Beyond the competition area on the North Shore of O'ahu is a left and right reef break that holds a special place in the hearts of surfers. It was named Velzyland after shaper Dale Velzy by filmmaker Bruce Brown in the late 1950s, but most know it simply as V-Land.
The wave is hidden from view at the corner of Sunset Beach, where the rows of houses end and the sheep pastures begin. While most surf breaks on this side of Waimea Bay welcome large crowds, filmers and photographers, V-Land's off-the-beaten-path location keeps visitors at bay and makes it a hidden gem for the inhabitants. The place always tends to get a bit crowded with surfers of all ages from the North Rim and East Rim, as well as watercraft of all shapes and sizes, from bodyboards to stand-up paddleboards. The wave could be considered intermediate to advanced due to the crowd factor and shallow reef implications. But surfers of all skill levels could do well here, depending on the size of the swell. Caution is advised on larger days and as always be mindful and respectful of local surfers as well as those around you.
Koa Yokota in the Barrel at Velzyland's range lies about 100 meters offshore on a shallow outcrop of coral reef and lava rock. The take-off area is concentrated in one place, making for an often crowded and intimate queue. The left sinks quickly into an even shallower reef while the right is more up and down and piles up in a potential barrel section before merging into a deep water channel. While some surfers opt for the high performance walls on the left, the majority patiently wait for the slabby barrel section on the right. At its best, V-Land produces world-class conditions with breathtaking barrel rides. Legendary surfers like Larry Bertlemann, Buttons Kaluhiokalani, Dane Kealoha, Michael and Derek Ho, to today's legends like Coco and Mason Ho, have all made their mark riding this beloved wave.
Velzyland breaks almost all year round as it can pick up westerly, northwesterly and even easterly trade wind swells that wrap around the north side of the island. Sometimes during the summer the whole North Shore will be flat but V-Land will be small and fun. The peak months tend to be October through February. V-Land favors west/northwest swells ranging from three feet swell to around six to eight feet. Bigger and it tends to wash out, although even then there can be some fun waves that creep in and reform on the reef.
Everyday V-Land is a fun escape from nearby heavy breaks like Pipeline and Sunset, and a break from the relentless crowds of Rocky Point. You might not find a death-defying "winter wave" there, but you'll probably find a playful glassy double barrel that only your friend has seen.
Koa Yokota, Vland Coast
On two- to four-foot days, we recommend Glenn Pang's Sinr model. The retro-mod's single deep double concave shape and dual fin design will propel you through the biggest sections and keep you moving at the right speed for the barrel, while you make your best Bertleman impression.
For four to six foot swells, we recommend Glenn Pang's Flux model. The single to a double with a slight vee from the tailgate will also carry you through the gentler waves and light a dime in the heavier waves. The versatility and high performance of the Flux model is perfectly suited to V-Land.