Outlook for the 2011 IBA Pipeline Pro

A string of large Northwest swells blessed Pipeline in January, bringing epic conditions for both the Backdoor Shootout and the Volcom Pipe Pro. Unfortunately, that lucky streak may be over, as the current forecast for the 2011 IBA Pipeline Pro is not looking so good.

The holding period for the event runs from February 15th – 25th, and the Waimea Bay buoy forecast for the first two days is pretty poor. Tuesday is the biggest, but consists of a declining North-Northeast swell (14°) and West-Southwest winds, both of which are completely backwards for Pipe. Given that it’s the first day of the holding period, organizers would be hard-pressed to pull the trigger. Given the crappy outlook for the rest of the week, if things look half-decent at 7 a.m., they just might.

Wednesday the 16th is even worse. Stay home, it’s not going to happen.

Thursday the 17th shows an increasing North swell, with a decent swell-period of 14-seconds, but the direction is not well suited for Pipe and moderate Northwest winds through the previous night are likely to produce surface chop in the morning. We no likey.

Friday, February 18th sees the first Northwest pulse (3.3 feet at 14.9 seconds 311°). It’s not the biggest, and the presence of the dying North (8°) component will provide combo-swell conditions, but building South-Southeast winds are favorable and the event will most likely run its first (if not second) day of competition.

The IBA has partnered with Red Bull TV, which will be broadcasting the event live. Check out the IBA World Tour website for more details on the 2011 IBA Pipeline Pro.

For real-time updates from the Waimea Bay buoy, follow @buoy51201 on Twitter. Additional buoys in the Hawaii region are also available, including the Northwest Hawaii buoy (@buoy51101).