Huge waves and the very best place to shop on the North Shore of Oahu
Our recent trip to Oahu was a trip of firsts. We hiked in places I never dreamed of seeing, swam off the shore of Waikiki after jumping off a forty-seven foot yacht, ate the tastiest organic food at the local farmers market, viewed the largest waves we have ever seen and found the best place to shop on the North Shore.
What is The North Shore?
I have always heard this term, North Shore, watched surfing movies and listened to urban tales of gnarly waves at Pipeline. But what does that mean? Where is this? How do I see these enormous waves?
Luckily for us, Pam, our dear friend and local surfer, showed us exactly where we needed to be. We were traveling to Oahu, the Hawaiian island known for the largest waves and it was during the Winter season. The best waves are typically between January and March and you will find them at the Banzai Pipeline on the North Shore of Oahu.
The waves are huge on the other beaches of the North Shore as well, but Pipeline is the most famous. The legendary Banzai Pipeline Hawaii is known around the world for its enormous perfect barrel waves.
This was a mind-blowing experience. To see waves of this magnitude and surfers actually surfing them is incredible.They would start at the top and literally surf straight down in a vertical line. When the waves are big like this, the surf sponsors put together a Shootout contest where the day of the event is determined when the largest waves arrive.
The Shootout is a uniquely jersey-less, four-man-team format and the only contest where surfers can score a perfect 12-point ride. Another thing that sets it apart from other competitions is the fact that the call to surf or not surf is something voted on by the surfers themselves.
These are expert-level conditions and only extremely experienced watermen should be in the water — especially at Pipeline, which is notorious for huge waves that break in shallow water just above a sharp reef, forming large, hollow tubes.
From our Airbnb in Kailua, on the east side of the island, we drove an hour or so north to see this ocean phenomenon and we were blown away. We witnessed towering, clear, pale green, twenty foot mountains of water for the surfers to slide and cut their way down.
These waves are not for ordinary mortals but for expert professionals who know how to handle them, but it is still very dangerous. Additionally, for the typical tourist, timing a trip to coincide with the big waves is never a guarantee and we were so fortunate! Three days after we left the waves even climbed to fifty feet!
It was an adventure checked off the bucket list for many of us in our group. Mesmerized by these gigantic, scary waves we literally stood for hours watching surfer after amazing surfer, catch these beasts.
There were spectators lining the sand and photographers from around the world trying to capture these waves on video. The curl of the waves are just far enough away that with my lens it was a challenge to capture the magnitude of their power. Below is a video of the action around me on the beach at Pipeline.
After the contest was over we walked across the street from Pipeline Beach to the cutest, hippest little studio/shop on the North Shore. This is a MUST visit!
Rocky Point Collective – The Best Place to Shop on the North Shore!
Rocky Point Collective is a working art studio featuring local artists, craftsmen & innovators on the North Shore of Oahu and was created by Mia Russi. The studio is filled with clever Hawaiian design, cool beach products, gorgeous ocean and surf photography, colorful graphic art, a friendly staff and the prettiest beach jewelry called Washed Up Jewelry. We went crazy for the pieces that she makes right there in her office.
Check out this A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E SHOP! Kimi, Kylie and I had a hard time deciding which piece to buy, so we bought them all! Rings, bracelets and necklaces. So pretty!
You can find them here ==> on their Instagram: @RockyPointCollective and @washedupjewelry
The website: WashedUpJewelry.com
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4 thoughts on “Twenty Foot Waves & The Very Best Place to Shop on the North Shore”
Looks like you guys had a fantastic time in Hawaii.
Thanks for the shopping tips – I’m on the Washed Up Jewelry website now and am ordering a set of those fun bangles. They will be perfect accessories for my upcoming Caribbean cruise!
Happy travels, Suzanne.
Angie – Your cruise sounds amazing! Would you consider writing about it for Adventures of Empty Nesters? I have never been on a cruise and I am fascinated! I LOVE my jewelry from Washed Up!
I LOVE to watch surfers! I really need to get to Hawaii, don’t I?
Yes you do!!