North Swell Madness On The North Shore Of Oahu

From Jeff Crawford to Kelly Slater there's a long history of Florida boys charging hard on the North Shore. So when Rockpiles fired up big with a 10-12 foot North swell, we weren't surprised to see Evan Geiselman packing bombs on one of the heaviest waves on the North Shore. Photo: Checkwood
From Jeff Crawford to Kelly Slater there's a long history of Florida boys charging hard on the North Shore. So when Rockpiles fired up big with a 10-12 foot North swell, we weren't surprised to see Evan Geiselman packing bombs on one of the heaviest waves on the North Shore. Photo: Checkwood
There's nothing more terrifying than seeing the horizon go black (or in this case, blue) as what seems like an endless set rears up in front of you. Hopefully the guy scratched over to the channel in time to avoid being smashed into the pile of rocks at, well, Rockpiles. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
There's nothing more terrifying than seeing the horizon go black (or in this case, blue) as what seems like an endless set rears up in front of you. Hopefully the guy scratched over to the channel in time to avoid being smashed into the pile of rocks at, well, Rockpiles. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Aussie up and comer Ryan Callinan with a big lien air at Rocky Point. <i>PS Thanks to Geoff Moysa for pointing out that this is actually a stale fish. My bad, I can't do airs and usually ask the TW Skate guys which is which. Photo: Dorsey
Aussie up and comer Ryan Callinan with a big stale fish air at Rocky Point. PS Thanks to Geoff Moysa for pointing out that this is actually a stale fish and not a lien air. My bad, I can't do airs and usually ask the TW Skate guys which is which. Photo: Dorsey
For two days in a row it poured down rain on the Hawaiian Islands yet there was a bombing N/NE swell and the winds were straight offshore and light. It made for some epic sessions at places that like that angle of swell and from all reports the Outer Islands (shhh!) were just as good as the North Shore of Oahu. Kiron Jabour at Backdoor. Photo: Checkwood
For two days in a row it poured down rain on the Hawaiian Islands yet there was a bombing N/NE swell and the winds were straight offshore and light. It made for some epic sessions at places that like that angle of swell and from all reports the Outer Islands (shhh!) were just as good as the North Shore of Oahu. Kiron Jabour at Backdoor. Photo: Checkwood
While 9' rhino chasers will always be a staple in a serious North Shore quiver, more and more surfers are bringing a small wave arsenal to the Seven Mile Miracle instead of a coffin filled with guns. Matt Wilkinson spins out at the Off The Wall sandbar on a 5'6
While 9' rhino chasers will always be a staple in a serious North Shore quiver, more and more surfers are bringing a small wave arsenal to the Seven Mile Miracle instead of a coffin filled with guns. Matt Wilkinson spins out at the Off The Wall sandbar on a 5'6" fish. Photo: Checkwood
Shane Dorian seems to be on a mission of late and has been putting in more water time than anyone when the waves are pumping. After his horrific two-wave hold down at Mavericks 8-foot Backdoor must seem like a walk in the park. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Shane Dorian seems to be on a mission of late and has been putting in more water time than anyone when the waves are pumping. After his horrific two-wave hold down at Mavericks 8-foot Backdoor must seem like a walk in the park. Photo: Bielmann/SPL


Above: A highlight video from the last ten days on the North Shore. What’s cool is that you can see a few clips in here that are featured in the photo gallery. Nothing goes undocumented on the North Shore… Video courtesy Oakley.

Perhaps having three thumbs helped Kauai's Sebastian
Perhaps having three thumbs helped Kauai's Sebastian "Seabass" Zietz stroke into this Rockpiles monster—because you never know what one extra little digit can do for your paddling power. Whatever the case, for two days, Rockipiles was the epicenter of all the action on the North Shore and Seabass was rushing it as hard as anyone. Photo: Checkwood
Thanks to a constant North swell, there were only a few rocks breaking through the sand and guys were blasting airs at will in the shorebreak at Off The Wall. Unidentified. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Thanks to a constant North swell, there were only a few rocks breaking through the sand and guys were blasting airs at will in the shorebreak at Off The Wall. Unidentified. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Sometimes it's better to abandon ship than pearl into mere feet of water over a jagged reef…ask Chris Ward. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Sometimes it's better to abandon ship than pearl into mere feet of water over a jagged reef…ask Chris Ward. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Proving he'll do just about anything to get the shot, Eric Geiselman pulls in on a closeout at Log Cabins. If you could only see the pinnacles and caves below him, you'd realize the danger factor here. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Proving he'll do just about anything to get the shot, Eric Geiselman pulls in on a closeout at Log Cabins. If you could only see the pinnacles and caves below him, you'd realize the danger factor here. Photo: photobrent/SPL

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Andy and Bruce's cousin JD Irons taking off at Pipeline where AI left off…in the pit. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Andy and Bruce's cousin JD Irons taking off at Pipeline where AI left off…in the pit. Photo: photobrent/SPL
A moody Backdoor Pipeline as seen from the beachfront Oakley house. Photo: Checkwood
A moody Backdoor Pipeline as seen from the beachfront Oakley house. Photo: Checkwood


Above: John Florence and his brothers Ivan (goofyfoot) and Nathan messing around at scary Rockpiles and Log Cabins.

While the term
While the term "he surfs like a cat on acid" is a bit overused, it completely applies to Kauai's Gavin Gillette. GG hitting the catnip at OTW. Photo: Checkwood
Californians were some of the first surfers to tackle the treacherous waves of the North Shore and while the locals will always get theirs, dudes like Alex Gray are doing well to keep the tradition started by Butch Van Artsdalen, Greg Noll, and Phil Edwards alive. Photo: Nelly/SPL
Californians were some of the first surfers to tackle the treacherous waves of the North Shore and while the locals will always get theirs, dudes like Alex Gray are doing well to keep the tradition started by Butch Van Artsdalen, Greg Noll, and Phil Edwards alive. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Brazilian whizkid Gabriel Medina using the tradewinds to his advantage at Rocky Point—home to the most high performance surfing on the North Shore. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Brazilian whizkid Gabriel Medina using the tradewinds to his advantage at Rocky Point—home to the most high performance surfing on the North Shore. Photo: Stafford/SPL
North Shore veteran Tom Whitaker tries to dodge a water housing, make the cut on the tour next year, feed his kid, and make it out of this Backdoor drainer all in one fell swoop. Photo: Stafford/SPL
North Shore veteran Tom Whitaker tries to dodge a water housing, make the cut on the tour next year, feed his kid, and make it out of this Backdoor drainer all in one fell swoop. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Yo Pete try to bury some more rail next time, okay? Floridian powerhouse Pete Mendia at Gas Chambers. Photo: Stafford/SPL
Yo Pete try to bury some more rail next time, okay? Floridian powerhouse Pete Mendia at Gas Chambers. Photo: Stafford/SPL
California's Dane Gudauskas post-sunset session at the most dangerous reef at a place with filled with dangerous reefs—Log Cabins. Photo: Nelly/SPL
California's Dane Gudauskas post-sunset session at the most dangerous reef at a place with filled with dangerous reefs—Log Cabins. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Mick Fanning flares up at a sand-packed Off The Wall. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Mick Fanning flares up at a sand-packed Off The Wall. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Maui's Ian Walsh knows as well as anyone that if you're from the Outer Islands you have to rip the North Shore of Oahu to be taken seriously as a pro. And in Walshy's case, he's about as serious as a heart attack. Photo: Nelly/SPL
Maui's Ian Walsh knows as well as anyone that if you're from the Outer Islands you have to rip the North Shore of Oahu to be taken seriously as a pro. And in Walshy's case, he's about as serious as a heart attack. Photo: photobrent/SPL

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While Kauai's Danny Fuller has always been known for rushing 2nd Reef Pipe, his small wave act has been stellar this year. He even won $50 bucks off Oakley photog Russ Hennings after Russ bet him he couldn't land an air reverse on his first wave. Easy money, brah! Photo: Bielmann/SPL
While Kauai's Danny Fuller has always been known for rushing 2nd Reef Pipe, his small wave act has been stellar this year. He even won $50 bucks off Oakley photog Russ Hennings after Russ bet him he couldn't land an air reverse on his first wave. Easy money, brah! Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Kiwi wave killer Richard Christie slays Off The Wall. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Kiwi wave killer Richard Christie slays Off The Wall. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Gabe Kling surfed 'til after dark at Logs waiting for that one gem. Looks like his patience paid off. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Gabe Kling surfed 'til after dark at Logs waiting for that one gem. Looks like his patience paid off. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Unidentified cliff diver at Backdoor Pipeline. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Unidentified cliff diver at Backdoor Pipeline. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Adrian "Ace" Buchan banks it off a chunky section at Rocky Point...Ronnie Burns would be proud! Photo: Dorsey
Adrian "Ace" Buchan banks it off a chunky section at Rocky Point...Ronnie Burns would be proud! Photo: Dorsey
California's Tim Reyes called his shot on this one when, before he paddled out at Logs, he said he was going to wait way out the back for a bomb and pull in no matter what… Photo: Stafford/SPL
California's Tim Reyes called his shot on this one when, before he paddled out at Logs, he said he was going to wait way out the back for a bomb and pull in no matter what… Photo: Stafford/SPL
The awesome thing about the North Shore is that just about anyone can show up and blow up in front of the lens. Here's Kiwi upstart Billy Stairmaid doing just that at OTW. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
The awesome thing about the North Shore is that just about anyone can show up and blow up in front of the lens. Here's Kiwi upstart Billy Stairmaid doing just that at OTW. Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Michael Ho is not only the patriarch of one of the most famous surf families in the world, he's also a grom at heart and prone to pulling into anything (including heaving Backdoor) at the ripe age of 53 years old. Uncle Mike is truly an inspiration to all. Photo: Checkwood
Michael Ho is not only the patriarch of one of the most famous surf families in the world, he's also a grom at heart and prone to pulling into anything (including heaving Backdoor) at the ripe age of 53 years old. Uncle Mike is truly an inspiration to all. Photo: Checkwood
Before injuring his shoulder, Laurie Towner was having a stellar season on the North Shore. The jovial Aussie didn't let a bum wing keep him down and was spotted riding a 9'6
Before injuring his shoulder, Laurie Towner was having a stellar season on the North Shore. The jovial Aussie didn't let a bum wing keep him down and was spotted riding a 9'6" Waimea gun at small kine Pipe soon after. Laurie was also invited to the 2010 Quiksilver In Memory Of Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational—the biggest honor in big wave surfing. Congrats Laurie! Photo: Bielmann/SPL
Shane Dorian at his beloved Backdoor Pipeline. Photo: photobrent/SPL
Shane Dorian at his beloved Backdoor Pipeline. Photo: photobrent/SPL

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After a couple days of rain the water on the North Shore turned into a brown mess and more than one conversation about tiger sharks was overheard at Starbucks. Luckily for Dave
After a couple days of rain the water on the North Shore turned into a brown mess and more than one conversation about tiger sharks was overheard at Starbucks. Luckily for Dave "Rasta" Rastovich he doesn't buy coffee from the evil empire and isn't afraid of sharks. Photo: Checkwood
With all the North swell, Rocky Rights was looking a lot like Jeffrey's Bay and more than one local called it
With all the North swell, Rocky Rights was looking a lot like Jeffrey's Bay and more than one local called it "All Time." Photo: photobrent/SPL
Gavin
Gavin "The Alien" Beschen with one of his patented out-of-this-world carves at Off The Wall. Photo: Checkwood
Bali ripper Lee Wilson is a mix of Aussie and Balinese blood yet could be passed for a local in Hawaii. Judging by the number of waves he gets at the OTW sandbar and his plethora of tattoos, maybe he really is Hawaiian. Photo: Checkwood
Bali ripper Lee Wilson is a mix of Aussie and Balinese blood yet could be passed for a local in Hawaii. Judging by the number of waves he gets at the OTW sandbar and his plethora of tattoos, maybe he really is Hawaiian. Photo: Checkwood
South Africa's Damien Fahrenfort as seen from the ASN/TransWorld SURF house at Rockpiles…not a bad view eh, bru? Photo: Stafford/SPL
South Africa's Damien Fahrenfort as seen from the ASN/TransWorld SURF house at Rockpiles…not a bad view eh, bru? Photo: Stafford/SPL
It's not impossible for an everyday soul surfer to completely kegged on the North Shore, you just gotta go for it and call the pros off with authority. Marc Rocheleau. Photo: photobrent/SPL
It's not impossible for an everyday soul surfer to completely kegged on the North Shore, you just gotta go for it and call the pros off with authority. Marc Rocheleau. Photo: photobrent/SPL
It wasn't all death bombs and clean up sets at Rockpiles...there were days where it was actually fun and non life threatening. Photo: Dorsey
It wasn't all death bombs and clean up sets at Rockpiles...there were days where it was actually fun and non life threatening. Photo: Dorsey
Chris "Chippa" Wilson puts one of four 5'7"s to use at Rocky Point. Photo: Dorsey
Chris "Chippa" Wilson puts one of four 5'7"s to use at Rocky Point. Photo: Dorsey