Wave: Pipeline, also know as Banzai Pipeline, Pipe
Where: Eh‘Ukai Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii, USA
What: Reef, shore break - 50 metres from the beach!
When: Legend has it that locals had surfed it for years but Phil Edwards also gets credited for being one of the first to ride it in 1961 (watch “Surfing Hollow Days” for the footage)
Why: Take a look at the pics below
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Pipeline is found on the 7 mile miracle that is the North Shore of Oahu, one of Hawaii’s most popular islands. Home to the white sands of Waikiki and the ever famous Honolulu, Oahu attracts millions of visitors each year, and who can blame them with water temperatures of 27 C in summer and 24 C in winter. However, Pipeline is pretty much a spectators spot for the majority of us, and here is why...
The epic wave is formed over coral reef, making it one of the most dangerous reef breaks in the world. Many vastly experienced surfers, surf photographers and watermen have died at the spot. The hazard lies in that Pipeline dumps its deluge in only a few feet of water, under which lies extremely sharp coral reef formations. To add to the risks involved in surfing Pipe, the reef is formed in peaks and caverns, so a wave doesn’t just hold you down, but traps you in one of the underwater caves.
So why does anyone surf the break? Pipeline offers those who can the ultimate challenge. Working at its best during the winter months of November to February, Pipeline attracts the finest surfers from around the globe to test their skills and to compete in some of the most prestigious events of the year. It is an experience of a lifetime to stand on the shore and watch enormous wave after wave explode onto the shallow reef and feel the ground shake with the impact. In the words of King Kelly Slater when he talked to Nathan Myers at the Los Angeles Times, Pipeline’s reef is “probably the place you're most likely to hit when you fall”- Ouch.
Each winter the North Shore of Oahu comes alive with a hub of activity, competitions are run back to back and Pipeline is the focus. It is the climax of the ASP’s (Association of Surfing Professionals) world tour, and it plays host to the Pipeline Masters in December each year. It is often at this prestigious competition that the world championship title is decided. December 2009 will see Joel Parkinson and Mick Fanning compete against each other to become the new world title holder - we can't wait.....
Watch the first minute and you'll see what we're talking about...