Sandy Beach (Koko Head Park)

4.5 stars from 9 reviews
Address 8808 Kalanianaole Hwy, Honolulu, HI 96825
Best for advanced body surfers, dangerous for swimming. Known as Neck Breakers for a reason.

• Facilities: Bathrooms • Facilities: Grassy Area
• Facilities: Lifeguard • Facilities: Picnic Tables
• Facilities: Showers • Sand Type: Regular
• Parking: Good / Plenty • Good For: Bodysurfing
• Good For: Boogie Boarding • Good For: Sunrises

Full Description
Koko Head Park, or Sandy Beach as it's commonly called, and you'll find it on the southwest tip of O'ahu and not to be confused with Sandy Beach on the island of Moloka'i.

This is a beach that only an advanced body surfer can really appreciate but us mere mortals can still enjoy an amazing show from the safety of the sand. It's a great place for people watching because you'll get tons of locals who come to body surf here and put on a great show. It's a hugely popular beach among the locals and they make everything here look way easier than it is.

In fact, just getting into the water here can be incredibly dangerous if you don't know what you are doing and chances are good that unless you live here you don't know what you're doing. Even most that do live here aren't strong enough swimmers to handle this place just because of the dangerously strong shorebreak.

It doesn't look too bad but these are incredibly powerful waves and currents, as the posted signs will tell you. The lifeguards here will often be out warning people of the dangers, keeping kids away from the water, and rescuing those who didn't take their friendly advice. Locals call this place Neckbreaker Beach and Backbreaker Beach for good reasons, so just stay out of the water (unless lifeguards confirm it's okay to swim) and instead relax on the sand and just enjoy the show.

If you are an advanced bodysurfer then this is the beach you're looking for and you'll probably consider it a 5 star beach. For everyone else, it's more about the spectacle of it all than anything else. Either way, it's a fun time and worth a trip. Note that it will get packed here on weekends and holidays.

Laura W
Joined: Nov 2016
Reviews: 35
Likes Received: 1
Great place to stop and watch surfers, but very dangerous spot to swim. Exploring the nearby areas will make for a fun day, however.
Matt A
Joined: Feb 2013
Reviews: 803
Likes Received: 111
A beautiful beach but not likely a place you'll want to swim because of the danger level here. Instead, come and watch the bodysurfers do their thing from the sand. If you plan to attempt going in the water here be sure to talk with a lifeguard first.
Dawn S
Joined: Jul 2016
Reviews: 4
Likes Received: 1
Oahu, hub of the Hawaiian Islands, and famous for its beautiful beaches. One of now more popular beaches I wish to review is Sandy Beach or Sandy Beach Park, beautiful white sands, warm breeze, and blue ocean. The greatest or one of the greatest things about Sandy Beach is it is away from the most tourist-visited areas of Waikiki. I used to live on the island of Oahu for 17 years. I went to High School there. The locals are wonderful. Sandy Beach is not overly crowded.

There is also a cave where a friend of mine and I would catch the waves and ride into the cave. Granted we got pummeled. You need to be somewhat of a good swimmer as the waves can be a little high at times, and the water rough at times. If you are a beginner swimmer, I advice no. Waikiki is better suited for you. Unlike Waikiki people on the sand are not all parked so close together as if they are a human parking lot.

Body surfing is why many go. As once a local, I often went with my friend, and sometimes a group of us to body surf. Waves could be from 2-5 feet on average. It was always fun, not to mention plenty of space for many people. So no such thing as crashing needlessly into someone or being an arse. It is perfect.

White warm sand, perfect foot therapy. Nothing feels so good as clean white warm, sand burying your feet.

Cookouts. Perfect beach for a cookout and body surfing.
Be careful if you have little ones as the ocean can pull them out quickly.

For a family with teens who are good swimmers, I highly recommend it. Especially if you are looking for something other than an overcrowded beach.
anthony f
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 14
Likes Received: 0
Sandy beach is a truly a local hangout. When we were there it was a big swell and few tourists were in the water. The ones that were in the water were either very good swimmers or boogie boarders. Some of the locals were laughing because others were having a hard time. So I didn't venture in, just watching was great. Perhaps next time. Great views, easy access, what a beach!
brandy s
Joined: May 2016
Reviews: 47
Likes Received: 0
My favorite beach on Oahu! Breathtaking views and a large, sandy beach invite you sit and stay. Ample parking and easy beach access set this apart from most Oahu beaches. Excellent shorebreak make this a boogie boarding haven for locals, always an entertaining treat!
Debra F
Joined: Mar 2016
Reviews: 12
Likes Received: 0
Love Sandy Beach. Beautiful place.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
A classic, world famous gem of a beach. Surfers can shred it up on the outer reef, while body surfers hit the steep shore break. Sandy Beach has a very steep dropoff at the shore break, which creates a freakishly large, hollow, and potentially dangerous wave.

When the waves are gentle, it's enjoyable for visitors to get in the water and enjoy the motion - ebb and flow of the water. There is a bit of a current, but if you are swimmer, this shouldn't be a problem.

If the waves are larger, then experienced bodyboarders have an epic time dropping in on these cave like waves that crest on to the shore. Kids that grew up body surfing here know how to body surf these waves - you'll see them seemingly about to eat sand, then pull out at the last second. A lot of fun to watch.

Speaking of watching, Sandy Beach is fun spot for people watching. Locals will back their cars up to the ocean and blast their Hawaiian music for all the beach to enjoy. Great views of "Sandys" from the Halona Blowhole viewing area. Sandy beach is the type of place the Beach Boys sang about in Surfing USA. Enjoy.
Joined: Jun 2015
Reviews: 5
Likes Received: 0
Sandy Beach is the place to be to watch the body surfers and boogie boarders do their thing. The crashing surf here is pretty crazy so not a place most will want to swim and if you don't know what you're doing staying out is your best bet. Just kick back and watch the show in the water, it's amazing to see in person. This place does get very busy, especially on weekends.
Joined: Aug 2013
Reviews: 13
Likes Received: 2
Beautiful beach, not far from Hanauma Bay and Sea Life Park. Sand is golden and very fine to walk on. There is a lookout close by for good photo ops.
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