Huge Waikiki Waves Welcomed By Surfers, Warning For Others

Mark Zuver
Mark Zuver
Dane Gella
Dane Gella

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - A high surf advisory is up for south and east facing shores. While these are dream conditions for long-time surfers, it can lead to big problems for inexperienced ones.

Mark Zuver lives for days like this.

"I moved here in '99," said Zuver, a Waikiki resident who has been surfing since 1968. "So, this is the greatest place to surf. It's the best."

And die-hard surfers welcome these huge waves in Waikiki.

"Pretty clean, nice size," said Zuver. "For the winter, this is unreal."

An out-of-season swell causes six- to ten-foot waves on south and east facing shores. Typically, only the north shore gets waves like this.

But with bigger waves come bigger risks. Lifeguards warn surfers to take extra precaution today, because if you're not careful, you could end up with half a board.

Scores of people were rescued over the weekend and also on Monday. Experienced surfers say beginners should sit this one out.

"Well, if you don't know how to swim or surf, stay out of the water because right now, it's too dangerous," said Dane Gella, a surfer from Waipahu.

"Just be careful," said Zuver. "Check in with the lifeguards. Make sure you're going out at your level. Don't go out if you're not skilled to go out."

You do take a risk every time you go out, no matter your experience level.

"Just got to learn how to hold your breath for a long time because when you get sucked under, it's pretty dangerous," said Gella.

This warning goes for others as well. The national weather service urges beachgoers to stay out of the water. Unpredictable waves and strong rip currents make it a dangerous situation for all.

The advisory is in effect until Monday night for east-facing shores, and Tuesday evening for south-facing shores. Experts warn, unless you're an experienced surfer, your best bet is to stay on dry land at least until Wednesday.