Waimea Bay is located in
Haleiwa on the North
Shore of O‘ahu in the
Hawaiian Islands at the mouth of
the Waimea River. Waimea Valley extends behind Waimea Bay. Waimea
means "Red Water" in Hawaiian
Captain Clerke aboard HMS Resolution
stopped at Waimea Bay
on 28 February 1779. Clerke had shortly before taken command of the
ship after Capt. James Cook was killed at Kealakekua Bay on 14 February.
Waimea Bay was the only O‘ahu anchorage visited by the expedition.
Waimea Valley was densely populated at the time, and the remains of
a Pu‘u o Mahuka, an important heiau
temple) can still be seen above the bay.
Pu‘u o Mahuka can be visited by driving up Pupukea Road and taking
the first right through the cattle guard. A short hike down the
hill brings you to a spectacular view Waimea Bay and the North
Shore towards the Wai‘anae Mountain range.
Waimea and other North Shore
locations such as Pipeline and Sunset Beach host a number of surfing contests because of the
large waves found here. These waves are created by winter storms in
Pacific, and their arrival on O‘ahu's North Shore are
typically forecast accurately several days in advance.
summer, Waimea typically has clear and calm water.
The surf break
at Waimea Bay was
significant in the development of Big
. Larger surf at the bay went unridden for years
until November 7, 1957 when a handful of surfers finally paddled
out and rode the giant waves that break off the northern point of
the bay. While the surf only breaks big several times a year,
Waimea was the most prestigious big wave surf break in the world
for decades. With the advent of tow-in
, more and more big wave breaks have been discovered
that are far superior in quality than Waimea. However, the bay
still holds a significant place even in today's world of big wave
Sunset over Waimea Bay, Hawaii on the
North Shore of Oahu
The Quiksilver Big Wave
Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau
takes place in this point
to honour the legendary surfer and the first lifeguard of the North
Shore of Oahu. Since its inception in 1984, the tournament has only
been held seven times, due to a precondition that there be waves at
least 20 feet high at Waimea Bay. The most recent tournament was in
December 2004, when waves in the bay reached 30 to 50 feet
On January 28 1998, Hawaii issued its first ever "condition black"
legally closing all North Shore beaches including Waimea bay. The
Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational in Memory of Eddie Aikau was
canceled due to above average behemoth surf.
In Summer, Waimea Bay is a playground of fun for freedivers,
S.C.U.B.A. divers, and those who desire to jump off "da Big Rock"
or "Jump Rock" - a rock that is perfectly positioned in the bay
(for use at your own risk!). You can also find rock climbers
practicing their skills on the cliff and in the dry cave on the
The Bay- as well as Three Tables, Pupukea, & Shark's Cove- are
protected waters. The diversity of life in these waters is
In popular culture
is one of the filming locations used for the television series
Lost, which is an American drama-adventure television
series surrounding the survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious tropical
(The location of the
downed plane - not there anymore - is Mokuleia at the end of
Dillingham airstrip almost to road's end at Ka Ena Point.)
Waimea Bay is mentioned in The Beach Boys classic Surfin' USA
- Greg Noll entry, Surfing A-Z, www.Surfline.com,
retrieved July 9, 2007
- PBS.org - NATURE's CONDITION BLACK