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Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach is on the North Shore and known for big wave surfing during the winter season. The original Hawaiian name for this place is Paumalū. It is home to the Duke Kahanamoku Classic surfing competition, the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing competition, and is occasionally the site of the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational.

We have spent many a wonderful day at Sunset Beach, simply reveling in the fact that:

(1) We’re in Hawai’i to begin with!

(2) We’re at one of the most beautiful and most famous beaches in the world.

I will always regret that I never learned how to surf.  The only time I tried was in 1973 and the board was 12 feet long, weighed a ton, and defeated every effort I made to stand up on it.  But surfing is a magnificent sport that looks like sooooooo much fun.  Sure wish I were 18 years old again (don’t we all??!!)

Like many beaches on O’ahu’s North Shore, Sunset Beach is considered dangerous for inexperienced surfers due to extensive coral formations near the surface that present the risk of serious injury. Conditions for swimming change depending on the particular location and season. Generally speaking, the water is flat as a lake in the summers and has waves in the winters. All the surfing contests take place in the winter around December and January, that being the time of the biggest and best waves for surfing. Swimming conditions change from spot to spot along the beach. There is always a place to swim somewhere unless there is a storm condition happening at the moment.

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