Two Months of Surf and The Good Life in North Shore Oahu

North Shore Oahu sunset pillbox hike

We weren’t planning on it, but we ended up spending two months in North Shore Oahu. How did we spend two months in one place on a round-the-world surf trip? Well, it’s Hawaii, there are lots of waves, and we had a free place to stay. So it really was quite easy to settle into Hawaiian living for a while.

But I’ll back up really quick. My dad currently lives on the North Shore, but he’s been back and forth for years, so if I ever had a home away from home, the North Shore is it. My dad has been surfing his whole life, and first ventured to the North Shore when he was 18-ish, so if I’m doing my math right, that’s around 1966.

He told me there was one tiny store to get food and everything was about ten times the normal price because it was the only store. He lived in a tiny shack at the entrance to Waimea Valley and was a surf bum for quite some time. The 60s must have been an amazing time to be on the North Shore.

North Shore Oahu beach

I give my dad a hard time for not teaching me to surf when I was two and raising me on the beach. I could have been a really, really good surfer! Alas, I mostly grew up in the mountains, poor me, I know. But I digress.

Eric and I planned to spend one month in Hawaii, but between a couple health issues, Christmas coming up and a comfortable free place to stay, we kept extending our trip. So yeah, we basically left our lives as we know them to move in with my dad haha!

girl with surfboard on oceanview balcony

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We’ve always thought about moving to Hawaii in the future, so staying in Oahu for an extended trip was a nice little trial period. And we can say that after two months, while we were definitely ready to take off to the rest of the world, we really enjoyed our stay on the North Shore.

North Shore, Oahu

So what did we do for two months? We surfed as often as there was swell… which was a lot. We watched the pros battle it out at multiple surf competitions for the Vans Triple Crown. We swam with dolphins, took a freediving course, hiked, cooked, worked, explored Honolulu a bit, and ate a whole lot of Thai food. Eric’s parents and sister came out to visit which was really fun, and it was just a really awesome two months in paradise.

North Shore Oahu
van life surfmobile
Palm Trees
North Shore Oahu surfing
Surf n sea
Surfrider Beach Clean Up
We volunteered in a Surfrider Beach Clean Up in Haleiwa and while it was awesome that we helped clear around 800 pounds of trash, it’s terrible that there’s so much to be cleaned. We can do better!
Surfrider beach clean up Haleiwa Hawaii
Surfrider beach clean up
Surfrider beach clean up Haleiwa Hawaii
Apparently, people burn pallets on the beach for bonfires, so consequently, there are rusted nails all over the beach. Volunteers sifted through fire remains to find and get rid of the nails.
surf north shore oahu
North Shore Oahu surf
We caught some incredible days at Off-The-Wall
Off-the-wall, North Shore Oahu
north shore oahu
watching north shore surf
North Shore, Oahu
This day at Off-The-Wall was HUGE. For scale, check out the photographer’s fins duck diving this wave. Yikes.
John John Florence Off-The-Wall / North Shore, Oahu
John John doing his thing…
John John Florence Off-The-Wall / North Shore, Oahu
John John Florence Off-The-Wall / North Shore, Oahu
Pipeline crowds
John John had just returned after being crowned the WSL champ and there were signs all over the North Shore with congrats and support for the hometown champ.
the beach at off the wall north shore oahu
Off-The-Wall North Shore Oahu surf
North Shore surf off the wall
North Shore Oahu surf from the pillbox lookout
Elephant Thai Truck / North Shore, Oahu
The delish Elephant Thai Truck
Wailua Bakery / North Shore Oahu map painting
VW camper bus
surfer girl / North Shore Oahu
For our trip, I got a custom Fried Egg from Vega Surfboards and really got to know it in Hawaii. Love that thing!
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline on Christmas was insane.
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
Pipeline, North Shore Oahu
North Shore Oahu
North Shore Oahu surf
North Shore Oahu sunset

For our top recommendations on the North Shore, check out:

Guide to North Shore Oahu>>

For more info on traveling in Oahu, check out:

Oahu Hawaii / Everything You Need To Know to Plan a Trip>>

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2 thoughts on “Two Months of Surf and The Good Life in North Shore Oahu”

  1. Hey amazing post! Will find it really useful since I plan on spending my next holidays surfing there. Thanks!