Large, Stormy Surf Slams the North Shore

NORTH SHORE (KHNL) -- Large and stormy surf slammed into our northern shores bringing many out to see this winter attraction. While thousands came out, no one went in because of the dangerous ocean conditions.

Waves topped 20 feet on Oahu's north shore, but the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational did not go.

Wave size matters in this surfing contest, but so do surf conditions. Today was big enough to run the Eddie Aikau but stormy conditions raised safety concerns putting the contest on hold.

There was no contest but many made there way out to the north shore on Oahu to see the powerful waves along Kamehameha Highway.

"We came to see the Eddie Aikau but it got called I guess because of the condition of the waves. I wish they were a lot nicer then the contest would be going on," said Honolulu resident Shaun Neizmen.

Contest or no contest, when the waves are big, they can be mesmerizing to watch.

"You can sit and watch them all day unbelievable I've never seen anything like it in my life, breath taking, it's amazing," said Honolulu resident Hannah Serra.

With no one out in the lineup it's hard to tell just how big the waves are until they hit the shoreline.

"The rock down here is a couple stories tall and the waves are dwarfing it, on low day that rock looks huge," said Serra.

City lifeguards took 1200 preventative measures in an effort to keep beachgoers safe. There was also one active rescue. Beaches were closed on the north shore. But some were hoping to head out into the ocean anyway.

"I want to but I don't think the life guards are going to let me though. I was thinking about going but I'll probably get arrested or something," said Honolulu resident Orrin Nakanelua.

The waves might have been empty of surfers but it didn't stop thousands from witnessing one of the most spectacular natural events in paradise.

The holding period for the Eddie Aikua big wave contest goes until the end of February. The contest has run only 6 times in the last 17-years.