About Ala Moana

Confident and patient surfers with a low profile may just have a chance of snagging a wave at the infamous Ala Moana Bowls. Long, shacking lefts peel down a shallow reef outside the Ala Wai Harbor. The wave was created by dredging a deepwater channel for boats to access the harbour and S swell will refract out of the channel and wedge up along the reef. Think big, round curves as it bowls over sections of reef, shoulders off, then gathers up another barrel section on the shallow inside. One of the best waves on Oahu, attracting many of the best surfers in Town, who don't often feel the need to share. Try the lesser rights or further down the reef at Rockpiles or Inbetweens in smaller swells. Paddle out from Magic Island when it's big or straight into the channel when small. Lower tides, not too much E in the swell and any wind with a sniff of N in it, although E is still OK. Can be consistent in summer, sometimes breaking every day for a month, but winter can be very patchy.

This break ticks all the hazard boxes. Currents sweep the channel, as do large sharks and vessels, while the ugly sharp coral reef, urchins and maybe even the rusty remnants of the navigation pole all conspire to take their pound of flesh. Then there's the expensive parking, long paddle, locals, etc, etc!

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Stormrider Guide for Ala Moana
  • All Tides All Tides
  • Submerged reef with peaky waves Submerged reef with peaky waves
  • Live Coral Live Coral
  • SE - SW SE - SW
  • North Easterly North Easterly
  • 12 3 Swell Range 3 - 12ft

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

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