By Gavin Arucan | Staff Writer

The Wai’anae mountain range only adds to the beauty of “Pray for Sets” Beach. (Photo by Gavin Arucan)

Blink and you’ll miss “Pray for Sets” Beach on your drive up the Wai‘anae coast. The gorgeous west side beach is the second to last beach before Kaʻena Point and is not visible from Farrington Highway.

“Pray for Sets” Beach is miles from any urban development, so it’s the perfect spot to soak in the true beauty of Oʻahu. On one side is the pristine ocean, free from any pollution and murkiness commonly found at Waikīkī or Kailua beaches, and on the other side is the Waiʻanae mountain range, providing a vibrant backdrop. Unlike the nearby Yokohama Bay, which shares the same beauty, “Pray for Sets” Beach remains mostly devoid of people. With so few people at the beach, nobody will ever get in your way when you’re trying to swim, fish, or relax.

The beach is usually empty because of how secluded it is. While it’s only a few dozen steps away from Farrington Highway, “Pray for Sets” Beach is hidden by trees and shrubbery. The parking lot is only accessible by a small dirt road and consists of only red dirt and uneven rocks jutting out of the ground. It’s a less than ideal place to park a car, but, once you find the entrance and struggle through the parking lot, the beach itself is worth the trouble.

The parking lot looks very sketchy and can be off-putting to most visitors. (Photo by Gavin Arucan)

“Pray for Sets” Beach actually has a few names to go by. “Pray for Sets” comes from surfers hoping and praying for good sets of waves. The beach is officially known as Mākua Beach. That’s how you’ll find it on Yelp and that’s what the signs by the beach read. However, most locals refer to the beach as “Pray for Sex” beach.

“Pray for Sex” comes from the famous graffiti reading “Pray 4 Sex” on top of a boulder. The graffiti was clearly visible a decade ago but has since faded away.

The lone boulder, while lacking its signature graffiti, still stands as a sort of landmark on the beach. Just to the left of the boulder are tide pools, some of which are deep enough to take a dip in. Across the tide pools is a small cave that can make for a great photo.

The water, as mentioned before, is crystal clear. While there’s no reef to explore, the sandy sea floor and its marine life are still visible even in the deepest areas. However, the current is usually very strong and rough, so weak swimmers should stay out of the ocean at “Pray for Sets” Beach.