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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
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 Makaha

USA, Hawaii, Oahu

Other places:

This is an interactive map! Use controls to pan and zoom this map.

Datum: WGS84 [ Help ]
Precision: Aproximadamente

GPS History (2)

Latitude: 21° 28.671' N
Longitude: 158° 13.383' W

User rating (18)


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 Access

Drive along Kamehameha Highway heading west. You will past the town of Nanakuli and keep driving until you reach a condo along the beachside. There are signs all over the place with parking stalls on the right and left.

English (Translate this text in English): Drive along Kamehameha Highway heading west. You will past the town of Nanakuli and keep driving until you reach a condo along the beachside. There are signs all over the place with parking stalls on the right and left.

English (Translate this text in English): Drive along Kamehameha Highway heading west. You will past the town of Nanakuli and keep driving until you reach a condo along the beachside. There are signs all over the place with parking stalls on the right and left.

English (Translate this text in English): Drive along Kamehameha Highway heading west. You will past the town of Nanakuli and keep driving until you reach a condo along the beachside. There are signs all over the place with parking stalls on the right and left.

DistanceTake a car

WalkInstant access (< 5min)

Easy to find?Easy to find

Public access?Public access

Special accessDon't know

 Surf Spot Characteristics

Surf Spot Quality

Wave qualityRegional Classic

ExperienceExperienced surfers

FrequencyRegular

Wave

TypeReef-coral

DirectionRight

BottomSandy with rock

PowerFast, Powerful, Fun

Normal lengthNormal (50 to 150m)

Good day lengthLong (150 to 300 m)

Tide, Swell and Wind

Good swell directionNorthWest, West

Good wind directionEast, NorthEast

Swell sizeStarts working at 1.0m-1.5m / 3ft-5ft and holds up to 4m+ / 12ft

Best tide positionMid and high tide

Best tide movementRising tide

More details

Week crowdCrowded

Week-end crowdUltra crowded

Webcam url 

Dangers

- Urchins
- Rocks
- Localism

 Additional Information

During the Winter, these beaches have high surf that does indeed exhibit "fierce" conditions, often averaging fifteen feet and sometimes peaking as high as thirty feet plus. This is not a time for swimmers to be in the ocean at all. The waters are otherwise safe except when there is high surf. Strong back washes are created and the shorebreak and resultant undertow becomes very dangerous.

Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000






English (Translate this text in English): During the Winter, these beaches have high surf that does indeed exhibit "fierce" conditions, often averaging fifteen feet and sometimes peaking as high as thirty feet plus. This is not a time for swimmers to be in the ocean at all. The waters are otherwise safe except when there is high surf. Strong back washes are created and the shorebreak and resultant undertow becomes very dangerous.

Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000






English (Translate this text in English): During the Winter, these beaches have high surf that does indeed exhibit "fierce" conditions, often averaging fifteen feet and sometimes peaking as high as thirty feet plus. This is not a time for swimmers to be in the ocean at all. The waters are otherwise safe except when there is high surf. Strong back washes are created and the shorebreak and resultant undertow becomes very dangerous.

Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000






English (Translate this text in English): During the Winter, these beaches have high surf that does indeed exhibit "fierce" conditions, often averaging fifteen feet and sometimes peaking as high as thirty feet plus. This is not a time for swimmers to be in the ocean at all. The waters are otherwise safe except when there is high surf. Strong back washes are created and the shorebreak and resultant undertow becomes very dangerous.

Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000






Atmosphere

Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000

English (Translate this text in English): Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000

English (Translate this text in English): Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000

English (Translate this text in English): Pushed around by Western ways for hundreds of years, one of the last ethnic Hawaiian strongholds rests among the valleys fringing the West Side of Oahu. Wedged between Kaena Point, the Waianae Range and Kamaileunu Ridge, Makaha represents the island's last stand, a friendly place if you know the right people, but far from inviting. A small, self-contained community with its share of problems, this is where big-wave surfing began.


In the '30s, a few brave souls went searching for something more challenging than the safe rollers of Waikiki. Wally Froiseth and John Kelly, two Hawaiian haoles with a major role in making boards that could handle sizable surf, led the charge. Their Hot Curl design, with a sliced-down tail, enabled them to ride across a breaking wave without sliding ass, breaking from the standard mentality of riding straight to shore. On a high school camping trip up the west coast of Oahu in 1937, they noticed a perfectly tapered pointbreak, so they returned with their boards, thus opening the door to exploration. They were later joined by George Downing, a teenager whose scientific study of big waves made him a legendary surfer and one of the earliest shapers of legitimate guns.

The wave at Makaha contains four distinct breaks: the Point, the Bowl, the Blowhole and the Inside Reef. Ridable at any size, it truly becomes a challenge over 10 feet. More even and lined-up than other spots when serious swells from the north and west turn the North Shore into a death zone, Makaha attracted the attention not only of the Waikiki emigrants, but of the first wave of Californian hellmen. Transplants Buzzy Trent and Walter and Flippy Hoffman were the first mainlanders to sample Makaha during the early '50s. In 1953, The San Francisco Chronicle ran a photo of Trent, Downing and Woody Brown riding the biggest perfect wave anyone in California had ever seen. Immediately, another group followed, setting up camp wherever they found space. As word spread across the mainland, more and more surfers headed for Makaha.


For a few years, Makaha was the place, but continued exploration of Oahu and beyond saw its heyday as the epicenter of big-wave surfing come to an end less than a decade after it gained notoriety. Nevertheless, Makaha remained the site of some of big-wave surfing's seminal moments. For two days in early 1958, Makaha point surf was as good as it gets, 25 feet and perfect. Downing was the hero, and Trent also stood out. But by then, the North Shore mystique had been debunked, and the West Side had become nothing more than an escape valve when everywhere else was out of control. It happened again in December of 1969, considered the largest swell in recorded history. California transplant and longtime leader on the North Shore front, Greg Noll, rode what was deemed a 30-foot wave.

In 1954, Froiseth organized the Makaha International Surfing Championships, an event considered the determinant of the world's best surfers before the advent of the World Contest and a professional tour. At first, the field was limited to Hawaiians and Californians, but after early filmmaker Bud Browne traveled to Australia showing footage from Makaha in 1957, it became a truly international affair. Contests have been a part of the lifestyle ever since, but not in the traditional sense. The late Rell Sunn began her menehune event here in 1976, offering hope to countless troubled youths over the years. While Sunn was undisputably the Queen of Makaha, the West Side's first family is the

Keahulana clan. Father Buffalo, Makaha champion in 1960, has h
held his annual Big Board Classic here each year since 1977. Featuring canoe-surfing, tandem surfing, bullyboarding (oversize tandem bodyboards), bodysurfing and longboards over 10 feet, it brings together the entire community for a day of fun. All the elements making Makaha what it is -- families, fishermen, food and pick-up trucks -- abound.

If all this sounds like an ideal surfing vacation, think again. Despite the variance of watercraft in the lineup, a clear hierarchy has always existed, and gatecrashers are not welcome. The people of Makaha are wary of outsiders -- and for good reason, given their history. Unemployment and crime are West Side epidemics, and residents are known to strike back when faced with intruders in the only way they know how.

Offering ridable surf most every day of the year, Makaha provides its residents with everything a community needs. Small surf, big surf, fishing and a daily gathering place, Oahu's last frontier will continue to stand its ground.-- Jason Borte, December 2000

General

Go to Makaha and find the moods of surfing...

English (Translate this text in English): Go to Makaha and find the moods of surfing...

English (Translate this text in English): Go to Makaha and find the moods of surfing...

English (Translate this text in English): Go to Makaha and find the moods of surfing...

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waterman_75 avatar
Makaha
De waterman_75
Jan 12, 2008
Po Kia Bay Day two - Not as good as yesterday, but still fun.  Started the day with four of us at sunrise and a couple of just overhead sets.  Thaught it was going to be an epic day...a long 30 minute lull between sets brought another 10-15 people and only 3-5&
Mais...
waterman_75 avatar
Makaha
De waterman_75
Jan 11, 2008
PoKia Bay - Took out the brand new Nick Thomson custom 10' 0" Biofoam Epoxy for it's inagural session.  I could not have picked a better day or better friends to go with.  I missed the first three sets due to learning the new board, but
Mais...

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By INDAPUKA , 28-08-2009

Buy that house - Great idea!, howabout you buy the house and I'll be your permanent house sitter! I can introduce you to the locals and show you the ins and outs of the west side. Times are hard and I need a place to stay!

By lexisky , 14-03-2009

- smooth... but very Local... Peas to all... kama aina

By Anonymous , 25-01-2009

Moving to Makaha? - I am thinking about purchasing property in Makaha. I am from California and travel extensively in the third world. I travel alone, show respect and usually get respect in return. I would not live full time in Makaha; just visit now and then to surf and enjoy the islands. Can someone tell me honestly how I would be treated there if I played by all the rules and brought a good attitude? What is the vibe like out there right now? What about crime? I don't have a problem with petty theft but violent crime freaks me out.

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