“Wave of the Winter” is sacred ground on the North Shore. So many great rides happen everywhere from Sunset to Pipeline to Waimea to Haleiwa, but only one can and will rise amongst the rest. To help determine which wave tops the rest, Oakley and Surfline rely on a seasoned group of North Shore watermen, including Pancho Sullivan, Ross Williams, and the great Gerry Lopez.
“To not only survive but to thrive in the winter surf of the North Shore takes quite a bit more than one who hasn’t tried it would imagine,” Lopez said. “The physical conditioning to run at the top is an all-year effort directed specifically toward this end and no matter what, one who is seriously dedicated will always discover some aspects were missed along the way only to surface at some inopportune moment to really test the individual. Mental preparation is forever incomplete. Some new variation of all that has already happened can and will surprise even the most experienced veteran to make them cry or laugh before handing out another humbling test of one’s mettle.
“These tests are to gauge a surfer’s true interest and at some point, the spiritual nature of pitting one’s self against the effort to find harmony with the powerful, dangerous and wonderful waves found along this stretch of coastline begins to emerge,” he continued. “To aspire towards a Wave of the Winter is a combination of preparing, being there and a lot of good fortune. For the surfers, for the judges and for everyone watching, it is an exciting process of following each swell, each ride and being a part of the entire season."
According to its website, the “Oakley Wave of the Winter will be won by the surfer who catches and successfully rides the single best wave of the contest period on the North Shore.” Basically it’s a contest that’s open to anyone—as long as the wave was ridden at Pipeline between November 1, 2013 and February 28, 2014.
Here are a bunch of entries from the local boys. Guys like Kalani Chapman, Nathan Florence, Kai Henry, Sai Smiley, Kai Barger, Kamalei Alexander, Danny Fuller, Reef McIntosh, Koa and Makua Rothman, Flynn Novak, Mason Ho, and a handful more of underground chargers. Oh, and that one guy, John John Florence, he’s been getting some decent ones…
CHECK OUT THE ENTRIES HERE