Hawaii – Oahu's: Sandy Beach and the Pure Joy of Waveriding

When I lived in Aina Haina and Hawaii Kai installing solar systems, I used to go to Sandy’s all the time! Great guide/article…

VIA – IMPERIAL BEACH PATCH

Oahu’s Sandy Beach and the Pure Joy of Waveriding

Sandy Beach on the southeast tip of Oahu is among the world’s most singjular locations to ride waves.

By Serge Dedina
5:59pm

Sandy Beach in Oahu is arguably one of the world’s most unique wave-riding locations. On any given day a group of committed individuals gather together to using a diverse collection of tools.

Visit Sandy during a south swell and you’ll find kids young and old expertly surfing the vicious shorebreak using bodyboards, soft-top surfboards, fiberglass surfboards, McDonald’s food trays, handmade wooden hand planers, swim paddles. They also bodysurf with swim fins and without.

This is the beach that President Obama famously bodysurfed during his first presidential campaign. When he stuck out his arm in the classic bodysurfing position, surfers all over the world recognized him as the real deal. Our President knows how to bodysurf. And the waves at Sandy are not easy. You have to want to be there.

South swells are wedged together to pound this 400-yard long beach with terrifying precision in about one foot of water. A local told me, “It doesn’t matter if it is just 2 feet. You are guaranteed to get a barrel.” The waves are round and hollow.

The water at Sandy is crystal clear and warm which makes it an inviting place to get wet. But don’t be mistaken by the tranquil looking sea. Just getting in and out of the shorebreak requires negotiating the current, the shorepound and the steep beach.

On my first visit there with my sons Daniel and Israel, a new south swell was building. With a strong tidal push in the middle of the afternoon, we could feel and see the surf increasing. Since the waves break onshore it was difficult to judge their height.

Turn your back on the waves at Sandy and you’ll be sorry. The lifeguards continually monitor the crowd from two portable towers. They announce on loudspeakers, “Please be careful, the surf is up today. There is no other location in the U.S. where more people have their necks broken. So be cautious and careful.”

While out bodysurfing I observed one surfer scratch into a wave. Just before the lip destroyed him, I caught a glimpse of him at the very bottom. The wave was twice his height or about 11-12.’ But estimating the size of shorebreak is difficult. Let’s just say the waves were poundful.

On the east side of the beach are two reefs. Both offer up slabby gnarly A-frames, with the lefts beating out the rights. Waves on the inside reef wedge up and alllowed a couple of expert surfers to snag a few choice barrels. One surfer backdoored the rights all afternoon scoring deep barrels. Another surfed the left, avoiding a large rock on the inside and connecting to the shorebreak where he was either decimated or barreled or both.

For the full guide to Sandy’s and all the photos, go here:

http://imperialbeach.patch.com/articles/oahus-sandy-beach-and-the-pure-joy-of-waveriding

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