If you're not careful, you might miss Chun's Reef as you drive through Oahu's North Shore. You will notice cars parked along the side of the road and glimpse a patch of sand and rolling waves through the leafy trees, but you may choose to visit one of the more famous beaches located nearby. However, if you pull over and spend some quality beach time at Chun's, you will understand why it is such a popular surf break and hangout.
Just a few miles outside Haleiwa off the Kamehameha Highway, this wide sandy beach is typically littered with chairs, umbrellas, icy coolers, and family pets as locals and visitors enjoy simple pleasures and gorgeous views. The shoreline at Chun's Reef is rocky, but there are a few sandy areas suitable for swimming. This is also a great spot to snorkel, but only on rare occasions when the ocean is completely calm.
John Chun, a former North Shore resident, lived near this popular surf break where his children were often seen catching waves. A family friend dubbed the area Chun's Reef, and by the 1960's, the name was well established. The long, crumbling waves at Chun's are perfect for longboarders. Winter swells create large, powerful surf while summer brings calmer conditions. Beginning surfers should check with a lifeguard before paddling out as rising swells can cause waves to quickly increase in size.
- Coming from Honolulu, Chun's Reef is located about three miles past the second Haleiwa exit, off the Kamehameha Hwy. It is the second beach access you will come to, just past Laniakea Beach.