Diamond Head

O'ahu, US


Sailing past the commanding scenery of Waikiki isn’t usually on the agenda – it needs elusive Kona winds, and even then with air swirling past the skyscrapers the launch is as tricky as the manoeuvring between shoals of swimmers. The real action starts on the reef that stretches east from Waikiki to 'Koko Head’. Diamond Head is the south coast’s headline break, with reliably relaxed conditions in summer: moderate winds (the more northerly, the gustier) and 1-3m waves, sometimes more on a good swell. There’s also room for freestyle inside the visible yet easygoing reef. The south coast offers four more options: firstly Kahala where a small wave breaks in front of classy villas and beginner windsurfers enjoy shallow water in front of the beach park. Nearby Kim’s and Wailupe are both private beaches, so only sailable via a downwinder. Finally, 2km upwind, Toes blows cross-offshore to a flawless wave for clean turns. The wind’s fluky during the day but blows through much better in the evening. Staying upwind is essential to avoid a barefoot walk back across the reef – anyone walking out across the 600m of reef for a session could use some boots. On the route north-east, the mountains hug the coast and the mood gets more local. At Waimanalo is a wonderfully long beach with onshore wind. Beware the electricity pylons when kiting, and don’t leave valuables in the car as the area’s notorious for crime. Kailua also has a huge sandy beach, the bay’s mainly for beginners and families although there’s some windswell in summer and winter can bring demanding waves. The wind’s at its best mornings and evenings – to keep the peace between swimmers and kiters, a leash is mandatory and there’s no jumping near the beach. The windward east coast is wetter and greener then the west, and the drive along the coast-road’s a real experience. Just beyond Chinaman’s, Rainbows is fun in N-NW winds and NE swell – although it is supposedly sharky. The Kamehameha Highway reaches the legendary Northshore 30km later, where Backyards awaits. Be ready for a sharp shallow reef, an exceptionally powerful wave and seriously hardcore surfers: just parking could spark trouble! Outside on the right the point-break 'Revies’ (short for 'Revelation’) lets huge clean waves through, but there’s a cruel lack of wind on the inside. In the middle of the bay 'Phantoms’ holds gigantic waves from enormous swells out of nowhere. They may say “Eddie would go”, but you need total faith in your ability up on the Northshore! If the trades have any northerly component you might even brave the barrelling right-hander of Sunset. Way out west where the island’s much dryer, Mokuleia has become Oahu’s primary kite venue with wind from the right and a modest wave. If the wind drops down south, the local thermal can save a summer’s day. Just beware of an extremely shallow reef at low tide.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide
Diamond Head ist der bekannteste Spot der Südküste mit im Sommer ebenso verlässlichen wie entspannten Bedingungen: moderater Wind (je nördlicher,…
Diamond Head is the south coast's headline break, with reliably relaxed conditions in summer: moderate winds (the more northerly, the gustier) and 1-3m…