The final stage of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing begins today at the Banzai Pipeline

It is arguably the most famous wave in the world, the wave that all other waves are measured against. In recent years, Pipeline has provided the perfect arena for the final stage of the Vans Triple Crown, and the first day of competition will be held today in 10+ foot surf.

With its shallow coral reef and a lack of continental shelf to break up the open-ocean swells, Pipeline is one of the most dangerous waves in the world. Add a packed lineup of wave riders trying to get a piece of the action, and Pipe becomes not just a dangerous ride, but an extremely entertaining show for spectators.

Pipeline breaks in the winter because storms from Alaska send groundswells towards the North Shore from thousands of miles away. The waves travel great distances across the northern Pacific Ocean, and unleash some spectacular waves along the north shores of the Hawaiian islands.

Every year, thousands of surfers travel to Oahu from all ends of the earth to test their skills at this famous spot. Depending on the day, surfers go in either direction on the wave. The right is known as Backdoor and the left is called Pipeline.

With the swell that allowed Eddie to go still pumping, the Billabong Pipeline Masters will begin today and possibly wrap up in the next few days. The contest has to finish by December 20. If you aren’t on the islands to see the action with your own eyes, you can watch it live HERE.

Of the three jewels of the Triple Crown, this is definitely the most exciting to watch, as the contests are keen on getting “tubed” and the set waves spit them out at their mercy. If you intend to see these men ride one of nature’s finest spectacles, be sure to provide plenty of time to make the journey north, bring a comfortable chair, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!