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Monday, January 28, 2008

Biggest Waves in Hawaii

Aloha Hawaii lovers,
Let's get right into our Hawaii Monday Photo of the week by well-known Hawaii photographer's Jennifer Crites. Hope we can attract your attention with this big shot of a huge wave on Oahu's North Shore surfer's paradise. Facing a wave of that size is even for pro Hawaiian surfers a challenge. Having watched Hawaiian surfers on the Big Island during the winter months for many years, each time time I was mesmerized. Big Island surf does not really have the pipelines like North Shore of Oahu. So, each time when I saw a surfer crushed by the big wave at the end of the ride, I seriously doubted he'd come ever up again. Big relief when he did!

Big wave in Hawaii on North Shore of Oahu

Here is what Jennifer, who also a popular Hawaii travel writer, has to say about this photo: "Showing one of the amazing shore-break waves at Waimea Bay during winter's high surf, when all the surf contests are held on the North Shore. Every year, top surfers hope the waves at Waimea will be big enough (must be at least 20-foot waves) and rideable enough to hold the Eddie Aikau Big-Wave surf contest.

It hasn't happened for awhile. I'm not sure when the last one was. The waves have been almost big enough but not quite, but if the wave size cooperates, the contest will be on with perhaps only hours notice to competitors. Eddie Aikau was an expert big-wave surfer, lifeguard at Waimea Bay, and crew member aboard an early voyage of the famous Polynesian Voyaging Canoe Hokule'a. When the canoe ran into trouble and capsized, Eddie paddled off on his surfboard to get help. The crew was rescued, but Eddie was never found. We honor Eddie with this giant of a surf contest because he risked his life for his crew members. We say in Hawaii, "Eddie Would Go," meaning he wouldn't hesitate to face danger to protect those he cared about."

Honolulu star bulletin wrote a great article about Eddie Aikau 'Twenty years ago this month, big-wave surfer and lifeguardEddie Aikau lost his life in a brave effort to save crew members of the capsized Hokule'a.' Here is more about the Big Wave on North Shore, also showing interested surfers or visitors the current height of North Shore Oahu waves! Check it out.

Well, next to the question 'Where are the best beaches in Hawaii?', another favorite question is - of course, especially asked by passionate surfers 'When is the time for the high waves in Hawaii?'. The time is here and now. The winter months are the months for the biggest waves and often most dangerous surf. It's very interesting for Hawaii residents to see how small beaches suddenly totally disappear like they have never been there. But believe me they all will be coming back into existence when the winter surf calms down in spring. Even the big popular beaches change their appearance during high and rough winter surf - the sandy part gets much narrower and tide pools and big rocks, normally out on the sand, will disappear. To cut a long story short, winter surf is different.

Here are 5 best ocean safety tips for your Hawaii vacation during winter months:

1. Biggest rule: Pay respect to the ocean!
2. Make sure to go to a beach with a lifeguard. Look for a calm beach when traveling with kids.
3. Don't stand on rocks which can be reached by water because of the risk of a sudden wave.
4. Never turn your back to the ocean and always follow Ocean Safety signs.
5. If signs are up for jelly fish Portuguese man-of-war, don't ignore them.

Have fun, but don't take chances. With that being said, enjoy this youtube video Pipeline, North Shore, Oahu, from February 2007. As usual, we'd love to hear from you about your encounters with big waves in Hawaii. Mahalo and aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacations

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