Stab Magazine | It's Been A Strange Winter On The North Shore
312 Views

It’s Been A Strange Winter On The North Shore

The locals are longing for El Niño but the out-of-towners don’t mind. 

news // Dec 11, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Talks of an unusual winter are echoing from the grainy coast off Kam Highway. And other than a few swells, Thanksgiving through now has been sub-par (if you’re talking to the Hawaiians). But for the Californians, Brazilians, some Aussies, and anyone from United States’ east coast it sure beats home. Because riding tropical waves in trunks is one of life’s greatest joys. On the North Shore what would typically be a good-to-great day at your home break excites but not in the same way – something strange happens to your wave perception here. Regardless, there have been waves. And those waves have been hollow and fun. Just not good enough to set a pack of hungry competitors loose at the Pipe trials. 

Bielmann rocky pt59983

Photography

Brian Bielmann

“The Gudauskas brothers were all spreading good vibes while dominating the place this day at Rockie,” says lensman Brian Bielmann. “Rocky Point during Triple Crown season is funny; there are a lot of photographers and a lot of Brazilian surfers who are absolutely ripping. They have kind of taken over the spot but no one complains because they bring their girlfriends to the beach with them, so we all have something to look at in between sets. This time of year it’s crazy crowded but that’s part of the appeal.”

Bielmann rocky pt60103

Photography

Brian Bielmann

“There have not been a lot of great days – to say the least – but even Rocky Point on a so-so day with the right talent can be a lot of fun,” continues Mr Bielmann. “It’s like a shooting gallery; there are at least two or three peaks all going at once with the top pros going left and right. You’re always deciding who to follow. So what do you do if you have Jordy Smith going right and Nathan Fletcher going left? Well that’s the fun of it, sometimes you follow the right guys and sometimes you don’t.” 

Lights

Photography

Matt Paul Catalano

“After a full day of pumping swell but gloomy conditions, the sun suddenly peaked through the clouds and provided a sunset for the books,” photographer Matt Catalano tells Stab. “Jamie [O’Brien, who else?] and the crew grabbed their waterproof LED lights and took over Pipe and Backdoor just before dark. This has pretty much become standard procedure as of late.”

stab Dec04 3816 1

Photography

Matt Paul Catalano

Rocky Point is the premiere high-performance break, but Off The Wall is where surfers shine. The mix of sand and rocks is confusing and makes for a wave that’s difficult to navigate. If you get a good one out there, you’ve put your time in. Here’s Matt Pagan sifting through one of those “good ones”. 

mattpaulcatalano CamRichards 4326

Photography

Matt Paul Catalano

“Cam [Richards] stopped through Hawaii for two days en route to the Caribbean,” says Matt. “He happened to arrive during a pumping day at Rocky Point and was tossing airs right and left. This is one of those moments on one of those lefts.”

RidenourT NS 11 16 036

Photography

Tim Ridenour

“Here’s Shane Beschen,” says photog Tim Ridenour, “at an early in the season session at Backdoor.” 

Tim Ridenour

Photography

Tim Ridenour

There have been a few moments recently. Here we get Bruce Irons down the coast from the Weedmaps manor on Sunset and having a go at Pipeline’s neighbour. “This is Bruce all contrasty on a moody evening at Backdoor,” says Tim. 

Comments

Comments are a Stab Premium feature. Gotta join to talk shop.

Already a member? Sign In

Want to join? Sign Up

Advertisement

Most Recent

Toasted: Reviewed By 10 Of Your Favorite Surfers

Caity Simmers' personal project on paper.

Feb 3, 2023

An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory

Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…

Feb 3, 2023

Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich

Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.

Feb 3, 2023

Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches

The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…

Feb 2, 2023

Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year 

Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…

Feb 2, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: The Stab Premium Vote

Day Ten: You voted, we counted.

Feb 1, 2023

Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More

A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.

Jan 31, 2023

20:37

“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”

Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…

Jan 30, 2023

Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different

With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…

Jan 29, 2023

WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’

Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?

Jan 29, 2023

Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners

Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence

Jan 28, 2023

Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth

A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.

Jan 27, 2023

Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video

He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.

Jan 27, 2023

Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions 

They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.

Jan 27, 2023

38:24

The Pick-Up, Presented By Vans, Episode 5

Mason Ho helps us ring in our final week on the North Shore.

Jan 27, 2023

Goofyfoot Brazilian World Champion Stars In Stab’s Biggest Board-Testing Franchise

Can you guess who?

Jan 26, 2023

Surf Community Rallies To Raise Funds For Eddie Winner And On-Duty Hawaiian Lifeguard Luke Shepardson

Because it's the right thing to do, of course.

Jan 26, 2023

Interview: Caity Simmers On Machete Wars, Rihanna, Personal Project Problems, And The Rise Of Female Surf Content. 

A toast to ‘Toasted.’

Jan 25, 2023
Advertisement