North Shore Oahu: River Surfing Holds Up

Last week I returned from a trip to what may be the heart-and-soul of modern day surfing: the North Shore of Oahu. The winter swell season had just started, and I was able to get out to Pipeline to watch on opening day:

I didn’t paddle out; Pipeline at double-overhead is a little beyond my abilities. I was able to get out on some gentler waves though. It has been awhile since I had ocean surfed, and I was happy to see that though river surfing generally involves smaller waves, I thought it held up well to ocean surfing. I found myself missing the ride length of river surfing, even though there isn’t as much room to move around on the wave in the river. Some ocean surfers look down their nose at river surfing, preferring “real” surfing, but I think they’re selling river surfing short. And especially when you’re in a landlocked state, surfing little waves is far and away better than surfing no waves at all.

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