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Pipeline Surf Guide

Pipeline in Oahu is an exposed reef break that has reasonably consistent surf, although summer tends to be mostly flat. Works best in offshore winds from the southeast. Most of the surf here comes from groundswells and the best swell direction is from the west northwest. Likely to be crowded if working. Hazards include rocks and locals.

Pipeline Spot Info

Icon reef  redReefIcon  s33.5
Reliability:Todays Sea Temp*:
fairly consistent
25.6°C*ocean temperature recorded from satellite

Surfing Pipeline:

The best conditions reported for surf at Pipeline occur when a West-northwest swell combines with an offshore wind direction from the Southeast.

Surf Forecasts:

What's the best time of year to surf Pipeline (for consistent clean waves)?

januaryBest Season: winter
The best time of year for surfing Pipeline with consistent clean waves (rideable swell with light / offshore winds) is during Winter and most often the month of January. Clean surfable waves are typically found 44% of the time in January while 36% of the time it tends to be blown out. For the remaining 20% of the time it is considered too small by most surfers but may still be OK for beginners and groms at times.
Surfable waves that hold up well for longer rides in prevailing cross-offshore, offshore or light wind conditions.
blown out
Surfable sized waves that are of poorer quality due to prevailing onshore, cross-onshore or windy conditions (may be preferable for kitesurfing).
too small
Waves usually considered too small for good surf. Some wave-magnet breaks may still work though if conditions are right (on occasion).

Explore Pipeline Location Map

Interactive Pipeline surf break location map. View information about nearby surf breaks, their wave consistency and rating compared to other spots in the region. Current swell conditions from local buoys are shown along with live wind speed and direction from nearby weather stations. Click icons on the map for more detail. The closest passenger airport to Pipeline is Dillingham Airport (HDH) in Usa Oahu Isl., 19 km (12 miles) away (directly). The second nearest airport to Pipeline is Kaneohe Bay Mcaf Airport (NGF), also in Usa Oahu Isl., 38 km (24 miles) away.

Icon breakBreak
Icon legend buoysLive Wave Height (m)
Icon legend windLive Wind Speed (km/h)
Map placeholder
Please note that some surf spot locations are approximate to protect their exact location while others are not shown at close zoom level.
Pipeline Surf Forecasts:
Todays Surf Summary
Saturday, 10 June 2023, 08:54 Local Time
Saturday 10
Wave (m)
Period (s) 14 14 14 14
Wind (km/h)
Wind State cross-

Swell History at Pipeline

Surf stats for Pipeline, see the swell variation by month or season on the history page here.

Wind History at Pipeline

Wind stats for Pipeline, see the variation in direction and stength by month or season on the history page here.

Pipeline Reviews:

Interactive Porthcawl Point location map. View nearby buoy information, live wind conditions and surrounding roads, paths and locations to help find new breaks. Click the buoys or wind icon to view more information.

Based on 6 votes.
  • Overall:Icon  s33.5
  • Quality on a good day:Icon  s44.3
  • Consistency of Surf:Icon  s32.6
  • Difficulty Level:Icon  s54.5
  • Wind and Kite Surfing:Icon  s21.6
  • Crowds:Icon  s32.8
  • ...

See all 18 ratings

Impartial reviews submitted by Surf-Forecast users.
Icon avatar
Kanaka from United States
“It's shocking that no one has written a review for Pipe which is bar none the most famous wave in the world, so here's the lowdown. While the North Shore has many world class waves, Pipeline and Waimea Bay are the pinnacle. It was first surfed in modern times in 1962 by Phil Edwards on a longboard and it has played a storied role in the history of surfing.

Up until the somewhat recent discovery of Chopes and other mega slabs, Pipeline was considered the gnarliest wave in the world. It takes years of poundings and sacrifice to work your way up the pecking order with Michael Ho and legends like him at the top. Therefore, Pipe is best enjoyed from shore or from the channel if you're intent on paddling out.

However, unless you're an expert or pro, don't even think of paddling out here unless it's really small (which isn't considered proper Pipeline). Even intermediate surfers shouldn't paddle out here when it's on. This is for your own safety as well as the safety of other surfers. The worst thing a visitor could do is to drop in on a surfer or get in another surfer's way. You don't want to be that guy or girl that causes someone to get injured or killed.

Unofficially, Pipe has killed approximately 50 surfers and photographers. The cause of these deaths are impacts onto the very shallow reef or from drowning. There's caves under there and people sometimes have gotten trapped. At times, there is literally only 2 to 3 feet of water over the reef, while waves with 15-20 foot plus faces break overhead.”

Other Nearby Breaks Closest To:

Discover surf breaks near Pipeline. Click below to view there surf guides.

Wave Buoys Nearest To Pipeline:

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Nearby location  blueNearest