As the the third and final stop of the World Tour and Vans Triple Crown, the Pipe Masters—which has a holding period from Dec. 8th - 20th—has come to be regarded as the most fabled event in professional surfing. Known as the wave that all others are judged against, Pipeline is regarded as the Everest of surfing, which makes winning at this respected locale a feather in the cap of all who don a jersey. But make no mistake, surfing Pipeline is one of the most dangerous undertakings an athlete can tackle in the sport.
With its hollow lineup detonating in mere feet of water, Pipeline routinely inflicts serious injury and has killed in the past. For spectators, the setups don’t get much serene than Pipeline. From the safety of the shoreline, the world’s best surfers waltz with the world’s most famous wave just a few yards before you.
If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of surfing’s greatest arena, there is no better time to take in Pipeline than during the Pipeline Masters. As a venue primed for spectators, on a large swell, you can almost feel the raw power of the sea enveloping the beach, thumping its might upon itself. There truly is no better venue than Pipeline to see surfers take on one of the most ferocious waves in the world. Parking can be difficult, but Turtle Bay offers shuttles to the events and you can also rent bikes as well, which sould make your commute that much easier.
Although a number of surfers from all over the world are considered experts at riding Pipe, keep an eye out for the likes Kelly Slater and John John Florence. Each surfer has proven himself here time and again. Like a bull fighter, they’re depth of talent allows them to play games with a wave that wants to break their bones. These two surfers are the favorites heading into the event, and if you can watch them from the the beach, you’ll truly be in for a treat.
When the opening horn of the Pipe Masters sounds in the next week, you can expect the crowd at Ehukai Beach Park to swell to capacity as spectators and surfers alike jockey to watch the action. Parking at the event can be difficult, so come prepared for a short walk. But if you can brave the crowds and post up along the beach, you’re in for a show that you won’t soon forget.