Medina Crowned World Champion at Pipeline December 2015
Heat between Pipemaster Julian Wilson and world champion Gabriel Medina 2015
The contest stand was so big that this sign was posted at the Sunset bridge the day after it was set up. It says "weight limit 27 tons"
The Triple Crown lingered on and on and on this year. To their credit, the waves were junk and they had to work with the windows of contestable waves, but their frequent efforts of holding up the beach in hope for better conditions also holds up residents from their daily routine not to mention the surf which most of us pay a pretty big price to be here for when its good. Nowdays we find ourselves spending up to two hours in traffic to reach our favorite surf spot which is typically a 5-10 minute drive from our house.There is no such thing as going for a quick surf. If you have to work or attend scheduled events for the day, the idea of a quick surf or even a trip to Foodland could throw you off, big time, therefore many of us are forced to stay home and make major adjustments during this time.
As the Triple Crown expands with an increasing larger set up, TV coverage and influx of employs, the Northshore community is more and more inconvenienced to say the least. Rumor has it that someone actually sued the Triple Crown for running two man heats because even though they have four men in the water, it is illegal. Although I respect such notables as Marty Thomas and Jodie Wilmot who seem to have the interests of the community at heart, the commercial conglomerate of surfing and the new WLA seem to care less about their impact to our environment. You might notice that they don't really thank the Northshore community for allowing them to run the contests anymore and most of us are treated like we don't belong there at our own beaches that we have been surfing at for twenty plus years. The attitude is "get out of our way" we have bought this beach for the day. Most residents will voice this opinion the moment you mention "Triple Crown". It is just not a very nice way to treat the people that pay the taxes and put up with all the hooplah that these so-called "important people" are profiting from because at the end of the day,we are left with beat up beaches, bigger potholes and more flies.
Between the Triple Crown and the onslaught of tourists who come for Christmas, the Northshore is not a very fun place to be during the holidays. This year has been especially trying because the waves have been really junk with 1 or 2 decent days between 3 or 4 unriddable days and this has gone on for almost six weeks now with the worst of it upon us over the Christmas break. We can always expect a bad run of weather in January, but Christmas is almost always epic. Not this year. Surfers must have been really bad because Santa neva bring us waves.
There have only been about 4 true WNW-NW swells this entire year; the very first swell, a side onshore swell that happened right before the Pipe masters, the one that they ran half day during the Pipemasters and one on the 21st immediately after the end of the Triple Crown waiting period. These swells were for the most part duds however since there was way too much sand for the waves to get good. The swell that they tried to run the Pipemasters was a good example of what that looks like which is just unmakeable close outs for the most part. The waves ridden on that day however were still some of the best all season. Kelly's crazy backwash wave in the morning and a couple that were ridden late that afternoon by guys like Waikita, Mikey Bruno, Jamie 'O Brien and Landon McNamara. Even on those days, it has been pretty slim pickins though with just a few makable waves popping up throughout the entire day. Tom Carroll should be in the mix for wave of the winter with the barrel he got in the expression session the night before. Derek Ho found some sick ones which are really just like standard provisions for him. The swell on the 21st was a little smaller but a bit more lucrative with less close outs and of course less crowds.
Even amongst the oppression of the contests, I have to admit The Triple Crown was pretty intense this year being that the world title was still on the line with Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina and Mick Fanning in contention for it. It was an exciting win for Medina and the international surfing community was happy to see Brazil step into the lime light, but right now the Northshore feels like Rio De Janerio.
Although the season started out early with a lot of small clean surf, waveriders are looking forward to the New Year of surf. I do not think I have ever seen so many back to back storms and North swells consistently throughout November through to January where we are still surfing a couple days here and there in-between several days of unridable conditions even as I write this blog.
In my own records it looks like there was about seven days totally onshore in November or 10 days if you add in the side onshore days. December had about ten days of onshore or up to 14 days if you include the side onshore days, plus there were four days taken by the Pipe contest and three days when the beach was on hold.ugh.
All we can hope for is that once the pros and tourists ship out this week, the surf will roll in. Next week does look better with more days of trades and west swells, but it appears that they will be mixed up with north swells once again before another storm front predicted for next weekend. I still feel like I am waiting for the season to start, but I realize that we are already half way through so don't just pray for surf, pray for west swells and clean conditions!
Japanese tourist no care if the waves junk
Jan 3, 2015 onshore winds knock down a few trees by the Pipe path