on your next trip to Turtle Bay Resort.

Turtle Bay Beach

Turtle Bay

Experience Level: Beginner/Intermediate 

Turtle Bay Resort’s namesake beach is home to the Jamie O’Brien Surf Experience, Oahu’s premier surf school, making it a great spot for riders to find their footing, even during big wave season. Shielded by a coral reef, the beach’s soft white rolling waves are perfect for beginners year-round, especially on a surf lesson with a pro. If you’re here to watch the surfers, the waves break right in front of the hotel. The best vantage point? At the bar or pool deck, with a cocktail in-hand.

Laniakea Beach

Photo by Knut Robinson / Unsplash

Laniakea Beach

Experience Level: Intermediate 

If you’re looking for more of a challenge, head to Laniakea, which translates to "wide sky" in Hawaiian. Known for its long peeling waves, the beach is accommodating to all skill levels but is more suited to intermediate surfers in the winter. The waves here are a little larger and more demanding than those of Turtle Bay Beach, but once you get the hang of it, this is one of the greatest surfing spots in all of Hawaii. For those hanging back on the sand, Laniakea is another gorgeous place to take in the Hawaiian vista and is a popular location for sea turtle spotting.

 Waimea Bay, Oahu

Photo by Jess Loiterton / Pexels

Waimea Bay

Experience Level: Expert

If you want to sound like a local, just call this shore Pipeline or Pipe. This beach is said to have the most dangerous waves on the North Shore because the huge swells break in shallow water just above a sharp reef. Breaking over the reef creates large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride. Pipeline is home to the Billabong Pipemasters, which is the third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. When the surf is up, beginners should stay out of the water. Believe me, even if you stay out of the water you won’t be bored watching the experienced surfers get tubed on dangerous waves.

Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach

Experience Level: Expert

This vast, two-mile stretch of white sand doubles as one of the North Shore’s best sunset spots and one of the world’s most important big wave beaches. Home to the Vans World Cup, the second jewel of The Vans Cup of Surfing, Sunset Beach boasts six wave peaks and is recommended for experts only, especially during the winter. If you don’t fall in this weight class, pull up right next to the surf mecca and watch the pros catch some of the most epic waves on the North Shore. 

Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii

Photo by Johannes Andersson / Unsplash

Banzai Pipeline

Experience Level: Expert

If you want to sound like a local, just call this beach Pipeline or Pipe. Located in Ehukai Beach Park, Banzai Pipeline Hawaii is famous for its legendarily dangerous waves (the biggest on the North Shore). The huge swells break in water just above an extremely shallow reef, creating large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride. Pipeline is home to the Billabong Pipemasters, the third jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. When the surf is up, beginners should stay out of the water, but there’s no need to be disappointed—you won’t be bored watching expert surfers from all over the world glide along (or fall off of) these massive waves!
 

Ready for Oahu North Shore surfing? 
Experience the best of North Shore surfing at the Turtle Bay Resort. Learn more about North Shore activities and follow us on Instagram at @turtlebayresort for more inspiration.