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Triple Crown of Surfing

triple crown of surfing
When: Monday, November 12, 2018 (All day) to Thursday, December 20, 2018 (All day)



For three decades, the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing has served as one of the most hotly anticipated and esteemed events in the surf world. With hundreds of thousands of dollars up for grabs, a live HD webcast, and throngs of surf fans and media chomping at the bit, the sanctity of the event is unquestionable.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Well before you could log in to see a live feed of Pipe thundering for the world’s best surfers, the Triple Crown was very much a grass-roots trifecta run by surfers, for surfers. In 1971, Fred Hemmings (who would go onto become a state senator) and Randy Rarick erected a card table at Pipeline for the inaugural Pipe Masters (which was originally called the Hawaiian Masters). There were six surfers in the event, 10 folding chairs, and $1,000 up for grabs. From these meager beginnings, the first seeds of the Triple Crown were sewn.

In 1983, the concept to incorporate three events into an overall series, the Triple Crown, was born. Haleiwa, with its constantly changing face, could challenge competitors on a variety of levels. Sunset, forever daunting, would test their mettle. And Pipeline, with its ferocity, would be the crown jewel of the series.

Thirty-three years later, the Triple Crown is now one of the most revered events in the sport—a solid showing serving as a prideful feather in the cap of any competitive surfer. Outside of a world title, a Triple Crown win is the most coveted achievement in surfing. “We could have never imagined that it would go from where it started to where it is today,” recalls Randy Rarick, who served as the event’s director for decades. As the series unfolds, you can catch all of the action at the beach or live via the


Located amid one of the most historic and picturesque small towns in Hawaii, the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa is the first stop of the three-part series. As a wave, Haleiwa has been known to show many faces. Depending on the swell, she can either be menacing and vengeful or downright playful. But that’s the beauty of Haleiwa; to win here, you have to be able to quickly adapt to an array of conditions. As far as the ratings points are concerned, Haleiwa falls under the qualifying series and doesn’t award as many points as the Pipe Masters, which is a World Tour event.

Who to watch at the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa: Local surfers on the qualification bubble typically shine here, but the likes of Connor Coffin, Nate Yeomans and Wiggoly Dantas have also shown that they have what it takes to be standing on the podium come the end of the event.


In her heyday, Sunset was the wave that all other big-wave venues were measured against. It wasn’t until the 1970s, when surfboards evolved, that the primary focal point on the North Shore shifted away from Sunset and toward Pipeline. However, Sunset remains one of the most respected waves on the North Shore. With its sweeping walls, unyielding currents, and sneaker sets, Sunset tests a surfer in all facets. To do well here, you have to know the wave intimately, be in peak shape, and be prepared to take a few beatings.

Who to watch at the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset: As we mentioned, local knowledge plays a huge role in doing well at Sunset. Local wildcards and other seasoned Sunset surfers like John Florence, Sebastian Zietz, and Michel Bourez could be strong contenders.

As arguably the world’s most famous and respected wave, Pipeline holds a unique distinction to surfers the world over. Massive walls of water creep upon the reef only to explode in just a few feet of water. From just a few yards up the beach, spectators can practically feel the power of the sets crashing against the reef. Congested with crowds and downright deadly (the wave routinely claims lives) Pipeline is regarded as one of the most difficult waves in the world to surf, but also the most rewarding. One good wave here can—and has—forged entire careers.

Who to watch at the Pipe Masters: Kelly Slater has won this event more than any other surfer alive, but reigning champ Julian Wilson and Mick Fanning and a slew of other locals have also shown that they can be formidable at Pipe as well.


Be a part of the action at what has been dubbed the "Super Bowl of Surfing."
Rub elbows with surf legends and make epic memories on Oahu's North Shore.
Get your front row seats for the greatest show on earth, the Super Bowl of Surfing - The Vans Triple Crown! Turtle Bay Resort has partnered with the World Surf League to bring you savings for your trip to the North Shore.  
Stay during the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing holding period from November 12 - December 20, 2018, and get rates starting from $289.
Stay outside of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing holding period and take advantage of World Surf League's exclusive year-round rate.