Blog — WSL

The Official Start of Winter Arrives With a Bang

Posted by David Kelly on

Today marked the solstice—the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere—and we certainly had a lot of winter activity to celebrate. The biggest swell of the year steamrolled through the Pacific, bringing large swell to Hawaii before blasting the West Coast with back-to-back XXL pulses. The action started on the North Shore, where the Pipe Masters, Triple Crown, and world title were all decided on Monday. Joel Parkinson retired, Jesse Mendes just barely squeaked by Parko for the Triple Crown title, and Kelly Slater made the semis at Pipe after making one of the most amazing wipeout to in...

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After a Slow Autumn, Winter Hits Hawaii

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“Winter is coming.” That’s what Jon Snow likes to tell people on the show Game of Thrones. But here in Hawaii, we follow a different calendar. For us, winter arrived a week ago. After a slow start to the North Shore season, things went apocalyptic last week, as a huge, long-period WNW swell poured into the islands. The outer reefs on Oahu went ballistic, the women’s WT season ended at Honolua Bay (congrats to Carissa Moore for winning the event, and Steph Gilmore for winning her record-tying seventh world title), and of course the Peahi Challenge was run. Actually, the...

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Natxo Gonzalez Paddles into Historic Barrel at Nazare Challenge

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"Natxo Gonzalez falling out of the sky at Pe'ahi in 2016. Photo: WSL/Richard Hallman"   Natxo Gonzalez Paddles Historic Barrel at Nazare Challenge The Nazare Challenge went down in near-flawless conditions last week, with 15-20+ waves and light offshore winds. Spanish charger and surf explorer Natxo Gonzalez was one of the standout performers, making the final and ending up in third place (which also positions him well for the world title race, since there are only three events each year). And while Grant “Twiggy” Baker ended up winning the event, Natxo stole the day with what most agree is the...

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Nazare Challenge Gets the Green Light for Friday!

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Credit: @ WSL / Poullenot After an epic late summer/early fall, winter has started off pretty slow here in Hawaii. Town is heading into its winter slumber, and while there have been a couple of decent pulses on the North Shore, none of them have really set the buoys off. But that’s not to say that the big wave season hasn’t started. In fact, over in Europe, Nazare has been going ballistic for the past two weeks—and things are about to ramp up even more today. The World Surf League has called the Nazare Challenge on for Friday the 16th, and...

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The Men’s and Women’s World Titles Will Be Decided in Hawaii

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The Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France ended this week, and with them came some major developments for the world title race. First, on the ladies’ side, Steph Gilmore had a chance to make history. She has won six world titles already—just one shy of Layne Beachley’s record of seven—and is widely considered to be the greatest female competitive surfer in history. The opportunity was there for her to clinch her seventh title in France—all she had to do was finish one round ahead of Lakey Peterson, who trails Steph but is still mathematically in contention for the title. But...

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