King Tides

"Riding the Waves: King Tides in Hawaii and Your Oceanfront Property"

Hey there, fellow oceanfront property owners in beautiful Hawaii! Today, we're diving into a topic that's as fascinating as it is important: king tides. If you've ever wondered what they are, when they occur, and how they can affect your prized oceanfront real estate, stick around. We've got you covered!

What Are King Tides?

Let's start with the basics. King tides are not royal beach parties, though they do come with their own set of splashes. These are the highest high tides of the year. Think of them as the ocean's way of flexing its muscles. King tides are not your everyday high tide; they're like high tide's big brother, swooping in to say, "I'm in charge today!"

When Do King Tides Happen?

The timing of king tides can vary depending on where you are in Hawaii, but they usually occur twice a year. These tides are a result of the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun, working together in harmony (or mischief, depending on how you look at it) to create these extreme tidal events. The University of Hawaii's Sea Grant College Program says:

"King Tides in the Hawaiian Islands tend to occur during the summer (e.g., July and August) and winter months (e.g., December and January) in conjunction with new moons and full moons. We see King Tides when:

The moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its monthly orbit. So the gravitational pull is stronger.

And, the sun the moon and the Earth are in alignment. Which means that the sun and moon’s individual gravitational pulls work together, producing the highest high tides of the year, or the King Tides.

Perigean-Spring Tide informational graphic

How Do They Affect Oceanfront Properties?

Now, the big question: How do king tides affect your precious oceanfront property? Well, they're a bit like Mother Nature's pop quiz for your coastal real estate. Here's what you need to know:

Coastal Erosion

When king tides roll in, they bring with them a surge of water that can creep further up the shoreline than usual. This extra water can lead to coastal erosion, which is just a fancy way of saying that it can gnaw away at your beachfront. Over time, this can threaten the stability of your property.


King tides can also mean flooding, especially in low-lying areas. Water levels can rise significantly during these events, potentially flooding your ground floor or any lower-lying structures. So, if you've got that ground-floor beach shack, be prepared to do some sandbagging!

Infrastructure Damage

Your beachfront paradise might come complete with a seawall or other coastal protection structures. But even these can be tested during king tides. The increased force of the waves and water can put extra pressure on these defenses, leading to wear and tear over time. So, don't forget to keep an eye on the condition of your protective measures.

What Can You Do?

Now that we've talked about the potential challenges, let's discuss some proactive steps you can take to ride out those king tides:

Stay Informed

Keep an eye on local weather and tide forecasts, especially during the king tide season. Knowing when to expect these events will help you prepare in advance.

Shoreline Stabilization

Consider investing in shoreline stabilization measures like bulkheads, seawalls, or beach nourishment projects. These can help protect your property from erosion.

Elevate and Protect

If you're building or renovating, think about elevating your structures to reduce the risk of flooding. Also, explore flood insurance options to safeguard your investment.

Beach Restoration

Participate in local beach restoration efforts. Healthy, thriving beaches are your first line of defense against erosion and flooding.

Embrace the Rhythm of the Tides

In conclusion, king tides are a fascinating part of life on our beautiful Hawaiian shores. While they can pose challenges to oceanfront property owners, they're also a reminder of the dynamic nature of our coastal environments.

By staying informed, taking proactive steps to protect your property, and working with your local community, you can continue to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Hawaii's oceanfront living while navigating the occasional king tide with ease.

So, here's to embracing the rhythm of the tides and cherishing our oceanfront havens in the Aloha State! 🌊🌴