Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Billabong Pipe Masters


Oct 15, 2016

Banzai Pipeline (Ehukai Beach Park)
The Billabong Pipe Masters, the final stop of the Vans Triple Crown and the final event of the WSL Men’s World Tour, is the perfect venue for the culmination of both series. An iconic and historic wave, the Banzai Pipeline is often referred to as the best wave on the planet. Known for its perfect, heaving top-to-bottom barrels and its close proximity to shore, not only is it the perfect wave for those willing to charge, but also for the spectators on the beach.  

Part of the allure of Pipeline is that with the perfection comes consequence. Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves on the planet. It has claimed more lives than any other wave in the world—one fatality a year, on average—inflicts numerous injuries and breaks boards for a hobby. The cause of danger, a shallow slab of reef with crevasses and coral heads, is also the reason for the barreling shape and immense power of the wave.  

Whether competitors drop into a wedging Pipeline left or free fall into a Backdoor right, surfing Pipe, especially big Pipe, requires a physical and mental commitment all to itself. It’s why the Pipe Masters title is so prestigious and its champions are some of the most highly respected surfers on the planet. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational


Eddie Aikau was the first official lifeguard at Waimea Bay, on Oahu's North Shore, and at the same time developed a reputation as one of the best big wave riders in the world. Partnering with his younger brother/lifeguard Clyde, the pair never lost a life on their watch. Eddie surfed every major swell to come through the North Shore from 1967 to 1978. He attained a rank of 12th in the world on the early IPS pro surfing rankings. His best contest result was a win in the 1977 Duke Kahanamoku Invitational Surfing Championship. In 1978, Aikau was among a handful selected to join the cultural expedition of the Polynesian voyaging canoe Hokule'a, which set sail from Magic Island, Oahu, bound for Tahiti, on March 16, 1978. Hokule'a soon encountered treacherous seas outside the Hawaiian Islands and the canoe capsized. After a wild night adrift, Aikau set off on his paddleboard on March 17 in search of help for his stranded crew members. He was never seen again. The ensuing search for Aikau was the largest air-sea search in Hawaii history. The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau event was established in 1984 held at Sunset Beach in his honor. The event moved the next winter to Waimea Bay and has been a fixture there ever since.