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5 Things You Need to Know About the Big Swell

Posted on Tue, 2015/01/20 - 5:38pm by Jeff Mull

Here on the North Shore, the impending arrival of the “Big Wednesday” swell that is forecasted to last through the weekend has become the talk of the town. Whether it’s in line at the grocery store or along our famous beach path, the talk of the ferocity of this swell has taken over our sleepy surf town. To ensure that you’re caught up to speed when the first massive sets explode on our reefs, we’ve created this simple list.

The Eddie Will NOT Run

While this swell is indeed forecast to fall under the 40-foot mark necessary to run what is considered the most famous surf contest of all time, event organizers have decided that they won’t run. Why, you ask? It’ll indeed big enough, but it won’t be consistent enough:

"After assessing all available forecast sources, we are not seeing sufficient energy to run the event this week," said Event Director Glen Moncata. "The Quiksilver In Memory of Eddie Aikau requires a full eight hour day of waves with minimum 40-foot faces. What we are seeing simply does not meet the criteria. Yes, there will be some waves of that height in the latter half of the day, but not a full day of consistent surf. We will wait."

Waimea Bay is the Place to Be

While the swell may not be Eddie potential, it’s still going to be absolutely breathtaking at Waimea Bay. According to Surfline, “We will see solid 20’ sets (40’ faces) at the Bay for the afternoon on Wednesday, although the morning looks slower. Even with the Eddie off it will be an insane day of surf with great wind and weather and XXL swell.” If you’re staying at the resort and need a lift to avoid traffic, you can rent a bike or a scooter here.

Hire A Guide for An Insider’s Perspective

If you enjoy watching Mother Nature in full force, but aren’t familiar with surfing, then consider hiring a guide. For $20, a seasoned member of the hotel’s guide post will take you down to Waimea Bay and show you things that only a local would know. This is a once-a-year swell, so don’t miss out. Learn more at the North Shore Guide Post. 

Do NOT Get In the Water

We’ll keep this one simple: You wouldn’t jump in the middle of an avalanche, would you? Of course not. During a swell of this magnitude, the ocean is no different. Watch this amazing day of surfing from the safety of the bluff or from the beach. You'll thank us later.

Document The Surf 

When you describe to your friends back home that you could literally feel the beach shake at Pipeline when the sets broke, they’ll have a hard time believing you. That’s why we recommend documenting it. That photo of a 40-foot set sweeping through Waimea is sure to collect you a few extra likes on your Instagram account.