Velzyland Spot Check

Koa Yokota at Vland surf breakBeyond the contest zone of the North Shore of O’ahu is a left and right reef break that has a special place in the hearts of surfers. It was named Velzyland after shaper Dale Velzy by filmmaker Bruce Brown in the late 50s, but most know it simply as V-Land. 

The wave is tucked away from view, around the corner from Sunset Beach, where the rows of houses end and sheep pastures begin. While most surf spots this side of Waimea Bay come with large crowds, filmers, and photographers, V-Land’s location off the beaten path keeps visitors at bay and makes it a bit of a hidden gem for the locals. The place still tends to get a bit crowded with surfers of all ages from the north shore and the eastside, as well as watercraft of all shapes and sizes, from bodyboards to stand-up paddle boards. The wave could be considered intermediate to advanced due to the crowd factor and shallow reef implications. But surfers of all skill levels could fare well here, depending on the size of the swell. Caution is recommended on bigger days, and as always, be mindful and respectful of local surfers as well as those around you. 

Koa Yokota in the barrel at VelzylandThe lineup sits about 100 yards offshore over a shallow outcrop of coral reef and lava rock. The takeoff zone is concentrated in one spot making for an often crowded and intimate lineup. The left runs fast into even shallower reef while the right is more top-to-bottom and stacks up into a potential barrel section before fading into a deep water channel. While some surfers opt for the high performance walls on the left, the majority wait patiently for the slabby barrel section on the right. On its best days, V-Land produces world class conditions with mind-blowing barrel rides. Legendary surfers like Larry Bertlemann, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Dane Kealoha, Michael and Derek Ho, all the way to today’s legends like Coco and Mason Ho, have all made their mark surfing this beloved wave. 

Velzyland breaks nearly all year as it can pick up west, northwest and even tradewind swells from the east that wrap around the north side of the island. Sometimes during the summer, the entire north shore will be flat but V-Land will be small and fun. The standout months tend to be October through February. V-Land favors swells from the west/northwest anywhere from three foot seas to around six to eight feet. Any bigger and it tends to wash out, although even then there can be some fun waves that slip through and reform over the reef. 

On any given day V-Land is a fun escape from the heavy breaks nearby like Pipeline and Sunset, and a break from the relentless crowds of Rocky Point. You may not find a death-defying “wave of the winter” there, but you’ll likely find a playful glassy double up barrel that only your friend saw. 

Koa Yokota, Vland shoreline

On two to four foot days, we recommend the Sinr model by Glenn Pang. The retro-mod’s deep single to double concave shape and twin fin design will propel you through the fatter sections and keep you moving at the right speed for the barrel, while you do your best Bertleman impression. 

For four to six foot swells we recommend the Flux Model by Glenn Pang. The single to a double with a slight vee going off the tailboard will also carry you through the softer waves and turn on a dime in the heavier surf. The versatility and high performance capabilities of the Flux Model is suited perfectly for V-Land. 

1 comment

  • Gary Holt

    OMG… I never new there was a beach name Velsyland! My first board was a Velsy and Jacobs from Venice in Southern California. It was made from balsa wood. My next board was a Hobie in Santa Monica. ( I went to Samohi, I graduated in 1960.) The I worked for Dave Sweeet surfboards in Santa Monica. God, I miss those days. If there was a good swell on the w/e it ment I didn’t go to school on Monday (little or no crowds on Monday) Weed was a dime ($10) a bag (1 oz). Well I’m 80 now. I have great memories of that time of my life. God, I miss those days. Thanks for your time, Gary

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