Paddle Board Oahu North Shore

This week, I’m in Hawaii with my Hala board and I’m going to paddle board Oahu’s beaches. It will be a quick tour, but to get to paddle board Oahu is an oppurtunity I cannot miss!

The last couple days was the North Shore, famous for the Vans Triple Crown surfing event, and therefore huge waves. The biggest waves don’t really get started here until November and slow down sometime in March or April. Right now (mid October) the waves here are shifting and getting bigger but there are still chill places with calm flat water to paddle around in and even do some yoga.

I am staying in the town of Haleiwa, located south of where the big competitions are. The Waialua Bay has some breakwaters that offered protection from waves and there were lots of people out on SUPs and kayaks. In the background you have amazing views of the impressive Waianae Mountain Range. In particular, there is Mount Ka’ala which the highest point on Oahu.

Also, make sure to check out the beautiful Waimea Beach Park, which might be a bit too wavy to enjoy some casual paddle boarding, but the beach is so much fun. It’s a great stretch with lots of fun locals. There’s even a great rock for some cliff jumping… maybe 30 feet-ish? Then, right across the road there’s a giant and fascinating park/preserve called Waimea Valley. There’s a lot of mild hiking on paved road that’s all stunning and at the end there’s a famous waterfall that you can swim up to. (Note that the park entrance fee is $15/person). Further up the North Coast there’s plenty more amazing beaches to see. I recommend checking out the waves and watching the surfer’s at Bonzai Pipeline, just North of Waimea.


Nearby, in the town (about a 10 minute walk form the Waialua Bay) there’s lots of SUP and surf rental companies and tons of great food. Check out some of the food trucks for lunches, a lot of which do a really good garlic shrimp. There’s some nicer Mexican restaurants, a pizzaria, a few places that specialize in burgers and lots more in the very small strip along the Kamehameha road between Haleiwa Road and Achiu Lane. For breakfast and lunch I highly recommend Kono Cafe to try their kalua pork.

For lodging, I found lots of Airbnb listings for not too much. Lots of these disappear pretty quickly so book early.

Overall, the North Shore is a great place to paddle board in Oahu. Don’t let it’s reputation for huge wave and crazy surf concern you too much. Though don’t expect perfectly tranquil waters either.