Google “North Shore Surf Museum” and you’ll come across a lot of outdated information. There’s a Facebook Page dubbed North Shore Surfing Museum that is attached to an address at the Waialua Sugar Mill. While the Sugar Mill hosts some of the world’s best shaper studios, there is no dedicated surf exhibit for visitors to enjoy. The other Google result is in reference to the Haleiwa Surf Museum (also known as the North Shore Surf and Cultural Museum) but that closed down a decade ago. So is there a place for those with a passion for surf memorabilia to visit on this side of the island? There is, and it’s hidden within the North Shore Surf Shop (NSSS) in the heart of Haleiwa Town.
On first inspection it appears as if you’ve wandered into yet another gift and activity rental shop. Your eye-level is obscured by branded tees, swimwear, and snorkeling gear along with admittedly tacky souvenirs. But when you look up, your perspective quickly changes. Hanging from the rafters is what we consider to be the world’s best stockpile of surfboards – the Luis Real Collection. Through the years, Luis Real (owner of NSSS) has curated craft from the personal reserves of pro-surfers, shapers, and legendary personalities from this idiosyncratic world of ours. What further sets this exhibit apart, is that it is ever-growing, with new “exhibit pieces” being added by the week. Follow @LuisRealCollection on Instagram so see what we mean.