The Triple Crown of Surfing got off to a mammoth start on Thursday with wave faces reaching over 20 feet for the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Ali’i Beach in Haleiwa. Each event in the Triple Crown undergoes a 12-day waiting period and usually takes 4-5 days to complete. Thursday and Friday saw big, clean conditions for both days, but the surf will wane over the next few days and the Men’s Final date and time is yet to be determined.
I headed to the North Shore on Friday for what was my first time attending a Triple Crown event, and I wasn’t disappointed. These surfing events are so packed with beach babes, film crews, and hot surfers that it is nearly impossible NOT to have a great time. I even saw Bethany Hamilton (the girl who lost her arm from a shark attack on Kauai), and she is MUCH taller than what you see in photos! She is at least six feet tall and is a statuesque young surfer girl.
As a spectator, however, it is best to go on the day of the final or on the day with the biggest waves. The waves were already backing off a bit (they were still well above overhead) and were a bit slow and crumbly for my viewing taste.
My good friend, Bernie Baker, is the contest coordinator and a judge for this and nearly all surfing events on Oahu, and was nice enough to pose with me in a photo between heats.
Surfing here in Hawaii is one of the many activities that happen year-round. Somewhere in these islands is a surfable wave. You just have to find it. There’s also a contest nearly every weekend — on the south shore of Oahu during the summer months, and on the North Shore during the winter. Check out Surf News Network for wave conditions on all islands, and the Vans Triple Crown website for livestream videos and other news about what is arguably the biggest annual event in the sport of surfing.