Hawaii’s winter surf season has roared into life and the North Shore is the epicenter of it all. With powerful swells and deep strong currents, it’s no wonder that people from around the world flock to this surf town to experience the thrill of riding North Shore’s famous big waves.
To get you prepped for the powerful currents to come, here are some surfing tips that may help you ride the legendary waves of North Shore.
Get a soft-top surfboard. Costco’s Wavestorm surfboard is the most popular surfboard in the U.S. and with good reason. The entry-level board is made of foam so when it hits you (which it will), your body will be able to take the abuse.
Surf somewhere with few people around. It may be tempting to take on the popular spots in North Shore such as Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline) and Sunset Beach, but its best to start off at an area that isn’t crowded. That way, you’ll get more waves and, as a result, get better, faster.
Practice your pop up. The key to standing up on a wave is a quick and fluid pop up – a sort of controlled push-up. Practice the motion on the sandy beach, and it will come much easier to you when you’re surfing in the water.
Shuffle your feet. If you shuffle your feet while walking in and out of the water, your chances of getting hit by a stingray are drastically reduced. And for anyone who’s felt the pain of being stung by one of these sea creatures, you know that the strong burning sensation should be avoided at all costs.
Take that extra paddle. When you’re paddling for a wave and feel the energy of it start to lift you into it, take one more strong paddle. The extra velocity will make it so you’re not stuck at the top of the wave, making the drop much easier.
Bend the knees, not your back. When you do get to your feet on a wave, make sure to bend your knees, as opposed to hunching your back over. You’ll have better balance with your knees bent and absorbing the energy of the wave.
Fall flat. When you fall – which you will – the best way to not injure yourself is to fall nice and flat. Never dive headfirst off your board, try to flop onto your side or back. Even jumping off feet first can be dangerous due to the uneven nature of the seafloor.
The winter waves on North Shore are not for the novice surfer. They can be quite dangerous. So please remember to be cautious at all times.