My Time at Polo Beach


When I discovered Polo Beach, it wasn’t in the same stretch of sand it is now. Before Y2K, after going down the trail you would turn left towards the polo grounds, hence the name. I frequented the beach and even took my daughter when she was just a baby. After she was a few years older, my wife thought it wasn’t a good idea to practice nudity around her. I agreed because children will say anything to anyone and we weren’t sure how accepting our family and friends would be to our lifestyle.

I stopped going for a few years because of soccer games and triathlons. When I returned, I went to my familiar place. During my time away, a TV series started filming at or near the polo grounds and the nude section shifted to where it is now. Of course, I didn’t know that on the first day back and laid out in all my glory with no one around. People on horses would ride by and after some time I began to feel uneasy. I sensed something wasn’t right. Looking down the beach I could see people and umbrellas. Picking up my things, I moved and found the new hang out (pun intended).

Showing up solo and with board short tan lines, I’m sure the regulars viewed me as a newbie. In a sense, I was, but I was an experienced newbie. In time, I got to know folks and though I like to keep to myself, it’s nice to socialize too. My main time there is on the weekends. Occasionally I’ll find time during the week to go and it can be a different crowd and vibe.

Don’t trust the weather where you live. Even on the way to Polo’s it might seem crappy. The weather at the beach seems to defy what’s going on around the island. It can be sunny on the sand while you watch it rain everywhere else. Whatever the day, whatever the weather, it’s just nice to get out and relax.

A hui hou

Nudist Club

My beach buddy had invited me to a gathering that is hosted by a couple who started a nudist club. She told me they put on these events, usually at their home, about once a month. I’m not going to mention the couple’s name or the club because I never asked their permission to write about it. I liked the format they set up. They wanted to keep a one to one ratio of men to women so naturally couples got in as well as single women. Single men could sign up and would be “partnered” with a single woman if available.

The house was large in a well-to-do neighborhood. We were one of the first to arrive and I was impressed at the size of the back yard. It had a pool with a waterfall and two Jacuzzi’s. Lots of deck area to roam around and a designated smoking area. People brought their own alcohol although water and soft drinks were supplied. Eventually around 50 people showed up.

The median age was around 40 and most of the club members knew each other from attending these for the past several years. I saw a couple of familiar faces from the beach and one guy whose daughter played soccer with my daughter. He had been coming for a couple of years, I’m guessing around the time his wife passed away.

The day was hot and everyone spent time in the pool and under the waterfall.  I mingled a bit but mostly just watched the others. Just watching people having fun with others who were like minded. I noticed most of the fun was inside at the bar or over at the smoking section. Eventually we too ended up at the smoking section which wasn’t limited to cigarettes. 😉 I don’t partake but it was under a tent so I enjoyed the shade and people getting stoned. The party had a hippie theme and quite a few dressed up (or down if you prefer). There was music, massages and they even brought out avocado mud for people to put on.

I was surprised that quite a few of the people I met had never been to the nude beach. We talked to one gal and she mentioned that she will probably go the following weekend with a couple of her friends. That’s good because men always outnumber women at the beach. A few of us talked about going to Sand Island where there is a nude section but is generally frequented by guys. I had been a couple of times and it seems the guys are looking for some activity. We figured if a few of us started going regularly, we can change the vibe of the place and make it an alternative to driving to the North Shore.

Time had passed quickly and soon I had to leave. The party was going to run for a few more hours and the host was saying that’s usually when people are tipsy and a bit more “frivolous” with each other. My buddy and I didn’t stick around and really, that’s not why I went. I did sign up for their newsletters and got one about a nude sail that’ll happen in May. We had been talking about it at the party so we quickly signed up to get our spots. I’ll be writing about that afterwards for sure.

Turtle Rescue

Spending a day out with friend can be very relaxing. It was sunny, warm with just enough breeze to keep us from feeling like we’re in an oven. I was talking with a couple of friends who showed up late when we heard someone asking for a knife.

Turning our attention towards the water we saw a guy who was spear fishing and he is standing next to a turtle he brought ashore. The animal had fishing line or part of a net wrapped around its front two flippers and head. Part of the line was also in its mouth which lead me to believe it might have swallowed a hook.

I ran back to my truck and retrieved my knife. The fisherman began to cut away the line around the left flipper and neck. He got most of it but when looking at the right flipper, we could see it was deeply embedded and cutting through. He didn’t want to pull on it fearing he might cause more damage. Meanwhile I called the Turtle Rescue at NOAA and left a message.


Mystery Fisherman Cutting Line Off

The fisherman had to leave but another beach goer came and had a thinner bladed knife. He was able to get the most of the remaining line off but not from the mouth. Turtle Rescue called back and I told them where we were. She said she could be there with her supervisor in about 60-90 minutes. I had to leave before they got there so didn’t know the final outcome.

A couple days later I saw a friend who was there and she told me they came and picked up the turtle. He might lose his flipper but at least he’ll be cared for. They came with a policeman so everyone had to cover up. I never did tell them it was a nude beach 🙂

I’m glad things worked out and a big kudos to the fisherman for helping out an animal in distress. If he didn’t take action the turtle most likely wouldn’t have survived much longer. I’m only sorry I didn’t get his name to give him proper credit.

If you see a turtle needing help, please contact the Turtle Rescue On Oahu call (808) 725-5730 M-F 7:30-4pm or 286-4377 after hours or on weekends & holidays.

Makaleha Beach

Makaleha beach.

Makaleha is the Hawaiian name but its more commonly know as Polo beach. Located near the polo grounds on the North Shore of Oahu, it is the most established place for nudists. Beware though, just because it’s the most well-known, from a legal standpoint you can be sited under Hawaii’s current laws. Nudity in Hawaii runs a fine line and an ongoing battle exists to try and legalize areas for clothing optional users. The local news covered one such event.

Now I have my view on the subject but will wait to post it another time. For now though, let’s talk about the beach itself. Located about 150 yards off the main road the beach is fairly secluded. Nudism used to be closer to the polo grounds, hence the name. Back in 2004-2005 filming began for the Disney series Flight 29 Down. It was about a group of teens who crash landed on their way to Eco-adventure camp in the South Pacific. The main set was near the polo grounds which compromised the nudist who eventually moved several hundred yards down the beach to where they are now.

The beach fronts land owned by the state’s DLNR and is leased to a group who uses it to stable some horses. There are tall ironwood pines near the beach which can provide some shade should you get too hot. No bathrooms, water or trash there so please pack out what you bring in. Although others will clean your mess, you shouldn’t rely on them to do it for you.

Makaleha Beach

During the winter when the sun drops a bit south, the shadows from the trees make finding a sunny spot a bit more challenging especially when crowded. Add to that the large surf which will erode the beach making it a steeper pitch to the water. It isn’t too wide to begin with so people tend to huddle where the sun is.

In the summer with the gentler surf, the beach builds back up, the water is warmer and the sun is higher while staying out longer. Swimmers will see all types of reef fish and turtles. Even a resting monk seal has been seen here. Sky divers and small aircraft are a constant overhead because of the small airfield nearby.

Clothing is optional here and there are those who choose all types of dress or undress. No one is looked upon differently. Occasionally there is the wandering tourist who doesn’t realize there is a nude section. Some choose to turn around, others will continue and enjoy their stroll. People will look, that’s natural and ok. Don’t gawk perversely or try sneaking pictures. If you want a picture then make sure you get permission first, it’s the polite thing to do.

Because this is a more established nude beach, the regulars tend to ensure frivolous activities don’t take place. A bit further down is a section of the nude beach that is, well let’s just say it’s a mostly male section. There are naupaka bushes where some take liberties with the extra coverage. Those who do are trespassing on the DLNR land and their activities are not condoned by the land occupants nor the beach regulars. It is because of these types of people that nudist get an ill perceived reputation. I won’t pretend that sex doesn’t happen, it’s just that I personally haven’t seen it there.

Polo beach is like any other established nudist area. Keep it clean, keep it decent but most of all enjoy and relax, it’s only natural.

A Hui Hoe