Towering waves hit Oahu's North Shore - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Towering waves hit Oahu's North Shore

Craig Hoglund Craig Hoglund
Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden

By Leland Kim - bio | email

OAHU'S NORTH SHORE (KHNL) -  It's a huge day for surfing on Oahu's North Shore.  The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing continues its second leg Friday.  Towering waves mean a thrilling race for both the women's and men's competition.  While it's good news for pros, it's also a warning for amateurs.

Parts of Oahu's North Shore were getting pounded by six- to ten-foot waves Friday afternoon.  In the next few days, waves are expected to get even bigger which means amateurs should stay out, and avoid these exciting but very dangerous conditions.

Pro surfers slice and dice at Oahu's Sunset Beach.  They're here once again for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.  And so is Craig Hoglund and his family.  They've made this an annual after-Thanksgiving tradition since they moved to Hawaii five years ago.

"It's nice; it's calm," said Hoglund, who moved to Makakilo from Miami, Florida. "Big waves for the kids to enjoy."

But Hoglund knows these conditions are much too severe for his young children to handle.  Warning signs confirm his hunch.

"We don't want any undercurrents getting swept out," said Hoglund. "It is surf warning day today. So kids have been well versed on that. So stay up with us on the blankets."

That's exactly what professional lifeguards recommend.

"The currents are going to be very strong," said Capt. Bodo Van Der Leeden, a spokesperson for Oahu Ocean Safety Division.  "The surf is going to be getting bigger and more powerful, and therefore the chance of both injury and getting swept out to sea is quite large."

Six- to ten-footers have already pounded parts of Oahu's North Shore.  Even, some 12-footers have already shown, and they're only gaining momentum.

"Absolutely it's going to get bigger over the weekend and most of next week, Tuesday and Thursday," said Van Der Leeden. "So caution all week long. Be very, very careful."

Advice this Makakilo family has taken to heart.

"Talk to the lifeguards first. Get an idea," said Hoglund. "It's a big body of water out here. It's easy to get lost. There's been tragedy after tragedy."

Lifeguards and beachgoers working together to avoid tragedies during this high surf period.

Once again, look out for warning signs and always check with a lifeguard before going in the ocean. 

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