Taking center stage

Pipeline sees its biggest day of the year while down the road Waimea Bay hits 20 feet.

Pipeline and Waimea, you'd think by now they'd be old hat. But somehow surfing's two most recognizable waves remain relevant. From a surfing standpoint, they're the benchmark. Nowhere else, save perhaps Teahupoo in Tahiti, can somebody make a career out of surfing one wave. But look no further than guys like Jamie O'Brien and Kalani Chapman who've supported themselves by going left at the Banzai reef for going on a decade. And Waimea, before anybody pushes over the ledge at Jaws or Phantoms or other Hawaiian outer reefs they have to tame the Bay. Speed, power, size and unpredictability are trademarks of both waves, and that's the draw. When the swell of the year -- both new and old -- arrived over the New Years holiday we were reminded yet again what Pipe and Waimea are capable of.

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