Surfers can make or break their professional careers at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing also known as the Hawaii Triple Crown Surf Championship. The North Shore of Oahu remains the Mecca of professional surfing to date, so it makes sense that the most anticipated event in pro surfing happens here.
The first Pipe Masters event, called the Hawaiian masters, was staged by former world champion surfer Fred Hemmings in 1971. Hemmings saw the potential that the North Shore had to offer the sport of professional surfing, and he created a series of challenges. His event would test surfers’ skills at Pipeline and two other world-class locations. He organized the first Triple Crown of Surfing in 1983. Three Hawaii events, the Pipe Masters, the World Cup of Surfing, and the Hawaiian Pro, were set apart from the established professional surfing circuit. The winner would be honored with the title of the best male surfer in Hawaii’s challenging and powerful surf.
The event is now in its 35th year. The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing continues the legacy established by Hemmings. The series is a power surfing event where careers are made and reputations are forged. This prestigious event is a milestone for surfers and a fabulous event for spectators. Here are some tips for planning your trip to the Hawaii Triple Crown Surf Championship.
The Four Events
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing is made up of four events. They are as follows:
- HIC PRO at Sunset Beach (a qualifying event)
- The Hawaiian Pro at Hale’iwa
- The Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach
- The Billabong Pipe Masters at the infamous Banzai Pipeline
The Time Frame
If you are not familiar with surfing tournaments, it is important to know that the events operate under time frames. Since coordinators have no way of predicting when surf conditions will be optimal, a competition window is set. The weather and wave conditions are closely monitored during the window of time established for that competition. Every morning the contest officials make the call as to whether the contest is on or off for that day. If you plan to attend an event, check the contest website before heading to the beach. The competition windows for the entire 2018 Hawaii Triple Crown Surf Championship runs from October 27 – December 20, 2018, or seven weeks.
Two of the events of the Hawaii Triple Crown Surf Championship, the qualifying round and the World Cup of Surfing, take place at Sunset Beach. The HIC PRO tends to draw smaller crowds, and that might be a preference for some travelers. Big open-face carves and power surfing are on display at Sunset Beach.
Hale’iwa Ali’i Beach Park is host to the first event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the Hawaiian Pro. This venue is a high-performance surfing arena. Look to see unreal turns, jaw-dropping barrels, and a variety of impressive aerial maneuvers at this event.
Ehukai Beach Park Banzai Pipeline is the third and final location for the Triple Crown. The Banzai Pipeline is world famous for its size, shape, power, and beauty. The break can produce gaping barrels that are 25 to 30 feet wide. The break’s proximity to shore make this a superb venue for fans, as the action is seemingly right in front of you. This event gets very crowded.
Once you have chosen the events and the dates you want to be in Oahu, be sure to pack a few important items. Binoculars are a must, so you can really see the surfing action. Bring your own shade. While it is winter in Hawaii during this event, the sun can still be intense. Of course, bring a camera to capture all the excitement!
Start planning your trip to the Hawaii Triple Crown Surf Championship now. You will want to be a part of the action this year! While you’re in Oahu, be sure to also check out the best romantic destinations on the island.