Each year since 1986, if and when the conditions are just right, the Eddie Aikau Surf Meet is held at Waimea on Oahu’s North Shore.
Although famed for its big waves, only when there promises to be truly monster surf does the event come together and big wave surfers from all over join the locals in competing in this event. Unlike other big wave competition which allow for surfers to be towed into the waves, competitors here must paddle themselves out through the waves. The result is what many call the purest big wave surfing event around.
It can be hard for outsiders to catch this event — while regularly falling in January, the actual date is determined each year by wave conditions. The 2009/2010 event was held in mid-December and won by Greg Long. But visitors to Hawaii should probably always think about a visit to the North Shore as part of their itinerary. The big draw is the waves, but among other sites there is the Polynesian Cultural Center and the pristine Waimea Valley. Both are included in the cost of a Go Oahu Card which is worth picking up no matter what part of Oahu you plan on visiting.