Thanksgiving Swell Hits The North Shore Hard

Sunset Beach, Hawaii

No competition again today as a huge north swell continues to linger on the Oahu’s North Shore. It’s a rarity that big-wave surf contests are called on account of big waves, but the North Shore’s been pummeled by crazy, disorganized surf since early Monday morning, and it has yet to let up.

On Tuesday, massive 25-foot-plus waves broke on Sunset’s seldom realized “fifth reef,” and despite a lack of competition, the grandstands were full for a good part of the day with people who just wanted to see Mother Nature kick some ass.

Triple Crown Director Randy Rarrick was quoted as saying: “Only in Hawaii do we cancel events because it’s too big. This is why Hawaii is an integral part of the tour. We might see great small waves in Europe and Brazil, perfect waves in Fiji, but the huge waves in Hawaii round it off and make the ASP surfers the best in the world.”

Tuesday’s cancellation prompted several competitors and big-wave chargers to head to Waimea Bay, where 15-to-20-foot surf provided some thrilling moments for surfers and spectators alike. Surfers like Joel Parkinson, Jamie Sterling, Jason Magallenes, and others braved the Bay, which was the only surfable wave on the North Shore for most of the day. Parko proved that his name being added to Quiksilver’s Eddie Aikau Classic list of alternates was no fluke. The Aussie sat deep and caught several bombs in between dodging ditched boards and clean-up sets.

Groups of guys have been making forays to the East and West sides of the island in search of decent surf, but in general most are just waiting for the swell to mellow.

Tomorrow’s competition has been called off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, though many predict Thursday’s surf will be some of the best of the early season. Beyond that contest organizers will be waiting to see if the swell predicted for the weekend (another big north) actually materializes. Time will tell.

With both Irons brothers involved in the contest (Bruce qualified in the trials, as did fellow Hawaiian Pancho Sullivan), and the potential for Andy to claim a world title, everyone’s excited to get the event going.

Time will tell.