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 are Hawaii surf spots for intermediates and beginners, too. Whether you’re just starting out or chasing the world’s most incredible waves or just want 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 some of the best surfing in Hawaii for all levels, depending on the swell. While the waves further out challenge Intermediate level surfers, the protected inside reef break is perfect for beginners on a surf lesson accompanied by a professional to guide the way. 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

Chun’s Reef 

Experience Level: Beginner/Intermediate 

Similarly to Turtle Bay Beach, the waves further out at Chun’s Reef are bigger and can accommodate intermediate level surfers, while the inside break is perfect for beginners. There are numerous surf schools located here so you can feel confident in the water with a proper instructor if needed. The waves are soft and rolling, over a forgiving sand and algae covered smooth rock bottom. The beach itself is a beautiful, flat, white sand beach perfect for relaxing and watching the waves roll in. If you’re lucky, you may spot a turtle or even dolphins. 

 Waimea Bay, Oahu

Photo by Jess Loiterton / Pexels

Waimea Bay

Experience Level: Expert

Those craving a true spectacle during big wave season will find what they’re looking for at Waimea Bay. The Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, one of the world’s premiere surfing contests, is held here when the waves consistently reach 20 feet. Though it’s invite only to surf in this contest, the bay offers some of the best spots for spectating. In the summer, Waimea Bay gets flat as a lake making it perfect for basking, snorkeling and jumping off the iconic Waimea rock.

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. One of the homes of 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

Otherwise known as Pipeline or Pipe, this famous tube is located at Ehukai Beach Park. Banzai Pipeline Hawaii is famous for its legendarily dangerous waves (the biggest on the North Shore) and offers some of the best surfing in Hawaii for experienced surfers. 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 Pro Pipeline (formerly known as the Billabong Pipe Masters), 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) this big wave surfing!

Ready for Oahu North Shore surfing? 

Remember to always check the surf report before heading out to catch waves, and feel free to consult with local lifeguards if you’re unsure about a spot. Mother Nature can be unforgiving, and the North Shore beaches are home to some of the best surfing for professionals for a reason. Each year our lifeguards work tirelessly to ensure the safety of beachgoers and surfers alike, yet each year there are still too many preventable accidents to count. The best way to help our lifeguards guard lives is to help yourself by knowing your limits, taking caution, listening to the warning signs, and being aware of the surf conditions. “If In Doubt, Don’t Go Out”. 

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.