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Exciting North Shore

Updated on September 21, 2009

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Surfs Up!

Hawaii is wonderful all year round, but winter (approximately November to January) is probably the most exciting time to come to the Islands. Most especially if you are looking for that big 'wow' in your trip. As a photo-artist i have to say capturing the scenes created between man and nature and how they tangle is the most amazing.

Surfers will tell you the high they get from riding natures waves is like no other. Just ask the thousands of surfers that arrive every year or the over 2 million visitors that trek to North Shore to watch the spectacle. It is the world’s biggest, fastest, and most powerful waves, which is why it is a Mecca for surfers worldwide. The pipeline waves are what thrill seekers, both in and out of the water look for. It is found at Ehukai Beach and, because of the extreme power and tubular-ness of the spot, it has spawned its own special type of break.

Waimea Bay is host to The Van's Triple Crown, biggest wave competition in the world and the Quicksilver invitation in memory of Eddie Aikau. Eddie Aikau was the first North Shore Hawaii lifeguard at Waimea Bay and saved many people from the huge north shore surf. Sadly Eddie was lost at sea in 1978 while attempting to paddle 12 miles over open ocean to summon help for his fellow crew members in the ill fated first attempt to sail using only the stars as navigation from Hawaii to Tahiti following the route of the ancient Polynesians migration to Hawaii. Eddie was only 31 years of age at the time of his death and is regarded as a hero in Hawaii

Awesome Surfing Action

Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku was a pioneer in the sport of surfing as he made it more popular, Duke is one of the all-time greatest athlete to come out of Hawaii and is known as the "Father of Surfing". Because of Duke, surfers from around the world were attracted to the Hawaii beaches of Waikiki and West O'ahu, yet unannounced to all, the North Shore still lay undiscovered and mysterious to those other then its homegrown. It was in the early 1950's that surfing pioneer Greg Noll re-discovered along with his friends the beauty and power of surfing the North Shore, popular among the Californian surfers they flocked here in the winter to chance the monstrous waves.

Hawaii is the true birthplace of surfing and the surfing capital of the world. It dates back to more than 3000 years when fishermen discovered riding waves on a board was the fastest way to get ashore with their daily catch. It then evolved into a popular pastime, revolutionizing surfing.

Hawaiian royalty picked up on the sport and began riding the waves. Today surfing is a world wide phenomenon and one of the most popular things to do and watch in Oahu. There are more than 150 excellent surfing sites around the island with many options for every level. Surfing Oahu is best in the winter months from November through March when massive swells roll into the north and west coastlines. North Pacific storms most active in winter create the colossal waves that make

Oahu's North Shore the go-to location for surfers around the world looking for the biggest waves to battle. Which is why it is home to the largest and best-known surfing competitions in the world. When surfing Oahu in the summer, between May and September, visitors looking for the best Hawaii surfing head to the island's east and south shores which both enjoy great conditions due to South Pacific storms.

The top surfing beach is called the Banzai Pipeline and can be reached by car or by public transit from Wakiki. During winter, the unforgiving monster waves roll in reminding visitors of nature's unrelenting strength. The epic swells at this famous left side barrel reef break around the coral shelf about 200 yards from the shoreline. Both the coral shelf and the shallow ocean water create mighty tubular waves similar to pipes, giving this celebrated beach its name.

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Charming Haleiwa

Shrimp Trucks: Do not be surprised to find tourists come in chauffeur driven limousines to feast on fresh buttery garlic shrimp in dumpy looking trucks. One of the more famous ones is Giovanni's graffiti-covered truck, the oldest and the best known of many scattered in the area. Shrimp plates are ordered at the windows of these shrimp trucks, and it is ususually served with two scoops of rice, and sometimes macaroni salad, a green salad, pineapple slices, and/or a lemon slice. Plain unadorned shrimp is available, but the most popular shrimp plates have garlic, lemon butter, hot and spicy, sweet and spicy, or a soy-based sauce. The last time I ate at a shrimp truck the prices were about $10-12 USD per plate.

Art: Hale'iwa is emerging as an important art center on Oahu. There are at least six art galleries featuring dozens of artists, many from the islands, and several gift shops that also sell arts and crafts. In the North Shore Marketplace, the seascapes of Roy Tabora and Walfrido Garcia are on display. World-famous marine artist, Wyland, has established his headquarters here. They appear in ocean vessels, on skydiving aircraft and in public places. Hale'iwa and the neighboring community of Waialua, showcases eclectic combination of marine art, pottery, sculptures, watercolors, and arts and crafts.

Historic: Hale'iwa is a colorful, historic community in the center of Oahu's North Shore. Once the playground of royalty and the location of a former television series called "Baywatch," Hale'iwa has long been acknowledged as Hawaii's surfing capitol. The more than 100-year-old town is a picture of its past with rustic old buildings dominating the landscape. Many of the buildings are on the State Register of Historic Sites, including the vintage 1921 building that has been the home of Surf & Sea Ocean Sports Headquarters for 35 years. After surviving numerous high waves, this oceanfront location has been used as a set for many TV shows and movies.

Shave Ice: Cool down with a shave-ice from the legendary M. Matsumoto store. The store has been serving shave ice local style with sweet azuki beans or ice cream in the bottom of the paper cone for over 40 years.On a warm, sunny day, the store produces 1,000 shave ice. Half of the customers are tourists. Many people from around the world have visited the store. Matsumoto Shave Ice has been displayed in various magazines, news articles, and television programs, the most recent being on Bay Watch Hawaii.

In Hale'iwa you can rent or buy just about anything you need for fun on the water. If you don't know how, they'll teach you to surf, windsurf, scuba dive and more. There are several fishing and shark encounter charters out of Hale'iwa Small Boat Harbor. Surfers live for the big waves that come pounding each winter onto Oahu's north shore. The rollers, like salt-water breathing dragons, can churn into 20 to 30 foot walls, defying world-class competitors, captivating crowds of spectators, and turning lifeguards to heroes in one split second.

Winter is near, it looks like it's time to take that 45 minute flight back to our old haunt. Maybe i'll get that new camera for that once in a lifetime award winning surf photo i've been dreaming to take. And, yes, i will do the art walk, then have the 'to die for' dessert "Chocolate Lava" at Haleiwa Joes. If not i'll settle for my favorite Dave's Kona Coffee Ice Cream at the Marketplace. Sounds like a plan!

Comments

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    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      7 years ago from Hawaii

      Well, c'mon down! Don't waste a moment!

    • MosLadder profile image

      Chris Montgomery 

      7 years ago from Irvine, CA

      I love this hub! Can't wait to get back there!

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Looks like we got some KOna coffee ice cream lovers here Waren! Thanks for dropping by. I wish i could offer you all these yummies.

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      9 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      Those waves look heavenly,and all this excitement about Kona Coffee Ice Cream is very very persuading indeed,that stuff must be the best I'm sure!!!

      Great hub IslandVoice!: )

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Hey Bk! My daughter and granddaughter are shrimp lovers, so they will keep us company on our shrimp gorging trips, and Dave's ice cream and Kona coffee. Just make enough to buy your ticket, and we'll take care of the rest. How's that?

      You think i need to follow up on my previous hub?

      Thanks again soul'sistah'! That's how the Hawaiian's say it.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      9 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I would love to live vicariously and just sit on the beach and watch the surfers - and make a few hundred stops at the shrimp truck.

      So I have this list of '100 Things I Desire to Do' and will add surf watching and lots of eating and imbibing in Hawaii (with the hula dancing lessons I will take over there).

      One reason I am inspired to write so much is so I can pack up my laptop and continue to travel the world and enjoy all it has to offer and write - but not be penniless.

      Thanks for the inspiration (any chance of learning more about the kona coffee, beer and ice cream in a hub?)!

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      You must come Coffeesnob! I will treat you for Shrimp. Thanks again!

    • profile image

      coffeesnob 

      9 years ago

      IslandVoice

      What a great hub. I hope to one day visit Hawaii. I don't think i will be surfing-but I will enjoy watching, taking pics and I think i would appreciate the art and those wonderful shrimp trucks.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Awww, always a gentleman. In due time, i hope to get better, esp with lots of inspiration from great hubbers like yourself. Muchos gracias James!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      You are writing with great flair.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      My pleasure always James. Hawaii is so rich in history, i wish i had your writing skills to hub them. Thanks much for taking time to visit and comment.

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      9 years ago from Chicago

      What an interesting story this is! I enjoyed learning about the history of surfing, though I've never tried it. Beautiful pics, as usual. Thank you for the fine read.

    • IslandVoice profile imageAUTHOR

      Sylvia Van Velzer 

      9 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks Dohn! I think it's time to book a flight now! Dave's coffee ice cream is super awesome! If not, I'll have to find a way to send it your way. I can see you're brave to surf, let's go!!!

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 

      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I've always wanted to learn how to surf and as you know, I really want to Hawaii. In either case, equally enticing is Dave's Kona Coffee Ice Cream sounds amazing! If you ship it overnight, will it still be frozen, lol. Thanks IslandVoice.

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