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【Once in a Lifetime】Surfing at Pipe line in North shore,Hawaii, beginner surfer get fascinated

“Pipe line” ,hitting to North shore in Hawaii, is one of the most famous surf breaks in the world.

In winter season in Hawaii,  the size of  gigantic swells hitting to Pipe line reaching to 5 story-building and making huge barrels.

So it must be very exiting to watch, even not as good surfer as I can take those.

Finally, in December 2016, I could get the chance and flight ticket to Honolulu for watching “Pipe Masters 2016”

Telling you the simplest comment about it, is

“Moving! Exiting! want to come back next year!!」

So no needs to talk about Pipe Masters too much.

I just recommend you to watch in front of the break.

also, Pipe masters is the surf competition often mentioned as “have to watch once in a lifetime ” from surfers.
(well…. I even did’t know the official name of Pipe line is “Banzai Pipeline” ,banzai meaning cheers, high five or hooray in Japanese)

The name including Japanese word is super surprise.

As above, even I didn’t know about surfing much, like, name of techniques, how to give a score, I just couldn’t stop keep watching with big excitement.

So, I promise who wants to start surfing or beginner surfer to enjoy the competition definitely.


By the way, did you know, surfing became the official olympic event from Tokyo Olympic2020.

At least,if you are interesting in surfing or curios something very exiting, please just  go to Pipeline and Pipe Masters,

Now, I am going to tell you how Pipe line, Pipe Masters were amazing, even I have a small knowledge about surfing


1.You will feel Presence of surfing a lot

↑The youngest competitor,Kanoa Igarashi,who competed the Kelly Slater and got 2nd place.

You will definitely get more exited  even you have watched  tons of the surf DVDs or YOUTBE videos, once you watch  the breaks at the pumping Pipeline ridden by the top pro surfers in huge barrels.

Each time a pro-surfer make The gigantic tunnels get through, audience were shouting of joy.

You will feel that you are the one of the members who have been joining of surfing at Pipeline.


For example, like this surf footage by drone

↑This epic surf movie is taken, edited by one of top drone photographer, Satoshi Nakamura, while top pro-surfers enjoying free surfing session.

I’m sure you get very impressed once you watch. Check it soon!!


As you have watched the video, as  you have a chance to watch those breaks very in front of the Efukai beach.

If you don’t think you can enjoy watching Pipeline because you don’t know about surfing much.

But, I want to say


I even didn’t know the names of techniques, how to give a score, but could make me “whole the time while there” enjoy myself.

What you have to watch is very easy, just 2 of those,

  • The surfers ridding in very long barrels
  • The surfers ridding in huge size barrels,

It is quite simple to do,

Just you have to do is

” be there, at right seat and right time”

in December while Pipe master is hold.

After watch it, I have already got exited to be at Pipe line next year.


2.Big barrel! You can see very close

↑This wave come to hit at Christmas day 2016 in Pipe line.

And, below is with my drone.

My drone broken this day lol

As you see the footage, huge size of waves coming over.

You may be scared of swells if you see from the beach, as like you are getting trouble with “Tsunami”

During these gigantic swell just crashing in the ocean, heaps of crazy people trying to get inside of the fat hollow barres, you may think they are so bravery or just CRAZY,INSINE PEOPLE.

However, those surfers making in the huge barrels, which you can see from just 20m away is the most valuable thing there.


3.Beach is clean,comfortable, not too busy


Not only the presence and you can watch the extreme performance, from Ehukai beach where you have seat is also very nice!

The beach is super clean, white sand, and not fully packed.

It was exciting time but also very relax as well.

My friend, Frank, and I were digging the beach and  made hand-made beach bed, where we put ourselves at ease while the competition.


Even if you are not interesting in surfing at all, Ehukai beach is the one of the best beach in Hawaii, especially winter season(December ~March)


▼Hand-made beach bed▼パイプライン,ハワイ,サーフィン,初心者

“If this competitions is hold in Japan, tons of surfing funs will be happy to be there  even they get really packed almost no space to have a seat.”

Moreover, the weather of Winter in Hawaii is just as you like.

You want to stay on the beach in Summer.

And you don’t need to bring a beach parasol, even beach chair, as you can make a hand-made beach bed.

Just grab your bath towel , wallet and a mobile.

Very easy to go.

There are a permanent bathroom and changing room by the beach both are very clean and maintained every morning.

Of cause,  the life guard are managing the beach safety while big swell hitting to the beach.

If you are the surfer or loving beach life, you may feel it is fare to pay expensive tax, which is used for those facilities.


4. Free for Watching the World Biggest Surfing Comp.


Pipe Master is the one of biggest competitions and also  the final event of the WCT(World Championship Tour of Surfing).

In  the most popular sport,Football, Pipe Master would  be like World Cup or Club World Cup.

But, only one thing different is IT’S FREE!!

You don’t need to buy a premium expensive ticket, which even you could luckily get, How about your friend? family? whoever you want to share a great time, won’t be able to come with you.

And, you don’t chase to the flight ticket, which is not sure, twice expensive accommodation from ages in advance.

But, Pipe Master is not, you don’t need to worry about the ticket which you may get or not.

Just go to North shore in December while the Pipe Masters being hold.

Easy to ENJOY!!


5. The Top pro surfer are just hanging out on the beach


↑Julian Wilson after enjoyed a free surf session. Just I realized  because my friend, Frank, told who he is. I really didn’t know those most famous surfers’ faces. Just names…lol

At Pipe Masters,  as I experienced, you can see the Top pro surfers, who you only know in magazines, DVDs on the beach.

Kelly Slater, John John Florence, those well-known top-pro surfers, who might be known by a beginner surfer,like me hahaha, are hanging out around the beach.

If you want to ask shake hand, or  get their signature, you can ask them.

Just don’t forget to bring a felt-tip pen and your precious surf T-shirt or board.


Under the main tent, Kelly was just for paddling out




6.Get a rare chance to surf with Top surfers

↑After I surfed at Haleiwa, Kelly Slater suddenly appeared for free surf session.

This is the film, quickly I toke out my camera and shoot him

His free surfing session was quite different from the surfing in competition, so this is one of the “must do” things while you are at North shore

As this experience, while or close days to Pipe Masters, you have a great chance to surf with legend surfers.

Actually, before Kelly appeared, I met Kanoa Igarashi at the parking lot.

I was surfing there also he was surfing in there as well,  so excited to see great surfers surfing from extremely close distance.

If you are the person who comes to Pipe Masters to watch, it maybe just usual happenings, this was the trip, great experience just keep on happening.


I have been telling you how Pipe line and Pipe Masters were exciting as I tell you in the beginning that Pipe line/Pipe Masters is “have to watch once in a lifetime” event.

Sooner you decide the trip, more  great opportunities you will have.


6 info You  have to know before Pipe line/Pipe Masters


Only I had knonw about Surifng in Hawaii before came over  were:


“Winter in Hawaii is only North shore”


“Pipe Master is the most famous surfing competition.”


So, I had only quite little information.

I was a quite beginner surfer in Hawaii, because it was my first surf trip in Hawaii.

But, As I met lots of great people, who has plenty of knowledge and information about how to enjoy and make theirselves comfortable while the competition.


Now I am telling you what you have to know to enjoy more this amazing event before Pipe line, Pipe Masters.


1. Pipe Masters is not always hold on the term

Pipe Masters2016 was hold during 8th~20th of December.

But the days of the on composition was only 4 days.

There can be several reasons why it gets canceled;

  • Breaks are totally not working
  • Violent gusty winds
  • too small swell

If you travel and stay 6~7days in Hawaii, it means not “Definitely You can watch the Pipe Masters”.

You still may need luck to watch the game.

It’s all about unmanageable weather things.

What we can do is only to pray for the good weather and condition for surfing.

Although, you can check the forecasts of swells, using surf forecast sites like, surfline.com

Ideal is

  • 10feet over swell
  • Swell speed is around 15 m/ps
  • wind is from off-shore
  • wind is better as much week as

if you feel “what a hell is this?”

check the picture just below.

this is the perfect swell at the Pipeline.↓


The swell size is not “meter” but “feet” and not have to be this big.

At least 5 feet swell, some how, possibly Pipe Master can be hold.

though, on or cancel is decided by the management team at 7:30 a.m. , it is MUST to check announce from the management.


2. The first announcement is 7:30 a.m.

The first announcement about that the tournament on or not will be shown at 7:30 in the morning and start can be at 8:00.

There is 2way of how to know, checking the Pipe Masters’ official homepage or a white board on the Gate at Ehukai beach.

However, some times announcement is like “will decide 11a.m. again”, so it may not be sure even 7:30 in the morning.

When you go to the beach, it’s always better to bring your favorite magazine or book as well.

In my case I had always brought my lap top,hahaha


And about free perking lots, which may be full after 8:30 a.m..

If you want to park at free parking lot near by the main entrance, it may be better to arrive around 8:00. or $10 parking is also near by the main entrance across the road.


 3. You can enjoy Pipe line without Pipe Masters

Waking up early in the morning still dark sky, parking at the perfect area, and grabbing a nice lunch box, but, the tournament is cancelled.

Perhaps, it happens quite often lol

Some of audience may come with 2 hours ride bus from Waikiki

But, still there is a hope you can enjoy the Top pro free surfing session.

The movie below is taken also by Satoshi Nakamura at Christmas day in 2016, when 24 feet swell hit Pipeline.

this is already 20,000 times played on facebook.

There can be still something, even the tournament is cancelled or over.


4. Pipe line is located in Ehukai beach

It’s hard to find Pipe line for first time to Efukai beach, because no sign says “this is Pipe line”

Pipe line is located in Efukai beach not Sunset beach(Bus from Waikiki stops at Sunset beach)

You may have heard of Efukai beach, because lots of cafes and restaurants named after Efukai beach all over the world.



5. Pipe line and Back door??

Since beginning, I have kept saying “Pipe line, Pipe line Pipe line!”. Name of the break at Pipe line is different.


Regular break(breaking to  left from beachside) is  named “Back door”.

Goofy break(breaking to right from beachside) is named  “Pipeline”.

If you know this, you will easily understand

“Today is back door side”

“Today is Pipe line side”

then, you can watch the right position to watch.(usually lots of camera men line up near the break, who always have a sheet perfect position. So, near there should be right place to watch.)

The Pipe Masters in 2016, it was back door usually pumping.


the picture below is Back door break.

The moment, Kanoa beats Kelly  #pipeline #pipemasters #kanoaigarashi #kellyslater #surf #surfing #northshore #oafu #hawaii 

Shintaro Mogiさん(@shintaro_mogi)が投稿した動画 –

It is breaking to the left from beachside.


6. Free WiFi available while Pipe Masters

While terms of Pipe Masters, you can have free WiFi around the surf breaks.

This is very useful that you can check the points, name of competitors, and competition schedule and results.

However, there are tons of people using the same WiFi as well, sometimes the signal of Wifi gets quite weak or disconnected.

If you do need internet, it must be better to have an american sim card or a mobile WiFi.


Eat here not there near Pipe line

I am going to write where I get nice foods near Pipe line.

In Hawaii food is expensive but still you can get good foods with reasonable prices

I have 3 recommendable shops.


Foodland @ Pupukea


The most nearest supermaket, Foodland is the most reasonable and variety of foods, Poke bowl, Sushi, salada  roll and more.

My favorite was $6.99 Poke Bowl, Hawaiian traditional food using  flesh tuna.

Especially, shoyu flaver,(soy sause) was quite good.


If you have only tried Poke bowl in Town, this may make you surprised like “Oh this is real Poke bowl ”

Also there can find flesh salada spring rolls, avocado rolls, crispy chickens, if you come with lots of people, everybody can have the best choice

Foodland is located in Pupukea, just by the traffic light, which is only one traffic light in Pupukea.


5 mins drive from Pipe line.



Ted’s Bakery (3min walk from Sunset beach)


This is Bakery, though, its plate menu is the most popular order and volume of the plate is pretty much.

My recommendation is  Hawaiian BBQ short ribs.

It comes with 3 large size short ribs flavored salty and sweet BBQ sauce, which will is just perfect for making you satisfied  and your hungry stomach happy.


As there are plenty of menu,  you should try what you want.

Some salada plates are in the fridge at the  inmost counter. Japanese nuddle sarada, SOMEN SALADA, was so good to have flesh salada and some energy.

Ted’s Bakery is located 3mins walk from Sunset beach.





PUPUKEA GRILL is very delicious but price is reasonable ($8~15) comparing to the other track food.

I ate the most popular plate, Shoyu Teri-Chiken, and Spicy Tuna Bowl, which were with brown rice and so delicious.

I can say it was the most delicious meal even in this surf trip.

If you are blown rice  or quinoa lover, it is better ask them.
PUPUKEA GRILL is located 100m away from Foodland  to Pipe line on the same road.


You can check the meal from its facebook page.

PUPUKEA GRILL→facebook page

just little far away from Pipe line, so if the competition is canceled, you can try between 11:00~17:00.


Recommendable accommodation for Pipe Masters

The most convenient area for watching Pipe Master is of course North Shore.

As long as checking booking. com and  Air BnB, Air BnB is looks reasonable.

More over, you can feel staying in a local Hawaiian house, which is pretty cool

>>Air BnB discount coupon 

There are 2 most recommendable area.

  1. Sunset beach, 15min walking to Pipe line
  2. Haleiwa, most popular town in North shore



It is bit costy around Sunset beach, but you can walk to Pipe line around 10~15 mins, and more popular surf breaks, sunset, rocky point, pipe line off the wall etc are all accessible on your foot. you may not need a car.

So, Sunset area is just perfect for stoked surfers.

Haleiwa is 20 mins away from Pipe line, but if you rent a car, this distance is not much, and very popular beach Haleiwa beach is just 5~10min drive.

Haleiwa is the most popular area for foreigner so you can find lots of shops and food tracks, which is very convenient and enjoyable without surfing.


Now, I’m introducing the accommodations where I had stayed for 2 weeks and the otheres mentioned with good reputations.

Sunset beach area

At Sunset beach area, it seems like for more  group surf trip or family stay,  than Haleiwa area, because the whole house is to be rent not much of 1 rooms.

If you travel with couple of people, around Sunset beach area may be the best accommodation.

And, if you think the priority is LOCATION.

Accommodation  should be chosen at Sunset beach area


But of cause, you can find for 1or 2 parsons room, which I’m introducing now.



Cozy tropical getaway


This listing is a modern-hawaiian accommodation, which is for 2 people just perfect for a couple.

5 mins walking to Sunset beach.

3 mins walking to the popular bakery”Ted’s bakery”

Even pipeline is  in 15 mins walking though the famous “Northsore bike path”


>>Air BnB discount coupon 

>>Detail of this listing


Private bedroom/bath Sunset Beach


This is the one of the most cheapest but good reputation listing of AirBnB, though, picture is not exciting.

Including a private room, kitchen, shower and bathroom, should be very comfortable as reputation,


>>Air BnB discount coupon 

>>Detail of this listing


Accommodation near Haleiwa

In North shore, accommodation in December is usually more than US$100, but near Haleiwa, most popular surf town in North shore, has more reasonable and budget ones around US$50.

If you have a car, Haleiwa to Pipe line is only 20 mins.

So, around Haleiwa is an ideal location for the people who want to have flexible trip with a car and budget price  accommodation.


Small inexpensive room North Shore


The each room has a queen size bed and  wardrobe with enough space for your large sized baggages, such as surf board bag.

Small kitchenette, shower  and bath room is common space and easy to cook simple pasta or instant foods.

The most closest surf break is Haleiwa beach by 5 mins driving.

Victor, Owner, was very hospital and cool guy, who also does kitesurfing,very much understanding about SURFER STYLE.

Internet (WiFi) was very fast and smooth to watch youtube videos.

>>Air BnB discount coupon 

>>Detail of this listing



PARADISE FOUND, North Shore Private Room


This listing looks very fabulous but also reputations is quite nice, too.

Price US$50 is pretty reasonable.

2 mins walking to a beach.

5 mins driving to Haleiwa.

Full kitchen.

I will stay here next time  if I stay around Haleiwa

>>Air BnB discount coupon 

>>Detail of this listing



Better have a car, if you surf


If you come to surf to North shore, I do recommend to hire a car at the Honolulu airport.

Most reasonable reason is cost; to round trip between North shore and Honolulu air port  by taxi is about US$300.

Hiring a economy car in Hawaii is around US$50, if you stay about a week hiring a car is more reasonable and more choice to do in Hawaii.


To carry surf board on the bus in Hawaii is not allowed and even if you don’t bring your surf board, it takes 2 hours to North shore from Honolulu airport.


Anyway if you surf, hiring a car is must in Hawaii.

>> Cheapest car in Hawaii 



Travel Insurance is “MUST”

In my experience, I strongly recommend you buy travel insurance, because when I didn’t have travel insurance in New Zealand and got virus infection, had to pay $900 at an emergency hospital.

And lots of valuables like PC, camera, phone, wallet got stollen or sometimes flights got cancelled because of Natural disasters and had to pay for accommodation extra.

If I had a travel insurance, those things would be covered.

That’s why I strongly recommend to have travel insurance, even you are used to travel.

There is free travel insurance like a insurance with a credit card as collateral, some of which you can get medical remedy without payment, cover not onoy yourself but also your family as well,  just only having a credit card with insurance.

If you want to have a credit card with travel insurance, better apply as soon as possible, because it might take several weeks.


How do you go to Pipe Masters by bus

Some people go to watch the Pipe Masters from Waikiki area.

Using taxi costs about US$150, but if you use The Bus, it only cost  US$2.5!!

Just you have to on the bus for 2 hours.

Taking 4 hours for transportation in round trip is so hard to commute everyday.

the bus stop is

  • Waikiki:Alakea
  • North shore:Sun Set Beach

You can arrive to Pipeline below bus schedue


  • Waikiki, Alakea:5:45
  • North shore, Sunset beach:7:31


Even if you don’t watch the pipe line, it will be a great day trip to North shore.

Just don’t forget the last bus to Waikiki.

The detail of the bus suchedule between Waikiki and North shore is able to be checked here. 。

>>bus schedule between Waikiki and North shore

This map is easy to see the bus root


Best surf shop in North shore is “Surf-N-Sea”

I have been to almost all surf shops in North shore,then Surf-N-Sea in Haleiwa  might be the best surf shop to get surf gears.


  • every thing was 10%off
  • cheaper than Waikiki
  • you will get what you need
  • the staff was very helpful


I could get a wetsuit top of billabong,US$78 at Surf-N-Sea. I think it was really good deal.

Water temperature  2016/2017 winter in Hawaii was pretty cold for me, so if you need any surf gear in Hawaii, you can get it with good deal at Surf-N-Sea in Haleiwa.


If you are inspired to surf and want start surfing, surf lesson with US$85 here is also quite popular and good reputation.

Good condition second hand boards are also found from US$150

Surf-N-Sea is located by the bridge in Haleiwa




After this surf trip…

One of my high light was to watch the Pipe Masters, which was great, great great time.

As many people mention

“You have to be there once in a lifetime”

I do want to come back to Pipe line at same time and I may do.

There is a peaceful surf culture in Hawaii, anybody who knows surfing will get more into surf world, Especially, Pipe line.

2016年9月からサーフトリップ中。 色々な国の色々な波の記録、街の記録をつづって行きたいと思います。 今のところ『最高な波はサモアにある』と思ってます。

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