Flat Spell Activities for Oahu: What to do When the Waves Disappear

The North Shore of Oahu is one of the most consistent stretches of beach in the wintertime around the world. There is rarely a time that the waves go flat, but surprisingly it still happens. My friend’s family recently was here for a surf trip, and in eight days they only got two days of surf. The weeks before and after they were here were incredible, but they just got skunked for waves. So what do you do when the waves disappear and you’re stuck on Oahu? First of all, don’t waste you’re trip driving around the whole island looking for somewhere decent to surf. Get moving and go experience some of the other amazing Oahu activities on the island. Here are some suggestions, just to name a few:

Maunawili Falls

A beautiful hike through the forest that ends at a cool freshwater pool fed by a waterfall.

There are several places to jump off the surrounding cliffs, and so long as you land in the middle, it’s always deep enough.

It is located between Kaneohe and Kailua on the Southeast side.

Check out this and tons of other Oahu hikes at Merlin & Friends Hawaiian Adventure Site.

Cave Dive and Snorkel Sharks Cove or Three Tables

These two places are side by side across the street from Foodland on the North Shore. They are teeming with tropical fish, and there are lava tubes and caves all over the place to dive through, creating endless exploration opportunities. Three Tables

Shark Cage Tours in Haleiwa

Some surfers would rather not come face to face with sharks, but others would love the opportunity to overcome a secret fear. There are shark cage tours leaving daily from Haleiwa harbor for an affordable price. Haleiwa Shark Tours

Ride Soft-tops in Waikiki

If you’re going to go spend an evening in town anyways, you might as well get there a bit earlier and get some waves amidst the other 500 people at the birthplace of surfing. You can rent 12-foot soft-tops for $10 on the beach and catch small waves for hundreds of yards, along with acrobats, dogs, canoes, and anything and everything else.

Cliff Jumping

Wherever you are, there will be somewhere nearby to jump off a cliff into the ocean for an exciting addition to your trip. If you want to stick with the crowds and impress others, stick to the rock in Waimea Bay on the North Shore. If you want to be secluded and jump the same cliff seen in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall, jump off Laie Point in Laie, on the right side as soon as the houses end. And for a big one, go to Spitting Caves on the Southeast side, and jump off a 60-footer.

North Shore Skatepark

A perfectly built cement skatepark right across the street from Rockpiles on the North Shore. This place is super mellow during the day, but crowded in the evenings. The locals are friendly and the park is fun so bring your skateboard on your trip.

This is only a small list of Oahu activities you can do besides surf. There are so many other things to do and sites to see that it’ll take you several visits to do them all. I have been here numerous times throughout my life, and even after living here the past year, there is still so much more on my list of things to do. So although the surf will most likely be incredible, you should always have a backup plan so you can make the most of your trip when the waves aren’t so good.

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