Hawaii is one of the most sought out destinations in the world for surfers looking to catch the perfect wave, but tourists were in for a shock once they saw how big the waves could get. This past weekend the remnants of Tropical Storm Darby went out with a bang, reaching what the National Weather Service predicted to be “historic” swells on the south side of the island with waves up to 20 feet high.
@cbsnews Colossal waves crashed over the roof of a two-story condo building in Keauhou-Kona, Hawaii, on Saturday, damaging several buildings. #news #hawaii #weather ♬ original sound – cbsnews
Even though Darby had already weakened and passed the south of the islands, the swells made their way from the storm’s original center, according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.
The waves ended up even bigger than anticipated, with the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources reporting a 25-foot wave spotted at Diamond Head in Honolulu, making these waves the highest south shore surf in more than 25 years. Wedding parties marveled at the sight until the waves crashed into tables, chairs, and decorations.
Restaurant-goers also were in for a wet afternoon. A TikTok video caught by Maui local Lisa Newman showed a massive wave flooding Honu Restaurant in Lahaina, Maui.
@moonchildmaui On July 16 @5:17pm this happened high tide combined with big swell #waveofdestruction #honuoceanside #maui #lahaina #hightide #bigsurf #swell #summerswell #surfsup ♬ My Heart Will Go On (Love Theme from "Titanic") – Céline Dion
However, some surfers were excited about the thought of catching huge waves, with Khon 2 reporting that surfers of all ages were out in full force. Kurt Lager, Ocean Safety Acting Chief of Operations, said there were 228 rescues and 3265 preventative actions taken on the south shore on Saturday alone.
@ocean.808 Surfers enjoying the south swell on the island of Oahu.. 07.17.22 🌊🌊🌊 #ocean808 ♬ Makapuu Lighthouse – Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar – 30 (Hawaii Hiking Ocean) – PacificSounds
High surf advisory warnings are still in effect at time of writing in Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii. As the experts say, when in doubt, don’t go out.