one issue on the north shore can be worrying about it being too big in winter...
It generally doesn't get small on the north shore during winter time. If there's a big NW or enough N in the direction, you can get some good ones on the east side. South shore is generally small scale (2-3-4' range) during the middle of the winter.
Not sure what kinda waves you are looking to ride.........
You probably won't get waves smaller than 2 feet overhead on the North Shore. If it's DOH and you want something smaller, check around. Other spots that are not as exposed, may have something a few feet less. A squash should work for anything smaller than DOH, bring a pintail for DOH+.
Check out turtle bay resort. It may not be as crowded and the wave seemed kinda mellow when i was there for my honeymoon.
My wife and I just moved to Atlantic Beach, NC from Oahu (she's local, I've been there for 30+ years). February on Oahu can be epic, but there'll be crowds to match. The main breaks, from Kahuku to Haleiwa can have big, mean crowds. Don't be surprised if it's double overhead and you have 3 or 4 guys drop in on ya. On overhead and smaller days, the crowds will be even bigger. Turtle Bay is OK, but I've never really liked that break. The scoops is to avoid the North shore and head either further East or West to avoid the crowds. On medium size days, there's a break near Kahuku, called "Boilers" that is every bit as good as Pipes IMO, but I've never seen more than a couple guys in the line up. Another way is to head west. From Nanakuli ("Tracks") to Makaha and Yokes there are plenty of good breaks on a big north swell.
A couple of survival tips:
1. As da bruddah said, be respectful of the locals, especially on the West side. Never drop in on a local guy and always smile and be polite. At some breaks (like Makaha) even that won't be good enough, but it's a start.
2. Don't go in the water after a heavy rain or if the water looks even a bit murky. A lot of these breaks are empty because people think there are lots of sharks there. The truth is, there are lots of sharks everywhere, but the greatest incidence of shark attacks is right after a heavy rain.
Other than that, go have fun and bring back some Aloha.
Thanks Guys for the Info… Just order a new 6’6 pintail mini gun to bring on the trip.
Yes always respect the locals (I know the rules), but so I guess all the legends of Hawaii is true about localism? Yeah and I also got hooked up with some locals and they said they would hook me up with some epic waves….
Thanks, and I’m bringing all my photo equipment…. Lots of Pic!!!!