The North Shore, in the context of geography of the Island of Oʻahu, refers to the north-facing coastal area of Oʻahu between Kaʻena Point and Kahuku. The largest settlement is Haleʻiwa.
This area is best known for its massive waves, attracting surfers from all around the globe. The northern hemisphere winter months on the North Shore see a concentration of surfing activity, taking advantage of swells originating in the stormy North Pacific. Notable surfing spots include Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.
The spot of Ehukai Beach, commonly known as the Banzai Pipeline, is the most notable surfing spot on the North Shore, and is considered a prime spot for competitions due to its close proximity to the beach, giving spectators, judges, and photographers a great view.
The North Shore is considered to be the surfing mecca of the world. Every December, the area hosts three competitions, which make up the Triple Crown of Surfing. The three men’s competitions are the Hawaiian Pro, the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters. The Pipe Masters was founded in 1971 and is regarded as the sport’s top surfing contest. The three women’s competitions are the Hawaiian Pro, the Roxy Pro Sunset, and the Billabong Pro on the neighboring island of Maui.
Waimea Bay hosts the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau. This is an exclusive competition that participants must be invited to. The competitions has a scheduled window of dates each winter, however the competition has a minimum requirement of consistent, 20-foot (6.1 m) waves. Therefore, the competition is not held every year.
Although the North Shore is known for its large winter surf, there are a number of surf schools that teach a beginner the basics of surfing in coves that are protected from the larger waves.
Here is a great surf movie about some surfers who lived out their dream and documented their experience on the North Shore as they spent six weeks living the dream.