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    Sorry it took me so long to get the video up of the big swell that hit on Sept 25th. The beautiful thing about a video is I don’t have to say much else besides… ENJOY !!

     



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    27 Sep 2009

    Pipeline and Sunset Pumping

    Posted by Tim at 10:08 PM to Big Waves,Pipeline,Sunset,Surf Spots

    This past Friday, Pipeline and Sunset were going off during an early season WNW swell. Early morning Sunset was perfect, but then got really choppy as the winds set in. Pipe was epic all day long, peaking and becoming cleanest around mid-day.

    Waimea Bay had its fair share of bomb sets as well. There were a lot of broken boards and a few injuries. I’ve been talking with a lot of people down on the beach and everyone is tripping out over the size of the waves for this time of year. I got out to surf Waimea Thursday night and it was amazing, and I can’t wait to get some more of it as this season continues. Check back again for video of Friday’s waves!

    This is not the image you expect to see when looking at Pipeline this time of year.

    This is not the image you expect to see when looking at Pipeline this time of year.

    Pig-dogging it at Pipe.

    Pig-dogging it at Pipe.

    One of the most spectacular sights at Pipeline is watching it spit.

    One of the most spectacular sights at Pipeline is watching it spit.

    Backdoor was dangerous, as most waves were closing out on the inside with big sets out the back.

    Backdoor was dangerous, as most waves were closing out on the inside with big sets out the back.

    Second Reef was firing during the big sets, but there weren't too many takers.

    Second Reef was firing during the big sets, but there weren't too many takers.

    The shifting peaks at Sunset really lit up as the swell filled in.

    The shifting peaks at Sunset really lit up as the swell filled in.

    This guy's hoping he can race through this section without getting smashed.

    This guy's hoping he can race through this section without getting smashed.

    You don't want to be in this guys situation...pulling out straight with endless lines of waves coming in behind you.

    You don't want to be in this guy's situation...pulling out straight with endless lines of waves coming in behind you.



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    There is a lot of talk out there of an El Niño winter. For those of you who don’t know what that means, then you’re going to have to read about it somewhere else, because I am not a weatherman. What I can tell you, is what El Niño means from a surfer’s point of view. It means get ready for consistent big waves for this winter season.

    Basically, what happens during an El Niño year is that the wind directions and speeds change, causing the water temperatures to be thrown off in a variety of places. This makes for an abnormal amount of storms that are situated perfectly to throw large surf at the North Shore of Oahu and California. The North Shore will most likely be slammed by large swells from these storms frequently this year if this El Niño continues to develop the way it is.

    One thing to be aware of is that constant big swell doesn’t always mean clean surf, and during an El Niño year the surf can be extra stormy, making for some not-so-good conditions for surfing. Regardless of what the conditions are like, I think it’s safe to say we’ll see some big waves this winter. Maybe this explains the consistent surf we’ve had early this season.

    For more information about what is going on, check out Surfline’s feature on the developing situation.



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    There is still a lot that needs to happen to get this season really going. For some things, we just need to wait on Mother Ocean; but others we can get working on ourselves. Even during those big swells early on in September, we did not experience the real power and quality of North Shore Oahu’s big waves. The reason is the sand. The biggest change that needs to happen involving the sand will most likely take place on the first massive swell.

    A lot of people aren’t aware of the role the sand plays out here on the North Shore. Places like Log Cabins, Ehukai Beach Park, Pupukea, and especially Pipeline and Backdoor, all depend on what the sand is doing on the shore and on the reef. The first big swell of each year usually moves a ton of sand around, forming sandbars and filling in holes on the reef, creating the waves that we’re longing for on this seven-mile stretch of coastline. Once the sand’s in place, the swells that arrive after will show us what the North Shore of Oahu is all about.

    While we wait for that to happen, we need to make sure we are ready ourselves. Most important, we need to have our quiver of boards in order. Now’s a good time to get boards shaped so they are done no later than the end of October. If you’re unable to afford new boards, then October and November are the best times to go look for used boards at the local shops. As the pros come back in town for the contest season, they usually drop off their old boards at the shops, making for a good selection if you need to add a certain board to your quiver.

    Most everyone who has stuck around here for the summer also needs to make sure they are in good shape. If you haven’t done much surfing in the summer, it can be hard to jump right into surfing big waves when the first swells arrive. Exercises that keep your arms, shoulders, and lungs strong will be best for preparing to surf the big waves of the North Shore.

    Last, if you don’t live here, then you’d better start making your travel plans to get here. Waiting until the last minute can be expensive. Booking flights 2 to 3 months in advance is usually how you’ll find the cheapest flights to Oahu. I have been flying back and forth regularly and have learned this from experience. If you keep waiting for the prices to go down a little more once you’re into that 2-month region…good luck, cause they probably won’t.

    For some good advice on traveling with surfboards, check out this post on The Surfing Blog:

    http://www.thesurfingblog.com/surf-trips-handling-surfboard-fees



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