Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it’s imperative to know the ocean conditions before heading out. Drownings, not sharks, are one of the greatest hazards a visitor to Hawaii faces.
We’re at the time of year when surf conditions, and appurtenant safety, are changing rapidly. This week, for example, it isn’t unusual to go to a north shore beach (on any island) one day and find the conditions to be flat and perfect for kids and/or swimming. Go back to the same beach on the next day and you may find the wave heights at 8-12 feet or more, suitable only for experienced surfers.
Here are the two applications that I rely on for determining the ocean conditions before heading out:
1. Surf News Network provides reports for all four of the major islands. They’re broken down by area of the island and there are maps if you’re in doubt. The forecast extends for an entire week, which is a great help with vacation planning.
2. Surfline is both a website and an iPhone application. All 6 of the visitable Hawaiian Islands are included. The free application version only has a 3-day forecast.
I find it helpful to compare both applications before hitting the beach.
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