Watch the Surfers at Pipeline

Banzai Pipeline, Haleiwa, Hawaii, United States

  • Activities:

    Chillin, Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Advanced

  • Season:

    Spring, Autumn, Winter

Bathrooms
Beach
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Romantic
Scenic

Located on the north shore of Oahu, this world renowned break is host to huge barrels and similarly huge wipeouts.

Getting There: 

Traveling along the north shore on the Kamehameha Highway you will see signs for the 'Ehukai Beach Park. There is a parking lot here but it is often full, especially in the winter months, so if you cannot find parking in the lot then the other option is to park along the side of the highway... The good thing is that there are usually many people parked along the road so finding a suitable spot should not be too difficult. 

The Breaks:

'Ehukai park sits above the beach so you will have a good view of the different breaks from up here... Sit in the park for a few minutes whether you are surfing or spectating to get an idea of where the waves are breaking and where the lineups are. 

The main breaks you will see are pipe and backdoor... Pipe is the left, and backdoor the right. More often than not, these will be the waves that people are surfing. There are also two outer reefs but the waves have to be BIG for these to break consistently.. Go up there on a big day in the winter and you are likely to see some massive swells and gnarly barrels on the outer reef! 

Surfers unfamiliar with the break can enjoy a smaller day without much worry but should be cautious on bigger days as it can be treacherous at pipe... "When in doubt, don't go out"

Notes:

  • Heed the warning signs that are posted on the beach.
  • The north shore breaks hit regularly in the late fall, winter, and early spring and are generally calm in the summer... For big waves head up in the winter months.
  • This is a great place to watch skilled surfers perform.. there are regular competitions and the vibe is great. Bring a camera with a 200+mm telephoto lens for some awesome surf shots. 
  • The north shore is infamous for local 'hazing'. The guys that grow up surfing there own the breaks and demand respect... Wait your turn in the lineup and be respectful.
  • If you get hungry there are great food trucks not far from here.. Drive along on the Kamehameha towards Waimea and you will see food trucks scattered on both sides of the road. For a diverse, one-stop, selection park near sharks cove and you will see a caravan of trucks with options for everyone. 

Pack List

  • Camera with telephoto
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Water
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Community Photos

+ Add Photos

Reviews

Overall rating: 

Leave a Review

There isn't much better than watching surfers attempt to ride one of the gnarliest waves in the world! If the swell is up, Pipeline is natures greatest show!

11 days ago
11 days ago

Erik Holmes Explorer

Hawai'i based: Mathematical graduate student, enthusiastic photographer, passionate adventurer (roughly in that order)...

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

Nearby Adventures

Hike the Sugar Bowl Loop in Kings Canyon NP

Tulare County, California

First and foremost, to get to this trailhead you need to drive down a 2-mile, one lane dirt road that is quite steep.

3 Saves

Hike to Ehukai Pillbox

59178 Ke Nui Road, Hawaii

This hike starts directly across from Banzai Pipeline, the famous barreling wave at Ehukai Beach.

7 Saves

Winter Hike to Calypso Cascades

1046 County Highway 115, Colorado

While most people go snowshoeing near the Bear Lake or Glacier Gorge area in RMNP, Wild Basin is a much less trafficked option.

5 Saves