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Watching the Waves on Oahu’s North Shore - What You Need to Know

Posted on Mon, 2018/11/05 - 11:09am by Jessica Gellert

The world famous North Shore of Oahu comes alive in the winter with monstrous waves, professional surfers and thousands of excited wave watchers. Turtle Bay Resort is located at the end of what’s known as the “Seven Mile Miracle,” referring to seven miles of epic surf breaks. The seven mile miracle begins in Haleiwa and ends at Turtle Bay Resort, the official sponsor of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

If you plan on visiting us during prime surf season, here’s some tips you need to know before you head out to watch all the action.

Brian Beilman Pipeline

BE HERE DURING THE VANS TRIPLE CROWN (November 12- December 20)
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is one of the most prestigious surf competitions in the world. It’s been around for more than three decades and brings the world's best surfers to the North Shore. The event is held in three different venues.

They include:
Haleiwa Ali’i Beach - Hawaiian Pro (November 12 - 24)
Sunset Beach - Vans World Cup of Surfing (November 25 - December 6)
Pipeline - Billabong Pipe Masters (December 8 - 20)

Learn more about the Vans Triple Crown here.

north shore traffic Ka Hui Ho‘olauna

2. ARRIVE EARLY AND BE PREPARED
Yes, the saying goes, “The early bird gets the worm.” You aren’t alone if you are eager to see Mother Nature do her thing. There are hundreds to thousands of others wanting to witness wave action on the North Shore, so you best arrive early. If you aren’t staying at Turtle Bay Resort and you are heading to the North Shore from Honolulu you need to leave early. The earlier you leave the least likely you will get stuck in traffic (believe it or not, the big waves do stop people while they are driving on Kamehameha Hwy. - they just can’t help but gawk). Besides traffic, you will also want to leave early so you can find parking. Make sure you bring sunscreen, wear a hat and bring some snacks and water.

north shore ocean safety officials

3. LISTEN TO OCEAN SAFETY OFFICIALS
This seems like a no brainer, but you will be surprised to hear a lot of people don’t heed the warnings. These warnings include beach signs that clearly state “Beach closed”, “Dangerous surf”, “Dangerous current”,“Caution”, ect. The ocean has a mind of its own. It may look calm one second and then try to knock you down the next. If a lifeguard tells you to stay away from the ocean, you best stay away. Also keep in mind that when you do not listen to warnings, you place our hardworking ocean safety officials at risk as well.

nirth shore waves surfer

4. NEVER, EVER, EVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE OCEAN
It seems like the ocean has a mind of its own, especially in the winter. The water can be calm one moment, then you let your guard down and before you know it, you are swept away by a sudden surge. Don’t learn the hard way like some people, never turn your back on the ocean and always be ready for any unexpected sets, swells and splashes.

pipeline crowd

5. DON’T FORGET YOUR CAMERA
Be sure to capture the amazing show put on by nature so you can always remember it, because these types of monster swells only roll-in during the winter months when Oahu’s North Shore truly does come alive. If you are using your smartphone you may want to make sure it is in a waterproof case. 

Remember, you can always enjoy watching the beautiful waves from the comfort of your room or even better, the pool at Turtle Bay Resort. Every single one of our rooms offers a breathtaking view of the ocean. There's always nothing wrong with skipping the crowds and listening to the ocean while relaxing in your pajamas.