HAWAII Magazine guide to watching the Vans Triple Crown of Surfingby: Vanessa Sim
posted: Thu Nov 12, 2009 at 12:07 AM
Hawaii’s big wave season is here!
High surf advisories have been issued for Oahu’s North Shore this week, just in time for the start of the 27th annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The three event competition is the professional surf world’s most well-known and prestigious competition. And this year’s record $1 million Triple Crown total prize purse has attracted more than 150 surfers from 17 nations.
Take a drive up to Oahu’s world famous North Shore surf spots over the next month and you’ll find crowds of media and spectators lining the beaches, watching the surfers and the monster waves they ride—some of the latter, on a particularly wild day, topping 50 feet in height.
Triple Crown participants must compete in all three events, each held only when sustained wave heights top 15 feet or more. The competition is actually comprised of six separate events—three for women (one of these held on Maui) and three for men. Click here for a list of all the events.
Each event crowns an individual champion. The male and female surfers who gains the most points over all three of their events takes the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing overall championship. Last year's overall champions, Australians Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore, will be in the water again this year to defend their titles.
Mother Nature willing, the first men’s event of the Triple Crown, the Reef Hawaiian Pro, is scheduled to start today at 8 a.m.
If you’re planning a road trip to any Triple Crown event over the next month, keep in mind that competition dates are never guaranteed because big waves are required for big surfing. Click here to check on the status of daily events, or call (808) 596-SURF. All events run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
What else will you need to know if you go? Here’s where we come in.
On the following pages, you’ll find our HAWAII Magazine Guide to the Beaches and Events of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing—with tips on getting to each, where to park, bathroom availability and food and beverage concessions. We also tip you off on the defending champion to watch for each event, and the surf perils and pitfalls each beach is most famous for.
All Vans Triple Crown of Surfing events are free and open to the public. Arrive early to beat traffic and get the best spots on the beach. Keep our Triple Crown guide bookmarked on your smart phone in case you need it.
Check out these related HawaiiMagazine.com posts:
HAWAII Magazine spectator guide to the 2010 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
Holding period in place for 2012 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu’s North Shore
Got surf? Holding period under way for 2011 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on Oahu