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Surf’s Up in Hawaii

Winter in Hawaii is quite different than elsewhere. Instead of the cold weather, we see a slight dip in temperatures; instead of snow and ice, we see more rain; and instead of shoveling driveways, we see bigger waves. Not exactly a comparison, but we love to see the big waves and watch the surfers ride the giants all over the islands. And with the big waves, come big competition, bringing the best surfers from all over the world to the islands for the most prestigious surf competitions.

The winter is always a welcomed time of year, giving a break from the summer heat and bringing the holidays and a time of celebration. Hawaiian winters follow the same path, with cooler weather and the normal celebrations. However, the most exciting time of year is when the size of waves increase and the masters of surf get to work. On the north shores of all islands, swells take the waters from mostly flat to roaring, waves crashing and welcoming the best surfers to ride the waves.

Every year, big wave competitions in the Triple Crown of Surfing heat up the North Shore of Oahu. 3 different events make up the competition, beginning in November and running into December. The Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali’I Beach Park, The O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, and the Billabong Pipeline Masters at Banzai Pipeline draw the world’s best to compete. On the women’s side of surfing, surfers compete in the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa Ali’I Beach Park, The Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach, and the Billabong Pro at Honolua Bay on Maui.

There is nothing quite like watching the giant waves hit Hawaii. Waimea Bay brings some of the largest waves on Oahu, and Jaws on Maui has set world records for waves. Surfing these places, and any big wave surf spot, should only be practiced by experienced surfers, and novice surfers should exercise extreme caution when attempting to ride the waves.

Surfing is the most popular sport in Hawaii, and with good reason. The earliest settlers rode the waves on the first surfboards over 1,000 years ago, and since then, surfing has become synonymous with Hawaii. From those first surfers to Duke Kahanamoku and Eddie Aikau, surfing is engrained in the Hawaiian Islands. If you are lucky enough to be in Hawaii during the winter, be sure to check out the biggest waves you will ever see.

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