Pipeline is probably the best-known surf spot in the world; Pipeline attracts surfers from all over the world – some people make their entire careers out of surfing the Pipe.
Pipeline is capable of pulling the most incredible disappearing acts one moment a .5m closeout, the next, a 3m wave roaring along with all the power that’s drawn surfers here for generations.
The wave – Expect exploding tubes over shallow lava reef and sand. Pipe is the result of an outer reef refraction effect, which, in the ideal swell direction, pulls waves squarely onto its flat lava tabletop.
In smaller north-west swells, the wave becomes a dual option, with super hollow rights funnelling across toward nearby ‘Off-The-Wall’.
Best tide – Medium
Best swell direction – West
Best wave size – 3m
Best wind – Light trade winds
Ability level – Medium to high
Ride length – 50m to 100m
Bottom – Reef
Best board – 2.1m to 2.4 pintail
Best season – Late winter (December)
Access – Easy
Crowd factor – Super ultra heavy from dawn to dusk most days through winter
Local vibe – Respect is vital
Hazards – hallow reefs, crowded line-ups, massive locals and the occasional shark
Facilities – The break is around 100m from Ehukai Beach Park, for parking, showers and toilets. Surf shops are everywhere and some will rent boards.
Accommodation – Turtle Bay offers a host of options, from luxurious ocean view villas, complete with a private pool, Jacuzzi, courtyard and personal chef, to cheap and cheerful backpacker rooms
Aprés surf – Big Hawaiians throw big parties; there’s always something going on
Other activities – Check out the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, take a drive along the mellow east side of Oahu, explore the Waimea Valley Adventure Park or discover one of the largest heiau (volcanic stone altar) on the island above Waimea.
Head over to Mokuleia for a parachute jump try bodysurfing at Makapu'u (near Sandy Beach) or stroll the beach and go snorkelling.
Laurels – Venue of the ASP World Tour event
Nearest airport – Honolulu International Airport, Honolulu (HNL)
Getting there – The famous 11km beach on Oahu’s North Shore is a 45-minute drive from town. The best option is to hire a car.
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Latest update: Surfing the Pipeline, Hawaii: 5 April, 2019
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