Current conditions at Kekaha Beach Park

Active Alerts

High Surf Advisory

Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 3:42pm to Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 6:00am
Issued Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 3:42pm


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Winds Northwest at 5.8 MPH (5 KT)



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Beach ID: 870

Kekaha Beach Park is also known as

First Ditch
Second Ditch

Getting There

Kekaha Beach Park is located on the Kauai South Shore.

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Kekaha Beach Park lies near the end of the 15-mile-long beach that stretches along the Mana Coastal Plain from Polihale southward to Kekaha. The portion of the beach between the Pacific Missile Range Facility and the beach park includes several miles of shoreline winding around Kokole Point. The lands between Kaumualiʻi Highway and the beach are used primarily for agriculture. Non-agricultural uses include a county landfill, a rifle range, and an abandoned landing strip that was leased from the state for some years as the Mana Drag Strip. Although there are no public rights-of-way to this shoreline, it is visited regularly by fishermen, surfers, joggers, and beachcombers. Most of them gain access either by driving over a number of unmarked dirt roads to the old landing strip or simply by following the beach from Kekaha Beach Park. To reach the old landing strip, turn off Kaumualiʻi Highway at Bridge No.3.

Surfers probably make up the largest group of ocean users at Kokole Point. Some of the surfing sites they frequent are Rifle Range, Targets, and Whispering Sands. Bodyboarders and bodysurfers occasionally ride these breaks. High surf, particularly during the winter and spring, generates very powerful rip currents and longshore currents along this shoreline. Anyone entering the water stands an excellent chance of being dragged along the beach through the surf for several hundred yards in a matter of minutes. The pounding shorebreak produces waves that are very steep and dangerous. These waves, breaking over the extensive sand bars that parallel the beach, almost routinely snap surfboards in half. If you are not an expert in Hawaiian surf, do not swim here during periods of high surf.

Kekaha Beach Park is located on Kaumualiʻi Highway at the western end of Kekaha town. The improved portion of the beach park, including all of its facilities, are located across the road from the beach.

For many years shoreline erosion was a major problem here. As a result of the erosion, more than 16 acres of sand beach were lost and the coastal highway was damaged. The Army Corps of Engineers took corrective action in 1980, constructing a seawall to protect the highway.

Kekaha Beach attracts a variety of beachgoers, including fishermen and swimmers, as well as bodyboarders and surfers who enjoy the surfing sites immediately west of the beach park-Inters, First Ditch, and Second Ditch. Inters is located offshore of the intersection of Kaumualiʻi Highway and Akialoa Street, while First Ditch and Second Ditch are located in front of two drainage ditches. These popular shorebreak sites are very dangerous during periods of high surf, particularly during the winter and spring, when the waves generate powerful rip currents and longshore currents. No one who is not an expert in Hawaiian surf should swim here during periods of high surf.

Surfers also ride a break at the southern end of Kekaha Beach called Davidsons. It was named after James Douglas Davidson, a former long-time resident of the area. Davidson came to Kauaʻi in 1919 and was employed by Kekaha Sugar Company. In 1922, he built a two-story house across the road from the beach and lived there until his death in 1949. The names Davidsons Beach and Davidsons Point fronting his home became popular shortly after his death. The surfing site at ʻOʻomano Point, or Davidsons Point, breaks over a shallow apron reef adjoining the beach.

This description is from John R. K. Clark's Beaches Series: Beaches of Oʻahu, Beaches of Kauaʻi and Niʻihau, Beaches of Maui County, and Beaches of the Big Island published and available for purchase from the University of Hawaiʻi Press. We thank John R. K. Clark for providing beach descriptions for use on this site.
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