North Shore Swim Series An Annual Summer Test Of Skill

Contestants rush to shore during last year’s race at Waimea Bay. Photo courtesy of North Shore Swim Series.

Given we live in beautiful Hawaii, surrounded by beaches and sunshine, it’s no wonder locals have a love of the water.

The Surf-n-Sea North Shore Swim Series, which marks its 25th anniversary this year, takes advantage of the good island weather and hosts four individual open-water events over the course of the summer.

The swims are spaced about two weeks apart and have their own distance and venue along the coast.

Aloha Salads Summer Sprint is June 22 and is a 1-mile swim from Sunset Beach to Ehukai Beach Park.

The race is known to be fast and fun, and swimmers stay parallel to the coast. While elite swimmers use this course to work on their speed, novices can use it as an introduction to the series.

Cholos Waimea Bay Swim, scheduled for July 6, is a 1.2-mile swim at Waimea Bay Beach Park, offering a triangular course around the twin outer islands and across the bay.

According to Hawaii Swim, dolphins are a common sight, which is more reason to give this course a try.

JACO Chun’s Reef to Waimea Bay Swim is set for July 20 and is slightly longer at 1.6 miles.

The view of Chun’s Reef is limited while driving on the highway, and swimmers get to see a stretch of coastline that even pedestrians normally don’t see.

Jamba Juice North Shore Challenge Aug. 3 is the longest of the four races, consisting of a 2.3-mile swim from Banzai Pipeline to Waimea Bay. This one often determines who takes the Series’ Overall Winner crown.

“The North Shore Swim Series began when members of the Waikiki Swim Club sought additional venues for open water races,” explained marketing director Rae Sojot.

“The clear-calm summertime waters between Pipeline and Waimea seemed the perfect location, and the first-ever North Shore Challenge was created.”

Since its inception, more races were added, and the North Shore Swim Series was born.

According to Sojot, the series is open to swimmers of all ages and skill levels, and each event is family and community oriented.

“You will often find veteran Series swimmers offering words of advice to rookies nervously awaiting the start of their first NSSS swim,” she said.

“Interestingly too, as we have grown larger we’ve even had to add more age categories.

“Last year a group of 80-year-olds rallied together and approached us with a simple request. They no longer wanted to be lumped in with the 70-and-up category; they wanted their own division.”

For more information on the North Shore Swim Series, visit or check them out on Facebook (search Surf-n-Sea Series).

Those interested also can contact race director Chris Gardner at 372-8885 for more information.

Applications can be found online, in Hawaii Sport Magazine and other retail locations.