Author: Wavemaster



The Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay

The Quicksilver Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational at Waimea Bay, is one of the most prestigious contest for big wave riders. In memory of the legend Eddie Aikau, the contest feels different than any other event. Only the best surfers are given the honor and chance to compete and prove themselves on the North Shore’s Waimea Bay. When watching the event one cant help but feel like they are blasted to the past. Only a hand full of guys out, surfing huge Waimea on huge boards, that’s what it must have been like back when Eddie Aikau was surfing it. For those who don’t know the history of Eddie lets take the time to appreciate a legend.

Growing up in Hawaii, everyone knows who Eddie Aikau was. He was an extraordinary Hawaiian water man and big wave surfer. Eddie was the first official lifegaurd on the North Shore and he was station right here at waimea bay. The years that Eddie watched the beach not one life was lost at Waimea. He won awards for his surfing, he even took first at the prestigious Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship in 1977. Ever heard the saying “Eddie Would Go” it refers to his no fear attitude when it came to big waves. It was my uncle, Mark Foo, who first used that phrase and it has never died since.

Eddie Aikau Surfing

On top of his accomplishments in the water Eddie also became involved in perpetuating Hawaiian heritage in the community. In 1976, the Polynesian Voyaging Society sailed the Hokule’a (traditional Hawaiian outrigger canoe) on a successful 2500 mile journey that took 30 days following the ancient route of the Polynesian migration between the Hawaiian and Eddie Aikau Tahitian islands. The following year Aikau was selected fto join the crew of the Hokule’a. The Hokule’a left the Hawaiian Islands on March 16, 1978. Quickly they encounters trouble, The Hokule’a began to leak. The leak combined with rough seas caused the outrigger canoe to capsize 12 miles of the coast of Molo’kai. In attempt to save his fellow crew members, Eddie makes a desperate move and attempts to paddle to shore. However, hours later the Coast Guard found and rescued the crew, and Eddie Aikau was never seen again.

This is why this particular event, The Eddie, is so important here in Hawaii. It’s about rushing huge waves yes……but more so remembering a legend, a true Hawaiian that loved the ocean and respected its power.

Eddie Aikau Waimea Ceremony

Lets cross our fingers and hope that Eddie blesses us with some huge waves this year so the contest can run!! EDDIE WOULD GO

Diving Activities At Backpackers Vacation Inn & Plantation

It’s not aaaallll about surfing out here.  Oahu is world famous for its waves, but its also famous for its diving.  If you come to The North Shore during the summer months (May-Aug) you most likely wont see giant waves, but rather calm, clear, tropical water.  It’s the perfect place for diving and snorkeling.

Luckily for us the best places to dive and snorkel on Oahu are right at our doorstep, literally.

Sharks Cove:

Backpackers Vacation Inn & Plantation

Backpackers Vacation Inn & Plantation

Don’t worry there aren’t any sharks, or at least that’s not what gives it its name.  If your looking at it from a birds eye view it looks like a big shark took a bite out of the rock, giving the cove its shape and its name.  Sharks cove is home to a whole bunch of marine life and is a protected as a marine sanctuary.  Think of it as a fish sanctuary where they never have to worry about being caught.  If you go snorkeling here there’s about a 90% chance that you will see a turtle hanging out.

Sharks cove also has a network of underwater caves that if you are daring enough you can swim through.  Carved by ancient lava tunnels it has left dozens of caves beneath the surface.  Some you can do in a few seconds, others you wouldn’t dare doing without a scuba tank.

During the weekends Sharks Cove can get a bit crowded so its best to come during the week.

Three Tables Beach

Located right down the road from Sharks Cove and a bit less busy, Three Tables Beach is a local favorite when it comes to diving and snorkeling.  Protected under the same sanctuary as Sharks Cove, Three Tables is teeming with life.  Best thing about Three Tables is it is literally our front yard.  Come and grab some a mask and some fins from us and get out there!

Backpackers Vacation Inn & Plantation

Backpackers Vacation Inn & Plantation

Sharks Cove Hawaii

We all know that the North Shore of Oahu is pumping in the winter. The question is, once the surf dies down and the boards are packed away for the summer, what is there to do? Easy question. Check out our Top 10 North Shore activities!

Sharks Cove Hawaii
Sharks Cove North Shore

10) Eat! – The North Shore is riddled with famous food trucks throughout the year but it’s still worth the mention! Our favorite ones are located a short (5 min) walk from Backpackers Hawaii in Pupukea click here for directions.

9) North Shore Ehukai Pillbox Hike – The Ehikai Pillbox Hike is probably better known has the Sunset Pillbox hike referencing its amazing views of the Banzai Pipeline and located high above Sunset Beach. The trail head is a short bus ride or bike ride down Kamehameha Highway and begins in the parking lot of Sunset Elementary School.

8) Paddle Boarding – Head into Haleiwa town and rent a couple of Stand Up Paddle Boards from one of the many surf shops and explore the Haleiwa river.

7) Zipline – Check out the longest Zipline on Oahu at Climb Works. This 3 hour tour offers amazing views of the North Shore and is well worth the spend!

6) Ka’ena Point – Ke’ana Point is where the North Shore meets the West Coast but you have to walk about 3 miles to get to the point. Ke’ana Point is a bird nesting area and often home to resting Hawaiian Monk Seals.

Cliff Jumping North Shore
La’ie Point Cliff Jumping

5) Cliff Jumping – There are a few amazing spot to Cliff jump on the North Shore. Waimea Bay is a 5 minute walk down the road and offers one of the best cliffs (…. well it’s actually a rock) to jump from. A little further down the road in Liae is a great place to go on a calm day. You may actually remember this particular cliff from Forgetting Sarah Marshall…. you know, when Mila Kunis tells Jason Segel that she can “see his vagina from here.”

4) Sky Diving – Hands down one of the most beautiful drop zones in the world is located just down the road! Our friends at Sky Dive Hawaii offer our guests a great discount when you book at the our front Desk.

Skydive Hawaii
North Shore, Oahu

3) Sharks Cove – Located across the street from Backpackers, Sharks Cove is home to some of the best snorkeling, free diving and Scuba Diving on the island. You can book your Scuba Adventure with our friends at Hawaii Eco Divers.

2) Learn to Surf – The summer season is a great time to learn to surf on the North Shore! There are lots of small breaks that are perfect to learn on. Our friends at the North Shore Surf Girls give lessons and instruction to all levels of surfers.

1) Pick a Beach, any Beach. There are so many world class beaches just a walk, bike ride or drive away!

Backpackers Hawaii

Ahh… Waimea Bay.  Rarely do you hear of the North Shore and not also hear of this iconic beach.  It became famous in the 1950’s as big wave riders like Greg Knoll travelled to Hawaii to surf the big-waves of the North Shore.  Waimea was the big-time for them…  and boom big wave surfing was born.  Waimea Bay has kept its reputation and is still one of the largest and well known paddle-in big wave surf spots in the world.  With storms crossing the Pacific and slamming into Oahu, waves can get as big as 50 ft.  It’s host the legendary Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational every year, however the contest is only held when it gets 30 ft or bigger.  Sometimes it is years before Waimea gets that big, but when it does man it is some spectacle.


Backpackers Hawaii


O But thats not all…

Besides the massive surf and legendary history Waimea has a lot more to it.  When the surf is flat Waimea has a jumping rock cleverly named “Jump Rock”.  Great name, I mean its what you are suppose to do on it… or off of it rather.  Reaching about 20 ft at the highest point and about 5 ft at its lowest,  anyone can enjoy it and jump at their own comfort zone.  Be sure to jump though, growing up as kids it is said to be bad luck to climb back down. DunDunDun.


Backpackers Hawaii

Another thing to do when the surf is flat… make surf.  Cause God forbid  us NOT to surf for more than a week.  Plus its just awesome.  My words would not suffice, so check out this video and you will see what I am talking about.

Waimea is a beautiful and sacred place to us here in Hawaii and we are lucky here at Backpackers to have it so close to us.  Aloha!

Backpackers Hawaii

Gerry Lopez AKA Mr. Pipeline

Hands down the most famous break in the entire world, ladies and gentlemen, Pipeline.

Pipeline, Banzai Pipeline, Pipe, it doesn’t matter how you say it, the name conjures images of giant barrels breaking over shallow coral.  It has a reputation as one of the most dangerous waves in the world and many have ridden their last wave here.  It wasn’t ridden until the 60’s, but it wasnt until the 70’s when surfers like Gerry Lopez, aka Mr. Pipeline, when Pipe started popping off.


Gerry Lopez AKA Mr. Pipeline
Gerry Lopez AKA Mr. Pipeline

It’s known as a proving ground here on the North Shore and people from around the world test there skill on this legendary wave. However, don’t think you can just paddle right out in the line up and start catching waves, and really you shouldn’t. You have to put in your time out there. There are guys who have been surfing out there for decades and respect is huge out there. The wave itself is dangerous enough then add about 60 surfers into the line up with half of them not knowing what they’re doing, and its a recipe for disaster.


Backpackers Hawaii

Pipeline is the location of one of the most legendary surf contests, the Triple Crown Pipe Masters.  It takes place December 8-20 depending on the swell.  You will know when the contest is on because of the line of traffic in both directions for about 10 miles.  People who live on the North Shore know better than to drive a car during the Triple Crown.  Once your on the beach it is one of the biggest spectacles in the surfing world.  Thousands of people on the beach, photographers, girls in Brazilian bikinis… o yah and some of the best barrel riding in the world.


Backpackers Hawaii

Check out this amazing arial footage of Pipeline to really get a feel for it!!

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.


Ever been skydiving? Well I had never been until a few days ago. Here at Backpackers Hawaii you can easily experience this for hands down the best deal ever. I decided to take advantage of this and take a trip over to   Skydive Hawaii with a couple of friends. It was super easy to reserve a jump… we just called in and went that day. We arrived and right away watched people landing from the sky. We walked in, signed up and it was actually way faster than I expected. Strapped all of our gear on and walked out to the runway where we boarded the plane.


Skydive Hawaii - Backpackers Hawaii

The plane took us to just over 12,000 feet. I can’t even imagine what 20,000 feet would be like. It was all good and I wasn’t nervous the entire time until I put my foot on the step to jump out. My heart raced as we jumped and we were going so fast, I froze for a few seconds until we stopped accelerating. Seeing the water below you and moving so fast down was a massive rush. In the video you can see I was so pumped I couldn’t stop throwing out the classic Shocka. I definitely recommend Skydive Hawaii to anyone who visits here. My words cant even describe how awesome it was so check out these awesome photos and video!

Skydive Hawaii - Backpackers Hawaii

A big mahalo to the entire Skydive Hawaii crew! Visit their website for more info.


For those of you who dont like reading we made it simple for you and made a video. ENJOY!!

Ever been on a glider ride? It’s essentially a big paper airplane that gets towed up into the sky and then let go at about 800ft in the air. Its a bit more durable than a paper airplane however, and luckily it flies a lot better.  A couple days ago me and my buddy Doug got to go on a ride in one of these bad boys and it was awesome. I repeat… AWESOME!

Glider Rides - Backpackers Hawaii

We met our pilot Don who said he has been flying since 8 years old. He must have been 7 ft tall. Im amazed he fit into the glider, Doug and I were have trouble squeezing in and we are both under 6 ft. I recommend a single ride, two grown men sharing a seat isn’t the most comfortable thing, but it was  still totally worth it.

Glider Rides - Backpackers Hawaii

Glider Rides - Backpackers Hawaii

So we get hooked up to the biplane and off we go! Right away we started getting airborne, these planes are so dam light.  Quickly we ascend and before we knew it we were at 800ft and the biplane lets us off the hook. Say goodbye to the only motor… we were on our own at this point.  However, a glider doesn’t just glide down. By riding the wind currents of the mountains we were able to keep rising to over 2,000 ft! You can just keep going and going as long as your next to the mountains.  SO SICK!

Glider Rides - Backpackers Hawaii


Glider Rides - Backpackers Hawaii

Mahalo to Mr.Bill and the gang for an awesome time!

For more info about Mr.Bills Original Glider Rides click here.

or visit


Yesterday a couple friends and I got the opportunity to jump on board with North Shore Shark Adventures and go on a shark cage tour. It was sick! Everybody in the crew was great and really made it an awesome experience. Here is a run down of how it went.

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

We arrived at the harbor for our 12 o’clock tour, and right on time we saw our boat rounding the corner to pick us up.   No going back now. The boat docked and we met our captain Mack.  He then rounded up all of our slippers in a bucket and we headed out for the open ocean.  I stepped onto the boat and thought “dam this thing is decked out”. It had a full closed canopy with rows of cushioned benches, it even had splashgaurds to keep the ocean spray from entering the sitting area….Pretty flashy.   It really made the ride out to sea comfortable despite the strong winds and choppy seas.


North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii


Even before we reached the cage sharks were beginning to appear from the deep blue ocean. Spots of brown surrounded the boat as we drew near our destination.  Apparently because people have been fishing here for so long and dropping bait into the water the sharks have become attracted to the sound of boat engines. In the words of Captain Mack “its like a dinner bell for them.”


North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii


After a short while we arrive at the cage, and it was go time.  We geared up with snorkels and masks that they provided and climbed into the cage. AND THERE WERE SHARKS EVERYWHERE!!  Not just a single shark here or there, but literally everywhere you looked. I would say there was at least  30 Galapagos sharks surrounding the cage at any given time, ranging from 6-12 ft in length!!!


North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii

North Shore Shark Adventures - Backpackers Hawaii


Mahalo to Captain Mack and the entire crew of North Shore Shark Adventures for an awesome day!

For more information about North Shore Shark Adventures click here. Or visit


             The North Shore of Oahu is famous for its winters, which is when the biggest waves occur. However, summer is a different story. Although there are not much waves this time of year, summer is equally amazing here on the North Shore.  It’s a time marked by calm wind, warm water, and sunny blue skies everyday. It opens the door for a whole range of activities that we sometimes forget about during the surf season.  Oh and my favorite part… its empty. Winter can get a little crazy, the surf contests ,the waves, the pros, THE SCENE.  Summer is a peaceful time, everything slows down and it seems a little easier to breathe.

Here are three things to do on the North Shore during the summer:

 1. Snorkeling and Diving

The North Shore has so many beautiful locations to snorkel and scuba dive. During the winter months it is nearly impossible, and would be dangerous, to attempt to enjoy these amazing places due to the large surf. My favorite place is Sharks Cove, which is conveniently right down the street from Backpackers.

2. Hiking

So many trails on Oahu!! Summer is a great time to do some hiking and get your butt in shape for the beach!! Or just go for the amazing views.

3. Skydiving

If you are coming to Hawaii for an adrenaline rush and there aren’t any waves. Well might as well go skydiving! Check out the North Shore from the sky. Best lookout there is.

These are just a few awesome activities you can do here on the North Shore, but there are so much more. Come out and find out for yourself.

 Disclaimer: There is still surf on all other sides of the island! So you can always do that as well.