The towering North Shore waves start here in Waimea Bay. The winter swells that roll into the famous Oahu North Shore beaches, generally top out at
Waimea Beach Park , on the right hand side of the bay.
Surfing Waimea Bay, along with Sunset Beach and the Banzai Pipeline, is considered almost a pilgrimage among many pro-surfers that fly in from all around the world to partake in the daring action. The fun generally begins when the National Weather Service issues high surf warnings for the North Shore. Waimea Beach Park is located just past Haleiwa Beach, and across from Waimea Falls Park.
While everyone wants to see the surfers riding the Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay has to be the most popular beach on the North Shore. This Oahu beach offers a lot of action in both the winter and summer months. The Bay itself has a glowing ora about it, and you feel its presence as soon as you pull into the parking lot and walk across the vast lawn area.
Waimea Beach Park, from the hillside, is a great spot for spectators to view daring surfers play with death defying rides. Wiping out on these waves can be extremely hazardous to your health and life as we know it. The waves become so monstrous at times, that they roll past the bone yard of boulders and rocks and spill onto the roadside above, which usually leads to beach and road closures.
Visiting Waimea Bay Beach Park during the summer is like driving up to a completely different North Shore Beach scene.The waves go flat and the waters remain calm, surfers are scarce, and all the keikis (kids) and families takeover the Oahu beaches and ocean waters.
The first thing you notice when you arrive at Waimea Bay is the huge rock sitting on the shoreline, half submerged in the crystal clear water. A group of thrill seekers gather on top of the rock, taking deep breaths before making a leap of faith into the water below. The rock gets jumped from, hundreds if not thousands of times each day.
Waimea Bay also has a unique element few other beaches on the island can boast. A huge natural rock-climbing wall at the back of the beach is often a hangout for amateur climbers testing their ability, scaling the 20 foot rock wall. Behind the rock wall is a beautiful backdrop of the valley. Waimea Valley is a lush green oasis that leads all the way to Waimea Falls.
Captain Charles Clerke aboard HMS Resolution stopped at Waimea Bay on February 28, 1779. Clerke had shortly before taken command of the ship after Capt. James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay on February 14. Waimea Bay was the only O'ahu anchorage visited by the expedition. Waimea Valley was densely populated at the time, and the remains of Pu'u o Mahuka, an important heiau (Hawaiian temple) can still be seen above the bay.
The 1964 film Ride the Wild Surf and the Jan and Dean song "Ride the Wild Surf", which played at the end of the film and became a Top 20 National hit, made Waimea Bay famous.
Waimea Bay was a filming location for the television series Lost, an American drama-adventure television series about survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical island. (The downed plane was at Mokuleia at the end of Dillingham airstrip almost to road's end at Ka Ena Point.)
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