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North Shore surf report?

Atlanta, Georgia
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5,013 posts
16 reviews
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North Shore surf report?

My wife and I will be on Oahu for four days right after Christmas (our first trip to Hawaii). We will have a rental car (already reserved) and are interested in driving up to Banzai Pipeline one day to see the surfing - we do not surf ourselves, but would enjoy watching other people do it.

I stumbled on surfline.com and am wondering how far in advance they are able to make reasonably accurate predictions about the conditions. Note that I do a lot of boating and SCUBA diving, so I know things can change quickly on the water - just trying to get a feel for how reliable the predictions might be.

We have tried to build as much flexibility into our trip plans as possible to able to make last minutes adjustments as necessary, and I'm definitely not trying to pick a two hour window on a specific date that is over two weeks away. I was just curious if this was something I could check a day or two in advance and make plans based on that, or if it would have to be more of a "morning of" kind of thing.

-JimG

Kapaa, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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1. Re: North Shore surf report?

A day or two out would be fine. We snorkel on the weekends and usually by Thursday know pretty much what the surf will be like during Saturday and Sunday. The buoys are fairly accurate.

Scarborough, Maine
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48 posts
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2. Re: North Shore surf report?

Magicseaweed.com and swellinfo.com also have forecasts that go a week out. Things do change but can usually give you an idea of wether or not there will be larger waves.

Kauai, Hawaii
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3. Re: North Shore surf report?

Also try surfnewsnetwork.com. It shows 5 days out and we've always found it to be a great source.

Atlanta, Georgia
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4. Re: North Shore surf report?

Just out of curiosity, what's the relationship between the reported wave height on the websites vs the actual wave heights at the reef breaks?

I know they just concluded the Pipeline Masters competition up there, so I have been watching the surf reports the last couple of weeks and looking at some of the pictures and videos from the competition. I noted that the surf was often reported in the 2-4 foot range, while the waves that the surfers were riding appeared to be more in the 8-10 foot range. I was just curious if the wave height reading was taken at a different spot (perhaps directly from the NOAA buoy at Waimea Bay?).

Apologies if I am am misinterpreting what I am reading - we don't do much shore diving on the east coast, so I am not that accustomed to reading surf reports.

-JimG

5. Re: North Shore surf report?

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