Sandy Beach is known for its unmercifully pounding shore break and powerful rip currents. But at the same time, it’s also one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Its crystal waters and glistening shoreline look almost untouched in the early morning and evening hours. By mid-day, the beach is booming with babes in bikinis.

Gorgeous view of Sandy’s at sunset. Koko Head in the background.

Experienced surfers, bodysurfers and bodyboarders find some of the best surf here. They kick around in the shore break or crowd the line up at The Point, which breaks over a reefy patch. Sections of the reef are so shallow, that regulars jokingly refer to it as “sashimi rock,” relating to the way Japanese prepare raw fish. You’ll see bodyboarders and bodysurfers pull into hollow barrels, and because most waves are close-outs, it’s likely they won’t make it out. Instead, they get slammed into the sand. The shore break often extends its reach to shore, sweeping beach-goers off their feet and into the impact zone, unwillingly.

Not to say that visitors shouldn’t go to Sandy’s, but rather, they should take precaution as to not be fooled by its beauty. On calm days, check with lifeguards if the conditions are safe enough for swimming; otherwise, they will point you in the direction of family-friendly beaches 10 minutes away.

Moss-covered gems unearth themselves at low tide. Look for the kiddie tide pools in this area.

If you choose to spend the day at Sandy’s when the water’s rough, then consider picnicking at the grassy beach park across from the beach. There are a few shaded tables and a breezy field, where you’ll most likely see people flying huge, elaborate kites. At low tide, children love to play in the shallow tide pools on the lefthand side of the beach, which is far from the slamming shore break. It’s also the best time to look for beach glass and shells. Or, just enjoy the sun and free entertainment of bodyboarders and bodysurfers showing off their skills.

As you wander the beach, it’s likely you’ll meet up with one of Sandy’s many guardians – the Hawaiian monk seal. They’re known to bask in the sun for several days at a time here, which is why volunteers post signs and fences to protect the endangered animals. Spectators are welcomed to take pictures, but please do so quietly and be careful not to overstep the boundaries, or you’ll wake it from its peaceful slumber.

Photo Credit: Kelci Renshaw

SANDY’S BEACH PARK • 8808 Kalanianaole Hwy., Honolulu, Hawaii 96806 • Lifeguard, restrooms, showers, phones, picnic areas • Free parking; near bus route

2 COMMENTS

  1. If you are inexperienced, the best thing for you to do is watch the waves from the safety of the shore. I grew up bodysurfing and bodyboarding at Sandy’s. I even had to help a few Japanese tourists back to shore because they got caught in the rip or got slammed and didn’t know up from down. The beauty of the surf can be misleading and often lends to most people underestimating its power. I miss Hawai’i!

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