Nimitz, H2, past the military barracks, sugar fields, and on to Kam Highway. As you cruise toward Haleiwa, you can see whitewater on the horizon. Enough swell to make you excited. Enough swell to make you nervous. It’s like driving right out of your comfort zone.

The North Shore remains the ultimate surf destination, equally terrifying and stoke-inducing. The two things you need the most on the North Shore are bravado and respect. But you’ll also need to pack, you know, actual things, so we caught up with Nathan Florence on his way to the Opening Ceremony of the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational to find out what he recommends surfers stuff in their boardboards on a pilgrimage to the North Shore.

From board shorts to boards that can handle poundings you’re not quite accustomed to receiving, here’s a list of the gear you will need for your time on the rock.


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