North Shore, Oahu

Banzai Pipeline – Waimea Bay to the left, Sunset Beach right!

Back in the 1970’s I’d spent quite a lot of my time surfing. Although I never got very good at it, when in Hawaii I really had to see the North Shore with it’s surfing beaches – Waimea Bay, Sunset, Banzai (site of the Pipeline surf break).

So on our second day of car hire we drove up to the North Shore. There had been a problem with our hire car and on the second day we were driving an identical car except that it was automatic rather than manual. I was so excited at a sudden view of Waimea Bay that I forgot it was automatic and used my left foot on the brake pedal – fortunately the car behind did not crash into us as we rapidly stopped!

Waimea Bay

Of course being summer there were no large waves. Even so, when we went in swimming at Banzai the very small beach break still had enough power to dump us on the beach with sand in our swimming costumes!

The main “town” was a mix of hippy type shops and gift stores. Surf boards for hire were huge – the old classic style of board, at least twice the size of a contemporary small wave board. For comparison my own board back in the UK was under 7 foot. Boards that size would be good for learners provided the waves were small. Easy to paddle up to speed and stable enough to stand up and even walk around on the deck! Like surfing an old style windsurfer board which I had done once on the south coast.

Photo Gallery: North Shore…

On one beach there was a (relatively new) lava flow with weird textures to the rocks [photo gallery].

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