Hawaii is currently gearing up to host one of the most exciting annual events on the islands, which also happens to be one of the most epic surfing competitions in the world. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing features three world class competitions spread over 6 weeks on the North Shore of Oahu. Book a convenient flight to Oahu with Island Air and head for the North Shore to check out all the action!
A brief history of the Triple Crown:
Oahu is a perfect location for the event, considering that Oahu hosted the first international surfing competition back in 1954. Broadcast on ABC beginning in the 1960s, this unofficial surf world championships, which was held on the western shore of Oahu, enchanted viewers around the country who were unfamiliar with the sport. At the same time, boards were getting shorter, and waves bigger. The competition migrated to the North Shore, where the big hollow tube waves offered bigger rides and bigger wipeouts. In 1971 world champion surfer Fred Hemmings organized the first North Shore competition, with just a bunch of folding chairs, six surfers, and $1000 in prize money. In 1983, he organized the first official Vans Triple Crown competition, which would test surfers’ abilities in three different environments unique to Hawaii’s awesome surf conditions.
The 3 Upcoming Crown Jewels:
1. The Hawaiian Pro: November 12-23, Haleiwa
The first leg of the competition is the Hawaiian Pro, held at Alii Beach Park. The presence of reef offshore here creates hollow rights, ripable sections, and ever changing conditions that challenge even pro surfers. In other words, you’re in for a great show when you come to watch the sets at the Hawaiian Pro!
2. The Vans World Cup of Surfing: November 26-December 6, Sunset Beach
The second jewel of the crown is held at Sunset Beach, which stands in contrast to Alii Beach Park, as it’s much wider and doesn’t have a reef. Instead Sunset Beach has some of the biggest longest waves in the competition, giving surfers ample chances to earn points with impressive maneuvers both in the barrel and above the lip. This one’s known as the ultimate surf drama, as it can make or break careers. Find a good spot on Sunset Beach to take in the show and cheer on all the competitors—because challenging these epic waves is a victory in itself.
3. Billabong Pipe Masters: December 8-20, Banzai Pipeline
The crown jewel in this competition is the Billabong Pipe Masters, where surfers face what many call the best wave on the planet. Heaving top to bottom barrels that break close to shore make this ideal for spectators, too. But the best wave on the planet is also the deadliest, with a reef that routinely cracks boards and breaks bones. The surfers who dare to go up against the Pipeline are truly an impressive sight to behold. Pro surfer Kelly Slater has won the Billabong Pipe Masters a record 7 times. Who will claim the title this year?
For more info on upcoming event schedules and past winners of the Triple Crown, be sure to check out the Triple Crown of Surfing site.