The waves that have been hitting Kailua Beach this winter did more than the usual seasonal damage. I couldn’t believe how bad it was. A daily walk along the beachfront, from Kalapawai Market to the boat ramp, has been part of my life for the last three years. But this winter, I stopped going completely because of a rather long streak of bad weather but, more specifically, windy weather.

Kids get a natural playground from the massive erosion at Kailua Beach.

Windward Oahu can be very different from the Waikiki area when it comes to winter weather. I’m used to that, but this year, it was very surprising to see that the beach gave way to severe erosion, which exposed the roots of many lovely ironwood trees along the coast.

Compared to most beach re-nourishment projects I’ve seen in the past (coming from a North Carolina beach town that has seen many a hurricane rip up the shoreline), this seems like a smaller, “family-friendly” project. It seems rather unobtrusive, and the security and workers don’t seem too concerned about those who walk across the barriers or run up and down the sand banks. But they are on a mission to get this project done on time.

Heavy machinery hard at work in Kailua to replenish the eroded sand.

One thing that Kailua can be happy about – the sand! Most re-nourishment projects have to bring in sand from the outside, like what they’re currently doing in Waikiki. The sand comes from an offshore source, where it can be dirty or dark in color. But as for Kailua? Well, it has its own private, little stash of sand just sitting there already beautiful, bleached, clean and super fine as always. The best sand in the world!


  1. I paddle with Kailua Canoe Club and this is my playground 4 x’s a week. So much easier to launch our one man canoe’s now that the sand is back. This is definately one of the most beautiful Hawaii beaches, and hopefully our visitors will get out of Waikiki and onto the Windward side for some fun in the sun!

  2. Yes. I’m glad that this kind of beach maintenance can be done so that the beach won’t deteriorate All my Waikiki staying visitors always are glad when I bring them over here

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