Just in time for the annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the big waves are coming into the famed North Shore of Oahu.
The first “Crown” begins with the Reef Hawaiian Pro, held in Haleiwa at Alii Beach Park, and runs from November 12-23, waves permitting.
Reports indicate waves at 12-15 feet, while forecasts are indicating waves running as high as 15-20 feet.
Conditions are good, and the crowds are large.
The nice thing about this annual spectacle – the admission is FREE.
During these conditions, it is highly advised that swimmers, waders, and amateur surfers stay out of the waves, as conditions can be very dangerous. Respect the waves from a comfortable vantage point on the warm sand.
One of the most popular spots for big-wave surfers in Hawaii is a surf spot called Jaws on the island Maui in Hawaii. Jaws is located in Peahi, which is about 3 miles north of Paia off the Hana highway. The spot is called Jaws because of the massive waves it can generate during the winter months, between November and February.
Some of the wave faces can go as high as fifty feet, travelling up to thirty-five miles per hour! The waves at Jaws are not only large, they are also of high quality. Many other surf spots boast fifty foot high waves, but at Jaws, the rocks and reefs are shaped so that incoming swell energy is magnified, and clean right and left waves are produced. Here’s a photo:
If you look carefully, the tiny speck near the wave crest in the photo above is a surfer – that gives you an idea of the wave’s scale.
During a big wave event, surfers must utilize a technique called “tow-in surfing”, whereby the surfer is towed into the area by jetski, or is dropped in above via helicopter. Needless to say, only the highest caliber professional surfers can even attempt to brave the high waves here.
Jaws actually became so popular at one point that the roads were blocked with debris. Many pro surfers complained that tourists, incompetent surfers, and others that were showing up were crowding the beach. Thus the area is easy to get to.
However, if you are a big wave spectator, and are in the right place at the right time, there may be no better big wave viewing than at Jaws on Maui.
For those who are looking to see some serious surfing or waves in Hawaii, Oahu’s North Shore is the place to visit. More specifically, you can see a great surf spot at the Banzai Pipeline.
The Banzai Pipeline name comes from a combination of the surf break – Pipeline – and the beach – Banzai Beach.
Only well experienced surfers should surf there. There are many jagged reef elements and lava spires that can cut you up if you fall.
Surfers have options when surfing the Banzai Pipeline, because there are four waves. The most common is the First Reef, also known as Pipeline. This is the wave that is most surfed, and is most photographed.
It is a sobering place for Surfers – many people have died there while trying to master the treacherous waves. The number of deaths at the Pipeline have earned it the nickname the world’s deadliest wave, since more people have died there than any other surf spot.
If you enjoy watching surfing competitions, you can watch the Pipe Masters, which is the final spot of the WCT (World Championship Tour Surfing). The Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic is also held there every winter. Don’t miss out on experiencing the Banzai Pipeline if you are a true surfing fan.