Hawaii may be synonymous with surfing, but Oahu’s North Shore has earned special bragging rights as a hang 10 mecca. Whether clients head there to watch the waves or carve a few of their own, the destination — just a one-hour drive from Waikiki — offers unparalleled surfing thrills.
“Surfing has been practiced on the North Shore since ancient times, so it’s deeply interwoven with our history,” said Rocky Canon, an area native whose Hawaii Surf Dogs company incorporates board-riding pups into its lessons.
Add to that an ideal coastline for consistent tradewinds and seasonal swells, and it’s no wonder the world’s best surfers make a beeline for the North Shore.
During summer, when conditions are calm, first-timers can catch a wave with one of the North Shore’s surfing companies. Or, clients can time their trip with winter surf contests. Held from November to February — when waves are at their biggest — major competitions including Vans Triple Crown of Surfing draw crowds who cheer from the safety of the sand.
“Ehukai Beach Park — home of the Banzai Pipeline — and Sunset Beach are great for watching quality surfing,” Canon said.
For shoppers, boutiques in Haleiwa town exude a surf vibe with accessories and clothing inspired by the sport. Hungry clients get a taste of the North Shore lifestyle at surfer hangouts like Haleiwa Joe’s. Overnighters can take advantage of the surf-centric location and reasonable prices of Courtyard by Marriott Oahu North Shore.
As advisors promote the North Shore’s enriching, authentic surf activities, they can call on Oahu Visitors Bureau (OVB) tools, such as a travel trade e-newsletter, monthly webinars and online training at www.agents.gohawaii.com.
In their own communities, advisors can use their Facebook pages to encourage clients to share surfing photos, according to Karishma Chowfin, director of travel industry sales for OVB.
They can also generate interest by spreading the news of surfing’s debut at the 2020 summer Olympics, she adds.
“Agents should leverage technology to create customized itineraries on their websites, enhanced with links and photos of Oahu surf culture,” Chowfin said. “They can participate in local travel and adventure consumer shows to build their database, and they can focus on broadcast and radio that shows how much fun surfing on Oahu can be.”
Oahu Visitors Bureau