Makapu'u Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches to be found on Oahu. It is located at the very eastern tip of the island at the base of tremendous sea cliffs providing a spectacular back drop. The one-thousand foot or so white sandy beach faces out toward a picturesque view of Rabbit Island and the tucked-away feeling of the beach belies the fact that thousands of people pass by daily in route from Kailua to Hawaii Kai and beyond. Makapu'u Beach is known however for more than just its extreme beauty but also for its pristine and crystalline shimmering waters, its delightful soft sand and its fabulous waves which are ideal for body boarding and body surfing.
The waves here a so outstanding for body boarding that in the mid-thirties when the roads were completed to connect Waimanalo and Sandy Beach there was instantly a constant stream of wave riders that made their way to the shores of Makapu'u and it immediately became the body boarding capitol of the island. Body boarding competitions began happening here and the very first body surfing contest was sponsored here by the Waikiki Surf Club in August of 1953. The body boarding is considered so good at Makapu'u that the actual sport of surfing on regular surf boards has been outlawed here because of the dangers they pose to the body boarders. In a recent discussion with a lifeguard on Sandy Beach he informed me that they essentially allow surfers to use the beach until they arrive on their shift in the morning when the beach then becomes a body surfing and body boarding beach only.
Though body boarding is great fun here the tremendous power of the shore break on the sand here should be a warning for those who are not well versed in this sport. Many incidents and rescues happen here every year and it would be wise to discuss the conditions with the lifeguard on duty before venturing in the water. The beach is often effected by the strong waves and currents here primarily in the winter times. The healthy width of white sand which is found here in the summer months is generally eroded during the winter and the pounding surf found here then will often expose large rocks and a dangerous sea bottom.
During busy times of the year in the summer months and on special holidays Makapu'u Beach can become very busy and the limited parking can pose a problem for beach goers. Arriving early in the day is your best bet and an additional bonus of being at Makapu'u in the morning is that you won't be covered by shade in the afternoon which comes early because of the sun's disappearance behind the cliffs which form the backdrop of this beautiful location. Makapu'u Beach Park has bathroom facilities and showers and of course lifeguards.
Please be advised that all beaches and ocean locations in Hawaii can be potentially dangerous including this location. Be completely aware of the ocean conditions prior to entering the water and of course, never turn your back on the ocean when you are on the shoreline. It should also be noted that all shorelines and beaches in Hawaii, including this one, can be frequented by sharks, jellyfish and other sea creatures which can provide potential harm to people entering the water.
One of the few beaches that has the look and feel of old Oahu is Kahana Beach on Oahu's windward coastline. The fact that this beach is located in a section of the island that is normally simply a gateway for island visitors to pass by on their way to visit what are presumably more spectacular attractions is the saving grace of Kahana Beach Park.
Shark's Cove on the North Shore of Oahu is not really a beach, but rather a snorkel and diving spot; and what a snorkel spot it is! This small cove is ringed in rocks and coral providing very little in the way of sand to lay out on, but if you are looking for a great place to snorkel, Shark's Cove is, at many times of the year, an excellent option.
A listing of all Oahu Beaches can be found on these pages. Check for the Oahu Beach that will be perfect for you!
It's a good thing you're going to the beach on Oahu! Not only does Oahu have some of the most beautiful beaches in the state, have some of the best snorkeling to be seen in the state, have some of the best surfing, kayaking and stand-up paddling locations in the state and some of the largest waves for you to watch in the state, but Oahu beaches have more lifeguard locations and more lifeguards all toll than any other island in the State of Hawaii.
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