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.
- Beach Safety Tips
- Lifeguard's Ocean Safety Video
- Changing Ocean Conditions
- Rip Currents
- Seasonal Surf Trends
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