Wiping Out at Sandy Beach Park Oahu

I once had a short discussion with a friend from California about whether snowboarding or surfing is better. I told him that I can do an uninterrupted 7 mile run down Blackcomb Mountain on my board. He just said “bikinis” and I lost the argument.

I love the idea of surfing but I’m just not very good at it. I surf with the kooks. Waikiki is more my speed than the North Shore. You won’t find me at Cox bay in Tofino but Chesterman Beach is my favorite. I’m just not a great swimmer. Since I can admit that, I’m smart enough to know when to stay out of the water, and stay out of the water is the best advice I can give to people visiting Sandy Beach Park in Oahu.

Warning Signs at Sandy Beach Park

I’m told that there are times when the water is calm at Sandy Beach, but both times I’ve been there the waves have been vicious. Because the waves break close to shore you’ll usually find boogie boarders and body surfers on the right side of the beach. I also saw some surfers on the left side where the breaks were a little further out.

Sandy Beach is known as the most dangerous beach in the United States based on the fact that 7 people have drowned there [honoluluadvertiser.com] between 1993 and 2005. Its reputation does not seem to stop locals from jumping into the turbulent waters to play.

Boogie Boarder at Sandy Beach Park

Another Boogie Boarder at Sandy Beach Park

It’s not hard to appreciate the skill and athleticism required to play in these waters, especially when you get to watch people get absolutely wiped out by the waves. I don’t mean to be sadistic or anything. I’d hate to see anyone get hurt, but I could have sat on that beach all day and just watched people eat it on the waves. I couldn’t turn away. It was a little surreal watching people gleefully run into waters that most sane people would stay clear of.

About to be swallowed by waves at Sandy Beach Park

This One's Gonna Hurt at Sandy Beach Park

Located on the South shore of Oahu [maps.google.ca] just a little past Hanauma Bay, I strongly suggest that you check out Sandy Beach for the show but unless you know what you’re doing I’d stay out of the water! I got the sense that it was really a local’s hangout so please be respectful.

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13 thoughts on “Wiping Out at Sandy Beach Park Oahu

    • It’s so fun! I once watched a long board competition in Oregon and was bored silly, but now that I’ve seen people riding big waves I always stop and watch as long as I can!

    • Thanks. I just looked up Coolum Beach and it sounds really nice. Hopefully I’ll get to see it one day. I hope you enjoy your beach time!

    • Thanks! It’s tough to do when you don’t have a super fast super long lens. To take these shots I chose the fastest shutter speed that didn’t make the pictures too dark and then I just shot like crazy.

      Things happen so fast that you have to make quick judgements about each rider as a wave approaches and try to anticipate who is going to get that wave and who is going to get tossed!

      if I lived near waves like this it would help justify buying a nice $3000 lens to make it all easier……

    • It’s amazing that people aren’t hurt there everyday. When people get wiped out they are literally picked up and slammed back into the water and sand. I understand the rush of riding a powerful wave but it looks exhausting!

  1. I’m not the best snowboarding (still stick to the greens and easy blues for sure!) and I have this thing about sharks eating me in open water, so have no fear, I will not be surfing this beach anytime soon, but like you said, I will definitely be going over to appreciate the show. Nothing more fun than watching surfers!

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