The best male surfers in the world may as well set up a camp on Oahu’s North Shore over a six-week(ish) period from mid-November to late December, as it’s the season for Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the trio of comps that includes the Hawaiian Pro, Vans World Cup of Surfing, and Billabong Pipe Masters.
Each competition has a legendary history, especially by way of Hawaii surf, and is prestigious in its own right. All together, winning the Triple Crown is an honor as revered as any world championship.
The second event is the Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach, notoriously one of the most challenging breaks on the planet. It’s not only the fast waves that test surfers at Sunset, it’s the paddle back out that can suck up an entire heat if the conditions aren’t just right. When conditions are good, a rip pulls surfers right back out to the line-up, so you can count on lots of good rides.
The reef breaks at Sunset roll reliably with swell from nearly any direction. Even so, fingers will be crossed for a northwesterly swell at an angle that just skates by the northeast coast of Kauai. If that happens? Game on.
For spectators, Sunset Beach is prime viewing. The three main waves are relatively close to shore, but pack binoculars in your beach chair. Even though the crowds should be massive, there’s plenty of sand on this wide, sweeping beach.
The World Cup of Surfing is a 4-day event, within the 12-day holding window (indicated below). If you’re not lucky enough to be in paradise, mix up a mai tai and stream the live webcast here.