Lindsey Lohan watching the Pipe Masters on the North Shore of Oahu 12/10/11
- Know the Dates: It can get a little confusing figuring out which contest is happening what day when it comes to the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. The first contest is the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, the second is the World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and the third and final jewel in the triple crown is the most exciting event; the Billabong Pipe Masters. Each of the three has its own dates. The dates to know for 2013 for the Pipe contest are: December 8 thru December 20. *The contest won’t be on everyday during this waiting period, but will happen during these dates. Also, right before the waiting period are the Surfer Poll Awards at Turtle Bay. These occur on Friday December 6, 2013. This is a good time to spend the night at the Turtle Bay Hotel, great for catching Pro Surfers and Celebrities in the lobby. Last year, Jen Law was staying at the Turtle Bay the same day as the Surfer Poll Awards. Who knows who will be there this year!
- Arrive at the Beach Early: Last year I left my condo on the South Shore at 6:15 a.m and needed to park 3 blocks from Event. The year before I left at 5:45 a.m. and caught the last spot right in front of Pipeline. The event usually doesn’t start until 8:00 a.m. but you can always sleep on the beach. If you sleep in and come after 10 a.m. there’s lots of very slow traffic to deal with, not good. But, if you do decide to come late, I recommend paying the $5-$15 for parking. It’s way worth it!
- Get the Vans APP: The App will text you daily updates on whether the contest is on or not. Typically the daily reminder comes in to your phone at 7:45 a.m. I used to use the App only for that, but this year with the advances in my iPhone, I’ve actually watched a few heats on my phone. The quality come in more crystal clear than my home TV!
- Food and Drink: I’d recommend stopping by Foodland the night before or the day of the event. Pick up some sandwiches, spam Musabi, some fruits and veggies. Get yourself plenty of water (freeze it the night before) and something with Caffeine in it. At the event, it can be hard to find Food and Drinks. Usually the sponsor has some free drinks but it varies when the samples are available – this year it is Glaceau Vitamin Water which BTW doesn’t have caffeine in it. In regards to food, many years there is nothing to eat other than the occasional Cliff Bar. Although, the last two years the Cholo’s wagon has been at the event. If they are there you are good to go with food on-site. But if they sleep in or aren’t there this year, it’s better to come prepared with Foodland goodies.
- Watch Kelly Slater and John John Florence: Everyone surfing is awesome and dependent on how big the waves are, risking their lives to bring you great entertainment. You can see a great waves ridden by everyone who participates. You’re just guaranteed a good time when Kelly and John John hit the water. Both find barrels where no one else looks and I’ve seen the biggest ariels ever launched in contests from these two surfers.
- Hit The After-Party: When the Pipe Masters contest is done, stay near the Volcom house or head down the beach a bit. Typically all of the surf companies throw some pretty awesome parties. I like hanging outside of Jamie O’Brien’s Home. In 2011 when I was there, he had a DJ, a Rasta Band, a Rock Band, then another DJ set. If you can get into the parties, charge it. If you aren’t on the list, no worries, some of the best times can be had on the Beach just outside the surfer homes. And you can still check out the waves. This is when you see some really Gnarly Wipe-Outs and some Giant BIG-AIRS. The after parties in the homes or on the beach can be just as much fun as the actual Contest.