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The Ultimate Kahuku Oahu Surf Guide

Kahuku is the northernmost point of Oahu, nestled between the North Shore and East Side.

There are so many different breaks that do not even have names and are recognized by the locals in the area.

Most of the breaks mentioned in this guide are heavily localized and require humility and respect if you want to be able to paddle out at these breaks.

Kahuku Surf Guide 

Waves in Kahuku 

Kahuku has plenty of breaks, many of which are known only to locals. You can find draining tubes, crumbling rights, and more mellow inside sections near Turtle Bay.

People learning or wanting to progress their surfing often choose Turtle Bay if they are staying on the North Shore.

Surf Culture at Kahuku 

Just like the rest of Oahu and Hawaii in general, the surf culture here goes back hundreds and hundreds of years.

Legendary surfers such as Ben Aipa, Eddie Aikau, and Kealoha Kaio have shaped surfing to how it is today.

Locals today embody these morals and way of life; they are extremely proud to be Hawaiian and represent their culture.

Gear Needed to Surf In Kahuku 

While the water is warm, averaging around 78 to 80 degrees, I would not recommend bringing or riding a longboard at these breaks.

Shortboard is going to be your best bet when surfing these high-performance, powerful waves.

Beware that waves on the North Shore tend to be a lot more powerful than those on the other side of Oahu. Lather up that sunscreen and head out.

The Best Surf Spots in Kahuku 

#1: V-Land 

Velzyland, known as V-Land, is just off Velzyland Beach, named after Californian surfer and shaper Dale Velzy.

It is predominantly a right that barrels quite often on WNW to NNW swells, with offshore winds blowing from E to S.

Best on medium tide and with heights ranging from chest high to well overhead. When it gets 15 feet plus on big powerful swells, Phantoms can turn on on the outside reef.

Rights can rip up off the lava reef and create a second inside section that almost always barrels.

Lefts break onto a shallow reef.

Usually, locals are out and ripping, with heavy crowds.

One of the best waves on the North Shore. If you wait your turn, show respect, you might catch the drainer you’ve been dreaming of.

#2: 7th Hole 

7th Hole, also known as Kahuku, is an exposed reef break that sits just off the 7th hole of the Kahuku Golf Course.

This reef break pumps out constant lefts that crumble and can barrel on certain swells.

The best swell direction is NE and WNE, but anything from N to E can see this wave break.

Wind direction is offshore from S to W for the occasional rights and W to NNW for lefts.

Best on a medium tide with head high to double overhead plus. It is quite a paddle to get to, so be ready for that shoulder burn.

#3: Turtle Bay East and West Turtle Bay

East and West break directly off the East and West sides of Turtle Bay Resort. Turtle Bay West attracts lots of beginner surfers, as the Jamie O’Brien Surf School tied to Turtle Bay Resort takes their guests here to learn how to surf.

The West peak offers a crumbling right, great for longboarders and beginner shortboarders.

The outside break is a little more rippable for shortboarders.

Turtle Bay East is more of a left, just past the lagoon that sits in front of the resort.

The best conditions for the west peak are WNW to NE swells, depending on the period. Wind is best from E to S. Works on all tides. For Turtle Bay East, the best swells are N or NW.

#4:  Laie Beach Park (Pounders) 

Poundeers is an exposed beach break with consistent surf and can work year-round, but it tends to be quite small during the summer.

It sits just south of the Polynesian Culture Center on Highway 83. The best conditions are swells from NE with offshore winds from SW. It has both lefts and rights and can work on all tides.

#5: Goat Island 

Goat Island is a low-key spot known predominantly to locals and is located just off Kahuku town.

It is an exposed reef break that works best on NE wind and ground swells, with wind blowing from N. Be cautious of urchins, shallow reef, rip currents, and sharks.

Wind is not typically in favor of this spot, but when it is, waves can get good. Usually, it's the only spot on the east side with some waves during the summer months.

What To Do In Kahuku When the Waves Are Flat 

If the waves are flat, or you just feel like you need a rest day, there are many fun and enriching experiences to enjoy in and around Kahuku. 

If you're feeling adventurous, catch a zipline on the North Shore, or visit Kahuku Farms, the main provider of fresh produce to the area. 

If you want to have fun with a group of friends, hit the Turtle Bay Golf Course, or visit the Polynesian Cultural Center to learn about the rich history of Hawaii and the Polynesians.

The Bottom Line: Surfing in the Kahuku 

From the beginner breaks such as Turtle Bay East and West to Goat Island and the localized dreamy right of V-Land, there are so many waves that sit just past Sunset Beach on the North Shore. 

Some will not break on certain swells, but if you check forecasts and the right conditions, you could find waves that are almost as good as any other spot on the island.

Planning a trip to Oahu? Check out the best restaurants on the North Shore and the best hotels on the North Shore.

1 Comment

Awesome article!

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