Wai’oli Beach Park (Pine Trees), What to Expect

Wai’oli Beach Park (Pine Trees), What to Expect

Feature Photo Courtesy of Goshea at English Wikipedia

Wai’oli Beach Park is located on the Northern side of Hanalei Bay in Kauai’s North Shore.  Commonly known as “Pine Trees” because of the popular surf break that lays across the ironwood pines where many of Kauai’s pro surfers like Bruce and Andy Irons, Bethany Hamilton, Evan Valiere and ‘Seabass’ Sebastian Ziets were introduced to the sport. The beach breaks at Pine Trees are a paradise for surf groms and grommets, where they practice and compete with each other every day after school on the three surf spots to choose from: 

Pine Trees, Bathrooms (across the beach park’s bathrooms) and Grandpa’s that breaks in front of Grandpa’s parking lot.  The beach park has large grassy areas with amazing views of Hanalei Bay where celebrations like weddings and yearly events take place. The bathrooms are painted with artwork reminiscing Hawaii’s surf hero the late Andy Irons and Kauai’s local legend Bobo. There are two beach volleyball courts, showers and a lifeguarded tower. It is a great spot to watch the surfers practice during the waves season from October to May. The end of the surfing period is celebrated with the Annual Pine Trees Longboard Classic contest. During the summertime, the bay turns to glass and it is perfect for swimming, fishing or paddling.

What’s in a Name: Wai’oli means singing water in Hawaiian. 

Directions and Parking:  The beach park is located at the Northern end of Hanalei Bay. There are three parking lots, one by the bathrooms and one on each side of the park. Entering through Kee Street, there is the parking lot in front of Pine Trees where a few tall ironwoods were the landmark. There are spacious grassy areas to both sides of the parking lot and a few benches and tables. Entering through Ama Street, there is a very small parking lot next to the bathrooms and showers. It is the closest parking lot to the lifeguard tower.  To the left of the park there is a smaller parking lot across from Grandpa’s surf break next to the volleyball courts.

Surfing: Pine Trees is a famous beach break, popular for up and coming surfer grommets where the waves break even on smaller days.  It is a world class wave when the swell hits it in the right direction but be aware of strong currents; it is not recommended for beginners. 

Other popular activities include swimming and paddling on warm summer days or walking over a mile across the bay towards the pier to dip in the Hanalei River before walking back.

Facilities: Public parking, clean restrooms, outdoor showers, lifeguard tower, water fountains, sheltered picnic areas with a few benches and picnic tables, trash cans and recyclable bins.

Shade: A few trees cover the grassy areas, but it is recommended to bring a cooler and umbrella for the beach since there is no shade and no place to buy drinks or food around.

Food: When going to spend the day at Pinetrees, it is recommended to bring food and plenty of water since the closest place to shop is Big Save Supermarket in Ching Young Village in Hanalei town. You might want to try one of the delicious acai bowls or smoothies from the adjacent Aloha Juice Bar.

Historical Fact: Pine Trees was the home break to local surf hero Andy Irons and his brother Bruce. The late Andy Irons became a living legend when he put an end to Floridian Kelly Slater’s winning streak and won three world titles in a row representing Hawaii. During his prime, Andy uplifted his home town with every victory but sadly he passed away in 2010. He is greatly missed and there are many memorials set up in his memory throughout the island.

Annual Events: The Irons Brothers Pine Trees Classic surf competition is by far the most anticipated contest for local grommets in Kauai. Every spring, over 150 Menehunes and Keiki (children and surfers under 12 years of age) compete for the coveted Irons Contest trophies and the generous gift bags filled with sponsorship goodies for the top six finalists in all divisions  The contest was started by Andy and Bruce Irons with the intention to inspire the future generations to pursue their professional surfing dreams. There are games, prizes, artwork, free food, hat paintings, raffles and surfboard giveaways.

The Pinetrees Longboard Classic is one of the longest-running surfboard contests in the world. It is celebrated at the end of the North Shore surf season at Pinetrees in Hanalei. The traditional event brings together contestants of all ages for a day of camaraderie, prizes, surfing and fun.

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