Just outside historic Haleiwa Town on Oahu's North Shore, Chun's Reef, called Chun's by locals, is a popular surf break: a long, wide beach blanketed in very fine white sand. In addition to its bright perfect waves, blue water, and soft sand, it has plenty of space for everyone, some shade, a lifeguard, and even a freshwater pond that's often good for children for swim in.
Chun's is a perfect beach for beginner surf lessons, and you'll notice the regular surf schools giving lessons on the left (western) side of the break. Of course, like all North Shore and Hawaiian beaches, swimming and surfing here should be reserved for clam days with small waves only. But the good thing about Chun's is that the waves break pretty far out, sending much smaller shore break all the way in to the sand and making it usually pretty swimable, except for the really big days. There's always that lifeguard for added comfort.
East end of Chun's — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Even for beginning surfers comfortable in the water and experienced surfers, Chun's is a quite a good spot to surf. The wave is long, generally perfect and easy, and forms in a long carvable line. Moderate to heavy crowds are usually taking advantage of the good waves, so just be courteous and careful.
Waves at Chun's Reef — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
At the very western end of the beach, when the waves are calm and the tide is low is a fresh water cold pond. It blends into the ocean between rocks, but it's a fun spot for the kids to play. Look for it during the right conditions.
Because the beach is rather wide, you can find some shade at the beach of it as well as at the northern access where you cross over some grass and under a big tree. The only bathroom here is a porta potty, and there's no showers but the location near Haleiwa Town, ease of access, space, and the ability to take some haven from wind at the back of the beach makes it an ideal beach for a day spent in the sun. There's waves for any surfers in the family, the cold pond and sand that works great for sandcastles for the kids. Chun's is in sort of a crescent shape, which seems to naturally protect it from the North Shore's wind than most other beaches in the area.
West end of Chun's — Photo courtesy of Jade Eckardt
Waianae's mountain range to the west can be seen from the beach, adding to the picturesque scenery during the day and offering an absolutely perfect setting to watch the sunset over the waves.
Access to Chun's is along Kamehameha Highway about ten minutes outside of Haleiwa Town. The first parking area is a dirt strip along the shoulder and you can see the ocean clearly across the street. The second parking area is seconds down the road near the mailbox numbered 61-500.