The winter waves on Oahu’s North Shore are a thing of legend, towering swells that are ridden only by the brave and the highly skilled. In addition to the thrills of watching pro surfers ride the biggest waves, this time of year is a great opportunity to experience the bustling North Shore surf community at its most active, with surf legends in town from every Hawaiian Island and several countries around the globe, waiting for the perfect wave day.
Here are a few contests that you can still catch. Don’t forget your binoculars!
2017 HIC Pro
Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu
Oct 27-Nov 9, 2017
The first event of the North Shore surf season, the HIC Pro is the official local qualifier for the Vans Triple Crown, and offers 112 Hawaii and Tahiti Nui region athletes a chance to compete in one of the most prestigious surf series. At the time of writing, the first round is in the books, with round two expected to finish up on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, North Shore
Nov. 12 through Dec 20, 2017
Culminating in the Billabong Pipe Masters competition is the huge 35nd annual Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the surf world’s most prestigious annual contest series for both men and women. Aside from capturing a world title, a Triple Crown win is considered the most coveted achievement in surfing. Not bad for a competition that started in 1971 with six dedicated surfers, some folding chairs, a card table and a $1,000 prize.
Here are some Vans Triple Crown events to look forward to:
2017 Hawaiian Pro
Haleiwa Alii Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu
Nov. 12 through Nov. 24
Haleiwa Town hosts the first event of the Vans Triple Crown at Alii Beach Park, west of the Haleiwa Boat Harbor. The reef makes for tricky conditions, and it's often the surfer who has the stamina to handle those conditions, heat after heat, who takes the prize.
Vans World Cup of Surfing
Sunset Beach, North Shore, Oahu
Nov. 25 through Dec. 6, 2017
As the last qualifying event of the season, surfers compete at Sunset Beach for favorable spots in next year’s World Surf League (WSL) tour. With careers and cash on the line, in addition to bragging rights, the event is said to be one of the most dramatic.
Billabong Pipe Masters
Pipeline, ‘Ehukai Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu
Dec. 8 through Dec. 20, 2017
The Billabong Pipe Masters is both the final event of the Vans Triple Crown and the final event of the WSL tour. Pipeline, while being recognized by many as the perfect wave, has taken more lives than any other wave—about one death per year.
Please be aware that all surf contests are subject to the whims of nature, and, if surf conditions are unfavorable, any of these events may be put on hold. If you are planning to travel to the North Shore of Oahu to see the massive surf for yourself, you’ll want to allow at least two to three hours of travel time from Waikiki and Honolulu. Roads may also be closed to traffic if the waves are too large. You can check road status by calling the Hawaii Department of Transportation at (808) 587-2160.