See the Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park

Ehukai Beach Park - Banzai Pipeline

I was really excited to finally get to see the monster waves on Oahu’s North shore. We found the famous Banzai Pipeline that’s at Ehukai Beach Park. I’m sure my jaw must have dropped in amazement dozens of times. While we were there the surf forecast was up to 18 feet waves. I think some of the ones we saw had to be taller and according to this article from ESPN, the waves were 16 to 20-foot on the face.

Ehukai Beach Park - Banzai Pipeline

You can see more of our photos from Ehukai Beach Park here. Didn’t Andy do a great job with the camera work?

If the winter surf is up on the North shore of Oahu, I highly recommend you plan some of your vacation time to watch the waves and the brave surfers. Check the local weather forecasts to determine the days when the waves will be best.

Let me emphasize that you should watch these waves and not be tempted to “shred ’em” for yourself. Unless you are a very experienced/professional surfer, don’t even think about surfing these waves. The day we were watching professional surfers were trying to qualify for the prestigious Billabong Pipeline Masters tournament. Several of these expert surfers were injured in the process. (See the above referenced ESPN article.)

The Banzai Pipeline at Ehukai Beach Park is located north of Haleiwa, between Sunset Beach Park and Waimea Beach Park. The easiest way to find it is to look for Sunset Beach Elementary School on the mauka (mountain) side of the Kamehameha Highway (Hwy 83). Ehukai Beach will be directly across from the elementary school. There’s a small parking area on the beach side that fills up quickly. If that is filled, then parallel park alongside Kamehameha Highway making sure you avoid the areas designated as no parking zones. Note that we did see police issuing tickets for vehicles parked in the no parking zones.




About Sheila Beal

Sheila Beal is the founder and editor of Go Visit Hawaii. You can connect with Sheila Beal on Twitter, Go Visit Hawaii on Facebook, or Sheila Beal on Google+.

16 comments

  1. Wow, those are beautiful shots of the waves. The water is so blue.

  2. WOW !! Those pictures are simply magic !! Great job !!
    When we visited the North Shore … the water was so calm … so DIFFERENT from what we see in your shots !
    THANK YOU , laura

  3. @ Acai – Thanks! Andy did a great job with his camera work and the waves really put on a show for us.

    @ laura – Isn’t Hawaii amazing and so different with the seasons? That’s one of the reasons I keep going back.

  4. WOW! – Great job Andy! You folks lucked out. Pipeline doesn’t go off every day, It’s a seasonal thing. Even if it’s the right season, it only looks like that under prime conditions.

    You are right to caution beginners to stay out of the water over there. You know what they say about “Pain” – It comes in waves. 😉

  5. Thanks for the kind words about the photos. We really did get lucky with the timing–just the day before, the waves were half that size!

  6. How far were you away from the action? Do you need a telescope to see or photograph that kind of action?

  7. @Dave – maybe 150 yards, maybe more. I had a 200mm zoom maxed out. If you look at this photo, we would have been sitting about as far away as the guy with the green shirt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/govisithawaii/3282050379/

  8. It’s always wonderful to watch the surfers when the waves keep them going. The North Shore of Oahu can be amazing. There are people who drive out there every day when the ocean’s right. I just need to make a conscientious effort to get out there! Tsk! Those are great pictures Andy!

  9. My wife and I are vacationing in March of 2010 in Oahu. We were wondering if you can still see the pipeline during this time of the year?

    Thanks

  10. Hi Joe – March is on the tail end of winter, so it’s hard to say. When you arrive on the island, check surf reports for Oahu’s North Shore. You can check the surf reports either in local newspapers like the Honolulu Advertiser or the Star-Bulletin or watch the local news stations on TV.

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