Changing Ocean Conditions

The ocean is always changing, choose where you play wisely!

Hawaiian Lifeguards and locals know to keep a close watch on ocean conditions. Wind, tides, and swells can cause the weather to change quickly – even in a matter of hours. If you want to find the best conditions for snorkeling, surfing, or any other beach activity, follow these important weather safety guidelines:

  • Observe the ocean. Take the time to observe the ocean for at least 20 min. before entering. Waves come in sets it can look calm for up to 20 minutes between dangerous sets of huge waves. Ask: Are there currents and waves? Is there anyone else out? If I get in trouble is help available?
  • Wind moves the ocean. As the winds strengthen, expect currents and surface chop to increase.
  • Look for calm conditions in protected coves, bays, and areas where the wind is blowing from the land towards the sea.
  • Tidal Awareness. Many snorkeling and swimming spots are protected by coral reefs. Expect more surf to move into these areas during high tide.
  • Waves on Rocks. Many unsuspecting locals and visitors have been swept off rocks when periodic large ‘sets’ of waves wash much higher than the apparent ‘safe zone’.
  • Ask a Lifeguard or a Local! We are probably your single best source for weather information.

View safety video with lifeguard Kalani Viera »

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