In its June 2009  issue, Surfer Magazine ranked Haleiwa Town on the North Shore of Oahu second in its list of Top Ten Surf Towns in America. The number-one spot went to Santa Cruz, California.  Criteria included quality of life, variety of surf, climate, access to culture, and availability of work.

It’s hard for me to fathom that Santa Cruz is a better surf town than Haleiwa. Although jobs are sometimes hard to find on the North Shore, the surfing culture is one of the most authentic in the world.  Where else can you participate in a ceremony honoring Eddie Aikau, watch the Pipe Masters and take a surfing lesson from the North Shore Surf Girls?   The water is warm year-round and the quality and variety of surf  are the best in the world.  In choosing  Santa Cruz, California, in spite of its year-round cold water,  Surfer Magazine editors cited its year round surf aloong with its reputation as a cultural melting pot of educators, artists, life-long surfers, and everyone else in between.

1. Santa Cruz, CA
2. Haleiwa, HI
3. Encinitas, CA
4. Paia, HI
5. San Clemente, CA
6. Kill Devil Hills, NC
7. Malibu, CA
8. Montauk, NY
9. New Smyrna Beach, FL
10. Ocean City, NJ

How  surf cities such as Waikiki  got beat out by places like Ocean City, NJ or Kill Devil Hills, NC, which I’ve never even heard of, is beyond me.  As for me, I will always believe that the North Shore of Hawaii is the  greatest surfing town in the world – Surfer Magazine Rankings or not.