Filed: Updates

2012 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout Results

The 2012 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout saw epic conditions throughout its holding period, which means they were able to cherry-pick the best days at Pipeline and Backdoor. Everyone got shacked, but in the end, it was Reef McIntosh who emerged victorious, with Volcom winning the team division.

2012 Da Hui Backdoor Shootout Results


  1. Reef McIntosh ($30,000)
  2. Jamie O’Brien ($20,000)
  3. Marcus Hickman ($10,000)
  4. Bruce Irons ($5,000)
  5. John John Florence ($2,500)


  1. Volcom (Marcus Hickman, Bruce Irons, Dean Morrison, and Dusty Payne)
  2. RVCA (Makua Rothman, Billy Kemper, Danny Fuller, Daniel Jones)
  3. Body Glove (Jamie O’Brien, Alex Gray, Anthony Walsh, Cheyne Magnussen)
  4. Quiksilver (Reef McIntosh, Mark Healey, Fred Patacchia, Kiron Jabour)

For additional highlights from the second and third day, check out Prickett Films on Vimeo.


Hawaii – December 29th Surf Forecast

Hawaii surf forecast update for December 29th, 2011: A little something for everyone over the next seven days. Moderate northwest surf continues into the weekend, with improving conditions as the wind backs off. Monday, January 2nd is looking fun, with a fresh NNW swell and light easterly winds expected. Wednesday will see high surf advisory conditions, with gusty NE tradewinds in the 15-20 knot range.

Moderate northwest surf is expected to linger into the weekend, with biggest conditions this morning. A slight reinforcement is expected on Saturday, with a larger North-Northwest pulse (8 feet at 15 seconds, 330°) building New Year’s Day into Monday.

An extra-large NNW swell builds rapidly Tuesday (1/3) afternoon into Wednesday, with conditions currently expected to reach 17 feet at 16 seconds (328°) by morning. Expect high surf advisory conditions with gusty northeast tradewinds.

With another swell lining up behind Wednesday’s, it looks like 2012 is off to a great start!


Hawaii – December 13th Surf Forecast

Hawaii surf forecast update for December 13th, 2011: After a few days of strong northeast winds and lackluster surf, get ready for another round of solid northwest swells, with surf heights forecast to get progressively larger throughout the week.

Summary: Fun northwest swell for the north shore on Wednesday, slightly bigger with better winds on Thursday, then advisory level surf on Friday. The northwest swell slowly fades through the weekend, so there will be leftovers for the weekend warriors, but east-northeast trade winds will be increasing in strength, so expect additional wind swell and surface texture.

At the moment, northeast wind swell is still dominant, but a new long-period northwest pulse is slowly filling in underneath it. This swell is forecast to continue building overnight, with conditions at the Waimea Bay station expected to reach 4 feet at 14 seconds (323°) by Wednesday morning, and moderate east to east-northeast winds in the 10-13 knot range blowing throughout the day.

Thursday, December 15th: A northwest reinforcement bumps surf heights up a notch on Thursday, with swell conditions expected to peak mid-morning at 6 feet at 14 seconds (322°). This swell holds throughout the day, with steady east winds at 10 knots. A fading, short-period northeast wind swell component will also be in the water, with energy in the 3 feet at 7 seconds range (53°).

Friday, December 16th: Surf heights continue their ascent on Friday, building rapidly throughout the day to advisory levels. The swell is currently expected to peak Friday evening at 11 feet at 14 seconds (319°), with east-northeast (78°-68°) winds forecast to increase in strength to 15 knots as the day progresses.

While wave heights will easily be biggest on Friday, the moderate winds could make for some tough, side-shore conditions, depending on where you surf. The winds are only expected to get stronger as we move into the weekend (approaching 20 knots), which means more side-shore chop, and an increasing northeast wind swell component on Saturday and Sunday as the northwest swell slowly fades through Monday.


Hawaii – December 4th Forecast Update

Hawaii surf forecast update for December 4th, 2011: Good news for the 2011 Billabong Pipeline Masters. Back-to-back northwest swells forecast to grace the North Shore with head-high to double-overhead surf Tuesday through Saturday.

Both pulses are visible in the detailed Waimea Bay forecast above, with the first swell building rapidly on Tuesday before fading on Wednesday. The second, larger swell is packing much more energy, and is expected to build throughout the day on Thursday, peaking overnight before tapering off into the weekend.

Surf on Tuesday, December 6th looks really fun, with head-high+ conditions expected in the morning (5 feet at 15 seconds, 320°) and building throughout the day to overhead+ by the evening (7 feet at 13 seconds, 319°). Light east winds are expected to increase in strength throughout the day, but remain easterly, which should result in favorable conditions all day long.

On Thursday, December 8th, 20-second forerunners are forecast to start showing on the Waimea Bay buoy just after midnight. This swell is packing a lot more energy than Tuesday’s, and is forecast to build rapidly as the day progresses, reaching conditions in the 8 feet at 16 seconds (312°) by late afternoon. The wind outlook is favorable, with east-northeast trades in the 14 knot range expected.

Thursday marks the first day of the 2011 Pipe Masters holding period, which will likely commence with the initial rounds of competition. Keep an eye on the Northwest Hawaii (@buoy51101) buoy between midnight and 8 a.m. on Thursday, as those reports will be an excellent indicator of what we can expect to see throughout the day.

The action continues on Friday, December 9th as the northwest swell settles into a consistent 8 feet at 15 seconds (313°). Winds remain favorable, 13-15 knots from the east to east-northeast. Given the swell’s size, consistency, and favorable direction for Pipeline, expect the ASP to go at it again on Friday in epic, double-overhead surf.

In summary, a lot of surf headed towards the North Shore this week, with a solid pulse on Tuesday and the first proper Pipe swell hitting Thursday into Friday. Expect things to be extra frothy in the Ehukai zone, with the full ASP tour descending for the Pipe comp, and everyone trying to get a warm-up session in before Thursday.

Thursday will mark opening day at Pipeline, so things will be ultra frothy as everyone tries to get in on the action. If the event runs (not sure why it wouldn’t, but who knows), it will definitely be interesting to watch, since everyone will be working out their Pipeline jitters during a heat. Gotta say, the forecast favors the experienced Pipe surfers, especially those with heats in the latter half of round one. A raw, long-period, double-overhead swell on the rise… if I were a wildcard, I’d be psyched.


Hawaii – November 30th Forecast Update

Hawaii surf forecast update for November 30th, 2011: A new northwest swell arrives today, with the Northwest Hawaii station (@buoy51101) already reporting 7.2 feet at 14.8 seconds (337°) as of 6:00 a.m. HST. Surf heights are expected to increase throughout the day and into Thursday, reaching the 8-10+ foot range late Thursday to early Friday.

Winds could be a little sketchy late Thursday and Friday however, as they are expected to turn slightly more north-northeast during that time. The good news is that they aren’t expected to be very strong, hovering in the 10 knot range, and turn to the east by Saturday.

Another northwest swell is forecast to arrive on Tuesday, but with a shorter duration than the current pulse. The Waimea Bay forecast shows swell conditions peaking mid-day on Tuesday (8 feet at 12 seconds, 316°), before fading overnight. By dawn on Wednesday (12/7), conditions are expected to drop to 5.6 feet at 12.1 seconds, with a consistent swell direction of 318°.

The wind forecast is excellent at the moment, with light southeast to east-southeast winds expected all day on Tuesday, providing gentle offshore conditions for the incoming swell.

Overall this should be a fun-sized swell for much of the North Shore, with a great northwest swell direction. If this first, larger pulse manages to clear some sand over the next few days, it could pave the way for a fun Pipe Masters warm-up session next Tuesday.

Out the back, the long-range forecast is showing another pulse brewing in the north Pacific. This swell continues to develop, and long-range forecasts are subject to revision, but at the moment it looks like another round of sizable northwest surf will arrive on Friday, December 9th. Check back this weekend for an update.

For real-time swell conditions we recommend following the Waimea Bay station on Twitter (@buoy51201). Also, the Northwest Hawaii station (@buoy51101) is a good indicator of incoming swell. Located about 270 nautical miles northwest of the North Shore of O‘ahu, it will provide a 10-12 hour lookahead depending on swell period and direction.


Hawaii – String of Northwest Swells Expected

Hawaii – A series of large northwest swells have popped up in the forecast window, with separate pulses expected on Wednesday into Thursday and another next Monday. The long-range models are also showing a big swell brewing in the north Pacific that could bring the largest surf of the season so far later next week.

Looking at the forecast for the Northwest Hawaii station (@buoy51101), the next northwest swell is expected to build slowly through Thursday, peaking around 11 feet at 14 seconds (323°). This particular station provides about an 8-10 hour lead time from the north shore of O‘ahu, so expect conditions to be largest late Thursday afternoon.

The winds are expected to also increase in strength on Thursday however, with moderate northeast trade winds forecast. Those winds should turn slightly more east by Friday afternoon, before easing into a light east to east-southeast flow by the weekend.

Further out, the second northwest pulse is currently expected to build rapidly next Monday, with primary swell conditions approaching the 13 feet at 14 seconds range (323°) at Buoy 51101. If the models hold up, this swell will be larger than the first, with moderate east winds providing more favorable conditions. Given the travel time to O‘ahu, expect the surf to build late Monday afternoon into Tuesday (12/6).

Behind that swell, there is an even larger pulse currently brewing in the north Pacific. Surf from this storm should arrive around December 8th, which would coincide with the start of the 2011 Billabong Pipe Masters. Keep an eye on the forecast models to see how this swell shapes up over the next few days.

All three pulses have potential to produce the first good Pipeline swell of the season. If things turn on, be on the lookout for the first round of entries in the 2011-2012 Steep & Deep Pipeline Photo Challenge. It’s not too late to register either, surfers have until November 30th to sign up.


Hawaii – Finally Some Action in the Long-Range Forecast

The long range forecast is finally showing some promise, with potential for the first real Pipe swell of the season on Thursday, December 1st. Models are showing back-to-back storms brewing to the Northwest, which are expected to produce long-period swells late next week.

First things first though, a big north swell is expected to build rapidly late Saturday into Sunday, with conditions peaking early Sunday morning (13 feet at 14 seconds 349°). Strong east-northeast trade winds are also expected on Sunday, which ushers in a short-period northeast wind swell (5 feet at 7 seconds 46°).

Sunday’s swell will be the largest of the season so far, with spots that favor a northerly direction seeing the biggest surf. Conditions slowly fade through Wednesday, but that’s when the next pulse kicks in.

The long-range forecast is currently showing a new northwest (324°) swell building throughout the day next Wednesday, with conditions expected to reach 9 feet at 14 seconds by dark.

The 324° swell direction, along with the long period and large swell heights, could result in the first real Pipe swell of the 2011-2012 season. However, coming off a larger straight north swell, sand (and backwash) is likely to be an issue. There is another pulse stacked up behind this one however, which could actually see better conditions if the first northwest swell starts grooming the sand at Ehukai.

All of this is good news for the second jewel of the Triple Crown of Surfing, the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, which will no doubt see much more action than the Reef Hawaiian Pro (congrats Taj).

Keep an eye on the Waimea Bay forecast model to see how next week’s swells develop.


Hawaii – La Nina Woes

The Hawaii Winter season has started with a whimper, with the Triple Crown forced to get underway in small surf at Haleiwa on Monday. There is a small pulse of NNW swell expected over the next few days, keeping things contestable, but definitely not the type of surf you expect in late November.

Looking at the Waimea Bay buoy forecast, there’s a much more notable North swell expected to build rapidly on Saturday night, with primary swell conditions in the 14 feet at 14 seconds (353°) range expected by Sunday morning. Look for spots that like the straight North angle to be pumping, but watch out for the 20 knot NE trade winds.


A Classic Day at Ocean Beach

The 2011 San Francisco Bodysurf Classic saw gray skies, challenging conditions, and a lone, brave speedo. In the true spirit of bodysurfing, the Classic turned out to be more celebration than competition, with an overwhelming turnout where everybody made the finals.

Once the onshore side-shore offshore onshore spray settled, the results were in: Mark Cunningham (1st), Joe Sloggy (2nd, in Speedos!), and Jeff Denholm (3rd). Blake Corbin received the Best Barrel award, and Judith Sheridan received the Legend Award.

The lasting image of the Classic however, happened after the winners left the podium. As most people packed up and headed for pizza, in an effort to escape the building wind and rain, Mark Cunningham zipped up his wetsuit and led a group of dedicated gliders back into the Ocean Beach shorebreak for another session. “Are you going back out?” I asked. “Isn’t that what we’re here for?” He replied.

Big mahalo to Danny Hess (who has a few mahalos of his own) for putting the event together and uniting the bodysurfing tribe for a classic day in San Francisco! For more coverage, check out Bruce Jenkins article for the SF Chronicle.