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Triple Crown Of Surfing: The Ultimate North Shore Spectacle
Triple Crown Of Surfing: The Ultimate North Shore Spectacle
written by Rodrigo Diniz

on December 12, 2023

The Hawaiian islands are renowned for their incredible surfing culture, offering plenty of opportunities to explore the traditional sport. Whether you’re a rookie or veteran surfer, there is no experience quite like watching and taking part in the Triple Crown Of Surfing.

This event series showcases some of the best professional surfers from around the world competing against each other in three specialty contests: The Reef Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing and Billabong Pipe Masters at Oahu's iconic North Shore.

Every year between November and December during winter swells on Hawaii's North Shore bring in huge waves that draw thousands of onlookers cheering on these athletes as they bravely tackle some of nature's most powerful forces – making it an absolute must-see spectacle for any fan! In this blog post we will explore all facets associated with this annual surfing extravaganza – its history, significance and tips for visiting -- so buckle up and get ready to plan your trip along Oahu’s legendary North Shore!

  Key Takeaways

  • The Triple Crown of Surfing is an annual showcase of the world's top surfers which takes place on Oahu’s North Shore in Hawaii during winter swells.
  • Taking part at this prestigious event tethered with geolocational and iconic elements such as Waimea Bay, Ehukai Beach Park or Sunset Pro Peak are some well-seasoned pros and aspiring amateurs who come here to/for compete against each other for prize money.
  • There is much more to explore on Oahu then just surfing - perfect paradise for thrill seekers island explorers looking into activities like snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking among others; take safety precautions before going out into ocean as some areas require dive certification.

History and Significance of Surfing in Hawaii

Surfing has been a part of Hawaiian culture for centuries and today the incredible waves found on the North Shore of Oahu draw surfers from around the globe to come and experience this unique sport.

Learn more about how surfing originated in the islands and what it means to Hawaiian culture.

Surfing like Ancients

The earliest evidence of surfing can be traced back to 12th century Polynesia where cave paintings illustrate the ancient sport. But it was in Hawaii, christened ‘wave sliding’ where this ancestral tradition evolved into what we now call modern surfer culture.

The sport held both recreational and religious importance particularly with boards being shaped by skilled island craftsmen who would carefully craft pieces using arrows, spears or paddles from local trees such as quandong or sandalwood.

These boards became an integral part of traditional Hawaiian culture beyond their sporting uses and were seen as spiritual tools for communication between realms - connecting communities through a shared love for wave riding.

Early days of surfing

Surfing has been, and remains an important part of Hawaiian culture. Evidence of surfing dates back to the 12th century Polynesia, where cave paintings depict ancient versions of surfers riding waves.

But it was Hawaii’s kings and tribes that popularized the activity as a pastime rather than just another mode of transportation from one location to another as practiced by various Polynesian travel groups hundreds of years prior.

Surfing flourished in Oahu's North Shore because the area is known for its incredible waves; although other areas like Maui, Big Island or Kauai also offer some great surfing opportunities, Oahu's North Shore is home to several world-renowned spots such as Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

These beaches are known for hosting professional competitions year round including iconic ones like The Eddie Aikau Invitational Big Wave Contest at Waimea Bay which feature some massive swells challenge even the most experienced surfers.

Surfers from all around flock to these shores not only for competition but also just spending time in their natural habitat: riding waves on classic broken boards with only nature’s power propelling them forward.

The Triple Crown of Surfing

Made up of three iconic North Shore surf competitions, the Triple Crown of Surfing is an annual showcase of the sport's top talent and a chance for surfers from all over the world to prove their mettle in Hawaii's big waves.

Starting in November and ending with the legendary Pipe Masters contest at Banzai Pipeline on Oahu's north shore, this event offers a unique opportunity to witness some high-stakes surfing action.

Reef Hawaiian Pro

The Reef Hawaiian Pro is the first surfing event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing series and the start to an incredible two weeks on Oahu's North Shore. The competition brings together some of the planet’s best surfers in a fight for prize money, as well as global recognition for their talent and skill.

This prestigious event has been held annually since 1983 at Aliʻi Beach Park in Haleiwa, showcasing everything from big-wave riders to smaller expert class surfers.

For spectators, experiencing this spectacular sight while standing on land or viewing via boat can be equally thrilling experience – not just for watching its contestants but also marvelling at beautiful Hawaii's crashing north shore waves that produce such perfect conditions for professional surfing competitions every year! From barreling tubes off Ehukai Beach Park to evading better judgement while riding sunset pro peak after peak - all these extreme manoeuvres are done by dedicated athletes who come here month after month during holding period season with one goal: To compete and claim victory across multiple world acclaimed events including Vans Triple Crown, QuikSilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational, Billabong Pipe Masters and Andy Irons Day “King of The Groms".

Vans World Cup of Surfing

The World Cup of Surfing is the second event in professional surfing’s esteemed Triple Crown series, an annual event that marks one of the most significant stops on any surfer's calendar.

Taking place at Sunset Beach, Oahu's North Shore, the Vans World Cup possesses a reputation for huge barrels and monster waves—just what you’d expect from such an iconic surf location.

The Vans World Cup is hugely respected amongst surfers as a QS10,000 level competition; inviting only the world's best big wave shredders to compete in its distinguished waters. Every winter season brings with it perfect opportunities for well-seasoned pros and aspiring amateurs alike to take part in one of professional surfing’s elite events – just another reason you should plan your next trip around Hawaii’s famous North Shore!

Tips for Exploring the North Shore of Oahu
The Billabong Pipe Masters and Vans Pipe Masters are major surfing competitions held on the North Shore of Oahu.

Billabong Pipe Masters

The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons is the culminate event of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which takes place on Oahu’s fabled North Shore. The event has become iconic, not just among surfers but fans and spectators around the world who come to witness one of surfing's most spectacular spectacles.

Held at Banzai Pipeline every December, this invitation-only contest draws many of professional surfing's biggest names for a shot at achieving th title as Allan Irons Memorial Champ.

Notoriously challenging waves serve up some serious barrels that make it an opportunity for top talent to show off their big wave bravado and maneuvering skills while competing against each other .

Pipe Masters was first held in 1971 and is now a crown jewel on pro surfer’s bucket list, along with being part ways in measuring any career accomplishment by these sports all-stars.

Even if they don't always take home the title or Prize money offered by sponsor Billabong; competitors are honored just to be there participating in such a prestigious history observation and competition that dates back 40+ years.

Other Surfing Activities on Oahu

There's much more to explore on Oahu than just surfing; the perfect place for beach lovers, thrill seekers, and nature enthusiasts alike. With activities such as snorkeling, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking and so much more - it's no wonder why visitors flock to the North Shore!

Snorkeling and SCUBA diving

Oahu’s North Shore is a paradise for snorkeling and SCUBA diving enthusiasts, offering an amazing 1,200 miles of coral reef to explore. The azure waters of the Pacific Ocean are teeming with vibrant marine life—everything from exotic tropical fish to majestic green sea turtles! With its warm waters and abundant wildlife, Oahu has become a must-visit destination for both novice divers as well as seasoned veterans.

Popular spots include Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, which offers calm clear waters perfect for taking in all the beauty surrounding you; and Turtle Bay Resort on Kahuku Point where experienced divers can take advantage of some deeper reefs.

Snorkelers shouldn't miss Shark's Cove with its tide pools full of colorful urchins and starfish waiting to be discovered. No matter what your skill level or experience may be, there is something for everyone when it comes to exploring Oahu’s picturesque shorelines.

Before going out into the ocean however, it’s important to remain aware of safety regulations such as never exceeding your skill level and following local advisories about surf conditions sensitive areas.

Stand-up paddle boarding

Stand-up paddle boarding has become increasingly popular around the world, but it's especially beloved in Hawaii. Intrepid explorers flock to the islands to experience riding waves with their paddleboards and witnessing some of the best shore break on offer.

The North Shore of Oahu is one of the best places for stand-up paddling thanks to its diverse surfing locations and amazing water conditions. From February through April every year, there are a number of great competitions such as the annual Haleiwa Paddleboard Race where daredevils take on challenging courses and put their skills to a true test.

Whether you’re an experienced stand-up paddler or just beginning your journey into this awesome sport, Hawaii offers something for all levels including calendar events like competitive races as well as more chilled sessions at beach breaks like Waikiki Beach or kid-friendly spots further north.

Tips for Exploring the North Shore of Oahu

Get ready for the ultimate surfing experience on Oahu's North Shore. From its epic surf breaks to stunning beaches, this area is a dream-come-true destination for all levels of surfers!

Best time to visit

The North Shore of Oahu is well-known for its Surfing, SCUBA diving and snorkeling opportunities. The best time to visit this area is during the winter months from November to March when waves reach their peak size, offering surfers some of the world's biggest waves and reef breaks.

During these months, local events such as Haleiwaʻs King Kamehameha Day celebrations attract locals and tourists alike. For those looking for more tranquil water activities likes swimming or paddle boarding, May - September offers calmer waters but smaller sets than in the winter months.

So when planning a trip to Hawaii’s North Shore be sure to plan your activities according to both surge size and seasonality!

Surfing competitions and events

The North Shore of Oahu is the mecca of competitive surfing. Home to some of the world’s largest and most treacherous waves, it attracts surfers from all over the globe looking for a challenge—and they definitely find one! The beginning of December kicks off with the Triple Crown: three major events that offer huge cash prizes and sought-after championship titles.

These are more than just competitions; they're water-based performances by some of the best athletes in the surfing universe.

Starting slowly with Reef Hawaiian Pro every November, this event has drawn many big names in its 42 year history, especially since being taken under world tour sponsorship by Vans back in 2015.

Following on quickly afterwards comes Vans World Cup Of Surfing which honors legendary Duke Kahanamoku right there at Waimea Bay – considered hallowed ground for serious big-wave riders and instantly recognizable around Hawaii due to its setting captured on postcards everywhere.

Safety tips for surfing

Surfing on the North Shore of Oahu is no walk in the park and can be downright dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Understanding ocean swells is key to keeping your surf session safe, so make sure to check local forecasts before heading out.

Respect surfing etiquette and avoid collisions with other boarders by giving way when necessary and staying aware of your surroundings. Be especially careful around reefs as they are very close to shore, they form currents that can move fast, and are often used for big-wave rides or competitions.

As Hawaii's waves can reach up 25-30ft offshore stay within your comfort zone while picking waves and take breaks whenever needed to conserve energy when paddling hard for a wave. By being mindful of your own safety precautions, understanding the power of Mother Nature, and getting insider tips from locals - tourists visiting Hawaii will be able to enjoy a safe yet exciting surfing experience at one of the world's most renowned surfing spots!

Other activities to try in the area

Along with great surfing, the North Shore of Oahu is home to several other water activities for visitors. Stand-up paddle boarding is a popular way to explore the shores and ride gentle ocean swells, with Waimea Bay Beach Park offering particularly calm waters and sloping, easy to surf waves.

If you're feeling adventurous head out further into the ocean for bigger swells - just remember to be cautious as conditions can change quickly in Hawaii's unpredictable tropical environment.

Snorkeling and SCUBA diving are also accessible from many parts of the shoreline offering unique views into an underwater paradise filled colorful fish, striking coral vistas illuminated by the sparkling sunbeams peeking through crystal clear liquid ceilings.

accommodations and dining options
Accommodations are available close to recommended attractions on the North Shore of Oahu.

Accommodations and dining options.

When it comes to planning a stay in the North Shore of Oahu, accommodation options vary greatly. From cozy bed and breakfasts with ocean views to luxurious beach Villas and five-star hotels, this area offers something for every type of traveler.

Additionally, many vacation rentals are also available for those looking to have more privacy during their stay.

In terms of dining options, the area boasts a diverse array of cuisines just a short distance from the beaches. North Shore Tacos offers a delightful Mexican experience, standing out in the food landscape. Alongside, you can indulge in classic American dishes from cozy, family-run diners or savor sushi at local spots, highlighting fresh catches by Hawaii’s native fishermen.

Hula dancers may make appearances at certain spots too if you’re lucky! Haleiwa tends to be quite touristy and its restaurants often cater primarily towards visitors so do your research before heading out into that part of town.


The Triple Crown of Surfing is a thrilling, legendary and must-see event for anyone passionate about surfing. The competition brings together the best surfers from around the world to challenge their skills in the powerful and demanding waves of Hawaii’s North Shore.

It's an extraordinary showing of skill, power, courage and athleticism held amidst one of surfing's most iconic locations. A celebration of Hawaiian culture and heritage with deep roots in ancient times, this distinctive tournament carries many decades worth of tradition that have been passed down through generations — commemorating some significant records set by both local islander champions as well as international superstars.

As fan anticipation builds leading up to each year's events on Oahu's stunning North Shore coastline, it beckons us all to come witness a spectacle unlike any other: The Triple Crown Of Surfing - the ultimate North Shore experience!