El Niño and Banzai Pipeline had a bit of a love affair this past Valentines Day 2016. It’s been a winter to remember and February 14th was no exception. We were lucky enough to have spent 10 days on Oahu’s North Shore and got a glimpse of Banzai Pipeline in all of her glory. We’ve put together this collection of some of our favorite shots from the afternoon.
Pipeline is what we in the surf community refer to as a wave of consequence. That’s because Pipe is a heavy bone-crushing beast of a wave that breaks over extremely shallow coral reef.
In this kind of place, a simple mistake or a little misfortune can cost you your life. Unfortunately, far too many lives have been lost here. So please take note that Banzai is only suitable for the absolute expert surfer who is capable of handling themselves in such life threatening conditions.
You should also know that because of it’s magnificence, danger, and popularity among elite surfers from around the globe, this place is as localized as it gets. So on days when it’s going off, unless you know someone who has respect in the lineup and is willing to show you the ropes, it would be advised that you observe the glorious Banzai Pipeline from the shore, or you very well might end up in an undesirable situation (to put it nicely).
If you don’t have connections but you are skilled enough to surf Pipe, it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) always be highly respectful and patiently wait for your opportunity… And when your big chance comes, commit and CHARGE!
Another thing that makes Pipeline such a spectacle, is how close it breaks to shore. From anywhere along the beach you have front row seats to watching some of the world’s best making it look easy and inviting. It sure is a sight to see and we highly recommend you make it out there at some point in your life when it’s pumping to witness the action up close and in person. It’s quite remarkable, so without further adieu, here are the rest of our photos of Banzai Pipeline from Valentines Day 2016. Get inspired!