A Small Day at Sandies – Oahu, Hawaii

Today was the first day I brought out my SPL waterhousing from years of it sitting in my house collecting dust. I’d usually be more inclined to ditching the camera and catching waves, but today I decided I needed to see what shots I could capture even on a small day in the water. And out of some 500 photos taken within two and a half hours, I think I got a few photos of some waves, people bodyboarding, and, well it wouldn’t be complete without some of the major wipeouts Sandies is known for.


Sandies is located on the south east side of Oahu between Hanauma Bay and Makapu’u. Known for its dangerous, but thrilling shorebreak, you can usually expect at least a few waves if everything else is flat around the island, which was the case for the day. Somehow there were waves. 

A slowly rising SW swell filling in during the day (2pm 8/27/2019),  light and variable tradewinds 10-20 mph, and pure unfiltered sunlight was the perfect combination for a good day in the water. 

The camera settings were f/8, iso 400, shot in AV mode, a 50mm lens on a Canon 6D full frame camera, shooting with AL Servo Autofocus, AWB, and continuous shooting.

It helped that a few people were willing to take off on any wave possible right in front of the camera too.

I spent about three hours in the water taking about 500 photos. Many were blurry, some had water spots, some were just a millisecond too late. There’s all types of factors that come into play when getting the right image. 

This isn’t a beach for first time swimmers or unexperienced bodyboarders. You can drive up the road towards Makapu’u or Waimanalo for some safer fun. If you have knowledge about the ocean, then it is fun to enjoy it here.

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