Makaha

Surf's up at the birthplace of Hawaii's big-wave surfing, an attractive half-moon beach known for its surfing, swimming and bodyboarding opportunities. 

With huge swells during the winter, Makaha is one of the most popular surfing spots on O’ahu. During the winter the waves can get up to 25 feet (7.5 meters) or more. If you are in Makaha at this time of year and are not a surfer, visit the beach anyway and enjoy the thrilling action from your beach towel. 

Don’t miss Buffalo's Big Board Surfing competition in February where surfers ride on huge, old-style surfboards and canoes. Other events include tandem surfing and team bodyboarding. Makaha has a prominent place in surfing history. In 1954, the world's first international surf competition, the Makaha International Surfing Championship, was staged here.

Surfers aren’t the only ones who can enjoy this 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) long half-moon sandy expanse. The warmer months bring calm waters suitable for swimming, snorkeling and bodyboarding, making it popular with families. Go for walks along the shore and sunbathe; the beach is wide so there is a lot of space to spread out. Although the ocean is a lot calmer in the summer, it’s a good idea to check with the lifeguard about ocean conditions before you go in.

Makaha Beach is on one of the hottest and driest parts of O’ahu. Bring an umbrella with you as there isn’t a lot of shade, and pack plenty of water and sunscreen. Situated on the west side of the island the beach can be buffeted by strong winds from April to October.

Among the facilities are restrooms, showers and a few picnic tables. The nearest restaurants and bars are in the town of Makaha that borders the beach. Makaha is situated 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Honolulu. Parking at the beach is free. If you don’t have a car use the regular bus service from Honolulu.

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