Waimea Bay Surfing Trip

Waimea Bay Surfing

Pupukea, Hawaii, United States of America

Waimea Bay stood unchallenged until the late 50s, when a small crew paddled out and defined big wave surfing at the time. For the next 40 years Waimea Bay became the face of big wave surfing. Photos of what looked like toy soldiers on long pointed surfboards, dwarfed by rolling mountains of white water is what most surfers associate with Waimea.

Waimea Bay is broken into 3 surf spots. Waimea proper where the mountains of water break in the middle of the bay, Pinballs where on small days (6ft) fine pits real along the inside lava reef and the Waimea Shorebreak where those same mountains of water crash into the sand and create an arena for kamikaze bodyboarders.

True Waimea starts breaking at about 15ft. It launches over a flat lava rock reef that creates the classic semi-freefall Waimea take-off. The mountain of water can sometimes be ridden into Pinballs. The wave backs off before reforming for the shorebreak.

Entering the water at Waimea is through a keyhole at the northeast corner of the beach. It requires timing to be executed safely, as does getting out. Miss the keyhole, and face the Shorebreak if you dare. Most surfers including locals prefer to do the Bay Loop involving paddling around and back out to sea, to attempt the keyhole a second time.

Waimea is flat and a great swimming beach through most of the year. During the Hawaiian winter (November to February) Waimea awakes. A northwest swell and south wind are ideal.

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