My impression is that in the winter (Dec-April?) the north shore beaches are great for expert surfers and (for the rest of us) for watching the surf and the expert surfers.
We will probably be in Oahu in October; what are the north shore beaches like then? Are they placid? Are they good for boogie boarding/body surfing for ordinary folks, or is the south shore still best for us? Is the surf still impressive for spectating?