Banzai Pipeline

Banzai Pipeline, Oahu

Located on Oahu's North Shore, Banzai Pipeline (view panorama) is a popular surf site where waves can reach heights of 20+ feet (6+ m) in the winter months (November to February).Many big wave surfing contests take place here, and people from all over the world – professional surfers as well as spectators and photographers – come here to see the waves.

The Pipeline was named in 1961 by a California surfing movie producer, Bruce Brown. He visited Oahu's North Shore and was scouting possible movie locations together with two California surfers, Mike Diffenderfer and Phil Edwards. They stopped at this yet unnamed surf site and Brown filmed the surfers catching several waves. They all agreed that the surf site needed a name.

On the same day, a construction project on the highway next to the beach (Kamehameha Highway) was going on. An underground pipeline needed to be fixed. Diffenderfer suggested they name this surf spot “the Pipeline.” In 1961, Brown made this name popular in his new movie Surfing Hollow Days. At that time, the beach fronting the surf site was called Banzai Beach. But today, it is better known as Banzai Pipeline.

Banzai Pipeline Overview

  • Popular surf site on Oahu's North Shore
  • In the winter months, waves often times reach heights of 20+ feet (6+ m)
  • You may want to bring binoculars as the waves break about 180 yards (165 m) offshore
  • Surfing contests take place here in the winter
  • Swimming only possible when the ocean is calm (generally in the summer months)

Ke Waena Road, Haleiwa HI 96712
Directions: There is only a small parking area at the east end of Ka Waena Road (a one-way street). If it's busy, park along Kamehameha Highway, where allowed.

Show Form

Reviews and Comments:
A great beach to watch the waves but that's about it. I would not dare to enter the water especially in the winter. A couple of years ago a lady tourist got sucked into the ocean just by dipping her feet. So be careful and don't underestimate the power of the ocean.
Ray, Fri Jan 13, 2012