Hi,
We will be traveling to Oahu in January for the first time. I am curious on what the water will be like on the north shore in the winter months. They say it has big waves but some of the places are protected by reefs. Does that mean it will be safe for my children (7 and 12) to go in the water?
Also, if you have been and know of any great vacation rentals… please let me know. Thanks!


January is the best time to watch the waves on the north shore because the break is huge. It is completely unsafe for anyone to go into the water, except experienced surfers and bodyboarders with paddles. Lifeguards will come down off their towers and tell you when you need to stay out of the water.
Leeward and windward sides are much nicer in January, with almost no wave action. If you plan on watching, north shore is incredible. If you’re swimming, go somewhere else.

3 Responses

  1. Take advice from the locals as to where and if it’s safe to go into the water.
    Just a few miles west ($2.50 on the bus) is the airfield at Dillingham. You could take the 12 year old airborne in a glider, obviously with a qualified pilot. At that age they will love it. Not so great for a 7 year old though.

  2. Lanikai Beach is very calm. The north shore is something you want to see because it is SO beautiful, but the waters will be unswimmable for the littles ones and people who arent used to it.

  3. You can witness great surfing and still find calm spots for your kids to swim. Have a great time! And by the way, it doesn’t matter where you stay, you and your family will love Hawaii.

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