April was a good month for Pipe surfers. A pile of late-season swells tripped over the world-famous reef and as usual, all the best were out there to get their piece of the pie.
April isn’t a sure bet for waves on the North Shore, but this year was a definite win. “You might get waves or you might not,” Jamie explained. “But this season it was just pumping. Swell after swell after swell. It was like 6-to-8, 8-to-10, 10-to-12. Every day it was pumping Pipeline. It was crazy… as far as surfing goes, this month’s been insane. As good as waves get at Pipeline. The best April I’ve ever seen.”
Of course, the world’s best wave attracts the world’s best surfers, and at a place like Pipeline, the world’s best all know each other very well. Most of them grew up together, so it’s a tight-knit lineup. “It’s a real localized crowd,” Jamie said. “It’s all the North Shore guys and the guys from town in a nice tight pack. Everybody knows everybody. You literally know everybody in the lineup, versus when you’re surfing in November there’s just millions of people out there and you’re like, ‘who are these people?’ It’s all good, but you don’t really know. You don’t see too many familiar faces.”
The average level of talent is likely higher than any other wave in the world. And while there are a handful of people who’ve been touted as the “best” (Jamie is one of them), it’s not quite that simple. “You can’t just pinpoint one person because on days like there were in April when we were surfing perfect waves all day, guys were getting insane waves all day long,” Jamie said. “Which one was the best? I don’t know. There were so many. The caliber of really good surfers out there is really high. You can’t just pick one.”
In truth, it doesn’t really matter who’s the best. The real star of the show is the wave itself — but even a beautiful canvas is always made better by a talented artist.