Pipeline is one of the scariest waves in the world. From the sand, spectators can feel the power of it. And when it’s on, it’s one of the most crowded waves in the world. But the men and women that charge maxing Pipeline these days have the comfort of knowing that it is indeed possible to charge maxing Pipeline and come away alive. When the first people to ride Pipeline at this size paddled out, they were going purely on instinct. The footage above is from a 1967 film called Blue Surfari.
“If you can see it, you can surf it,” as the saying goes. Ricky Grigg, Greg Noll, and Mike Stang saw it. And they surfed it. On a now-famous day in 1963, after a two hour paddle and an even longer wait, Greg Noll proceeded to stroke into one of the most epic rides in North Shore history – a wave that, even by today’s standards, is still pretty spectacular. But if you take into account that it was the first of its kind, Noll’s outer reef Pipe bomb is nothing short of miraculous.